Archive for the ‘Sony’ Category

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Back during the heady days of 2012, before the
Pebble raised a crazy amount of money on
Kickstarter, Sony quietly released an Android-
compatible smartwatch of its own. By most accounts
it wasn’t very good, but that doesn’t mean that Sony
has relegated it to the trash pile. No, with hindsight being what it is, Sony is looking to
breathe some new life into that curious little gadget
with some help from the developer community. The
company has kicked off what it calls the Open
SmartWatch program to get developers cooking up
custom firmwares for the thing. In case you haven’t been keeping tabs on the
wearable gadgetry space, Sony launched the
SmartWatch in question last year to mixed reviews.
The concept is a very familiar one — the watch syncs
to an Android-powered smartphone and displays
messages and notifications, as well as runs a slew of bespoke SmartWatch apps. Thanks to its Android
underpinnings, you could easily think of it as a more
robust version of the Pebble or any of the copycats
that have sprung up in its wake. As iffy as Sony’s second-gen SmartWatch was, most
of the issues seemed to be rooted in its software (and
to its credit, Sony keeps pushing out patches and
updates for the thing). Sony’s is one of the prettier
smartwatches out there, and the spec list has just
enough oomph to make it an attractive choice for some frenzied late night tinkering. By stripping out
Sony’s work and starting fresh, hackers are largely
left with a blank slate, and the company is committed
to highlighting some of the most novel firmware once
they start popping up. To help kick this whole thing off, Sony has also
tapped Arduino to hold a hackathon in Malmo,
Sweden, to get antsy developers more familiar with
the SmartWatch and what it’s capable of. There is, as
always, a caveat: you may be breaking new ground
with a device that most people haven’t given a second thought to, but you’ll be giving up access to
the nearly 200 or so compatible applications floating
around in the Google Play store.

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I’ve heard some suggestions that our extreme
fascination with Google Glass is more a symptom of
desperation for some kind of genuine gadget
innovation than anything to do with the product’s
merits, and a new gadget from Sony (via The Verge)
has me wondering whether or not other companies are flailing about for something novel. Sony introduced a
new 13.3-inch e-ink prototype reader device today,
which seems new but also remarkably old and
washed up all at once. The device is called Digital Paper, and is a flexible
13.3-inch display that uses the battery sipping e-ink
tech we’re used to in dedicated e-readers like the
Amazon Kindle. The large display is more like the one
you’d find on a MacBook Air than the one on a typical
e-reader, however, which is one of its most unusual qualities. Big-screened e-readers don’t exactly have a
super-successful track record, you might recall, as
the Kindle DX was seen by most as an overly
expensive, overly large iteration on the core Kindle
concept, and two offerings in the category that were
even larger from Skiff and Plastic Logic hit the deadpool prior to even launching at all. Sony wants to change things up a bit with a
capacitive touch panel and stylus to give users plenty
of input options for a change. That’s bound to come in
handy for taking notes in class, as this is aimed at
the education market and will be entering trials at
three Japanese higher ed institutions over the course of the next year. But even with a pen strapped to it,
it’s still a big, dedicated e-reader, and it’s hard to see
that offering much value for users in a world full of
much more feature-rich, multipurpose devices like
smartphones and tablets. When the e-reader first debuted as a product
category, it made sense, in that it was a bridge
device for users who had grown up with paper books
and were looking for a format that closely mirrored
that experience. But now, for students especially,
devices and digital media are a long-accepted fact. Digital natives don’t need devices that harken back to
older tech, even if they do offer longer battery life and
a format that may or may not be easier on the eyes,
depending on which study you trust. Education has shown a keen interest in devices like
the iPad and Kindle Fire, and Sony is barking up the
wrong tree with an e-reader device as an attempt to
appeal to that market. Still, if nothing else it should be
interesting, which seems to be the main thing driving
consumer device innovation these days.

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Following reports of the Xperia SP and Xperia L being listed for preorders by as many as four UK retailers, a supposedly original press render of the Xperia SP, also known as C530X – ‘Huashan’ is now doing the rounds on Chinese sites, according to a report by the Xperia Blog.

The phone features the same design as seen in the Xperia Z but a more compact form factor. However, one can’t really make out the exact size of the phone from this render. The phone sports the same aluminum round power button that we’ve seen in the Xperia Z. The placement of the keys on the side are different, and the phone adds another key in addition to the volume rocker and the power button. Another major difference is that that the white coloured model has a white front, and there’s a small strip towards the bottom. Also, we couldn’t find the presence of any protective flaps and the material used in the frame looks pretty different from that used in the Xperia Z. The home screen looks similar though.

This is not the first time that the phone’s images have made an appearance online. Earlier this year, another set of images were leaked on a German forum. The render looks similar to the images except that it’s white in colour.

According to earlier rumours, the Xperia SP is expected to come with Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro MSM8960T chipset with a 1.7GHz dual-core processor and Adreno 320 graphics. As per the rumours, this smartphone will sport a 4.6-inch 720p display, 8-megapixel Exmor RS camera and 8GB of internal storage. It is expected to run Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) operating system, sporting firmware version 12.0.A.0.298 and the 3.4 kernel, as evident from previous leaks.

The phone is expected to debut at Sony’s upcoming press event in Moscow on 18 March.

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It looks like Sony might already be working on the successor to the Xperia Z (C660X). According to a source based report by Xperia Blog, Sony is preparing a summer launch for the Xperia C670X, a new Android smartphone. The site also lists out specifications as well as a render of the device.  

The phone is expected to sport a 4.8-inch screen featuring a resolution of 1080 X 1920 pixels. It will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor with a clock speed of 1.8GHz and an Adreno 320 graphics chip, and will have 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage. The phone will sport a 13-megapixel Exmos RS camera and will run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The render of the phone indicates that there would be no buttons and that the placement of the earpiece and the front camera as well as the sensors would be similar to that of the Xperia Z. But there’s no way to verify the credibility of the render.

A few weeks back, another Xperia device, the Xperia C680 X, appeared on the HTML5 Test website, that benchmarks a browser’s compatibility with the HTML5 standards, revealing that the C6802X runs Android 4.2 and features a resolution of 1080×1920 pixels but the screen-size wasn’t clear.

Judging by the leaked specifications, it looks like Sony is building more phones based on the Xperia Z, tweaking processing speed, RAM and/ or battery for new variants.

Meanwhile, the company is set to launch the Xperia Z in India on  6 March, and has been posting teasers on Facebook, in addition to setting up a countdown timer page for the launch to create buzz around the phone’s launch.