The Sony Xperia X and Xperia X Performance have already been priced for Europe where they’ll begin to appear later this month. After their Euro invasion, Sony plans to bring the new handsets to Taiwan where they’ll be receiving favorable pricing and options.
As is the case with Sony Mobile, with every bit of bad news comes good news. While from the outset, the division has been riddled with loss, Sony has actually been doing a fantastic job of driving Mobile towards sustainability.
Nearly 3 years ago, Sony CEO Kaz Hirai embarked on a mission to steer their mobile arm away from high-volume, low-margin devices (which make up a vast majority of Android vendors) and towards more premium handsets. For Sony, this has translated into devices with much higher ASP (average selling price) which has allowed them to leap frog competitors like HTC and LG. In fact, Sony enjoys ASPs higher than those found at Samsung and is only second to Apple.
Over the years, nobody has tipped their own upcoming products better than Sony. From accidental social media posts to products appearing and disappearing from their website, Sony has played a critical role in letting others know in advance about soon-to-be-announced products. Today is no different with Sony taking to social channels to announce the upcoming mid-range Xperia E5, only to have it all pulled.
If you’ve got a Sony device that falls under the Xperia Z2 or Xperia Z3 series then a new firmware update awaits you.
Sony Mobile is pushing a new small firmware update to the Xperia Z2 and Z3 family, which moves the build number from 23.5.A.0.570 to version 23.5.A.0.575. This appears to be a marginal update, with no noticeable changes – we don’t get STAMINA mode for example, which was recently released on Beta Marshmallow firmware. The update is out on most devices in the Xperia Z2 and Z3 series.
Here is a very interesting statistic for you. According to Sugiyama Pok Hong, general manager of Sony Mobile Japanese market, there are 60 million smartphone users in Japan with 12 million of them being Xperia. This translates to one in every five smartphone owners in Japan using an Xperia phone. On the other hand, can you guess which smartphone has the highest market share in Japan?
One of the more odd aspects of the Sony Xperia X family is that despite the Xperia XA (pictured above) being a mid-tier device compared to the Xperia X, its design aesthetics are actually superior in some ways when compared against its higher-priced brethren. That’s because, as you can see from the above photo, the Xperia XA has a thinner bezel than the Xperia X (pictured below) and even Xperia X Performance.
So why does a lower tier phone have a thinner profile design? The answer is surprisingly fairly straightforward.
The Xperia XA Ultra sports the same edge-to-edge screen design of Sony’s original Xperia XA, but this time in a much bigger 6-inch form. However, while the XA Ultra is a bit of a beast, Sony says that it feels more like a 5.5-inch phone thanks to those minimal bezels. Impressively, the phone is just 79mm wide. Water resistance has once again been cut in order to trim the price of the handset, while the Ultra has no fingerprint sensor, just like the XA before it.
So what are the specs?
This is something I’ve been banging on for quite some time now and it looks like my hunch on Sony’s future phone strategy is materializing. In a recent media briefing in Asia, Sony took to the stage to not only to outline the history of their mobile division, but to also give clues as to where things are going. Sony currently sees three chapters in their mobile history.
Sony Mobile has a bit of a strange history with cameras. Despite being a leading camera manufacturer and providing image sensors to iPhone which is known for its superb photo capabilities, Sony has generally struggled with the photo capabilities of the Xperia line. Ironically, Sony has set aside their best sensors for themselves while Apple and Samsung get lower megapixel variants yet the Xperia phones have never been all that great with photos.
Our flagship 23MP camera is now faster and smarter than ever. Discover how Xperia X uses Predictive Hybrid Autofocus to banish blur in our official video.
The best moments tend to be the hardest to capture. That’s why Xperia X goes from standby to capture in less than 0.6 seconds. Thanks to lightning speed Predictive Hybrid Autofocus and faster image processing, you no longer need to miss those spontaneous shots. Plus, with 13MP and renowned low-light sensors from Sony, the front-facing camera is built to take your selfie game to the next level.
Only time will tell if the upcoming Xperia X lineup can overcome Sony’s previous challenges which have mostly been due to software. But when it comes to hardware, Sony is still king and the Xperia X camera will offer truly wonderful features.
We in the Sony community tend to bitch and moan a bit (and perhaps rightly so when we look at how things march on in iOS land) when it comes to how long OS upgrades take. We’ve always known that this phenomenon wasn’t unique to Sony, seeing how fragmented Android is, but new data shows that most Android device makers have yet to bring the year old Marshmallow to their phones.
Sony has long been pushing their battery technology and are part of a smaller group of smartphone makers that offer two-day battery life. So although the feature is not unique to this year’s Xperia X lineup, Sony has released two new videos which highlight the phone’s battery capabilities. The first of the two videos is actually a 30-second spot Sony will be running – though it’s unclear in which countries. Unlike the Xperia XA ad which I found borderline offensive, due to how terrible it was, this piece at least measures up to an okay though it’s far from good.
With up to 2-days of power with every charge, Xperia X combines incredible stamina with Smart Battery Management to keep even the thirstiest of apps from draining your charge. Plus, with Qnovo adaptive charging, you can count on Xperia X to be there when you need it.
That ad and their second video which highlights Sony’s Smart Battery Management system can be found after the jump.
While in Europe, Sony is playing a bit of a cat and mouse game with the Xperia X Performance which was originally set to skip Germany and UK, only to potentially come to the latter country in limited quantities – Sony has announced that the performance variant of the Xperia X will launch in Japan. In fact, not only will the Xperia X Performance come to Japan, but it will also arrive slightly ahead of Europe.
More about the Xperia X Performance (SOV33) after the jump.
The Sony Xperia X is set to begin its European invasion by month’s end and while the MSRP is higher than what many had expected, the truth is that most retailers will be selling it for a lot less. If you’re the kind of person who just can’t get enough of the Xperia X, than the video after the jump will be just what you’ve been waiting for as German site Computer Bild TV performs an unboxing and reveals the phone’s colorful packaging. Oh, and the video is in 4K – because why not?
For one reason or another, the fine folks at Sony Mobile have done the math and come to the conclusion that the UK and Germany will not be receiving their top of the line flagship phone, the Xperia X Performance. Now mind you that these are two of the wealthiest countries in the EU so it almost seems like if there is any place to release them, it would be there. I’m hoping that Sony has some kind of internal data that proves a different picture, be it a much reduced mindshare for Sony there or too much competition from others for it to make it worth their while – though the Xperia X and Xperia XA will be released there.
But this much is clear, the Xperia X Performance is not headed to the UK or Germany. Except that it sort of maybe now might be coming to the UK but in the half assed way we’ve come to know and love Sony for.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen different pictures and specs leak out of Sony Mobile. The biggest of the leaks thus far have been photos of what appeared to be the Xperia C6 Ultra. A key characteristic of the Ultra series is their enormous 6-inch display while the C family (most recently the Xperia C5) has typically offered a powerful front-facing camera with flash, all which again fit with the leaked photos.
Even the leaked F3216 and F2211 model numbers pointed towards what could be the C5 successor, especially seeing how the front-facing camera was pegged at an incredible 16-megapixels while internal specs were a more modest 2GB RAM and 16GB internal memory, all befitting the mid-range status of the C family. But now Steve Hemmerstoffer from Digi-wo suggests that the new phone could actually be the Xperia XA Ultra, and it makes a lot of sense.