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sony xperia

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Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra arrives in the US for $399

Back in February, Sony announced a pair of "super mid-range" phones - the XA1 and XA1 Ultra. Both phones are powered by a MediaTek Helio P20 processor and have a nearly-identical design. The XA1 arrived in the United States in May, costing $299. Now the XA1 Ultra has arrived stateside for a hundred dollars more.

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[Update: Xperia XA too] Nougat is rolling out to the Sony Xperia XA Ultra

Not to be forgotten to the passing of time, it appears that the Sony Xperia XA Ultra has started receiving a substantial update. Nougat is finally coming to the year-old phone, and not a moment too soon, either.

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The Sony Xperia XA1 is now available for pre-order from Amazon and Best Buy, will be released May 1

Back in February, Sony announced two new budget phones - the XA1 and XA1 Ultra. Comparable to the Moto G and G Plus respectively, Sony calls these devices "super mid-range." Now the XA1 has showed up for pre-order on Amazon and Best Buy for $299, in Black, Gold, Pink, and White.

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Sony Xperia XZ Premium leaked, and it's very shiny

The Sony Xperia XZ was announced at IFA last year, and later released in the United States in October. As you might expect from a phone initially costing $699, it's powered by a Snapdragon 820 CPU with 3GB of RAM. Now Xperia Blog has posted the first image of the upcoming XZ Premium, and it's very shiny.

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[Deal Alert] Grab an Xperia X Compact ($279.99), Xperia XZ ($429.99), or a JBL Pulse 2 ($119.95) at B&H Photo

B&H is one of my favorite stores. It is always dependable, most of the time has very good prices, and customer service is great as well. They are running a DealZone sale on a couple of Xperia phones and a JBL Pulse 2 Bluetooth speaker, among other things. Hurry up, it's a flash sale that will expire soon.

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The fingerprint sensor on Sony's Xperia XZ and X Compact can be enabled by a firmware flash

After having a Nexus 6P, I think I'd find it pretty difficult to go back to not having a fingerprint sensor. It's just such a convenient way to quickly and easily unlock my phone. The Sony Xperia XZ and X Compact (this year's model) both have fingerprint sensors, but weirdly on the US editions (and possibly others from around the world), they are disabled via software. Xperiablog has found that by flashing the UK firmware, the sensor can be enabled.

xperia-xz-fingerprint-usa_1-315x560 xperia-xz-fingerprint-usa_2-315x560

Left: US firmware - 1304-9206. Right: UK firmware - 1305-2216.

A thread on XDA details the process - in essence, download and install Xperiafirm, Xperia Companion (from Sony), and Flashtool.

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Sony will further "defocus" mobile business in US, as well as India, Brazil, and China

According to investor presentation slides obtained by Xperia Blog, Sony has told investors in Japan at a recent event that the company's mobile business will be further "defocused" in the United States, as well as in India, China, and Brazil.

Sony's Xperia X line of handsets, announced at MWC in February, have been met with critical apathy, if not outright disdain in some cases. Sony announced the X series would be launching in America back in May, and the handsets have not yet begun shipping. This makes the language in the slides almost surprising - Sony is essentially admitting that it will be walking back its US mobile business, what even exists of it, just as new devices launch.

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Sony Xperia E5 Announced With MediaTek Processor, 720p Display, And 1.5GB RAM

This time last week, the Xperia E5 was announced by Sony, then un-announced when the company removed any mention of the phone from its social media profiles. It seems like it's ready for a second go though, with a website page now advertising the mid-range handset.

The Xperia E5 packs a 720p 5-inch display and a quad-core MediaTek MTK6735 processor. Sony hasn't mentioned the clock speed, but it likely comes in at 1.3GHz. A reasonably respectable 1.5GB RAM is onboard, as well as 16GB storage with microSD expandability up to 200GB. Camera-wise, the rear shooter is 13MP, with HDR and flash, and a predictable 5MP front-facing camera.

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Sony Planning Another 6-inch Xperia Device, Possibly The Xperia C6

We know Sony likes big phones - the Z5 Premium or the absurd (but kinda cool) Z Ultra range laying testimony to this. Well, now it looks like it has another massive phone under its belt - the C6. This phone is the follow-up to the C5 Ultra, another 6-inch device released in August 2015; it's immediately obvious that the design of the C6 is similar to the C5.

Xperia-C6_4 Xperia-C6_2 Xperia-C6_3

According to Xperiablog, the C6 will have a 6-inch screen and a front-facing flash, both of which are definitely unusual for today's smartphones. To add to this, the device will have minimal side bezels and, like the C5 Ultra, a MediaTek chip, meaning it might be aimed at Sony's home country of Japan, or maybe a wider Asian release.

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[Q-Less] Sony's Official "Made For Bond" Site For The US Sadly Plugs The Xperia Z3+, Rest Of World Gets The Z5

Sony's non-presence in the US smartphone market only seems to be accelerating of late, with the company having closed all of its retail stores in the country (apart from the one on Madison Avenue in NYC), shut down its online shop (it redirects all listings to 3rd party retailers), and cancelled its only known upcoming device. This, alongside increasingly dismal sales performance for Xperia phones even outside America, tends to paint a not-nice picture of the company's smartphone division.

But Sony Pictures lives on, and with it, the blockbuster Daniel Craig Bond franchise. The upcoming 007 film Spectre will, of course, feature a lot of Sony product placement, including the generally well-liked Xperia Z5...

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