Tag Archives: Sony

firefox_OS

Sony to bring widget functionality to Firefox OS

Sony recently submitted an enhancement which allows widget like functionality on Firefox OS. Dubbed gadget, it is supposed to allow easy interaction with applications from homescreen and lockscreen. Currently the implementation is being reviewed on bugzilla by the Mozilla team.

The gadget functionality is addition to Gaia, Firefox OS’ user interface level. It is akin to Android’s framework. The name ‘gadget’ was chosen by Sony to disambiguate from other smart phone widgets, especially the ‘widgets’ application packaging format standard proposal. Three enhancements are currently submitted by the Sony team on bugzilla. One enhancement provides the gadget framework. The other two provide hooks in homescreen and lockscreen for the gadget framework.

The gadget framework makes it possible to add a view of an app similar to Android. They can be accessed via homescreen, lockscreen or utility tray .You will be able to interact with the app through the gadget. Gadgets can be added, moved, resized and removed easily.

However, Sony has made it clear that they are not committed to continued work on Firefox OS. In fact the gadget proposal is just an ‘early review of a technical platform’.

Muktware_Mwc

Top Android Releases at MWC

MWC is now behind us. OEMs showed up, showed off, and some left lasting impressions while others did not. Throughout the barrage of announcements and revelations, there are some products that we feel were more note worthy than others. Products that you, our readers might consider in the not too distant future. Products that we envision showing up in even our homes when they are released. I will now highlight a few products and announcements that stood out, but for the sake of simplicity, I will group the products by OEM rather than by category. If I failed to cover your favorite OEM, please don’t hold it against me as there was much to cover. Without further delay, why don’t we get right into it?

Samsung

We all know about the might of Samsung, and I will not dwell on it here. They were very present at MWC, and they presented quite a number of tech pieces to us. The main device presented was the all new Galaxy S5. By main I mean that it was not only Samsung’s number one device, but also the chief device of the entire MWC. As expected, it bested the S4 with a slightly bigger screen, faster processor and a better camera. Added features like a finger print scanner and the ability to check your pulse rate at the back of the phone are just the icing on the cake for me. The S5 is not expected to be released before April of this year, but based on recent reports, fans are already enlisting their names to get their paws on the next best thing, and to be honest, we can’t blame them for it.

Gear_Fit

The Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit, although members of the Tizen OS, are the descendants of the Android based Galaxy Gear, and we felt like they should be included here. The Gear 2 and Neo are a lot like the original Gear in terms of the design language. One would be forgiven for mistaking one for the other. The new offerings have lost weight, the camera on the Gear 2 has been moved from the wrist band to the watch to enable swappable bands while the Neo drops the camera altogether. While these are without doubt some fine pieces of tech, the Gear Fit was the one to steal the show, and was also awarded as the ‘Best Mobile Device‘ at MWC. Like many before it, it will track your movement, workouts and help you to get in shape once you’re willing of course.

Sony

The creators of the PS4 felt like they had a point to prove, and that they did. Sony introduced the Xperia Z2 at MWC, and it’s a stunning piece of machinery. The Z2 continues with its solid build quality and not only that, but it improves on its predecessor with small upgrades. The upgrades all blend together to offer a nice package. The screen has increased from 5 to 5.2″, the memory has been bumped up to 3GB, and it comes with a Snapdragon 801 processor. The screen resolution remains the same at 1920 x 1080, but the battery is now a whopping 3200 mAH, which should be enough to get the average user, and even some power users through the day.

Sony wasn’t done with the their offerings and they also released what many consider to be the thinnest tablet of all at a mere 6.4mm thickness. The Z2 Tablet, like the phone, has a Snapdragon 801 processor in tow as well and also the 3GB of memory. Digital noise cancellation when used with a headset, and a host of accessories will be available including the now mandatory keyboard cover. Sony has been known to produce dust and water proof electronics in recent times, and they have not deviated from this winning formula with their latest phone and tablet offerings.

Muktware_Xperia_z2

LG

With the success of the Nexus 4, 5 and the G2, LG has risen to prominence and is ever aiming for Samsung’s crown on the Android throne. Shortly before MWC, LG launched the G Pro 2 in Korea and we soon learned of its awesomeness. It packs a 5.9″ screen, a 1080p resolution, a 13 megapixel camera and comes with 16 or 32GB of onboard storage, even though you can add more via the Micro SD slot. Like the Note 3, you’ll be able to shoot 4K videos and of course, Android 4,4 KitKat is on board. The G Pro 2 suprisingly features the Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.26 Ghz, 3GB of Ram and, like the Z2, contains a 3200 mAH battery. There is no mistake that this phone is a direct competitor to the Note 3 and all other phablets for that matter.

Nokia

I know that some of us may have scratched our heads at the sight of Nokia being one of the Android OEMs, but, as of MWC 2014, Nokia may be considered as such. Please note that doing so may come with some consequences depending on who your friends are. Nokia launched their ‘Nokia X’ line of Android phones at MWC this year, and the Android community has not been fully receptive of it, but, that was to be expected. The X, X+ and XL are poorly specked when compared to today’s average smartphones, and they are clearly a sign of Nokia testing the waters out before investing in any real hardware for the Android market.

Muktware_Nokia_XL

Members of the Android community have long wished for a Nokia made handset that runs Android out of the box, but few wanted it to be a forked version. Sadly, that’s exactly what we got. A forked version of Android that looks more like Windows Phone than Android itself. That said, Nokia has claimed that it will run about 70% of the Play Store apps, which, if my math is correct, is in the region of at least 700,000 applications. Like some members of the Lumia line, these phones are also geared towards the low end market but it has to be priced competitively because we now understand that the Moto G is doing pretty well right now.

Asus

The most noteworthy of Asus’ contributions at MWC was the Asus PW100 Nexus 7 dock. The dock features wireless charging and can be used in both landscape as well as portrait mode, although it will only charge your Nexus 7 in landscape mode. If you can get past the $90 price tag (or there about), then I have reason to believe that you will love this device. Based on reviews, the build quality is amazing —  something that we’ve come to expect from Asus, and we’ve also learned that it works with the Nexus 4, 5 and other Qi compatible devices that you may own.

Motorola

I waited patiently for Motorola’s conference, and then even more for their revelation of a new product, but it did not come. There was none. Instead, they did reveal some bits of information. For example, they will be making a smartwatch that will actually look good; something that all good watches do. A 2nd generation Moto X is also expected in August of this year and, considering the splash that the G and the X made in 2013 and even now, we have high hopes for Motorola’s next set of devices. Although no new hardware was presented at MWC from Motorola, they did let us in on their future products, and this was worthy of an honorable mention.

As we await the release dates for some of the devices that were shown at MWC; the S5, Gear Fit, Z2 and G Pro 2 were the stand out performers of the week. There’s very little to separate those at the top these days. Screens, sizes and specs are generally similar at this point, but it just means that OEMs have to try a bit harder to differentiate themselves from the pack. Tell us readers, which device got you excited? Are you going to buy any as soon as they’re released or are you waiting for that Motorola watch to be unveiled? Feel free to let us know.

Image Sources: Mashable, BGR

muktware_sony_sirius

Sony Xperia Z2 tablet specs leaked

Wondering what the rumoured Xperia Z2 tablet from Sony will offer when it hits shelves? Well, a recent tweet by @evleaks revealed that the Xperia Z2 (codenamed Castor) will feature a 10.1-inch 1920×1200 Triluminos display.

The leak mentioned that the device will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset that has been clocked at 2.3GHz.

Tipped to measure 6.4mm thick in a waterproof body, the tablet will feature Android 4.4 Kitkat OS (it’s is expected to be skinned with Sony’s custom user interface). It will also pack a 3GB of RAM, a 6,000mAh battery, an 8MP rear-facing camera, a 2MP front-facing camera, and 16GB of onboard storage expandable via microSD card.

Another Twitter account, namely @gadgetleaks, has also shared some press photos of the device. Given these images don’t contradict the one revealed by @evleaks, they look genuine as well. The account also mentions a few details of its own.

The Japanese hardware maker will hold its press conference on 24 February–the first day of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) show, and it is expected to use the platform to announce the Xperia Z2 tablet.

Sony announced the Xperia Tablet Z back in 2013. With its decent hardware specs, the device made its use a pretty good one. Let’s wait and watch if its successor will live up to the expectations of customers too.

Xperia-Z-Ultra

Xperia Z Ultra now available as a Wi-Fi-only ‘tablet’

Sony has officially announced the Xperia Z Ultra, WiFi only version. The new model of the device will be available in Japan this week for ¥52,000 (approx. $499).

The WiFi-only model does not differ much from the original Xperia Z Ultra, except that it lacks a baseband radio processor that allows cellular calls.

In the official press release, Sony refers to its morphed-Xperia Z Ultra smartphone as a ‘tablet’. Though its massive 6.4-inch 1080p display can be put to use for some great things, users might not find it convenient to carry it in their pocket every day.

It features the same 6.5mm-thick waterproof casing, 8-megapixel camera, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS, Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.3GHz, 2GB of RAM and a 3000mAh battery as found on the regular Xperia Z Ultra.

There’s no official word on whether this model will be heading to the rest of the world. But if you are in the US, you can currently buy an Xperia Z Ultra with LTE. The device is available from both Sony (with a price tag of $649.99), and Amazon, along with Google Play for the Google Play Edition version.

Are you willing to pay 52,000 yen for the new Xperia Z Ultra tablet? Well, Sony at least expects you will.

muktware_sony_sirius

Sirius — Sony’s rumoured flagship to feature 5.2″ screen, 3GB of RAM and launch with KitKat

It’s flagship time, and many OEMs are eager to get a jump on their competitors in 2014. Sony is one such OEM, and recent rumours have pointed towards their upcoming flagship which is codenamed, ‘Sirius’. A recent post by XperiaBlog suggests that Sirius will sport a 5.2″ screen, 3GB of memory and the Qualcomm MSM8974AB processor. A little digging reveals that this processor is the Snapdragon 800. Though not the newest in Qualcomm’s line, the 800 is no slouch, and a 2.3Ghz clockspeed with Adreno 330 Graphics should serve Sony well for the next year or so.

Although the firmware build on the leaked images point to Android 4.3, it is thought to be an old build, and Android 4.4 KitKat is expected at launch. The Android space has been a race about specs for the past three or four years, and it shows no sign of slowing down, despite the best efforts of some manufacturers to use optimization over increased specs. The Moto X and G are examples of this, and they offer great experiences without throwing unimaginable specs at the devices.

Sony seems to be caught in the midst of this with the Sirius. 3GB of memory is rumoured despite Android KitKat only needing 512MB to run well. They also seem to have increased the screen size to 5.2″ despite many claiming 5″ to be a sweet spot and no complaints about the size of the Z1. On the contrary, they find 1080p panels to be sufficient and have opted to stay away from the rumoured 2K displays that are about to hit. Alas, the life of an OEM is quite a difficult one, and they must do what they deem fit for their survival. The Android space needs more top devices to balance the playing field, and with this in mind, I hope for great success for Sony’s new flagship.

For screenshots and eye candy of the rumoured Sirius, head over to Xperiablog. By the way, did anyone ever figure out how Motorola got the Moto G to last two days on charge with only a 2070 mAh battery? I sure would love to know.

Sony Xperia J gets Jelly Bean update ahead of schedule

Remember Sony announced the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean upgrade schedule for Xperia smartphones back in December? It mentioned in a blog post that Sony Xperia P, Sony Xperia J, Sony Xperia go will receive the Android 4.1 upgrade “from the end of March”, followed by Sony Xperia S, Sony Xperia SL, Sony Xperia ion and Sony acro S, which “will follow in the subsequent weeks”.

So the news of Sony Xperia J getting Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean upgrade should come as a pleasant surprise for many users as the company delivers the roll-out ahead of schedule.

Sony Xperia J is the latest handset from Sony Mobile to receive this Android version, after the Xperia V, Xperia T, and Xperia TL smartphones.

Sony is rolling out Jelly Bean update for users from around the world, including India. The update will be rolled out over-the-air (OTA) and bears the build number 11.2.A.0.21.

Just in case, you happen to miss the notification, you can connect your phone to PC and update via PC Companion Software and Sony Update Service tool.

Sony Xperia Z To Hit Indian Shores On March 6

Here is some interesting piece of news for you if you are looking forward to the arrival of the Sony Xperia Z in India. After the recent release of the BlackBerry Z10 and the LG Optimus G, Sony is now all set to launch the Xperia Z in the country.

Interestingly, Sony Mobile India has posted a photo on its Facebook page which says ‘Everything is about to change’ with the date 06/03/13 underneath the text. The banner also has an image of a phone in the backdrop, the Xperia Z to be precise.

The device’s 13-megapixel camera should be its main selling point; it gives users the ability to record HDR video. The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and is LTE-capable.

Additionally, the company has come up with a new microsite complete with a countdown timer. So you can safely mark down March 6 on your calendar!

Meanwhile, online retailer Blibli is already taking pre-orders of the Xperia Z in Indonesia. Blibli is offering at 7 million rupiah ($725) or $50 cheaper than its regular price.

Key Specs:
• 5-inch screen with a 1080p resolution, 443 ppi
• 4G LTE, EDGE, Wi-Fi, NFC
• GPS with A-GPS support
• Bluetooth 4.0
• 13 megapixel rear camera with HDR recording; 2 megapixel front-facing camera

There is no word, however, on its pricing yet for Indian buyers. If recent rumors are anything to go by, the phone is likely to cost approximately Rs 45,000 in the country.

Sony Working On New Android 4.2 Smartphone: Report

Are you planning to buy a Sony Android phone this year? Well, you might want to wait for Sony C670X, a 4.8-inch handset in the works.

According to a report by Xperia Blog, Sony C670X should be similar to the Xperia Z (codenamed C660X). It is likely to pack a 1.8GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 (APQ8064T) processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, 13-megapixel camera and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box.

Xperia Blog mentions:

In terms of specifications, the Sony C670X is expected to come with a slightly smaller display than the Xperia Z (C660X) at 4.8-inches but will still have a full HD resolution of 1080 x 1920.

The device should be officially announced in the middle of 2013.

But take this info with a grain of salt as the report explains: “The information comes from a tipster who recently provided us with the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean screenshot for the Xperia Z. Obviously, as with any rumour, treat all of the info with a pinch of salt.”

Sony Launches Experimental Version Of Firefox OS For Xperia E

Mozilla’s fledgling Firefox OS was recently announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, but it surely seems to be gaining quite a lot of attention. First, we saw Twitter jumping on to the bandwagon by launching its app for the OS, and now Sony has come up with an experimental ROM of the operating system for the Xperia E. Sony has plans to launch smartphones running Firefox OS later this year.

The Sony Developer Blog reads:

Now we’re ready to share our initial experiments on Firefox OS with the tech community, to get valuable feedback. More importantly, we want to reach out to the application community and support the early adopters who can start to develop applications for Firefox OS. Therefore, Sony experts Andreas Sandblad and Per Astrand have put to together an experimental Firefox OS ROM for you to flash on the Xperia E.

At Sony Mobile, we continue to evaluate innovative technologies that can help deliver the premium user experiences that Sony’s consumers expect. Our engineers are now working with Firefox OS Mobile and HTML5, evolving technologies which show great potential.

Being an experimental build, only experienced developers should tinker with the Firefox ROM. Sony adds some features have been switched off or have not been implemented. There is no radio connectivity available because the software has not passed certification and type approval. This means users cannot make phone calls or use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

The functionality of the SD card might be unstable. The touch sensitivity on the new ROM has not been not fully calibrated, notes the company.

Key Specs: Sony Xperia E
•    3.5-inch TFT display with a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels
•    3G, HSPA, EDGE/GPRS
•    Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
•    Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR
•    3.2 megapixel camera
•    4GB internal memory with support for microSD card

Sony Launches Waterproof Xperia Tablet Z At MWC

Previously only announced for Japan, Sony’s water resistant Xperia Tablet Z has been shown off to the entire world at the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Xperia Tablet Z is claimed to be the thinnest tablet to date, measuring just 6.9mm thin. Apple’s iPad Mini, on the other hand, clocks in at 7.2mm. The tablet is also resilient against water; it can be immersed in up to three feet of water for up to 30 minutes.

The Android-powered device offers a 10.1-inch WUXGA Reality Display with 1920×1200 resolution, which “enables the representation of high-brightness and high-definition video” along with its Bravia technology that presents a “vivid image”.

The tablet is powered by a quad-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro chip and also supports 4G wireless Internet connections as well as NFC technology. It’s also equipped with an 8.1MP camera on the rear with a CMOS sensor for recognising when the user is in the dark, as well as a 2MP HD camera on the front.

The device comes pre-loaded with the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system. However, Sony said the Xperia Tablet Z will be upgradable to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean pretty soon after launch. It includes Sony’s Near Field Communication (NFC) One-Touch functions which allow users to transfer content among compatible devices, including audio, video and images, from tablet to TV, tablet to speaker or phone to tablet just by touching them together.

The tablet will be available in black and white coloured models when it is released in the second quarter this year. While the 16GB version will cost you $499, the 32GB will be available for $599.