Sony Xperia Z2
Sony today said it has prepared Android 5.1 Lollipop for a number of its Xperia smartphones and tablets. The updated operating system is available to the Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact, Z3 Tablet Compact, Z2, and Z2 Tablet. Sony said it blended the features of Android 5.1 with its own user interface tweaks. For example, users now have more control over the volume and silent mode functions; can enjoy tighter integration with LinkedIn; and should experience faster, more accurate Superior Auto Mode with the camera. Sony also added some business-focused features. Though Sony is pushing the system update, timing of its arrival will depend on region and carrier. Sony said it should have Android 5.1 ready for the Xperia Z1, Z1 Compact, and Z Ultra in the coming weeks, followed closely by the Xperia T2 Ultra, C3, and, finally, the original Xperia Z Series.
Sony today announced a system update for the Xperia Z2 smartphone and tablet. The upgrade includes Android 4.4.4 KitKat, as well as a number of new features and improvements from Sony. For example, the Z2 gains PS4 Remote Play, which allows Z2 owners to play their PS4 console games on their smartphone when at home. Sony also added support for high-resolution audio and a tool for optimizing the sound for specific Sony headphones. The update adds several new shooting modes to the camera, including Sound Photo, AR Fun, Multi Camera, and Face In. It also updates Stamina Mode to allow for greater efficiency gains from the battery, and the latest version of Sony's Quick Settings tool. Last, the Xperia Z2 gains the ability to automatically unlock when the Sony SmartBand or SmartWatch 3 are in close proximity to the phone. Sony said the update's arrival will vary by market.
Sony today committed to updating a wide range of its smartphones and tablets to Android 5.0 Lollipop. Some of the handsets slated for Android 5.0 include the Xperia Z, ZL, Z1, Z1S, Z1 Ultra, Z1 Compact, Z2, Z3, Z3v, and Z3 Compact. Sony says its Google Play Edition devices will receive Lollipop first, followed by the Z3 and Z2 series devices in early 2015.
Sprint and SoftBank will for the first time sell a flagship smartphone from Sony, according to Reuters and The Wall Street Journal. Sony is prepared to announce new devices at the IFA trade show in Berlin on September 4. One of the new devices is expected to be a flagship model that will succeed the Xperia Z2. Sprint and SoftBank will sell this as-yet-unnamed device in the U.S. and Japan, respectively. Sony has struggled in the U.S. market for years, and often fails to win distribution agreements with U.S. carriers. It regularly sells devices directly to consumers (at full price) through its own web site. Scoring a distribution agreement with Sprint would be a major win for the company. Neither Sprint nor Sony commented on the reports.
Sony recently released an application for the Xperia Z2 called Live on YouTube. The app allows the Xperia Z2 handset to stream live video feeds directly to YouTube. The app follows the path set by Sony's Social Live application, released last year, which lets Xperia devices broadcast live video directly to Facebook. The new app permits streaming of up to 15 minutes of live 480p footage, which is then recorded and stored on the owner's YouTube channel. The app displays likes/dislikes, and allows Z2 owners to adjust the privacy of videos as well as share them after the live stream ends. The app requires a verified YouTube account in good standing. It is free for Z2 owners and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Sony announced the Z2 earlier this year, though it has yet to release the phone in the U.S. According to Sony, the Z2 will be made available to U.S. consumers this summer via its web site, where it will be sold unlocked at full price.
Sony recently posted an image on its official Google+ page that showed a version of the Xperia Z2 with Verizon Wireless branding. According to Sony, the image didn't represent a real device. "A mock-up image was mistakenly posted to the Sony Mobile Google+ page. The image has since been removed and we apologize for any confusion this may have caused," said Sony in an email to Phone Scoop. The image suggested that Verizon might eventually sell the Z2. Sony says't that's not the case. "For our U.S. customers eager to find out more information about the availability of Xperia Z2, we are excited to share that the device will be coming to the U.S. unlocked this summer."
Sony today announced a limited-time app and service offering for the Z2, Z1s, and Z1 that it claims has a value of more than $350. According to Sony, the Z2 will be shipped with six movies on board, as well as a 30-day trial of the Music Unlimited service, eight games from PlayStation Mobile, and a free download of the upcoming Michael Jackson album, XSCAPE. Sony is further providing the full Garmin suite, the full version of OfficeSuite Pro, 10 Xperia themes, and other games and apps. The package also includes 50GB of Box storage for life, Evernote premium for three months, 1TB of Bitcasa storage for three months, and Social Live Premium for one month. In order to grab these offers, Xperia owners need to install the Xperia Lounge application from Sony. Links to the individual offers are available from within the Xperia Lounge app. The offers are available from today until July 31. The Z1s is available from T-Mobile in the U.S., but the Z2 has yet to launch stateside.
Sony today announced that the Android 4.4 KitKat system update is now available to the Xperia Z1, Z1 Compact, and Z Ultra. In addition to the base software from Google, Sony added a number of its own tweaks to the operating system. For example, Sony added its own Status Bar and Quick Settings tools, as well as user interface elements borrowed from the PlayStation 4. The update includes the latest versions of Sony's own software and apps, such as Small Apps, Smart Social Camera, Messaging, as well as Walkman, Movies, and the Sony Entertainment Network. Last, the update includes Sony's recently-announced Xperia Themes, which are downloadable user interface packs that let Xperia device owners customize the look and feel of their handset with more than 280 possible tweaks. As always, the exact timing of the KitKat update's arrival will vary by country and carrier. Sony said it is prepared to roll out Android 4.4 KitKat to the Xperia Z, ZL, Tablet Z, and ZR from the middle of the second quarter.
Here is a first look at Sony's new flagship and mid-range Android smartphones. Both are thin and light and loaded with all things Sony.
Sony today announced the Xperia Z2, its latest flagship Android smartphone. The Z2 picks up with the Z1/Z1S left off. It uses Sony's omnibalance design language and is formed by two glass panels and an aluminum frame. The Z2 features a 5.2-inch 1080p HD LED X-Reality display that makes use of Sony's Mobile Bravia Engine for added clarity. Sony has improved the water and dust resistance of the phone, so it is able to spend more time submerged than before. The device includes a 20.7-megapixel main camera with Sony's Exmor RS sensor and G Lens. It is able to capture 4K video and includes multiple microphones to eliminate noise and capture stereo sound. It can shoot 1080p HD video at up to 120 frames per second for slow-motion playback, and it can make use of new augmented reality backgrounds for creative results. The Z2 is run by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with four cores clocked at 2.3GHz each, paired with the Adreno 330 GPU. It includes a wide array of Sony apps and services, such as Walkman, Music Unlimited, PlayStation, and Play Memories Online. The Z2 has a 3,200mAh battery and Sony's Stamina Mode software to improve battery life. It measures 8.2mm thick and offers the expected set of connectivity options, such as NFC, Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi and LTE. The Sony Xperia Z2 will be available worldwide in April.