Not to be outdone by the myriad of other underwater stores out there, Sony has opened its underwater Xperia Aquatech store in the waters off Dubai. (Could it be anywhere else?) As its name suggests, this is a concept store located four meters underwater. It’s also only open to media, VIPs, and contest winners. On top of that, it will only be open for three days before giving up the ghost. There are popup restaurants with longer lifespans.
Back when Android TV was unveiled at Google I/O, it was announced that Sony would include it on all their 2015 HD and 4K TVs. That’s quite a commitment and should be just the thing to get Android TV off the ground. Is Sony going to offer the same experience as the Nexus Player? Turns out they have a couple of tricks up their sleeve.
The first is that in addition to Android TV, users will also get PS4 Remote Play and Sony’s cloud gaming service called PlayStation Now, which will also link to Google games. The other cool news regarding gaming is that you will be able to use PlayStation controllers, which is a really nice touch.
Sources have discovered that Sony is working on a new smartwatch that focuses on fashion over function. The watch is going to be constructed out of a new e-paper display from Sony that spans not only the watch face, but the band as well. This means users will be able to change the appearance with a tap or two. The smartwatch is not only unique in eschewing functionality – it only provides the time and date – but development of the device has revealed a new business unit within Sony that is part of an effort to get the company back on track financially and in terms of innovation.
Not quite a year ago at CES 2014, Sony explicitly indicated they believed the market for flagship smartphone development was going to be on a semi-annual basis, so that is what they set for an internal target. After the release of the Xperia Z2 early in the year, Sony did indeed follow-up about six months later with the Xperia Z3. Sticking to that pattern, sources indicate Sony is ready to announce the Xperia Z4 at CES 2015 on January 5th in Las Vegas. Along with the Xperia Z4, Sony reportedly will also release a larger Xperia Z4 Ultra.
When it comes to connecting vehicles, there are a few options. Google has Android Auto, Apple has CarPlay, and the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) has MirrorLink. Two Sony handsets on the market today opt with the latter of the three. The Xperia Z3 (which we recently reviewed) and the Xperia Z3 Compact come out of the box with MirrorLink support. When a device is MirrorLink-enabled, it connects to a vehicle for music control and simplified navigation. MirrorLink also provides safety because users are no longer focusing as much on the device.
Sony is known for great TVs, cameras, and the PlayStation, but a lot of people, at least in the U.S., don’t know they make smartphones. Sony is a heavy duty name brand, but for whatever reason, it has taken a while to leverage it with U.S. wireless carriers. The tide might be turning as the Xperia Z3 made its way to T-Mobile and a variant known as the Z3v made its way to Verizon Wireless. Why a variant? Knowing they have more control, Verizon loves to force the up and coming manufacturers to alter their devices. The guts of the phone is almost the same, but the outside appearance is dramatically different. Many might say it’s a lot worse. However, the bigger issue here is if you should be considering Sony for your next smartphone?
There is no better time for Sony to be in a giving mood. Owners of the Xperia Z3, Xperia Z3 Compact, and Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact can pickup three films from Sony’s Columbia Pictures. The three films are The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Captain Phillips, and Ghostbusters. The freebies are region-locked unfortunately. Xperia Z3 device owners in the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Spain are eligible. The Xperia Lounge app will supply the code required to redeem the offer.
The offer vanishes on January 31, 2015. Don’t wait too long!
Via: Xperia Blog
We’ve heard a few things about Sony’s upcoming Xperia Z4, but thanks to a leaked front panel, we’re getting our first actual look at what may potentially be Sony’s first phone of 2015. The panel is the touch screen for the device, and while we can’t get a screen resolution or anything out of it, we can at least see how it stacks up next to the size of the Xperia Z3.
Fortunately, it looks like Sony is sticking to that 5-inch range with the Z4 instead of going with a massive 6-inch screen like we’ve heard off and on. The display looks very similar to the Z3 with just a few minute differences. The cut-outs for the proximity sensor and camera have switched, and the speaker hole has moved up to the edge of the digitizer instead of sitting halfway between the screen and bezel.
Sony just took the wraps off of the Exmor RS IMX230 for smartphone cameras and other mobile devices. It is the first CMOS image sensor for smartphones that sport an “onboard image plane phase detection AF signal processing function to achieve excellent focus tracking of fast-moving subjects.”
What the hell does that mean? It means the new camera will do a much better job at capturing fast moving objects with high-speed autofocus. Anyone with kids knows what I am talking about, but don’t forget animals and sporting events. The IMX230 features 21.7 megapixels, and a 192-point autofocus, which is better than the previous generation’s 172.
Sony is the first company to announce it is holding an event at CES 2015. There, it is expected that new devices will be introduced to the Xperia line. To be exact, new phones and a tablet are going to be unveiled. Sony could be opting with CES 2015 for announcements as it allows the company to get ahead of everyone else doing so at Mobile World Congress in February. You will not have to wait until January, though, to find out what Sony has up its sleeve. Why? Because someone decided to spill the beans on the Xperia Z4, Z4 Compact, Z4 Ultra, and Z4 Tablet.
Hit the break to find out what is to come from Sony next year.