The on-going IFA 2014, a consumer electronics show being held in Berlin, has seen a slew of device launches from leading smartphone and tablet giants like Samsung, Sony, Acer, and ASUS, among others. In this series, we will look at the most prominent launches done by each of these companies, starting with Sony.
Sony began its IFA campaign with the launch of its flagship smartphone Xperia Z3, and a compact version of the same called Xperia Z3 Compact (not very creative are we!). This was followed by the unveiling of an 8 inch tablet christened Xperia Z3 Compact Tablet, as well as the latest SmartWear line.
Here is a look at each of the devices.
Sony's flagship device sports a 5.2 inch full high definition TRILUMINOS display (1920Ã—1080 pixel resolution) and runs on the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system. It is powered by a 2.5GHz Qualcomm quad-core processor and has 3GB of RAM. The internal memory of the device is 16GB, which can be further expanded an additional 128GB with a microSD card.
It has a 20.7 megapixel rear camera with Pulsed LED Flash (and Sony Exmor RS for mobile sensor) that is capable of 4K Ultra HD recording as well as full HD (1080p) recording. In addition, there is a 2.2MP front facing camera that can also record full HD videos. Additional features of the camera include burst mode, Steady shot (video stabilisation), HDR for both picture and videos, 8x digital zoom, geotagging, object tracking, and red-eye reduction, among others.
New social camera apps and editing features include Face in- enables users to capture an event and their reaction to it at the same time; AR fun- adds scribbles and animations to pictures; Movie creator- creates a movie from your photos and videos; Multi-camera- allows users to record from multiple angles with up to three compatible Xperia devices filming at the same time; and Sound Photo: adds sound to a photo.
On the connectivity front, the device has Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G LTE, as well as a microUSB port and a microSD card slot. It also comes with GPS (with A-GPS support) and Near Field Communication (NFC). The dimensions of the device are 146.5mm x 72mm x 7.3mm and its weight is 152gm. Sony has provided a 3,100 mAh battery in the device that it claims will offer up to 19 hours of talk time and 740 hours of standby time.
For better sound, the company has added its 'Digital Noise Cancelling' technology to the smartphone, whose front-facing stereo speakers also come with S-Force Front Surround play. The smartphone will be available in black, white, green and copper colour options. According to the company, the smartphone is both dust protected and waterproof.
In addition, the company has also unveiled a compact version of the smartphone that sports a smaller 4.6 inch display and will be available in a range of colours including orange, green, white and black. You can read about detailed specifications of the device here.
PS4 Remote Play
Sony has also announced the addition of PS4 Remote Play on the Xperia Z3 series. The only smartphones with PS4 Remote Play, you can use the devices as a remote screen to connect to and control your games on PS4. For those times when the TV is being used, simply connect your Xperia smartphone to your PS4 via home Wi-Fi and use the DUALSHOCK 4 Wireless Controller (with the GCM10 Game Control Mount) to continue playing games on Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact.
Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
According to the company, it is the world's slimmest and lightest waterproof compact tablet. It has an 8 inch WUXGA TRILUMINOS touchscreen display (1920x1200 pixels resolution) and runs on the Android 4.4 KitKat OS. It is powered by a 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor and has 3GB of RAM. The internal memory of the device is 16GB that can be further expanded up to 128GB with a microSD card slot.
It has an 8.1MP autofocus rear camera with Flash (and Exmor RS for mobile sensor) that can record full HD videos (1080p) and 2.2MP front facing camera that can also record full HD videos. On the connectivity front, it has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, 3G, and 4G LTE (depending on the region), as well as a microUSB port and a microSD card slot.
The dimensions of the device are 213 x 123 x 6.4mm and its weight is 280gm. Sony has provided a 4,500 mAh battery in the device, which it claims will provide over 13 hours of video playback time and talk 1,220 hours of standby time. The tablet also has NFC and GPS (with A-GPS support). It will be available in white and black colours.
Targeted at the mid-price range segment of the smartphone market, this one sports a 4.5 inch IPS touchscreen display (854x480 pixels resolution) and runs on the Android 4.4 KitKat OS. It is powered by a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor and has 1GB of RAM. The internal memory of the device is 4GB that can be further expanded up to 32GB with a microSD card slot.
It has a 5MP autofocus rear camera with Flash that can also record full HD videos (1080p) and a front facing VGA camera for video calling. The camera's features include High Dynamic Range (HDR), image stabiliser, geotagging and auto scene recognition, among others. On the connectivity front, it has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, 3G, and 4G LTE (depending on the region), as well as a microUSB port and a microSD card slot.
The dimensions of the device are 137.1 x 69.4 x 8.5mm and its weight is 143.8gm. Sony has provided a 2,330 mAh battery in the device, which it claims will provide over 12 hours of talk time and 706 hours of standby time. The smartphone also has FM Radio with RDS and GPS (with A-GPS support). It will be available in white, black and yellow and copper colours.
New SwartWear line
Available either pre-loaded or downloadable from the Google Play Store, Sony's 'Lifelog' application enables you to set and achieve goals, bookmark memorable moments, and revisit memories any time. The new devices launched by Sony that are compatible with Lifelog include SmartBand Talk and SmartWatch 3.
SmartBand Talk: Features a curved 1.4 inch e-paper display that provides you with always-on updates of your Lifelog activities, notifications and time. A built-in microphone and speaker, combined with a short call function, lets you talk into it and hear your caller. You can also assign your own sounds to life bookmarks and use your voice to carry out specific smartphone operations.
SmartWatch 3: Is specifically designed for the latest Android Wear updates in close collaboration with Google. It organises your information, suggests what you need, and shows it to you before you even ask. SmartWatch 3 sports a 1.6 inch transflective display (320Ã—320 pixel resolution) that is set within a stainless steel core unit.