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Sony Xperia Z3 Returns to T-Mobile at $499 After Short Hiatus

Posted by Kellex April - 24 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

The Sony Xperia Z3 randomly showed back up on T-Mobile’s online shop this week after disappearing nearly a month ago without notice. Not only has the device returned, but it can be had for just $499 without a contract or broken out into monthly payments as low as $20.

We still aren’t sure why the Xperia Z3 disappeared for a couple of weeks, but everyone should be happy that it’s back. This is a hell of a smartphone. Sony’s Xperia line has only gotten better over the last couple of years and should be considered by fans of this operating system even with the Galaxy S6 now available. While the fate of the Xperia line in the US now seems to be up the in air, the Z3 deserves more than a 6-month stay at the Uncarrier.

T-Mobile Link

Sony Xperia Z3 Returns to T-Mobile at $499 After Short Hiatus is a post from: Droid Life

Sony Xperia Z3 back in T-Mobile shelves again

Posted by wicked April - 24 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Sony_Xperia_Z3v_Main_02_TA

The Sony Xperia Z3 went surprisingly missing from T-Mobile’s online store recently. We figured that the smartphone was gone for good. But it’s clearly not the case as the 2014 Sony flagship has now made a comeback on the carrier’s site.

The Xperia Z3 on T-Mobile is also more affordable now with the price now standing at $499.99, down from $630. So it seems like T-Mobile and Sony are making a conscious effort to ensure that the smartphone does well in the U.S. market. The Xperia Z3 is also available through Verizon Wireless under the Xperia Z3v moniker.

The smartphone comes with a 5.2 inch 1080p display, a 20.7-megapixel camera on the back, a 2.2-megapixel front camera, a quad core 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 801 chipset, 3GB of RAM, 32GB internal storage (expandable up to 128GB), Android 5.0 Lollipop and a 3,100 mAh battery.

Head over to the link below to get the Xperia Z3 from T-Mobile.

Source: T-Mobile
Via: Pocketnow

Come comment on this article: Sony Xperia Z3 back in T-Mobile shelves again

Sony Xperia Z3 re-added to T-Mobile’s lineup with a price reduction

Posted by wicked April - 24 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

sony xperia z3 first impressions aa (11 of 17)

It wasn’t too long ago that we saw T-Mobile remove Sony’s Xperia Z3 from its lineup, no longer offering the device through its online store. Even a T-Mobile representative confirmed the removal through Twitter, stating that the Z3 will no longer be offered by the carrier. It looks like the representative gave us some false information, because in a recent development, T-Mobile has, for some reason, re-added the Z3 to its online store with a pretty nice discount.

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 11.48.03 AM

When the phone was available through T-Mo previously, it would run you a hefty $630 without a contract. Now if you’d like to get your hands on the device, it will only run you $499.92 off-contract, or $20.83 per month over a 24-month span. This price drop likely has a lot to do with Sony’s recent announcement of the Xperia Z4 – an iterative take on last year’s flagship.

We’re not sure how long the phone will be available on the Un-carrier, so you may want to take advantage of this deal before it’s too late. Head over to the source link below if you’re interested.

Lollipop OS for Sony Xperia C3, T2 Ultra finally rolls out

Posted by wicked April - 24 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Last month, we learned that Sony would be rolling out Android 5.0 Lollipop update for the Xperia T2 Ultra and C3. That’s in contrast to a previous information that Sony won’t be upgrading non-Xperia Z phones much to the chagrin of users but then again the company changed its mind and here it is now–some Lollipop goodness for the C3 and T2 Ultra.

The firmware update of the Android Lollipop (19.3.A.0.470) has started seeding for owners of the Sony Xperia T2 Ultra and Xperia C3. This version is only for the single SIM models specifically Xperia T2 Ultra (D5303) and the Xperia C3 (D2533). Software update is now live in Taiwan and other regions would soon follow suit since roll outs are phased according to Sony.

Sony said in a tweet for users to “check locally & watch for notification”. Aside from Taiwan, the Xperia T2 Ultra (D5303) in Germany and Czech Republic will get the update earlier. Owners of the said smartphone models should be receiving an Over-The-Air (OTA) notification as prompt that Android Lollipop is ready for download.

Sony also posted a quick reminder over at Twitter, that the Xperia Z series is up next for the Lollipop software update which is finally happening in the next few weeks. Note that the Xperia Z phones will directly get Android 5.0.2.

VIA: XPERIA Blog

Sony raises earnings estimate again, but it’s not thanks to smartphones

Posted by wicked April - 22 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

sony logo mwc 2015 3

For the second time in three months, Sony announced that it will raise its outlook for the fiscal year that just ended.

Sony first raised its earnings estimate for FY2014 in February, when the company projected that it would make 20 billion yen in operating profit, thanks to stronger than expected sales of the PlayStation, camera sensors, and entertainment units.

Today Sony said it expects better results compared to the last estimate, and by a big margin. The company now expects to make 68 billion yen ($569 million) in the year that ended on March 31. That’s more than three times the previous estimate, and more than double the operating profit from last year, which was 26.5 billion yen. Sony also surprised analysts polled by Bloomberg, who were expecting on average just 47.2 billion for the year.

Sony will publish its final results for the year on April 30.

The good news is Sony’s focus on gaming, sensors, and entertainment seems to be paying off. The bad news is the company will actually post a net loss of 126 billion yen, due to the massive impairment charge it took last year for its mobile unit.

Furthermore, there’s nothing in Sony’s statement suggesting any positive developments on the smartphone front. The company just introduced the Xperia Z4 in Japan, sparking controversy on whether that’s a massive mistake or a purely local play with no bearing on the international market.

Sony said in February that it doesn’t see mobile as a growth driver in its mid-term strategy. The company will focus on bringing its smartphone unit to black, by cutting costs and focusing on the higher end of the market. Cost cutting measures include the layoff of 2,100 employees this year.

Build your own Xperia: How would you improve the Sony Xperia Z4?

Posted by wicked April - 22 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off
sony xperia z4

Earlier this week, Sony quietly took the veil off of the Sony Xperia Z4, showcasing a device that essentially was nothing more than a Z3 with slightly upgraded internals. The new handset has been meet with some pretty stong opinions, with our own team expresing at least some degree of disappointment, even if the Z4 might make sense for the Japanese market. Since then, there have been reports that the Xperia Z4 as wis exclusively for the Japanese market and that the company’s next global flagship may significantly differ in design (and perhaps even specs).

Regardless of what Sony may have in store, as it sits, the Sony Xperia Z4 isn’t much of an upgrade. With this in mind, we ask our readers: how would you improve the Sony Xperia Z4? Let’s say you had been put in charge of designing the Sony Xperia Z4, what specs would you have focused on, what special features?

So now that you have your display size, let’s choose the resolution. Some say that 1080p is the ideal resolution choose as it’s not too heavy on the battery, and arguably QHD really doesn’t add any detectable difference.. at least not considering the hit to the battery that the phone takes as a result.

Onto the processing package:

Alright, so you have the basics. What about some of the special features several other OEMs are currently using — include them or no?

While HTC and Sony produced flagships that were highly reminiscent of their predecessors, Samsung received quite a bit of positive attention for switching things up with the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Would you follow Samsung’s lead and bring a dramatic new look, or keep things status quo?

Camera time.

Onto the battery:

Last but not least, let’s talk software:

Obviously there are more features and elements that go into the design of a phone. With that in mind, we welcome you to detail your opinion in the comments about the Z4, Sony’s current mobile direction, and hw you’d change things up. Any options or features we should have mentioned in the poll but didn’t? Let us know about those too.

Sony’s Google Cast for Audio-ready devices coming next month

Posted by wicked April - 21 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

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Starting next month, Sony will launch some of the hardware introduced at CES 2015 as being compatible with Google Cast for Audio. The company has six devices that will be released between May and July. There are four sound bars ($349-$1,499) and two A/V receivers ($499-$599) for consumers to choose from. Aside from Google Cast support, these devices have Bluetooth and 7.2 channel audio. Both the online Sony store and authorized dealers in the United States will sell the devices.

Sound bars:

  • HT-CT780 – $449 – May 2015
  • HT-CT380 – $349 – May 2015
  • HT-NT3 – $699 – July 2015
  • HT-ST9 – $1,499 – July 2015

A/V receivers:

  • STR-DN1060 – $599 – May 2015
  • STR-DN860 – $499 – May 2015

Sony Electronics Unveils New Premium Home Audio Products For The Ultimate In-Home Entertainment Experience with 4K Support

SAN DIEGO, April 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Electronics announced today pricing and retail availability for four new Sound Bars – the HT-ST9, HT-NT3, HT-CT780, and HT-CT380, as well as the STR-DN860 and STR-DN1060 A/V Receivers, allowing consumers to elevate the home audio experience with simplicity and powerful performance. Taking the home entertainment experience to the next level, these new home audio products are HDCP 2.2 compliant (except for the HT-CT380), supporting playback of copyright-protected 4K content, including hit blockbuster movies.

The HT-ST9, HT-NT3, and both new A/V Receivers have Google Cast™ built in so you can cast your favorite music apps from your personal device to your speakers. You can cast from your Android phone or tablet, iPhone, iPad, Chromebook, and Mac or Windows laptop. By simply pressing the cast icon, you can search, browse, play, skip, and turn up the volume on your favorite tracks directly. Google Cast gives you a wider breadth of audio streaming options vs. standard built-in streaming. Additionally, you can expand the fully integrated home music experience through multi-room functionality by joining speakers together using the intuitive SongPal™ app. Stay tuned for more information on the future of Google Cast and multi-room functionality.

Sound Bars

The HT-ST9 Sound Bar with wireless subwoofer, sound-tuned by Academy Award-winning Sony Pictures engineers for world-class cinematic sound, features immersive 800 watts and 7.1 channel surround sound from seven discrete amplifiers and nine speakers. The HT-ST9 is Hi-Res capable and also supports Spotify Connect. Complete with a wireless, front-firing subwoofer with passive radiator, the HT-ST9 delivers an enveloping listening experience that will enhance any home theater environment. The HT-ST9 has three HDMI inputs for easy set-up, and brings full-room cinematic simulated surround sound to life with four digital sound fields – allowing consumers to enjoy movies as if in the theater, listen to music as if at a concert or watch sports as if at the stadium. For easy music connectivity, the HT-ST9 offers Bluetooth® reception and transmission for a simplified, high-quality music experience. With integrated Bluetooth transmission, enjoy music or movies with Bluetooth enabled headphones while not disturbing the rest of the house. With three times the data transmission capability, Sony’s LDAC™ technology provides an enhanced wireless listening experience for all music with compatible products.

The HT-NT3 Hi-Res Sound Bar with wireless subwoofer provides flexible connectivity, smart functionality and 450 watts of premium power for rich, high-fidelity sound. The sleek, slim and versatile HT-NT3 delivers a quality 2.1 channel listening experience that allows for effortless, wireless audio streaming with Bluetooth and NFC connections. The HT-NT3 also incorporates Sony LDAC technology. Boasting single HDMI® TV connection with inputs for three HDMI devices, the HT-NT3 also offers easy connectivity for superb sound in unrivaled hi-resolution.

The HT-CT780 330 watt 2.1 Sound Bar with wireless subwoofer elevates the home theater experience with elegant simplicity and powerful performance. This sound bar delivers impressive sound with wall-mount versatility. Enjoy superior high-definition quality, including three HDMI inputs with one supporting 4K with HDCP 2.2, and seamlessly connect to 4K or HD devices such as a cable box, Blu-ray® player or gaming console. HDMI TV connectivity with Audio Return Channel support ensures simple, one cable connectivity and maximum Audio/Video performance.

The HT-CT380 300 watt 2.1 Sound Bar with wireless subwoofer allows users to simply connect a TV and other HD devices or stream content wirelessly via Bluetooth and NFC. Similar to the HT-CT780, the sleek HT-CT380 is inspired by a flat panel design, complementing virtually any TV or household room, and can easily be mounted on the wall or placed on top of a TV stand or table.

A/V Receivers

The STR-DN1060 Hi-Res Wi-Fi® Network A/V Receiver provides the ultimate sound stage for music, movies and more. Enjoy superior sound while easily streaming music with built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth reception and transmission, Google Cast for audio, AirPlay® and Spotify Connect. With 7.2 channels and 165 watts of power per channel, supported by the largest capacitors and transformer in its class, its legendary Sony sound really connects the listener to the sound experience. The STR-DN1060 also features 4K resolution upscaling and pass-through, flexible connectivity with ten high-definition inputs, support for two separate powered zones and hi-res audio compatibility.

The STR-DN860 7.2 channel Hi-Res Wi-Fi® Network A/V Receiver is a powerhouse that envelopes listeners in a new level of sound performance. The STR-DN860 offers 7.2 channels and 150 watts of power, as well as the ability to stream music via built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth reception and transmission, Google Cast for Audio and AirPlay. Quickly and easily maximize the home theater experience via the newly improved Advanced Digital Cinema Auto Calibration feature and supplied microphone. Using the intuitive, graphical user interface, refined remote control or SongPal App, users can easily adjust settings, change inputs, and confirm volume levels on-screen.

Model Price Availability
HT-ST9 $1,499.99 July 2015
HT-NT3 $699.99 July 2015
HT-CT780 $449.99 May 2015
HT-CT380 $349.99 May 2015
STR-DN1060 $599.99 May 2015
STR-DN860 $499.99 May 2015

Come comment on this article: Sony’s Google Cast for Audio-ready devices coming next month

Sony’s new Android-powered 4K TVs will be available this May

Posted by wicked April - 21 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

Sony Bravia hands-on

Sony introduced its 2015 lineup of Android TV-powered 4K televisions back at CES 2015, and now the company has finally released pricing and availability information for most of its new television sets. Backed by the new 4K Processor X1, the TVs range in size anywhere from 43 to 75 inches and cost up to $8,000.

The majority of Sony’s televisions will go on sale to the public in May and are available for pre-order from today. The X830C (available in 43 and 49-inch versions) will be available for $1,299.99 and $1,599.99, respectively. The X850C is available in 55, 65 and 75-inch variants and will cost $2,199.99, $3,499.99 and $4,999.99. The 65-inch X930C and 75-inch X940C series will be available for $4,499.99 and $7,999.99, respectively.

At CES, we got a first-hand look at the 65-inch Sony X900C and 43-inch X830C televisions. Measuring less than 5mm thick, the X900C will ship later this summer in both 65 and 55-inch versions.  The X910C will also ship at the same time in a 75-inch version, although no pricing information has been revealed for any of these sets yet. Take a look at the video below for our first impressions.

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It’s clear that these televisions are top-of-the-line products, but how do you feel about the price? Would you pick one of these up for yourself? Let us know what you think.

New Xperia Z4 Features Stagnation, Regression & Concerns

Posted by wicked April - 21 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

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Sony is, perhaps, one of the most quiet players in the smartphone market. Their Xperia Z line gets a semesterly refresh, and the incremental improvements have proved to make consumers happy. The Xperia Z2 featured, in particular, great battery life, and the Z1 compact, Z3 and Z3 Compact all had or improved upon that too. In fact, that’s been one of Sony’s biggest strengths these past two years and thus we expect the same – or better – from their next handset.

Sony phones also have a particularly efficient user experience, with a skin that is not too intrusive and is rather speedy in comparison to the clunkiest of the bunch. Sensible features like Stamina mode or the pop-up windows make for great little additions, too. When it comes to XDA modding, Xperia phones see vast and varied individual and cross-device development – arguably a stronger point of the lines, and Sony has been really helpful to independent developments with their AOSP builds.

Just yesterday we saw a surprisingly quiet unveiling for the Xperia Z4 take place without prior notice nor post awe, and we now know a lot about the next Sony flagship, which has been the source of endless rumors for the past 6 months. The design is a little shocking for a company that had claimed to be changing its business model, and it does not resemble plenty of the leaks we had from independent sources or the huge Sony hack. So what are Xperia fans getting, and is it worth getting excited for? You probably know the specs, but here we’ll take a look at what the totality of the device means for Sony.

Design

20150421175757229The Xperia line has one of the most iconic design language on Android – you can spot one from a mile away. What you certainly won’t make out from that distance is which device it is that you are looking at. The “Omni-balance” approach has seen incremental refinements iteration after iteration, with better build quality, superior waterproofing and somewhat smaller dimensions and bezels. This last bit is perhaps the most important bit for Xperia phones: the Z1 had immense bezels resulting in a 64.7% screen-to-body ratio, but the Z2 bumped that percentage to around 69.3% and the Z3 did so once more, pushing it to a respectable 70.9%. The Z4, however, maintains that ratio as the dimensions and screen size are identical. Luckily, the device did get thinner (7.3mm to 6.9mm), but in a world where bezels get smaller, we wish we saw another trim.

Other than that, it’s pretty much same-old Sony, with amazing P6X dustproof rating, and IPX5 and IPX8 certification for waterproofing. It also comes with a waterproof micro USB port, so it no longer has any covering flaps like other waterproof phones do. All of these ultimately mean that you can take a swim with this phone and it’ll survive the splash, but other than that there’s not much else that this device can tout.

Display

20150421180108405The design stagnated, but what about the display? Well, from what we know, it did too. It sports the same 1080p resolution, at the same size, with the same X-reality Engine and Triluminos LCD panel. In the past, we applauded Sony for keeping the Z3 and Z3 Compact behind the (unnecessary) curve of 1440p phones. Why? Simply because both phones featured excellent battery life. There were rumors of two Z4 variants a few months ago, one with a 1440p panel and one with the conservative 1080p resolution. We discussed this in a feature where we argued for both sides of the 1440p craze, but the conclusion was that the 1080p panel did help Sony tremendously in claiming the battery king crown. Sony displays have come a long way in terms of technology, but with people praising the newer Samsung panels, we hope that Sony really improves this screen when it comes to calibration and the like.

Battery

The battery size of the Z4 has diminished in size, something that already raises our skepticism given that the latest Xperia flagships are famous due to their longevity. The capacity went from to 3,100 mAh to 2,930 mAh, which is a little over 5% of a differential  – hardly enough to make a difference in real world use, with all other things reamining equal. And so far, all things are astonishly equal. Except for the elephant in the room…

Chipset

Snapdragon 810. That’s really all we have to say to begin having concerns regarding this device. The M9 and the G Flex 2 both heavily throttle in presence of heat (not much at that), and on the M9, performance caps had to be put in place to keep the device from getting too hot. We discussed this a lot during the weeks leading up to the M9, and concluded that the Snapdragon 810 leads to actual issues. At this point, we believe there’s no question about it, and manufacturers like LG are said to be moving away from it altogether.

20150421180524294So, we have talked plenty on the theoretical performance of the Snapdragon 810, but in the real world and with a 1080p panel, it’s not bad at all. In fact, due to the 1080p display and lack of optimization for the Exynos in the S6, the M9 can run some games better than Samsung’s powehouse and it fares pretty well in most on-screen benchmarks as well (the Adreno 430 GPU is still a big step forwards in graphics performance). There might be some stutters, but Sony’s Lollipop update is reportedly great in terms of performance, and this phone will be running Lollipop too. The real concern is battery life:

The G Flex 2 and M9 feature abnormally lower battery results than what their screen resolution and battery capacities would otherwise suggest, and it is clear that much of this regression is due to the Snapdragon 810 they hold. Sony was one of the manufacturers that refused to step into 1440p territory due to battery concerns, and it paid off. Now, the Z4 features the same screen technology (as far as we know), lower battery capacity and a processor that does not have the best track record nor reputation for power efficiency. Moreover, we have seen tests of the Snapdragon 801 (found inside the Z3) outperforming the Snapdragon 810 in certain 3D games, and if they go with the global frequency cap put forth by HTC, we would once again see Qualcomm’s greatest under-deliver in both battery and performance.

Camera

Xperia Z4 CameraWe still don’t know many details about the camera, but the Z4 packs the same 20.7MP count in the rear and a bump from 2.2MP to 5.1MP at the front. The Z3 didn’t have a bad camera, by any means, and Sony loves to tout that they have the best camera (*on a waterproof smartphone)”. We can’t judge a camera just by its image resolution, but Sony’s tendency to use modules that end up worse than those using Sony sensors in other manufacturers’ phones is embarrassingly worrying. And to top things off, the camera does not feature OIS which should be a standard at this point. Again, we’ll hold on this until we know more or see some results, but in a space where Samsung and LG are fiercely competing for the best smartphone camera (*on any smartphone), Sony should try their best and not lose to their own sensors. Let’s also hope that there’s a way around the DRM keys loss when doing what we do best.

Conclusion

To sum up:

  • Design: Stagnating Evolution
  • Display: Apparent Stagnation
  • Battery: Regression
  • Chipset: Apparent Regression
  • Battery Life: Worrying
  • Camera: Apparent Stagnation

I am a big fan of what Sony does for the developer community and all the improvements they throw at Android as a whole. Their Xperia Z line has a great track-record with a recently found strength in battery life. The Z4 does not seem to be advancing (at least not notably) on key fronts, and the M9 and S6 confrontation showed that consumers are getting tired of iterative upgrades. The evolution in the Xperia Z line has always been slow-paced but strong in all the right places, and the progressive refinement culminated in the fan-acclaimed Z3. With this phone, Sony does not seem to be impressing anyone.

Sony is adamant at staying in the smartphone industry, despite their (to put it lightly) less-than-stellar current situation. There were lots we were expecting from the Z4, with rumors of an all-metal body and provoking possibilities shown in each and every leak. It turns out that this Japan-based phone is not at all what we were hoping it to be, and certainly not what we asked for. That being said, we can’t judge a phone simply by its hardware, and the UX might be substantially better than these specs suggest. We just have to wait an see for now, and we wish the best for the Xperia line as it is a source of great developments on XDA. Sony’s mobile division is a personal favorite (and this is saying a lot, considering that my views on Sony are rather negative after reading through some leaked e-mails), and with another flagship rumored to be unveiled in May, they may be able to finally redeem their brand.


What do you think of the Xperia Z4? Discuss below!

The post New Xperia Z4 Features Stagnation, Regression & Concerns appeared first on xda-developers.

New Sony Sound Bars announced, with Google Cast support

Posted by wicked April - 21 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

Creating your own home entertainment system for aural and visual pleasure has never been easier now, because of all these new products that OEMs have been releasing. Of course speakers have always been there, but now they’re wireless, digital, and the latest and best ones have audio and video streaming support. Sony announced the pricing and availability of four of their newest sound bars, and one of the best things about them is that they can support Google Cast, so your music and music apps can be cast onto these high-quality speakers.

The four new Sound Bar speakers are: the HT-ST9 Sound Bar has seven discrete amplifiers and nine speakers that will enhance the 7.1 channel surround sound and immersive 800 watts and it hs support for Spotify Connect; the HT-NT3 Hi-Res Sound Bar also with has 450 watts and a 2.1 channel listening experience; the HT-CT780 330 watt 2.1 Sound Bar can be wall-mounted or stand-alone, and has three HDMI inputs; and the HT-CT380 300 watt 2.1 Sound Bar has a flat panel design and can connect to HD devices via Bluetooth and NFC.

All four have wireless subwoofers, and the HT-ST9 and HT-NT3 have Sony’s pioneering LDAC technology, so that the sound quality doesn’t suffer even if you connect through Bluetooth. Another selling point of these new Sound Bars, at least the HT-ST9 and HT-NT3, is that they come built-in with Google Cast so that you can cast your music from your Android smartphone or tablet, as well as Chromebook and other devices from other platforms. There is also a SongPal app which can help you join the speakers together with its multi-room functionality.

The HT-ST9 will be available by July this year and will cost $1,499.99 while the HT-NT3 will also be available by then but will be $699.99. Both the HT-CT780 and the HT-CT380 will be in the market by May 2015, with the former at $499.99 while the latter is a hundred dollars cheaper at $399.99. They will be available at Sony’s online shop and authorized dealers nationwide.

SOURCE: Sony

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