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Posts tagged ‘Sony’

5
Sep

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium hands-on and first look


The race to next generation displays is certainly heating up and while most companies still offer either Full HD or Quad HD panels, Sony has sought to steal the IFA 2015 show with its new Xperia Z5 Premium.

Featuring many of the same specs as the rest of the Xperia Z5 family, the Z5 Premium stands out as it sports the world’s first Ultra HD smartphone panel but is the next-generation resolution enough to make the Xperia Z5 Premium, the phone you have to buy? Let’s find out in our hands on first look.


sony-xperia-z5-premiumSee also: Sony Xperia Z5 Premium officially announced: what you need to know7717579

sony xperia z5 premium aa 15

The Xperia Z5 Premium looks and feels like most other Sony devices and shares the same updated design language as the other members of the Xperia Z5 family. That means we’ve got a tweaked build including rounded corners and the redesigned larger power button, which sits on the right and incorporates a fingerprint sensor.

A key feature of Sony’s Xperia line-up over the past few iterations has been IP certification, with the Xperia range known for its dust and waterproofing. The Xperia Z5 Premium continues in the same mould with IP68 certification meaning it is dust proof and resistant to water for up to 30 minutes and up to 1.5 meters underwater.

sony xperia z5 premium aa 3

The Xperia Z5 Premium is certainly a large device by Sony standards but it can be forgiven thanks to the incredible display. This is what sets the handset apart from the rest and the 5.5-inch Ultra HD 4K panel offers an eye-watering 806 pixels per inch density. As the first smartphone with a 4K display, Sony has certainly stolen a march on its rivals and the display itself is gorgeous, with amazingly crisp text, images and videos.

A problem many people identify with UHD (or even QHD) resolution is a lack of suitable content and Sony aims to fix this by working with partners to develop content. Until content is widely available (which hopefully won’t be too long), Sony has also incorporated the upscaling technology from its TV lineup and the Xperia Z5 Premium will be able to upscale your Full HD content to make full use of the 4K display.

sony xperia z5 premium aa 10

What good is an awesome display if you don’t have the hardware to match it? Obviously, not a lot but Sony has given the Xperia Z5 Premium every chance of succeeding. Under the hood, the handset is powered by a 1.9GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor paired with 3GB RAM and an Adreno 430 GPU. Some of you may have concerns about the high resolution screen slowing the rest of the handset down but thankfully, we haven’t noticed any performance-related issues (although we’ll give you our final word in the review later in the year).

sony xperia z5 premium aa 11

Aside from the powerful internals, the Xperia Z5 Premium also comes with a specs list that is certainly worthy of a flagship device. The components include 32GB internal storage that can be expanded by up to 200GB using a microSD, NFC, the usual array of connectivity options and the one-touch fingerprint sensor, which certainly performs well enough in our first tests.

sony xperia z5 premium aa 7

You may be forgiven for thinking the display is the standout feature on the Xperia Z5 Premium and while you are certainly right, Sony also wants to let you produce amazing content of your own to watch on that display. On the back, the Xperia Z5 Premium features a next-generation 23MP Exmor RS sensor with super fast autofocus and Sony claim the camera can focus on a subject in just 0.3 seconds.


Sony Xperia Z5 camera AARelated: Here’s what the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium camera can do5513522

The camera itself has a 23mm wide angle f/2.0 G Lens, which should mean impressive camera shots and thanks to 4K video recording, you’ll be able to record native 4K content with the camera and then watch it back on that excellent display. On the front, the Xperia Z5 Premium has a 5MP camera, which is on par with most current smartphones.

sony xperia z5 premium aa 8

Of course, it’s difficult to tell just how good the camera is in a first look but we’ll go into a lot more detail in the upcoming review. Sony has traditionally provided camera modules to several of its rivals and quite often, the Xperia range has produced less than stellar shots compared to other devices using the same sensor. With the new camera, Sony has finally delivered its first meaningful update to Xperia smartphone cameras since the Xperia Z1 and with the company’s Alpha camera range capturing excellent photos, maybe its smartphone cameras will finally live up to their promise.

sony xperia z5 premium aa 3

On the software front, the Xperia Z5 Premium runs Android 5.1 Lollipop with Sony’s Xperia UI on top. If you’re familiar with past Sony devices, you’ll be right at home here. It doesn’t stray to far away from a vanilla build of Android, but does come with a few of Sony’s software enhancements like Small Apps and built-in Playstation integration.

A key problem and criticism of Ultra HD (and even Quad HD) displays is the supposed effect on battery life that comes from having to power all those pixels. Having only just had hands on with the Xperia Z5 Premium, it’s obviously too early to tell whether the large 3430 mAh battery will be big enough to deliver Sony’s claims of 2 days’ battery life from a single charge but we will definitely be testing this in the full review. Does it live up to Sony’s claims? We shall see!

There you have it; the display wars have heated up another notch and Sony is at the head of the pack with the world’s first 4K smartphone. The Xperia Z5 Premium is without a doubt one of the stars of IFA 2015 and while Sony is yet to reveal exact US pricing or availability, it has said the handset will start going on sale around the world in November. One thing is for sure; for the Xperia Z5 Premium, you can definitely expect to pay a premium price.

What do you think of the world’s first 4K smartphone and Sony’s new Xperia design language and feature set? Let us know your views in the comments below guys and don’t forget to check out all our IFA 2015 coverage!

5
Sep

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact Premium is reportedly a Japan-only variant with 1080p display


xperia-z5-compact-premium

Earlier this week Sony unveiled the new Xperia Z5 series to the world, introducing three new models, the Z5, Z5 Premium, and Z5 Compact. All three handsets offer several key improvements over the Z3 and Z4 series, and their arrival is easy the biggest news of IFA 2015. However, what you might not know is that Sony actually has a fourth Xperia Z5 family member on the way, at least according to the China-based tech site CnBeta.com.

Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo reportedly has a special variant of the Xperia Z5 Compact on the way, dubbed the Z5 Compact Premium. This model is said to offer the same Snapdragon 810 processor and overall looks over the Compact, but trades in the 2GB RAM for 4GB, and the 720p display for a 4.6-inch 1080p display. The battery is also upgraded to 2900 mAh. Interestingly enough, that means this model has even more RAM than the Xperia Z5 Premium, which seems like an odd choice.

 

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While we have reached out to NTT DoCoMo to see if we can get an official confirmation, we aren’t 100% sure of the accuracy of this report at this time. In many ways this sounds more like a wish list than anything, and so there is at least a possibility that this could be a faked advert seen in the image above. That said, Sony is no stranger to releasing better variants of their existing flagships.

After all, the Sony Xperia Z4 (aka Z3+) was criticized for not offering enough differences from the Z3, keeping the same looks, camera and 1080p display. And yet, shortly after, Sony would announce the Z4v for Verizon with a QHD display, making us wonder why Sony didn’t release the Z4 with a QHD display right off the bat. If reports of the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact Premium really are legit, we can’t help but feel the same here. The Z5 Compact is an impressive phone, but a 4.6-inch 1080p display and 4GB RAM would have really taken its “wow” factor to a whole new level.

What do you think, surprised that Sony would prepare a Z5 Compact Premium so soon after launching the Z5 Compact? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

5
Sep

Playdate: Trying out ‘Super Time Force Ultra’ and ‘Grow Home’


Here’s a tough choice: would you rather play a game about a gardening robot that experiments with new methods of character animation, or a ridiculous time-travel action game that throws paradoxical caution to the wind? Lucky you — you don’t have to decide at all. On today’s Engadget Playdate, we’re playing both: Ubisoft’s procedurally animated Grow Home and absurdly silly Super Time Force Ultra. Both are new to PlayStation 4 owners this month and free for subscribers of PS Plus. Are they worth the monthly dues? Join me and Tim Seppala at 6PM ET (3PM PT) right here, on the Engadget gaming homepage or at Twitch.tv/Joystiq to find out.

http://www.twitch.tv/joystiq/embedWatch live video from Joystiq on www.twitch.tv

http://www.twitch.tv/joystiq/chat?popout=
[We’re streaming Grow Home and Super Time Force Ultraat 720p through OBS, so rest assured this game will look dramatically better on your PS4 at home.]

Filed under:
Gaming, Sony

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Tags: growhome, playdate, sony, streaming, supertimeforce, supertimeforceultra, twitch, ubisoft, video

4
Sep

A quick look at the new Sony Xperia Z5 camera


sony xperia z5 aa 6

Sony just recently unveiled a trio of high-end Android-powered smartphones, the Xperia Z5, Z5 Compact and Z5 Premium. Along with a great overall design, slightly toned down software experience and many other enhancements, all three of these new devices sport Sony’s new 23MP Exmor RS camera sensor.

Sony tells us that the new sensor is capable of producing the fastest auto-focus experience available on a smartphone to date, with the added benefit of focusing on a subject in just .03 seconds. The new sensor also has some improved Steady Shot features with Intelligent Active Mode for video and the ability to record video in 4K.


Sony Xperia Z5 camera AADon’t miss: Here’s what the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium camera can do5313149

That might be impressive on paper, but just how does this camera perform in real life situations? After spending a few hours with the Xperia Z5 and taking some photos, we have some early thoughts that we’d like to share with you. Note that many of these photos were snapped on the show floor in low lighting conditions, so these might not be the clearest photos in the world. With that said, many folks tend to take pictures in restaurants, bars and other dark areas, so we’re hoping this gives you a good idea as to what you can expect from the new camera sensor.

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Overall, pictures taken with the camera are actually pretty good. There looks to be plenty of detail in most of the photos, with some slight noise reduction in certain pictures. Low-light shots have a tad smudginess to them as the photo transitions from bright areas to darker areas.

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One thing many folks forget about is the dedicated hardware camera button on the side of all Xperia devices, which makes a big difference when snapping a quick photo. The camera app has gotten some improvements, too. It’s as fast as it’s ever been, from taking the photo to file creation. Also, this newer, faster auto-focus experience is no joke. Once you tap on the screen to focus, the camera wastes no time and focuses right away without too much spot metering. These new enhancements coupled with the dedicated camera button on the side actually made this feel more like a compact or quick mirrorless camera, not a smartphone camera.

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With that said, in terms of picture quality, photos could use a bit more saturation and sharpness. Overall, thought, we’re really excited to put this new camera through our full tests.

So now that you’ve seen some quick shots from the Xperia Z5, what are your thoughts? Are you impressed with the new camera tech, or do you think you’ll pass? Be sure to let us know in the comment section below.

4
Sep

Sony’s RX10 II is a powerful superzoom camera with some quirks


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Remarkable superzoom cameras are hard to come by. But every now and then, there’s a standout. Take Sony’s RX10 II. Introduced in June, this new shooter features a 20.2-megapixel Exmor RS BSI CMOS sensor (1-inch) and a Bionz X image processor, two of the latest high-end components from Sony. Naturally, the RX10 II’s main attraction is that massive 24-200mm (35mm-equivalent) Zeiss zoom lens, which lives inside a DSLR-like body (looks-wise, it hasn’t changed much compared to its predecessor from 2013). As it happens, though, Sony isn’t just positioning this as a superzoom; it’s also going after people who want a powerful video camera. Indeed, that’s one of the things the RX10 II does best: It can shoot 4K (3,840 X 2,160) at up to 30 fps and 1080p at 24, 30 and 60 fps. Pair that with a low-light sensitivity ISO of up to 25,600 and slow-motion modes that range from 240 to 960 fps (NTSC), and you have a worthy option for video buffs.Slideshow-315973

Those top-shelf specs suit the camera well in most, but not all, shooting conditions. Pictures look fine most of the time, but there’s nothing special about them, at least not when your subject isn’t at a long range. Considering this is a $1,300 camera, the close-up shots aren’t going to wow anyone; you could put them side by side with others from a less expensive model, such as Panasonic’s Lumix FZ300, and wouldn’t notice a difference. Now, this is a superzoom after all, which means those seriously considering it will likely be shooting long-range subjects. And in that respect, the RX10 II is as capable a performer as you’d expect. Being able to capture the top floors of New York City’s skyscrapers in such detail is wonderful, especially when you’re a few blocks away staring up at them from the bottom of Central Park. If you zoom in long enough, as shown in our sample images, you can see windows, balconies and even plants from tall buildings, like the JW Marriott Essex House.

Obviously that translates to video as well. Having said this, in order to shoot 4K or at high frame speeds, you’ll need to have a compatible memory card. (Sony recommends an SDXC card of Class 10 or higher.) If you don’t, it’s simple: You won’t be able to shoot in 4K or super slow-mo. I ran into this problem the first time I wanted to shoot an Ultra HD video, and that could be tedious if you happen to be out on the field without a matching card. On the bright side, Sony’s menu system is great for finding crucial settings, including the quality and format at which you want to record your videos.

You’ll also be happy to find an f.2.8 constant maximum aperture, a top shutter speed of 1/32,000 second and a 14-fps continuous-shooting mode — in case you had any doubts about the RX10 II’s photography chops. What’s more, while big (weighing in at less than two pounds), the camera never feels uncomfortable to hold. It’s not heavy either, even though it looks like it would be. In short, don’t let its bulk fool you: The design here is exquisite, especially considering the length of the glass — you’d expect it to be bigger.

Another major aspect to it, and this also applies to most recent cameras from Sony and other manufacturers, is how easy it is to transfer high-resolution photos to your iOS or Android device via an application. I don’t like to do this myself, but I know people who use the NFC-based feature to upload their photos to Instagram. But it’s not just about that. Let’s say you’re using it for professional purposes; you can easily use Sony’s PlayMemories app to share stuff with clients or upload to your personal website.

There’s no doubt the RX10 II will be ideal for some people, but personally, I’d rather have an interchangeable lens camera that gives me more lens options. At $1,300, the lack of shooting flexibility in Sony’s new camera outweighs most of its pros, namely the 4K and slow-motion video modes. That said, if all you want is the best superzoom money can buy, and you don’t mind the fixed lens, then you don’t need to look any further. The RX10 II might fall into a niche category, but it’s still the best of its kind.Slideshow-315977

To view full-resolution sample images shot with the Sony RX10 II, click here and here.

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Tags: engadgetirl, hands-on, RX10, RX10II, sony, SonyRX10, SonyRX10II, Superzoom, SuperzoomCamera, Superzooms

4
Sep

Infographic: Sony’s Xperia Z5 can autofocus in just 0.03 of a second


fast_autofocus_infographic (2)

Sony held its press conference at IFA 2015 earlier in the week, unveiling its new smartphone line-up that consists of the Xperia Z5, the Z5 Compact and the Z5 Premium. Having revealed the broad-strokes of its new handsets, Sony is now showcasing the special features, which include the camera’s ability to autofocus in just 0.03 of a second. That’s pretty quick, but how quick is it really?

In case you were wondering, Sony has released a great infographic detailing just how quick  0.03 of a second is, and what can be accomplished in such a short space of time.

Sony_Xperia_Z5 fast_autofocus

 

Source: Sony
Via: XperiaBlog

 

Come comment on this article: Infographic: Sony’s Xperia Z5 can autofocus in just 0.03 of a second

4
Sep

Xperia Z5 pre-orders available at the Carphone Warehouse


sony xperia z5 first look aa (12 of 14)

Sony may have only announced its new Xperia Z5 range the other day, but pre-orders have already landed in the UK at high-street retailer Carphone Warehouse. The Sony Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact are both available to pre-order right now, while you can reserve interest in the 4K display equipped Xperia Z5 Premium.

Contract wise, the Xperia Z5 Compact is the least expensive option, with tariffs beginning at £33 per month with a £0 up front cost on a 24 month contract with O2. The regular Xperia Z5 can be bought for £42 per month and nothing up front with a 24 month contract from EE. Alternatively, the two smartphones are available SIM-free for a cost of £499.99 and £549.99 respectively.

We don’t have any contract prices for the Xperia Z5 Premium yet, but the unlocked price is listed as £629.00 on the UK Sony Store. Speaking of which, you can also pre-order the phones unlocked directly from the Sony Store, where you can save yourself up to £70 off the Carphone Warehouse retail price.

If you are interested, all of the models are available in black, gold and white color options, while the Z5 has an extra green options and the Compact comes in a pink variant. The Carephone Warehouse will apparently have exclusive access to the white model for two weeks following the launch, but you can still pick from the full range of colors over at the Sony website too. Other European customers can also find the Xperia Z5 range available to pre-order through their local variant of the Sony store.

Pre-order from Carphone Warehouse
Pre-order from Sony

Is anyone planning to pick up a new Xperia Z5?

4
Sep

Xperia Z5 pre-orders available at the Carphone Warehouse


sony xperia z5 first look aa (12 of 14)

Sony may have only announced its new Xperia Z5 range the other day, but pre-orders have already landed in the UK at high-street retailer Carphone Warehouse. The Sony Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact are both available to pre-order right now, while you can reserve interest in the 4K display equipped Xperia Z5 Premium.

Contract wise, the Xperia Z5 Compact is the least expensive option, with tariffs beginning at £33 per month with a £0 up front cost on a 24 month contract with O2. The regular Xperia Z5 can be bought for £42 per month and nothing up front with a 24 month contract from EE. Alternatively, the two smartphones are available SIM-free for a cost of £499.99 and £549.99 respectively.

We don’t have any contract prices for the Xperia Z5 Premium yet, but the unlocked price is listed as £629.00 on the UK Sony Store. Speaking of which, you can also pre-order the phones unlocked directly from the Sony Store, where you can save yourself up to £70 off the Carphone Warehouse retail price.

If you are interested, all of the models are available in black, gold and white color options, while the Z5 has an extra green options and the Compact comes in a pink variant. The Carephone Warehouse will apparently have exclusive access to the white model for two weeks following the launch, but you can still pick from the full range of colors over at the Sony website too. Other European customers can also find the Xperia Z5 range available to pre-order through their local variant of the Sony store.

Pre-order from Carphone Warehouse
Pre-order from Sony

Is anyone planning to pick up a new Xperia Z5?

4
Sep

Sony starts rolling out Lollipop OTA for the Xperia T2 Ultra Dual


sony_logo_720

Sony has at last started rolling out the long-awaited Android 5.1.1 update to all unlocked variants of the Xperia T2 Ultra Dual. In addition to the latest build of the operating system, this upgrade also transports a much-needed patch for the Stagefright security exploit.

All the changes you’d expect to find in the Lollipop software are bundled into this upgrade, including support for multiple accounts, improved notifications, stronger 256-bit encryption, a smoother multitasking experience personal unlocking and Material Design.

As is the norm, the update is being rolled out in stages, but if you don’t feel like waiting for a notification confirming that it’s ready for your device to hit your unit, you could always search for the upgrade manually. To do so, open the Settings app, scroll to the bottom and tap on “About Device”, hit “System Updates”, then select “Check for updates”.

 

 

Come comment on this article: Sony starts rolling out Lollipop OTA for the Xperia T2 Ultra Dual

4
Sep

IFA Day 1: 4K Smartphones and water-cooled laptops


IFA 2015: Day One Recap

IFA started with a bang as Sony whipped out the Xperia Z5 Premium, a smartphone that comes with the “world’s first” 5.5-inch 4K display. That was swiftly followed by the launch of Huawei’s Mate S, a phone that’s designed to kill the iPhone 6 Plus by basically copying its every design feature. Then there was ASUS’ new gaming laptop that’s so powerful it needs its own water pump to keep it cool. We took some time to bring you the most exciting announcements from the show floor, so don’t hesitate before hitting that play button.

Check out all the news from Berlin at our IFA 2015 hub!

Filed under:
Sony, ASUS

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Tags: 2015, asus, Huawei, IFA, IFA2015, MateS, sony, video, XperiaZ5Premium

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