The recently introduced Xperia XZ and Xperia X Compact have begun to make their way into reviewers’ and consumers’ hands. While Sony won’t be sending a model my way, I’ve gathered some sample photos and videos for your viewing pleasure. Sony wisely didn’t opt to raise the megapixel count this time around and instead aimed for offering better quality visuals. According to Sony, both cameras provide
a powerful blend of high quality image and autofocus (AF) speed combined with Predictive Hybrid AF to intelligently predict and track subjects in motion for blur-free results. Added to this is the Laser AF sensor with distance sensing technology, which captures beautiful blur-free photos in challenging low light conditions. And what’s more, you will enjoy superb true to life colours thanks to the RGBC-IR sensor with colour sensing technology which accurately adjusts the white balance based on the light source in the environment.
Sony Mobile Taiwan opened pre-orders for the Xperia XZ yesterday and managed to sell out within 45 minutes. Sony was offering a special pre-order promotion where it included a number of freeibies including a DK60 USB Type-C Charging Dock, a 16GB USB Type-C OTG connector, a flip style leather case and a protective back cover. It is safe to say that this was enough of an incentive to see those pre-orders rolling in.
For those with an affinity for smaller devices, the Xperia X Compact which was announced in early September is a blessing. Take all the power and specs of the Xperia X, a 5-inch phone and put in the smaller, 4.6-inch displayed Xperia X Compact. Now, that phone has been priced for the US with pre-orders opening up.
Sure Android 6.0 Marshmallow has been out for well over a year but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to jump aboard the update wagon. Despite having taking a majority of their newer devices to Android 6.0 in Spring, a few units like the Xperia C4 had managed to slip through the cracks despite a promise to be given Marshmallow. Sony is now delivering on that promise by releasing Marshmallow on Xperia C4 and Xperia C4 Dual.
File this under shocker but the newly unveiled flagship Sony Xperia XZ and Xperia X Compact won’t feature a fingerprint reader (built onto the power button) in the US. Now keep in mind that it doesn’t mean the hardware won’t be capable of it – Sony is after all shipping the same device around the world. Instead what it means is that via a firmware update, Sony is opting to remove that functionality.
On Labor Day, I ran a little poll on Twitter to see what many of you thought of cameras found on Xperia phones. My question was simple – how do you find the camera on your Xperia phone to be? In hindsight, I should have been a bit more clear and perhaps asked ‘how do you find the image quality on your Xperia phone to be?’ but I think the majority who voted got the gist. As for the options readers could choose from:
Competition is better
Since then, the results have been mixed at best. Only 50% found the image quality to be good while 17% found it to be bad and 32% thought competition offered something better. If you didn’t get a chance to voice your opinion, I’d love to know:
If you’d voted previously, please vote again as the poll mistakenly allowed you to vote for multiple options and skewed the results.
Hopefully our friends in the north didn’t have their eyes set on the Xperia XZ and Xperia X Compact which were just announced yesterday because it’s looking like neither phone will be making it to Canada. As it stands, the Xperia X Compact will make it to the US but it’s unclear if the same holds true for the Xperia XZ.
I’ve never been shy about how lacking I find Sony’s ability to put together a compelling video. After all, Sony is the parent company of of PlayStation which has the pulse of the youth and owner of a small film studio called Sony Pictures. Surely they can put together something better than their maligned Xperia XA ad where a couple were engaged on a bus – but apparently not.
During MWC 2016 in February, Sony unveiled the Xperia Ear wireless earbud – think of it as a wireless bluetooth headset with AI-like functionality. After having gone dormant for some time, the Xperia Ear is back in the spotlight at IFA with a launch timeframe to go with it.
As the name suggests, the Xperia X Compact is, in many ways, a smaller Xperia X. Boasting a 4.6-inch 720p display in a more rounded body, the Xperia X Compact comprises of a lot of specs we’ve seen before like Qualcomm’s hexa-core Snapdragon 650 chipsets, 3GB of RAM and an Adreno 510 GPU which, you guessed it, were offered in the Xperia X. But with a smaller screen and fewer pixels (Xperia X offers a 1080p display), expect the Xperia X Compact to run smoother. From here is where the two devices diverge – and for the better.
As expected and highly leaked, at IFA 2016, Sony took to stage to unveil their latest flagship smartphone, the Xperia XZ. As the name suggests, this is a phone that’s very much a mashup of the loved Z series and their recently unveiled X series from 6 months ago. In fact, this is likely the phone that Sony should have announced instead of the Xperia X family but I’ll save that for another piece. So what does the Xperia XZ have to offer?
When Sony unveiled their plans for Android 7.0 Nougat, quite a few phones from their past releases made the cut, including the Xperia Z4 Tablet. However, missing from that list was the Xperia Z3 which, despite sounding old (seeing how Sony releases new phones every six months), is actually only a two year old device. Soon after, many just assumed that this was Sony not doing their due diligence and ditching older hardware but that might not be the case at all. In fact, Sony may not have had a choice in all of this.
One of the most interesting products I’ve seen out of Sony in some time is their e-ink FES Watch. For those curious about the watches look and functionality, you can take a look at my hands on video from CES. In short, the watch acts as a hybrid between a smartwatch (in that it’s purely digital) and a traditional watch (in that it has no connected capabilities) while incorporating a display that allows it to last for three weeks.
I suspected that Sony’s aim here wasn’t to entice those who are eager to see new updates and functionality come to Android Wear and instead, was meant to attract those who have a passion for tech and fashion. After all, the FES Watch is like nothing anyone’s ever seen before and wearing it alone is sure to attract attention and conversation. Hopefully as a sign of having too many other products to talk about at IFA next week, Sony has unveiled a successor, the FES Watch U.
I’ve said it time and time again, nobody leaks products better than Sony itself and today is no different. Popping up accidentally on the Sony Mobile Czech site are the Xperia XZ and Xperia X Compact which will likely be announced a week from today at IFA in Berlin. So what do we know about the two new devices?