Smartphones, Tablets, and Smartwatches at Sony's IFA 2014 Xperia Event
It looks like it is going to be a busy fall for Sony. The company introduced a whole line of new mobile devices, including a new flagship smartphone, a compact tablet, and a smartwatch, in Berlin, for IFA 2014. Read on to find out about the new devices Sony unveiled at its Xperia event.
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact
Let's start with Sony's new flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z3. With its 5.2" display, the Xperia Z3 will support Full HD 1920 x 1080 native resolution. Measuring just 7.3mm thin and weighing only 152 g, the Xperia Z3 features an ultra-slim, lightweight design with a rounded aluminum frame and tempered-glass panels.
The Xperia Z3 Compact is a smaller version of the Xperia Z3 with the major differences being that it has a 4.6" display and HD 1280 x 720 resolution. While 720p is a step down from the 1080p on the Xperia Z3, the Xperia Z3 Compact fits in your pockets better and makes it easier to hold in one hand. Performance-wise, the Xperia Z3 Compact has the same 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor as its big brother, the Xperia Z3. Both models also have IP-65 and IP-68 ratings, which make them dust tight and waterproof.
Both models feature a 20.7-megapixel rear camera and leverage Sony's advanced camera technologies, such as its 1/2.3" Exmor RS for mobile CMOS image sensor, BIONZ for mobile processing engine, and the new 25mm wide-angle Sony G-Lens, which combine to generate photos and videos in sharp and vivid detail. ISO 12800 sensitivity and Sony's SteadyShot technology minimize noise and blurring, while delivering enhanced exposure and vivid colors.
Sony Xperia Z3
In terms of audio, both models deliver high-resolution audio output directly via the headphone jack. Also, Sony's DSEE HX technology upscales the fidelity of low-res music files, such as MP3 and AAC, to near high-resolution quality. Furthermore, they both feature digital noise-canceling capability built in, with the potential to reduce ambient noise by up to approximately 98% (your experience may vary).
The Xperia Z3 and the Xperia Z3 Compact will be available sometime this fall.
Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
If you look at the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, you'll clearly see that it's a tablet, mostly due to its 8" display with 1920 x 1200 native resolution. However, when you pick it up, you'll notice traces of a smartphone, because it's only 6.4 mm thick and weighs 0.6 of a pound. The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact also continues to have an identity crisis with its LTE connectivity, which can allow you to make phone calls, provided you connect to the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact with a Bluetooth headset. NFC is also available and you can even set up a mobile wallet if you want to give up on traditional plastic.
With a quad-core 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor and 3GB of RAM, the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact provides plenty of performance. And while the 16GB of internal storage isn't too appealing, Sony added a microSDXC media card slot so you can add up to 128GB (and no, you don't need Sony's proprietary SD cards, like the PlayStation Vita). Speaking of PlayStation, the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is one of the select few that can run Sony's PS4 remote play. And since it has 1920 x 1200 native resolution, it can handle most PS4 games.
Sony hasn't announced a release date for the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact.
When it comes to smartwatches, you could say Sony is a hipster. The company has been making smartwatches before they floated into the mainstream. And with Google's introduction of Android Wear earlier this year, it was only a matter of time before Sony incorporated it into its lineup. Simply named SmartWatch 3, Sony's new wearable features a 1.6" screen and a quad-core 1.2GHz processor, 512MB of memory, and 4GB of storage. You can also connect a mobile device via NFC, and the SmartWatch 3 can even utilize GPS. It has a 420 mAh battery, which can be recharged over micro-USB.
Sony emphasized that the SmartWatch 3 will incorporate upcoming Android Wear features and also boasted that the 420 mAh battery can handle up to two days of use or four days on standby (be advised that your battery usage may vary). The SmartWatch 3 will be available this fall.
Blurring the lines between a smartwatch and a fitness tracker, the SmartBand Talk passes the traditional LCD screen for a 1.4" e-paper display, which provides better readability. Powered by an ARM Cortex-M4 32-bit processor and 2MB of flash memory, the SmartBand Talk isn't exactly going to blow you away on specs, but makes sense because its purpose is more driven for life-logging than trying to stream Netflix to your wrist. The Sony Core is the sensor built into the SmartBand Talk, while its edge-mounted buttons allow you to adjust the volume and access the menu.
The SmartBand Talk can also make and take phone calls, thanks to the integrated microphone and loudspeaker. Of course, you'll have to connect the SmartBand Talk to your Android 4.4 KitKat (or above) mobile device via NFC or Wi-Fi in order to do so. With an IP68 rating, the SmartBand Talk is both water- and dust resistant, so you can stay active without worrying about its durability. If you're more active than the average user, the SmartBand Talk might be a better fit for you. The SmartBand Talk is expected to be released this fall and will have four different color options.
Please check back for pricing and availability.