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Sony Xperia Z2 Officially Available to Purchase in US for $699

Posted by Tim-o-tato July - 21 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

At long last, the Xperia Z2 from Sony is now officially available to US buyers. Available through Sony’s web store, priced at a $50 discount of $699.99, folks can pick up this powerful device for use on either T-Mobile or AT&T. The only real issue, of course, is that there is still no subsidized version for American buyers on any networks. 

The device still looks great on paper, sporting a 5.2″ Full HD display, Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, 3GB of RAM, 20.7MP rear-facing camera, 2.2MP front-facing camera, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, microSD slot for expanded storage, 3,200mAh battery, and runs Android 4.4+ out of the box.

We have spent quite a bit of time with the Xperia Z2, offering up our impressions of the device, as well as posting up a comparison of Sony’s flagship against the Samsung Galaxy S5. While the overall package is quite impressive, we came away wishing it would have been a bit easier to handle with one hand.

For anyone willing to shell out $699.99, your time has come.

Sony Store Link ($699.99)

Sony Xperia Z2 Officially Available to Purchase in US for $699 is a post from: Droid Life

Sony Xperia Z2 now available in US market

Posted by wicked July - 21 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

Months after Sony announced its newest smartphone and months after it went on sale in other regions, the Xperia Z2 is finally available in the US market. However, it is still currently available only off contract through the Sony online store and they are offering their newest flagship at a $50 discount, bringing the price down to $699.99 from $749.99.

That’s a pretty steep price, even for the specifications the smartphone carries, as most of its rival OEMs that have almost similar specs, can be bought under $600. The Xperia Z2 boasts of a 5.2-inch screen with a display of 1920×1080 pixels, and still using the TRILUMINOS branding that Sony has been using for its mobile displays. It also has a 2.3GHZz, quad-core Snapdragon 801, Adreno 330 GPU, but what’s most important is the 3GB RAM, which should make it one of the smoothest running smartphones in the market. The internal storage however remains at 16GB, with a microSD card slot that can carry up to 128GB of storage.

For those concerned with the phone’s camera and video features, the Z2 improves upon its predecessor, the Xperia Z1, by maintaining the very impressive 20.7MP rear-facing camera, but adding several features to it. It can shoot video in 4K and has a new Timeshift feature that enables the slow-mo effect as you shoot. It’s also the first smartphone camera to have a digital noise cancelling feature. Some would say that this device’s purpose is more of a camera than just a phone.

There is still no word when the top US carriers will be offering the Xperia Z2 to its subscribers, though Sony very rarely makes such partnerships. That said, the phone is LTE ready and unlocked to, in theory, you can use it with your carrier or choice. Also, the Sony online store does not indicate when they will start shipping the devices, just that it’s on backorder.

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SOURCE: Sony

Xperia Z2 gets update from Sony, with enhanced call quality

Posted by wicked July - 21 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

The Sony Xperia Z2 got an update which is in the process of being rolled out to carriers and regions as of today, but will be available for all Xperia Z2 variants regardless of region. According to Sony, the major thing to look out for in this update will be the “enhanced call quality” that should be a major improvement to the already impressive handset.

As per usual, the update – official firmware tag is 17.1.2.A.0.314 – is being rolled out in a staggered manner, and Sony cannot give exact dates as to when the update will be pushed to a user’s Xperia Z2. It does, however, support updating directly via PC with your Xperia Z2 connected by data cable.

z2-update

The folks at Reddit – where the news of the update was spotted – are already expressing their relative pleasure at the enhanced call quality. Some have even said that the “tap to wake” feature has been greatly improved by the update – as Sony did list improvements for touch features as part of this update.

Another feature of the update that should be useful is “improved charging while battery is low”, which should mean that battery charging when in this situation would be faster and more efficient. The update will of course be available only to Xperia Z2 units with Android 4.4 Kitkat operating systems running, although the firmware installation will not bump up the version of the OS installed. Grab the update at the Sony Xperia 2 update page here.

VIA: Reddit

Sony silently launches the Xperia Z2 for sale in the US

Posted by wicked July - 20 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off

sony xperia z2 aa (5 of 26)

Deciding to forego the experience that is U.S. carriers, Sony has just silently put the unlocked Xperia Z2 up for sale for American consumers. It’s about time. Say what you will about carriers, but without them subsidizing your purchase, you’ll need $700 to pickup your Z2 in black, white or purple.

Being that the current $699 price tag is a $50 discount from what Sony shows as the regular price, I would say hurry over to their site to order your Xperia Z2 right away. However, all three colors are back-ordered with no indication of a delivery date. There is also no news whether the rumored Verizon branded Xperia Z2 is still in the works.

Just in case you’ve forgotten what the Xperia Z2 is all about, that’s the one with the 5.2-inch TRILUMINOS display with Live Color LED technology. It hums along with the 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage with a microSD slot for extra space, running Android 4.4 KitKat. As the international LTE version, it has the expected cellular Band support for AT&T and T-Mobile, including LTE, which won’t work with Verizon. All of this will get you upwards of 19 hours of talk time on the 3200mAh battery. Be sure to check out our full review for more details.

Xperia Z2 Tokyo 20.7MP camera shoot

For many, the best feature of the Sony Xperia Z2 is its 20.7MP Exmor R main camera. We enjoyed seeing its efforts on a developer unit in Tokyo early in the year. Especially as it showed off the ability to shoot 4K video. It has since found itself with a few awards for its photo taking abilities, including the auto focus burst mode HDR and face detection flash, not to mention some silly and fun companion apps.

Despite the lack of carrier influence, it appears the US Xperia Z2 will still come with a bit of bloatware. Users should expect to see Facebook, Google+, Hangouts, Twitter and XPeria Socialife pre-loaded on their new phone. At least your Z2 is still dust-resistant and waterproof.

Are you headed on over to the Sony website to order up your new Xperia Z2, or is it just a little too late with players like the LG G3 already shipping?

Sony Xperia T2 Ultra update returns Apps to SD support

Posted by wicked July - 18 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Unless you actually owned an Xperia T2 Ultra or its Dual variant, Sony’s latest Android 4.4 update for the devices might not have piqued your interest. However, it seems that the manufacturer sneaked in a little feature, or rather returned it, that changes the game entirely for these owners. Sony has apparently given them back the ability to transfer some apps from internal memory to an SD card.

This feature, called Apps to SD (or apps2sd), was a rather contentious issue way back. Google has practically removed all traces of it from stock Android and users might have become resigned to that fact, unless they switch to custom ROMs or their OEM allows it. Google’s argument is the same one it uses to discourage the use of external storage entirely, that of data and operation integrity. Considering that users can easily yank out SD cards and that it runs on a different filesystem than the rest of Android, Google can do little to enforce security or make sure that the app is where it is supposed to be when you run it.

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The counter argument to this is that some devices don’t have enough internal storage space to comfortably accommodate the dozens of apps users usually install on their phones these days, plus the actual media files they might want to keep in their pockets at all times. Some games, for example, take up more than 1 GB of storage. As mentioned, some OEMs, and definitely custom ROMs, go contrary to Google’s ideal vision and include Apps to SD functionality. Sony used to but then pulled it out, perhaps to maintain compatibility with vanilla Android. Now, however, Sony is bringing it back, at least in this update, which is great news for the Xperia T2 Ultra as it only has 8 GB of internal memory.

Now the next question is “what’s next?”. Considering Sony was rather silent about this feature in its announcement, perhaps it won’t be including that feature in other, more capable handsets. Scheduled for the next update are the Xperia E1 and Xperia M2, both with low specs and perfect candidates for this feature. One can only hope that Sony will also be pushing out the feature to the rest of its lineup in the near future.

VIA: Xperia Blog

Sony Xperia T2 Ultra and Dual variant get Android 4.4 boost

Posted by wicked July - 17 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Sony is continuing the induction of its smartphones into the roster of Android 4.4 devices, which will surely give KitKat’s numbers a boost in next month’s distribution chart. This time, it’s the turn of the Xperia T2 Ultra and its dual SIM wielding twin to get the KitKat treatment, and Sony is revealing what it added on top of that chocolatey goodness.

The Xperia T2 Ultra isn’t exactly an old device. Unveiled in early January, the smartphone is unmistakably a mid-tier phablet designed to cater to those who like big screens with low specs, and presumably low prices. The 720p screen measures a full 6 inches, while the quad-core CPU clocks at 1.4 GHz, teamed up with 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage. For a mid-range device, it does sport a slightly impressive 13 megapixel rear camera, though paired with a 1.1 megapixel front shooter, both bearing Sony’s Exmor mark.

In addition to the usual laundry list of Android 4.4 improvements, which includes cloud printing, “Project Svelte”, and immersive mode, Sony also took the opportunity to update the Xperia T2 Ultras with its most recent software package and UI tweaks. Of course, Sony’s native apps such as messaging, Smart Connect, and Social Camera have been updated to their latest versions. Its media apps like WALKMAN, Albums, and Movies have been improved with better integration into the company’s entertainment hub. It has also pulled in Xperia Themes, definitely an enviable feature that no other custom OEM ROM has by default.

Although Sony has already announced the update for the Xperia T2 Ultra, its actual arrival will of course vary by market and carrier. And the manufacturer isn’t even done yet. It will soon be rolling out Android 4.4, with those same Sony exclusive features, for the Xperia E1 and Xperia M2, both mid-tier devices also announced early this year.

SOURCE: Sony

As a quick reminder to kick off this beautiful Thursday, we wanted to point out that the LG G3 and Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet are both available at Verizon in-store and online. Also, Verizon’s new ALLSET prepaid plan that includes 4G LTE connectivity can be signed up for as of this morning. Finally, Big Red is still running a 50% smartphone deal that drops all sorts of devices to $99 or lower, but those have to be purchased on-contract. Today is Verizon’s big day, which we first reported on a couple of weeks back

To recap, the LG G3 can be picked up for $99 on-contract, $29.99 per month with Edge, or $599 at full retail. If you are at all considering this phone (and you should be), you will want to take a look at our 25+ tips and tricks for the G3, comparison to the Galaxy S5 and One (M8), and quick look at Spigen’s line of cases. We should have our full review up shortly, but if you can’t tell, both Tim and I are really excited about the G3.

The Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is Sony’s latest flagship slate with a 10.1-inch FHD display, water and dust resistance, 6,000mAh battery, 8.1MP rear camera, 2.2MP front camera, 4G LTE connectivity, 32GB internal storage, micro SD slot for storage expansion, 3GB RAM, and Android 4.4, all wrapped in a package that is just .25-inches thick. The Xperia Z2 Tablet can be had for $499  with 2-year contract, $29.99 per month on Edge, or $599 at full retail.

As for the ALLSET prepaid plan, the entire plan hasn’t changed, you can just now connect to Verizon’s 4G LTE network. The plans, which we have detailed a couple of times, allow you to get into a base plan for $45 that includes 500MB of data plus unlimited talk and text. From there, you can add on 500MB ($5), 1GB ($10), or 3GB ($20) in data. Verizon will also toss in an extra 500MB per month if you sign-up for auto pay. The example I keep using is if you sign-up for ALLSET, then sign-up for auto pay, and then add on the 3GB data package, you would have 4GB of 4G LTE data and unlimited talk/text for $65. That is a pretty solid deal.

Verizon Links:  LG G3 | Xperia Z2 Tablet | ALLSET Prepaid

Reminder: LG G3, Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet, and ALLSET Prepaid With 4G LTE Launch Today at Verizon is a post from: Droid Life

Sony Xperia T2 Ultra updated to Android 4.4.2, introduces new App to SD card feature

Posted by wicked July - 17 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Yesterday, Sony began rolling out a new Android 4.4.2 KitKat firmware update for its Xperia T2 Ultra and Xperia T2 Ultra Dual smartphones.

As well as the standard range of KitKat features and enhancements, the new firmware also brings with it an updated camera application and several tweaks to improve the camera experience, an enhanced email app, as well as the usual anonymous stability, performance & battery improvements.

This update brings the Xperia T2 Ultra devices in line with other Sony KitKat handsets, complete with a transparent navigation bar, tweaked Status Bar and Quick Settings, a shiny new boot animation, themes, and compatibility with the SmartBand SWR10 and Lifelog app.

Xperia T2 Ultra update with app to SD

One feature not listed in the changelog is the option for users to move apps to and from their SD card. The option appears under settings > apps, making this the same feature that can be found on numerous custom ROMs and some other manufacturer’s handsets. From there, users can select apps to be moved over to the SD card, and can also browse a list of apps which are currently stored on the external memory. This feature is likely to be particularly useful on these mid-tier handsets, where internal storage is more limited than Sony’s flagship smartphones.

The KitKat update changes the Xperia T2 Ultra handsets to software version 19.1.A.0.473, whilst Xperia T2 Ultra Dual owners will be updated to build number 19.1.C.0.116.

It is a little odd that Sony has bought a new feature to its mid-range devices before its flagship range, but perhaps the app to SD card software will be making its way to Xperia Z smartphones in the next update, whenever that arrives. Sony has also confirmed that Android 4.4.2 KitKat is heading to the Xperia E1 and Xperia M in the near future.

Sony Xperia Z3 arrives in the United States courtesy of FCC testing

Posted by wicked July - 16 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

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Sony has often overlooked the mobile industry in the United States, but that is all likely to change with the Xperia Z3. A device believed to be the Xperia Z3 with the model number D6603 has passed through the FCC for testing. Aside from confirming its arrival in the United States, the FCC filing does not show very much of anything.

The specifications for the Xperia Z3, while not confirmed, make it seem that Sony has a real beast on its hands. The 5.2-inch display will be of a high resolution (especially if it is QHD). Inside is believed to be Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 with 2GB or 3GB of RAM. And Sony’s 20.7MP camera from the Xperia Z2 is set to return. By the time of its arrival, it should ship with Android 4.4.4 and receive the bump to Android L shortly thereafter.

If a fall release is planned, Sony could be choosing to announce the Xperia Z3 at IFA 2014 this September.

Source: FCC
Via: Xperia Blog

Come comment on this article: Sony Xperia Z3 arrives in the United States courtesy of FCC testing

Sony Xperia Z3 Passes Through FCC En Route to North America

Posted by Tim-o-tato July - 16 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

As you all may be aware, it’s not every day we see a Sony flagship device pass through the FCC on its way to America. Most of the time, even if a Sony device does hit our shores, it is months after Europe and Asia has access, and carrier exclusivity takes its tole on most people who are even interested to begin with.

This week, it appears that the Xperia Z3 from Sony has already hit the FCC, en route to an unknown carrier here in the US. Curiously, the Xperia Z3 has yet to be made official from Sony, with previous signs pointing to the device being announced at IFA in September. 

Reported specs are quite healthy, with the Xperia Z3 rumored to feature a Snapdragon 805 processor, about a 5.2″ display (no word on QHD or FHD resolution), a 20.7MP rear-facing camera, and should ship with no less than Android 4.4.4.

Unfortunately, the FCC filing does not offer much to look at, besides a poor skeletal rendering. Once more information is known, we will be sure to share.

If the Xperia Z3 was to hit the four major carriers, would a Sony-made flagship tempt you from your current handset? Throw your thoughts below in the comments.

Xperia Z3

Via: FCC | Xperia Blog

Sony Xperia Z3 Passes Through FCC En Route to North America is a post from: Droid Life