Sony Mobile

14 Sony & PlayStation Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas


When you’re a techie, you tend to find an excuse to give tech gifts whenever you can. This includes Valentine’s Day where you might normally be tempted to give your significant other a box of chocolate and red roses. While I can’t argue with the chocolate part, especially if its dark German chocolate, you can do a lot better than just roses. Tech gifts can not only last longer than those roses that were jacked up in price for the week, but can also be far more personable.

Lucky for you, with the big day just 10 days away, we have 14 Sony & PlayStation Valentine’s Day gift ideas for you that are sure to win you some extra xoxo. Meet us after the jump.

Sony Xperia M5 (30.1.A.1.33) and M5 Dual (30.1.B.1.33) Get Android 5.1


Seemingly out of nowhere, Sony brought Android 5.1 to the Xperia C4 in mid-January and the company is at it again. This time, the Xperia M5 (30.1.A.1.33) and M5 Dual (30.1.B.1.33) are getting the bump.

 The single SIM Xperia M5 (E5603, E5653, E5606) moves to build number 30.1.A.1.33, whilst the Xperia M5 Dual (E5633, E5663, E5643) moves to version 30.1.B.1.33. All of the variants, apart from E5643, are seeing the update roll at the time of writing. 

This is likely further proof that Android 6.0 Marshmallow is indeed delayed internally at Sony – otherwise, why would they even bother with Lollipop updates?

Sony USB Type-C Flash Drives Announced


Sony USB Type-C Flash DriveHere is John Gruber on the history of USB Type-C:

 I have heard, can’t say who, but let’s call them informed little birdies, that USB-C is an Apple invention and that they gave it to the standard bodies. And that the politics of such is that they can’t really say that. They’re not going to come out in public and say it, but they did. It is an Apple invention and they do want it to become a standard. 

One of the first major consumer products to utilize USB Type-C was the ultra-thin MacBook which was introduced in Spring 2015. Months later, speculation ran rampant that Sony might also utilize the new connector in the Xperia Z5 series, which has obviously turned out to be false. However, it’s looking more likely that the Xperia family might soon be switching ports as three Sony USB Type-C flash drives have been announced today.

More details after the jump.

Putting the Sony Q3 FY15 Earnings Results in Context

To better get a sense of the Sony Q3 FY15 earnings results, I’ve put together a few charts alongside official information to give you a better sense of how the company is doing. In short, things are much better compared to a few years ago and even last year when the company posted their first profit in nearly a decade. Sony Mobile, despite pumping out the fantastic Xperia Z5 family, continues to struggle. You can read more in depth about Sony Mobile and their results here.

A quick heads up. All charts can be clicked on to viewed in much more detail.

So, let’s start from the beginning again. For its Q3 2015 financial results, Sony posted a net income of 120.1 billion JPY ($1 billion) on total revenue of 2,580.8 billion JPY ($21.5 billion). That’s up 33.5% and 0.5% year-on-year. Operating income came in at 202.1 billion JPY ($1.7 billion), an 11% rise on the previous year. In short, Sony achieved $1 billion of net profits for the three months to end in December.

As you can see from the chart above, Game & Network Services (read: PlayStation), Sony Pictures, Sony Music, and the company’s Financial Services have been on the rise. Mobile is obviously hurting and in doing so, dragging down their ever-so-profitable Devices division where image sensor sales are accounted for. Here’s how the different divisions within Sony add up.

More info and charts pertaining to the Sony Q3 FY15 earnings results after the jump.

A Closer Look at the Sony Mobile Q3 2015 Results

Earlier today, Sony reported their Q3 2015 results which were mostly up, thanks largely in part to their entertainment divisions, PlayStation and Sony Pictures. Mobile continues to be a struggle for Sony (and most other smartphone makers) and in turn, resulted in another quarter with losses. The only bright side was that operating revenue grew by 133% to $201 million for the division. That’s due to Sony working hard at reducing the number of phones they offer while ensuring that the models they do sell are more premium, and in turn, more profitable per unit sold. According to Sony:

 a shift to high value-added models, as well as reductions in costs including marketing, research and development 

was the key reason for the higher operating revenue. Ultimately though, because of their focus on more premium models, there was

 a significant decrease in smartphone unit sales resulting from a strategic decision not to pursue scale in order to improve profitability 

which resulted in a revenue decline 14.7% to 384.5 billion JPY ($3.2 billion).

More details on the Sony Mobile Q3 2015 results, including more charts after the jump.

Sony Xperia Z5 Carrier Options for US Revealed

CES 2016 - Sony Xperia Z5 Compact

The Sony Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact are headed to the US. Unfortunately, when they arrive next month, they’ll be coming with no carrier support or fingerprint sensor. That means that you’ll have to purchase the flagship handsets at full price and get a SIM card for your preferred carrier. The upside is that at least you won’t have to worry about being stuck on a two year contract – though most US carriers are dropping those which is how most of the world functions anyway.

After the jump, the Z5 carrier options and arrival date.

Sony Confirms Purchase of Altair Semiconductor for $212 Million

Altair Semiconductor Just last week, I wrote about Sony’s purchase of Altair Semiconductor for $200 million which would bring with it 190 engineers that specialize in LTE chips and other integral components for IoT solutions. Now Sony has officially confirmed the purchase of the Israel-based company though the price tag is slightly higher than initial reports. As expected, Sony isn’t coming and saying outright what they plan to do with the company though it’s clear that as we move towards a future where devices are more connected than ever, this is a good move on their part. However, here is a hint at Sony’s vision:

With the acquisition of Altair, Sony aims to not only expand Altair’s existing business, but also to move forward with research on and development of new sensing technologies. By combining Sony’s sensing technologies – such as GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and image sensors – with Altair’s high-performance, low power consumption and cost-competitive modem chip technology, and by further evolving both, Sony will strive to develop a new breed of cellular-connected, sensing component devices.

Sony’s full statement is after the jump.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow Delayed on Sony Xperia Units?

Sony Marshmallow Concept

Last we’d heard from Sony and their Android 6.0 Marshmallow trials was in mid December when things were apparently going well for the company. At that time, Sony had decided to extend the trials past New Year’s when they were originally set to end though no specifics were given to when the official OS update would come.

Some had hoped that with the trials preceding smoothly, that we’d see the update arrive by late January but as the month ticks to an end, that’s seemingly less and less likely and Australian carrier Telstra agrees. More after the jump.

Sony Purchases Altair Semiconductor for $200 Million, Gets Serious About IoT Strategies

Altair Semiconductor

It seems like Sony’s Home Automation vision which was displayed at CES isn’t just a one off thing and that there is a far grander vision at work.

 Altair employs 190 engineers and software developers at their Israeli headquarters where they develop 4G chips to speed up communications without using excess energy. They work with several communications protocols like LTE, XG-PHS and WiMAX and have customers like Verizon Wireless in the U.S. They recently opened a development center in Taiwan. 

Now, those 190 engineers will be under a new payroll with Sony purchasing Altair Semiconductor for $200 million. More after the jump.

F5122 and F3116 – the First 2016 Xperia Models Leak


Oh Indonesian Postel site (think FCC), how you leak Sony Mobile products like no other. This time around, we have the Sony Mobile F5122 and F3116. For starters, expect every phone this year to start with F as it designates the year.

 The coding follows the trend that we have seen the last few years, where the letter in the model number represents the year. In this case ‘F’ stands for 2016, whereas last year’s model numbers began with an ‘E’ and the 2014 models began with a ‘D’ and so on. 

But more importantly, the model numbers reveal the likely return of a budget smartphone from Sony, something we haven’t seen since the Xperia E4 in 2013. More after the jump.

Sony Mobile Renames Socialife App to News Suite, Brings New Functionality


Sony Mobile is renaming their Socialife app on Android to News Suite.

 This week we’re rolling out an exciting update to one of our most popular apps. From now on our news aggregation service, Socialife, will be known as News Suite. But it’s not just a name change 

According to Business Planning Manager, Taiki Hori, Sony is doing more than just rebranding their social app. With the new name you’ll also see added functionality like being able to read all the latest news by category. Just last year, Apple launched their own dedicated app along side iOS 9 dubbed News which helps pull in content from numerous high profile publications alongside any site you’d like to add to it. It now appears that Sony might be looking to pursue a similar vision.

As the name change suggests, Sony is making the app less about your social life and in doing so, removing its Twitter and YouTube feed functionalities. More after the jump, including a video overview of the app with random dancing girls in feathers as the intro – because why not?

Sony Xperia M5 Coming to Europe

Sony Xperia C5 Ultra and Xperia M5

As you all likely know, Sony Mobile has one of the weirdest release patterns, opting to release their devices months apart between different territories. The Xperia M5 is no different, and was released way back in August in select countries. Making matters worse is that not only is the Xperia M5 an extremely powerful mid-range phone, but that it’s also been received well by consumers and press.

Now that’s going to change. Not the weird pattern part of course, just the availability of the Xperia M5.

 Sony Mobile Poland and Netherlands have already confirmed that the Xperia M5 will arrive from the middle of February, with other key European regions also expected to announce availability in due course. Pricing for the handset has not been revealed, 

More after the jump.

Sony FES Watch Size vs. Apple Watch

CES 2016 - Sony FES Watch Size vs. Apple Watch

It’s nearly impossible to compare the Sony FES Watch against the Apple Watch. While one is designed to simply tell time and be a fashion statement, the other (Apple Watch) is a full-fledged watch with a host of features built in. So instead of comparing the two against each other in terms of functionality, I instead wanted to put the size of the FES Watch in context and compare it the Apple Watch Sport 38mm and Apple Watch Space Black 42mm.

If you want to know a bit more about the new E Ink watch, you can watch my Sony FES Watch preview here.

Sony Mobile MWC 2016 Keynote Date & Time Announced


Sony Mobile didn’t have much to announce at CES 2016. In fact, despite leaks prior to the show of a pink Xperia Z5, Sony revealed the new handset color a week after CES which was quite odd. Now, the company has dated their MWC 2016 keynote date and time where we’ll hopefully get to see some new products from Sony.

Details after the jump.

Sony FES Watch Preview

CES 2016 - Sony FES Watch Preview

The Sony FES Watch is something we haven’t really seen from any other electronic company. Fully digital yet lacking any ‘smart’ functionality. Completely electronic with 24 different faces and band screens yet it lasts for two years. As I’d previously written, the Sony FES Watch targets

  the fashion-conscious consumer who wants something simple and elegant with just a bit of flare. To that point, Sony is launching the e-paper watch next month in Japan at MoMA Design Store on Omotesando and Isetan in Shinjuku. The last one is most notable because that’s where the Apple Watch was also launched in Japan. 

Here is our preview from CES 2016.

Android 5.1 Lands on Sony Xperia C4

Sony Xperia C4The Sony Xperia C4 was to go straight to Android 6.0 Marshmallow but it seems like somebody has had a change of heart.

 The Sony Xperia C4 and C4 Dual were expected to move straight from Android 5.0 Lollipop to Android 6.0 Marshmallow, skipping Android 5.1 in the process. However, out of the blue, Sony has pushed the Android 5.1 Lollipop update to the handset in the form of build number 27.2.A.0.155 for the Xperia C4 and build number 27.2.B.0.155 for the C4 Dual. 

More after the jump.

Poll: Would You Buy the Xperia Z5 in the US If It Had Carrier Support?

Sony_Xperia_Z5Arriving in the US on February 7th, the Xperia Z5 (and Z5 Compact) are just around the corner. However, there is currently no carrier support lined up for the phones. Does this affect your purchase decision? Let us know in our poll after the jump.

Sony Xperia Z5 & Z5 Compact Won’t Feature Fingerprint Sensors in US

Sony Xperia Z5 - Fingerprint Sensors

This is quite the baffling decision. Less than a day after revealing the advent of the Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact to the US, it’s being reported that neither model will feature fingerprint sensors. Taking a line from Apple’s playbook, the entire Z5 family provides a fingerprint sensor that’s uniquely built on the phone’s power button. That is – if you live outside of the US.

More details after the jump.

Sony Xperia Z5 & Xperia Z5 Compact Coming to the US

CES 2016 - Sony Xperia Z5 and Sony Xperia Z5 Compact

Christmas is coming a bit late for those of us in the US but we’ll take it regardless. Sony Mobile has officially announced the arrival of the flagship Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact for the United States. Though having debuted months ago in Europe and Asia, Sony until now has had no presence in the US with their latest and quite possibly best received phones.

Pricing, arrival, and Xperia Z5 Premium details after the jump.

Sony Mobile Officially Announces Pink Xperia Z5

Pink Xperia Z5

Leaked, teased, and now officially announced, the pink Xperia Z5 is the latest color variant offered by Sony on their flagship line. Besides the color change, the pink Xperia Z5 is the same smartphone you’ve always known.

 As of February 2016 the family of Xperia Z5 smartphones will be gaining a new member in the form of a warm, sophisticated pink variant of Xperia Z5 designed to round out the options for prospective Xperia owners and provide customers with new ways of expressing their style.

The new variant uses the same frosted glass finish as the existing phones and combines this with a light dusky pink colour palette designed to provide a natural complement to the existing green, white and black options. 

A few more tidbits and a lot more pictures after the jump.

Sony Mobile Teases Pink Xperia Z5?

Sony Mobile - Pink Xperia Z5 Tease

Just before heading to CES, pictures leaked of what appeared to be the Sony Xperia Z5 in pink. Seeing how Sony in the past has launched pink and purple phones around the January/February time frame and the Xperia Z6 isn’t expected for at least another 6 months, it appeared a safe bet that we’d see the new color at announced at CES 2016.

Unfortunately for pink enthusiasts everywhere, no new Xperia Z5 in that color scheme was shown at the mega tech event. However, Sony has now taken to their Instagram feed to tease a series of pink photos that likely hint at the phone’s arrival. Best yet, whatever is set to be announced will take place tomorrow, meaning that a pink Xperia Z5 is likely right around the corner.

More pink photos for you, after the jump.