The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ has been released over the last week across a number of regions around the world. So it’s great to already see a quick video comparison in how the handset compares against one of Sony’s very best, the Xperia XZs.

The video below from YouTube user Phone Battles (previously Xperia Fan) has put the Galaxy S8+ against the Xperia XZs in a quite challenging low light video test. A number of video recording features are tested including digital zoom, as well as OIS (optical image stabilisation). [read more…]

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Sony Mobile is celebrating the picture taking ability of its smartphones by releasing a “Taken with Xperia” Xperia Theme. The theme showcases a curated selection of images taken by Sony Xperia smartphones, cycling through each image every few seconds. It would have been a nice touch if Sony allowed us to use our own images with the theme, perhaps food for thought in a future update.

This is a dark theme, employing some nice icons for the home, back, recent symbols. The lock screen has a transparent large “X” showing the ‘Taken with Xperia’ image underneath. The free theme can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. [read more…]

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It looks like there was some confusion over yesterday’s report on Sony’s plans for Concept for Android. Sony is ending the Concept programme for the Xperia X next month, but it will not continue with the Xperia XZ Premium as we reported.

Sony’s original post was somewhat ambiguously worded, referring to next steps being a “community similar to the InTouch community for our upcoming Xperia XZ Premium”. Many assumed this meant that the Xperia XZ Premium will continue to fly the flag for the Concept programme. [read more…]

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Sony Mobile’s Concept for Android developers have confirmed that their programme for Xperia X users will end in early May, when the last update will be pushed. After this, there will be no more updates for Xperia X Concept users, not even Android security patches.

If you want to keep your phone updated, you will need to re-install stock firmware, which Sony says will continue to receive these security updates “for a fair bit longer”. The Xperia X follows the Xperia Z3, which was the first handset in the Sony Concept for Android programme back in 2015. [read more…]

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Sony Mobile has released Android 7.1.2 for the Xperia X Concept for Android programme as promised. The update includes Bluetooth connectivity improvements and battery usage alerts. Sony has also improved faster camera start-up times in this update.

As part of the process to get Android 7.1.2 to Xperia X Concept users this early, some compromises had to be made, and one of these is that the Setup Wizard only supports Wi-Fi right now (this will hopefully be fixed in a future update). [read more…]

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Over time, Sony Mobile has removed a number of features (or software) from its Xperia smartphones that its users found useful. For example, in recent years, Sony Mobile has moved away from its ‘two-day battery life’ smartphones that defined its portfolio a few years ago, including the very popular Xperia Z2 and Z3. Nowadays, Sony promotes the quick charging ability of its phones, but in our view there still remain very few flagship phones that make battery life a priority, which Sony could have exploited.

Another feature we personally miss, is the removal of the lanyard, that used to adorn pretty much all of Sony’s smartphones up until the 2016 Xperia X series came along. We’d love to see a return of this at some point, but we’re not hopeful. [read more…]

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Sony’s Concept for Android developers have not been resting on their laurels. They have been doing a great job of giving Xperia X Concept users regular updates with meaningful new features, as well as the latest Android security patches. If you’re wondering what’s next in store, well the Concept developers are looking to release Android 7.1.2 on the Experimental track of the Concept programme next week.

Some of the key features that Google has added in Android 7.1.2 include improved fingerprint swipe performance, Bluetooth connectivity improvements and Battery usage alerts. Obviously, fingerprint swipe will not be live in the Concept, but the other features should be worthwhile updates. We’ll let you know as soon as the new update is live. [read more…]

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Sony Mobile has updated the Album application which has added a new menu category called “Xperia Camera”. This option will allow you to find all of the photos taken by the Xperia Camera, all in one place. Within this section you can also find any photos taken through Xperia Camera Apps such as “4K video”, “Background defocus”, “Timeshift burst” and others. People are receiving the update through build numbers 8.2.A.0.6 and 8.2.A.0.8, which you can download below. [read more…]

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Sony Mobile has released a new premium Xperia Theme called “Broidery”. As the name suggests, the theme has embroider-styled graphical assets in the form of space shuttles, stars and space ships. The theme costs £0.99/€0.99/$0.99 and if you’re interested head over to the Google Play Store. [read more…]

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Sony’s CEO and President Kazuo Hirai recently spoke to AFR revealing some interesting points about the company’s positioning in smartphones. Kaz Hirai confirmed that it expected to remain in the smartphone business going forward, as well as being commercially viable. Hirai’s says that Sony needs to stay in the smartphone game, to ensure it can be involved in the next “paradigm shift of communication”.

“A paradigm shift in how we communicate with each other occurs every 10 years or so, but if we don’t remain currently in the business then we don’t get to play or we don’t get to create the next paradigm shift of communication, we basically throw a towel in and lose all the relationships with our retailers and carriers around the world”, said Mr Hirai. [read more…]

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Sony Mobile has released a new firmware update for the Xperia X and Xperia X Compact, moving the build number to 34.2.A.2.47. We can see that this update includes the 1 April 2017 Android security patches. If you have noticed any other changes, please let us know in the comments below. [read more…]

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Magic AR Effect app launched by Sony

April 7, 2017

Sony Mobile has released a ‘Magic’ AR (augmented reality) application , which allows you to turn into a master illusionist. The Magic AR Effect will see rabbits, pack of cards and a top hat appear out of thin air, across photos and videos. To download the Magic AR theme click here and make sure you […]

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Xperia X Concept update adds April 2017 Android security patch

April 6, 2017

Sony Mobile’s Concept for Android team has pushed a new update for the Xperia X (38.3.1.A.0.96). This is a small firmware update, with the Android security patches updated to 1 April 2017. The update is rolling to the Experimental track of the Xperia X Concept. If you own the handset and are eager to try […]

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Would you like to see a Sony Xperia with an ultra-wide display?

April 4, 2017

The announcement of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6 shows that we may be beginning to see a move away from displays with the traditional widescreen display, with a 16:9 aspect ratio. The Samsung Galaxy S8 has an 18.5:9 aspect ratio, while the LG G6 has an 18:9 ratio. Given that two very popular […]

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Xperia XZs Dual hits pre-order in USA; launches on 5 April

April 3, 2017

We can confirm that Sony Mobile is set to launch the dual SIM variant of the Xperia XZs (G8232) into the United States, as the handset has just hit pre-order through Amazon.com for $699.00. The Xperia XZs is available to purchase in three colours (Black, Warm Silver, Ice Blue) and will be released on 5 […]

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