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Sony Updates AOSP Sources to Android 5.0.1

Posted by wicked December - 21 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off

sony_xperia_z3_running_android_lollipop_blog

Just a few days ago, Sony did an utterly fantastic job by pushing out numerous device trees for all 2014 Qualcomm based Xperia devices to its GitHub account. This came as a rather big surprise for some, but Sony wants to finish this year with a little extra oomph. The Japanese OEM decided to update the device trees, kernel and binaries to Android 5.0.1. Way to go, Sony!

The list of currently supported devices is impressive. In addition to almost the entire Xperia Z line, Sony also supports the Xperia E3, Xperia M2, Xperia T2 Ultra, and Xperia T3. If you have one of those devices, you can try to build the AOSP by following the provided materials. Keep in mind that these ROMs aren’t intended for daily use and you have to unlock your bootloader first in order to flash them. This will unfortunately break the camera, so backuping your TA partition isn’t a bad move.

Sony’s move is definitely good for developers who can use the updated binaries to improve the stability of custom ROMs. It’s also a fantastic learning material for all Android enthusiasts wanting to learn more about Android development.

As always, updated source can be found at Sony Mobile’s GitHub. More information about Sony AOSP Project is available one Sony Developer page.

[Thanks to XDA Senior Recognized Developer jerpelea for the tip!]

The post Sony Updates AOSP Sources to Android 5.0.1 appeared first on xda-developers.

Sony’s “Welcome to the New World” teaser video is nothing short of bizarre

Posted by wicked December - 19 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

sony_welcome_to_the_new_world_teaser

Want to really get people thinking? Then release a video that encompasses very random scenes that ends with a warming “Welcome to the New World” message. That is exactly what Sony has done with its new teaser. Some of the more random scenes include a staring person with ample face paint, a woman smiling with a tear sliding down her face, and a small child next a pregnant woman’s stomach. A less bizarre, but more indicative, has a young woman enjoying a lollipop. The next piece of hardware to come out of Sony should have Android 5.0 Lollipop running out of the box.

We expect to hear more at CES 2015 next month in Las Vegas.

Hit the break to watch the video.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Come comment on this article: Sony’s “Welcome to the New World” teaser video is nothing short of bizarre

Google Glass-like Clip-On For Regular Glasses Developed by Sony

Posted by wicked December - 19 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Sony Module

For the price of $2,000, a pair of glasses that can run apps, take pictures, and function a mini-computer should at least come with a nice designer frame–maybe something Ray-Ban, Gucci, or Persol. But, no. Forking over that amount of money for Google Glass gets you a cyborg headpiece that can do what your phone does. Sure, you can pay extra money for a limited selection of alternate frames, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could keep your own specs and still have smart glasses functionality?

This is what Sony wants to achieve with their attachable Single-Lens Display Module they just announced. This module is comparable to Google Glass in that it aims to be a mini computer “with arithmetic processing capabilities on par with smartphones”. Judging from the screenshots, it’ll display helpful information in your field of view for sport, work or any other activity.

Sony Module 2

Unlike Google Glass, it can clip onto any pair of glasses you may already have. This means that you can use this module with your reading glasses when you’re in the office, at school, or even on the beach with sunglasses. Heck, you could probably even use those flimsy 3D movie glasses so you can sneakily read the plot of the movie to see if your favourite character dies when you’re actually watching the movie.

This module consists of a high resolution color OLED microdisplay measuring 0.23 inch with a resolution of 640 x 400 pixels, which serves as the small window in your field of vision where information will pop up. It will also rock an ARM Cortex-A7 processor, an electronic compass, accelerometer, touch sensor, Bluetooth 3.0, WiFi, and a 400 mAh battery.

Sony Module 3

As should be with all eyewear, you’d be best advised to try before you buy. Luckily, you’ll be able to see this module in real life in January 2015 at CES. Sony hopes to start mass production of this module within the next year, although no other timing or pricing information has been given. Sony is also preparing an SDK for this module which will allow developers to create their own apps for the module.

If you would like to find out more, check out Sony’s official statement at the Sony official website.

The post Google Glass-like Clip-On For Regular Glasses Developed by Sony appeared first on xda-developers.

Leak shows an insanely powerful Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet Ultra

Posted by wicked December - 19 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Of course, we can say right off the bat that as with all leaks, it will be difficult to verify if this is indeed true – that is the nature of all leaks. But the purported specs of the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet Ultra has just leaked and it’s showing us an insanely robust tablet, something that would blow away current competition. But is it in the “too good to be true” category?

Chinese site PadNews has the screen of the new Xperia Z4 Tablet Ultra at 12.9 inches. For comparison, that’s even larger than the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and Samsung’s biggest Galaxy Pro model. The leak says that it will be a 3840×2400 Triluminos screen, that’s already 4K resolution, but not just. It will have a pixel count higher than the Retina screen of the newest MacBook Pro, and promptly beats most of the 4K laptop screens out there.

xpera_z4_tablet_leak

But if you think that the size of the rumored tablet is all there is, you’re in for a ride. It will be powered by an octa-core, 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, along with a whopping 6GB of RAM. It’s purportedly sporting 64GB of internal storage, an HDMI-out port, support for PS4 Remote Play (one would hope that with specs like this, it would be) and Sony’s Hi-Res Audio file format.

With specs like that, you’d hope it will have a kickass battery – and at least the list proves it could have it, a 12,100mAh battery never before seen on devices of this class. So is it true? Again, your guess is as good as ours. Remember that Sony has an event planned in January at the CES 2015 in Las Vegas, where the Xperia Z4 line is rumored to be launched. Our advice, don’t get your hopes up too much, ok?

VIA: PadNews

Sony publishes changelog for recent Xperia Z3 & Z3 Compact update

Posted by wicked December - 19 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Sony_Xperia_Z3v_Back_Xperia_Logo_TA

Just over a week ago, Sony started rolling out an over-the-air update to unlocked models of the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact located in the US. At the time of release, we didn’t know exactly what the upgrade consisted of, but, thankfully, we do now as the Japanese company has posted an official changelog on its website.

Hit the break below to see what you can expect from build 23.0.1.A.5.77.

  • Enhanced audio volume in notifications and ringtones
  • New Xperia™ camera app: Portrait retouch
  • Improved Exchange ActiveSync performance
  • Fine-tuned audio for speakerphone
  • Stability and performance improvements

So it’s mostly bug fixes, but we’re not complaining. In our eyes, any update, big or small, is a step in the right direction as it shows that manufacturers are committed to making their devices the best they can possibly be.

If you haven’t downloaded the upgrade yet, head into ‘Settings’, ‘About Device’, then tap ‘Check for Updates’ to manually install it.

Source: Sony

 

Come comment on this article: Sony publishes changelog for recent Xperia Z3 & Z3 Compact update

Sony releases “Welcome to the New World” teaser video – Xperia Z4?

Posted by wicked December - 19 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

We are quickly closing in on CES 2015, which will take place from January 6th to 9th, and Sony appears to have just released a little teaser video (above) for its big announcement at the electronics show.

As you would expect, there are plenty of clues to decipher, so let’s dive right on in to see what is hidden away in the 43 second teaser.

Welcome to the New World Teaser 1

First up, the video opens with blurred shot of a thin looking device, most likely a smartphone or tablet, followed by the number five, which is referenced again throughout the video. Later on, there is an obvious shot of a Lollipop, so we can certainly expect a device running the latest version of Android, and this most likely explains the repeated use of the number five (Android 5.0).

Welcome to the New World Teaser 2

We can also clearly spot a short clip of some electronic looking waves, which suggests that Sony could also announce some new audio technology or improvements to its Walkman software. Throughout the video there are also number close ups of eyes and plenty of colors, hinting at some new camera and/or display technology, and there’s a nice low light shot of Paris thrown in, again possibly related to a new camera sensor. In one of the last eyeball close-ups we can clearly see a silhouette of the device, but it’s tough to make out any details.

With Sony’s mobile business still struggling with poor sales, the company’s next handset is bound to be an important one. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait too long to see what the company has planned for 2015.

Have you managed to spot any other cryptic clues hidden away within the video?

Unannounced Sony Xperia E4 pictured alongside Z1 Compact

Posted by wicked December - 19 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Xperia E4 2

Sony’s forthcoming sequel to its popular budget-friendly smartphone, the Xperia E3, is expected to be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Tuesday, January 6, 2015. However, following months of secrecy, the Xperia E4 has now been surreptitiously snapped, and the resulting shots leaked — revealing much of the handset’s appearance and specifications.

Following its comparison with the Xperia Z1 Compact (pictured below), we learn that the E4 features a significantly thinner, shorter and more curved bezel than anything we’ve seen on any of the Japanese company’s devices before. The handset is rumored to retail for around $200 when it goes on sale in March, 2015, making this one of the most anticipated budget-friendly smartphones to launch next year.

With regards to specifications, the Xperia E4 is expected to feature a 5-inch qHD display, a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6582 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage (expandable up to 64GB via microSD), 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 1-megapixel front-facing shooter.

Straight out of the box, the E4 will run the latest build of Android 4.4.4 KitKat with Sony’s Xperia user interface plastered over the top. The device is, however, expected to receive the Lollipop update shortly after release.

Be sure to check out the gallery of leaked images below.

Xperia E4
Xperia E4  4
Xperia E4  5
Xperia E4  6
Xperia E4 2
Xperia E4 3
Xperia E4 7

Source: Teleguru

Come comment on this article: Unannounced Sony Xperia E4 pictured alongside Z1 Compact

Sony Leaks Xperia Z4 in Hacked Bond Movie Documents?

Posted by wicked December - 19 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Sony_Xperia_Z4_Leak_Bond_007b

Sony just can’t catch a break. First, the “scandal” surrounding the now-canceled Seth Rogen film The Interview has shed light on all sorts of internal quibbling at Sony Pictures Entertainment, and the studio has been embarrassed and hostile in response.

On top of that, the script for the upcoming Bond film Spectre has also been leaked. The film only started production last week. Now, related to that, there’s another leak – albeit ostensibly minor – surrounding Sony’s product placement in the next James Bond film, which looks suspiciously like a futuristic Xperia Z4.

If you’ve paid attention to the recent slate of Bond films, Sony products are ubiquitous. In James Bond’s world, every citizen, government agency, and evil mastermind uses a Vaio computer (RIP) and various Sony phones. iPhones do not exist in this Utopian society.

As part of the product placement deals, Sony provides mock-ups and schematics of the products to be used in the film. Look at the other concept below. It has a mirrored bezel and back casing that appear to change the entire phone’s color based on the image on the screen. That’s pretty dang cool.

Sony_Xperia_Z4_Leak_Bond_007

Sony_Xperia_Z4_Leak_Bond_007d

Another rendering demonstrates a soft back:

Sony_Xperia_Z4_Leak_Bond_007c

We’ve seen plenty of Z4 leaks with no indication that these concepts are anything beyond pie-in-the-sky ideals. Still, it would be great to see these ideas come to production models. And if Mr. Bond will be required to use one, why wouldn’t Sony want to show off the very phone that movie patrons can then rush out to purchase after 007 does away with the latest baddie?

Lastly, if you’re into the internal back and forth on product licensing, there’s some great discussion on the fees paid in the link below, including $5M that Mr. Daniel Craig purportedly gets paid just for holding the dang product. Sure, he may be a cold, womanizing orphan that lost his only mother figure in has last outing, but James Bond is raking in endorsements right and left.

Source: Gizmodo

Come comment on this article: Sony Leaks Xperia Z4 in Hacked Bond Movie Documents?

Best Android smartphones (December 2014)

Posted by wicked December - 18 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

With Android thoroughly dominating the mobile industry, picking the best Android smartphones is almost synonymous with choosing the best smartphones, period. But while Android phones have few real opponents on other platforms, internal competition is incredibly fierce.

From sleek devices that impress with premium design, to powerhouses brimming with features, to all-around great devices, and affordable phones that punch above their weight, the Android ecosystem is populated by a staggering variety of attractive phones.

But “greatness” is subjective, and sometimes spec sheets and feature lists are not enough to make an idea of how good a phone really is. In this roundup, we’re looking at the absolute best – the Android phones you can’t go wrong with.

Editor’s note: we’ll be updating this list regularly as new devices launch.


Moto X (2014)

With the original Moto X, Motorola proved you don’t need to have the latest specs to get a great user experience. With the second generation, the Lenovo-owned company took no chances and double-downed on the spec side as well, packing the new Moto X (2014) with a dense 5.2-inch AMOLED screen, a beefy processor, and a capable 13MP camera.

The Moto X (2014) is well equipped on the inside, but it’s the customizable skin that really sets it apart from other top Android phones out there. Motorola lets you choose your own combination of colors and materials, including the yet to be matched leather and natural wood options. The ability to harmonize its appearance to different styles makes the Moto a great gift for someone dear this holiday season. Other big selling points are the near-stock interface and Motorola’s proven commitment to bringing fast updates to it. If you’re looking for a balanced, stylish, and capable device, the Moto X (2014) should be high up your list.

Specs

  • 5.2-inch AMOLED display with 1080 x 1920 resolution
  • 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16/32GB of on-board storage (no microSD slot)
  • 13MP rear cam, 2MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2300 mAh battery
  • 140.8 x 72.4 x 10 mm, 144g
  • Customizable via Moto Maker
  • Water resistant
  • Android 4.4.4 KitKat (Lollipop update coming very soon)

Read more

Buy unlocked from Amazon for $659


Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Years after Samsung gambled on the original Note, the concept is still the phone to beat when it comes to large devices. While some competitors are offering larger screens, none of them can match the Note 4’s productivity-boosting stylus. The S Pen can truly enhance the way you interact with your phone, with a strong focus on doing actual work, from basic research, to composing a quick message, to multi-tasking. But it’s not just work: basically anything that requires precision and speed can be done better with a stylus.

While Samsung’s TouchWiz Android implementation has a bad reputation, nobody can deny that the Note 4’s feature set is compelling. You can make the most of that 5.7-inch screen with the new and improved multi-tasking tools, and that’s something you simply don’t get on other high-end Android phones. And, with the latest iteration of the series, the Note looks as good as it works, thanks to a finely chamfered aluminum frame. If you’re looking for the ultimate device for getting things done, the Note 4 is probably your best choice.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 resolution
  • 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 CPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 16MP rear cam, 3.7MP front cam
  • Removable 3220 mAh battery
  • 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm, 176g
  • Frosted White, Charcoal Black, Bronze Gold, or Blossom Pink
  • Android 4.4.4 KitKat (Lollipop update coming down the pipeline)

Read more

Buy unlocked from Amazon for $799


Nexus 6

The Nexus 6 is a staple on any list of top Android handsets of the moment, looming large both literally and through what it represents – Google’s vision of what Android software should be like and what hardware that software needs in order to truly shine. That’s always been the case with Nexus devices, but the Motorola-made Nexus 6 is nothing like the understated Nexus 5, which almost vanished in the background to let Android shine through. The Nexus 6 is big and powerful; it makes a statement about its user and it turns heads.

The biggest drawback of the Nexus 6 is the one that makes it stand out – with its six inches display, the Nexus 6 will never be a good choice for everyone. However, if you’re fine with the size, there’s a lot to like about this phone – the screen is amazing, the processing package is top-notch, the camera is powerful, and build quality is as good as any. Plus, even if Motorola and other phonemakers are upping their updates game, Nexus is still the way to go if you like your phones up to date.

Specs

  • 5.96-inch Super AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 resolution
  • 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 CPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, non-expandable
  • 13MP rear cam, 2MP front cam
  • Non-removable 3220 mAh battery
  • 159.3 x 83 x 10.1 mm, 184g
  • Midnight Blue, Cloud White
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop

Read more

Buy unlocked from Play Store for $649


Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

The other entries on our list of best Android smartphones all feature displays that are larger than five inches. If you love expansive screens, you’ve never been more spoiled with choice. But what if you like your smartphones smaller? The 4.6-inch Xperia Z3 Compact is probably your best choice. In a landscape of underpowered “Mini” phones, Sony’s Xperia Z3 Compact stands out as a smaller phone that doesn’t require many compromises. Perhaps the only feature that may turn you off from the Z3 Compact is the 720 x 1280 screen, which is a perfectly decent 319 ppi, but clearly lags behind the other phones on this list.

Everything else is at the high end of the scale, including the processing package and especially the 21MP camera, identical to the shooter on the bigger Xperia Z3. The Android implementation is relatively close to stock and doesn’t indulge in any visual excesses, though you will have to deal with a fair amount of bloatware. Plus, you get Sony’s iconic design in a lightweight package that may feel refreshing after having to handle some bigger phones.

Specs

  • 4.6-inch LCD display with 720 x 1280 resolution
  • 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB of on-board storage, expandable
  • 20.7MP rear cam, 2.2MP front cam
  • Non-removable 2,600 mAh battery
  • 127.3 x 64.9 x 8.6 mm, 129 g
  • Green, Orange, White, Black
  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Water resistant – IP68

Read more

Buy unlocked from Amazon for $499


LG G3

Pick up the LG G3 and you will instantly see and feel what makes it special: the display is incredibly crisp and the thin bezels around it allowed LG to keep this device compact and lightweight – or at least more compact than other devices in its size class. Not only is the G3 small for its screen size, the placement of the power and volume buttons on the rear will make it even easier to operate this device.

The G3 doesn’t feature a metal construction like other contestants in our Android flagships roundup, and that thin design may make it more exposed to accidents. On the inside, there’s little to complain about, and you even get a removable battery, something that only the Note 4 offers from the other devices on this list. LG also made some big strides with the Android overlay running on the G3, which includes a few unique features that may prove very helpful.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch LCD display with 1440 x 2560 resolution
  • 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU
  • 2/3GB of RAM
  • 16/32GB of on-board storage, expandable
  • 13MP rear cam, 2.1MP front cam
  • Removable 3,000 mAh battery
  • 146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9 mm, 149 g
  • Metallic Black, Moon Violet, Silk White, Shine Gold, Burgundy Red
  • Android 4.4 KitKat

Read more

Buy unlocked from Amazon for $448


Best bang for the buck: OnePlus One

OnePlus came out of nowhere to get everyone talking about its “flagship killer.” Of course, OnePlus couldn’t hold all its bold promises, but the Chinese startup didn’t disappoint in one crucial area – the price. There’s simply no competitor delivering what the OnePlus One delivers at $300. And the One isn’t just a great affordable phone; it’s a great phone it its own.

With solid specs, unique features, and the clean CyanogenMod running on it, the OnePlus One is a great proposition for just about any user. All that considered, the device sells for half the price of similar devices, so it can’t miss from our list of best Android smartphones of 2014.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 16/64GB of on-board storage, non-expandable
  • 13MP rear cam, 5MP front cam
  • Non-removable 3,100 mAh battery
  • 152.9 x 75.9 x 8.9 mm, 162 g
  • Silk White, Sandstone Black
  • Android 4.4 KitKat/CyanogenMod 11

Read more

Buy unlocked from OnePlus for $299


Special mention: HTC One (M8)

Dozens of good Android phones came out this year, across budgets and niches. At the top, where competition is fiercest, we were spoiled with more choices than ever. One device that we couldn’t fit into our top five, but still deserves a shoutout is HTC’s One (M8). With killer looks, a premium build, and HTC’s unique additions to the Android game, the M8 is definitely worth of your attention.

However, one limitation prevented it from ranking higher: its camera, which isn’t for everyone. The 4MP camera with its secondary depth sensor simply doesn’t live up to expectations.

If that’s not a dealbreaker, and if you value premium look and feel above everything, the One (M8) remains an excellent choice.

Specs

  • 5-inch Super LCD3 display with 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16/32GB of on-board storage, expandable
  • 4MP rear cam, 5MP front cam
  • Non-removable 2,600 mAh battery
  • 146.4 x 70.6 x 9.4 mm, 160 g
  • gray, silver, gold
  • Android 4.4 KitKat

Read more

Buy unlocked from Amazon for $527


There you have it – our picks from the best Android has to offer right now. Missed anything? Tell us in the comments!

Thursday Poll: What is the Android Phone of the Year?

Posted by Kellex December - 18 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

2014 is less than two weeks from being officially in the books. It has been a solid year for smartphone tech, especially on Android, though I’m not sure this year carried the same weight or significance as years past. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good year and a bunch of really great smartphones were released that will last a long time, I just don’t know how many of them will be all that memorable in a couple of years from now. With that said, we still need to decide who came out on top.

We saw follow-up flagships from all of the major players, like Samsung, Google, Motorola, LG, Sony, and HTC. None of them really took any chances, but they all still delivered phones that you would have no difficulty finding supporters of. Beyond the standard crew, we also saw Sony finally enter the US market while its newest flagship was still fairly fresh, and OnePlus made a big splash while pissing people off along the way. Like I just said – there were a ton of options, all of which were good in their own right.

We will have our DL staff top lists here shortly, but for now, we want to know the DL reader phone of the year. Who are you taking?

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

Thursday Poll: What is the Android Phone of the Year? is a post from: Droid Life

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