If you went back in time to 2015 and heard that Sony was one of the key contributors to Android O, the next iteration of mobile software from Google, would you believe it? After all, Sony has been plagued by their reputation for delivering Android updates at a snail’s pace in the past, something that has been drastically changing in the last 12 months. To that point, Sony was the first OEM to release Android 7.1.1, something that none of us would have thought possible two years ago. Now, according to Google, Sony has
contributed more than 30 feature enhancements and 250 bug fixes.
Seemingly out of nowhere, Sony reentered the budget smartphone market with the Xperia L1 which, as you’d guess, offers tapered specs when compared against the Xperia lineup. That includes opting for a MediaTek processor over Qualcomm Snapdragon and a lower spec camera like a 13-megapixel rear shooter. Until we know the price, it will hard to tell exactly how the phone fares but here are the full Xperia L1 specs.
Sony Mobile might be pumping out some powerful phones like the Xperia XZ in 2016 and now the Xperia XZs and Xperia XZ Premium but that doesn’t mean everything is going smooth for the company. Despite finally being profitable, which is a positive when compared to where they’ve been and their competitors like HTC and LG, Sony has seen their smartphone sales decline year-over-year since 2014 and likely won’t see them shipping many more than 15 million units for FY2016. Seeing how units sold is continuing to drop at an alarming pace, Sony might have gone back to the drawing board which could be why we now have a new budget phone from them, the Xperia L1.
Imagine a world where you’re walking with your Xperia XZs Mark II Premium Plus and you’re low on charge. What’s one to do? Plug in via USB-C? Too 2016. Place said phone on a wireless charger? Not a chance. Instead in this ultra-futuristic world, Sony would have your phone borrow charge from other devices. According to a patent filed in 2016:
You know what Sony’s amazing at? Designing products and winning awards for them. You know what Sony is terrible at? Telling the world and not regular readers of sites like SRN that they make these fantastic products.
Today Sony is proud to announce that 18 products have been honoured with iF Design Awards, including three prestigious gold awards. The products that have won gold awards are the PS-HX500 turntable, Future Lab Program™ T Interactive Projector and PlayStation®VR (PS VR) virtual reality system for PlayStation®4, from Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE).
Here are the products that won:
There is no two ways around it – the Xperia XZ Premium is a beast of a phone. If specs are your thing, chances are if it exists, Sony was able to put it inside of their flagship phone. That of course comes with a price, and in this case, Sony has never been known to offer phones at low prices – and that’s okay if what you’re making is a premium device. After all, Apple doesn’t sell cheap phones and they do amazing business worldwide, indicating that there is absolutely an appetite for the more premium products in life. But when you lack their brand power, would consumers turn up for a $799 or $899 Xperia phone? Luckily that’s not something Sony nor us as fans will have to worry about if the following pricing information holds true.
Sony had one clear goal for their engineers when it came time to build their 2017 flagship smartphone, the Xperia XZ Premium – if there’s a feature under the sun that can be crammed inside of this phone, you’re to do it, no matter the cost. For that reason, we’ve yet to be told the price of the powerful phone and I’m sure when announced, a few heads will explode.
Until then, Sony can bask in all the acolytes they’ve been receiving for the XZ Premium, including having it be called the “Best New Smartphone or Connected Mobile Device at MWC 2017″ at the annual Global Mobile Awards (Glomo Awards).
But that’s not the only praise for the XZ Premium. A few others include:
There is no doubt the upcoming Xperia XZ Premium is packed full of powerful hardware that’s sure to make it a phone that will age nicely as tech continues to advance. One such feature is its networking capabilities:
Xperia XZ Premium is powered by the cutting edge Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 Mobile Platform, making it one of the very first smartphones capable of Gigabit Class LTE (up to 1Gbps).
According to Qualcomm’s own press release, they’ve:
The Xperia Projector is a pretty nifty product that makes for one hell of a demo. For those unfamiliar, Sony basically took a projector, shrunk it down, injected it with Android – et voila! – you can now turn any surface into a touch input based product. Sounds great so far right? In fact, if you want to be mesmerized a bit more, go ahead and take a look at my video preview of it from CES 2017 which I’d forgotten to upload:
One of the more bizarre things out of Sony’s mobile ambitions has been the lack of fingerprint sensor on their phones in the US. Despite the technology being available worldwide since the introduction of the Xperia Z5, US models haven’t been able to utilize the feature, despite sharing the same hardware as their global counterparts. That’s because Sony has specifically disabled the feature via firmware, something that can be reverted if you’re brave enough to flash your device with software from another country.
Just a few days ago, Sony unveiled to the world their flagship phone for 2017, the Xperia XZ Premium, which features a 4K HDR display among other various things like its 960fps slow-mo video camera. But that’s not all – if a feature or spec existed, it’s likely that Sony shoved it inside the XZ Premium specs so let’s take a look at what exactly you’ll find inside their powerful new phone.
There is little doubt that the Xperia XZ Premium is Sony’s true flagship phone this year and features all the bells and whistles like increased battery, faster processor, and a glorious 5.5-inch 4K HDR display. There is also little doubt that it’s going to cost you an arm and a leg when it launches later this Spring. For some, that phone is overkill but that doesn’t mean they don’t want something new and that’s where the Xperia XZs comes in. If you’ve known last year’s model, the Xperia XZ, then you pretty much know this phone.
Instead of reengineering the phone from the ground up, Sony did something simple: they took everything good about the Xperia XZ and improved it in subtle ways like incorporating the 1/2.3-inch 19-megapixel Exmor RS camera which Sony refers to as ‘Motion Eye’ with its 960 frames per second super slow-mo video and predictive capture capabilities which are found on the Xperia XZ Premium as well.
Ever wanted to use a tablet as your phone? If so, you’re in luck. At MWC 2017, Sony announced the Xperia XA1 Ultra, the successor to the XA Ultra. Like the name is a mouthful, the device itself is also a handful at 6-inch with an edge-to-edge design that makes it feel like you’re holding a piece of glass.
If you’re into phablets, the XA1 Ultra has a ton of features for you to consider, all while addressing some of the biggest complaints about last year’s model like screen resolution which is now bumped up to 1080p. Like all smartphones, one of the most important features is its camera and the XA1 Ultra does not disappoint.
Earlier today, or late last night depending on your time zone, Sony took to stage at MWC 2017 to unveil their latest phones and as predicted by previous rumors, a flagship model as well. Named the Xperia XZ Premium, the name harkens back to the well received Xperia Z5 Premium. Since then, to many, Sony hasn’t had a true flagship phone but as the name suggests, all that changes and a beloved feature of the Z5 Premium has made its way to the XZ Premium as well – a 4K display.
Sony doesn’t often get credit for for their strategic vision as they more often than not skate to where the puck is, with a delay, rather than to where the puck is going to be. With smartphones this was no different but with their mobile division in disarray, the company did something many pundits thought to be suicide – they exited the entry market and instead focused on high-end devices like the Xperia Z5, Xperia X, and now Xperia XZ. The results? A division that was once reporting over a billion dollars in losses is now recording profits.
Now mind you there is a lot Sony could be doing to better the situation for themselves but their initial vision was correct – to put aside the volume driven mentality that drove the PC business and many Android makers into the ground and instead focus on profitability. Now another Android maker is looking to take a cue from Sony and drop their entry level phones with a focus on high-end devices.