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Sony SmartWatch 3 now ready for pre-order

Posted by wicked October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Sony’s latest SmartWear model is now available for pre-order at Verizon Wireless. The new SmartWatch3  is coming soon on Google Play too and should be ready this October as we reported a couple of weeks ago.

The SmartWatch 3 is the latest generation wearable device from Sony. The company worked closely with Google to make the most of the Android Wear platform. It’s the first smartwatch to have GPS support which is included in the latest Android Wear update.

Sony SmartWatch 3 has been optimized for Android Wear. The new GPS support enables the user to play music and identify his location even without a phone nearby. You can leave your Android phone at home and then go jogging round the bend. Track your miles and workout with MyTracks or the Lifelog apps.

Specs of the SmartWatch 3 include a nice 1.6-inch TFT LCD Transflective display with 320 x 320 pixel resolution, a microUSB port, and a stainless steel back panel. The Transflective display makes the screen more readable even under the bright sunlight. The smartwatch is rated IP68 so it’s dustproof and water-resistant up to two meters underwater. Available in two colors only: black and yellow.

The SmartWatch 3 is not the only wearable device Sony is set to release this quarter. There’s also the Smartband Talk also shown off at the IFA 2014 event last month. No other details on the Smartband Talk but we’ll let you know soon.

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sony smartwatch 3 android wear
sony smartwatch 3 android wear
sony smartwatch 3 android wear


Sony SmartWatch 3 now available for pre-order from Verizon Wireless

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off


The Sony SmartWatch 3 is finally available for pre-order, but from only one place. And that place is quite surprising. If you want to be the first to get your hands on Sony’s first Android Wear smartwatch, you will have to order it through Verizon Wireless.

They are taking pre-orders for it now for $249. Shipments start on October 30. The Sony SmartWatch is the only Android Wear smartwatch with a built in GPS so it can take advantage of the new features that Google officially announced today. On top of that, it has the best ambient display in the business.

The SmartWatch 3 is on Google Play, but you can’t order it just yet. We suspect that will commence late next week when Verizon starts their shipments. Hit the source link to get our order in.

source: Verizon

Come comment on this article: Sony SmartWatch 3 now available for pre-order from Verizon Wireless

Sony Smartwatch 3 Now Available for Pre-order at Verizon

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

If you are in the market for an Android Wear device and none of the circular options strike your fancy, Sony’s SmartWatch 3 seems like a smart choice. Availability was hazy for a while, but this morning, Verizon began offering pre-orders with an estimated ship date of October 30. 

The SmartWatch 3 got a shout-out from Google today for being the first Android Wear smartwatch with built-in GPS, which athletes who prefer to leave their smartphones at home during workouts will surely appreciate. It is otherwise comparable to other peripherals in its class, featuring a body rated IP68 and a 1.6″ 320 x 320 LCD display.

The SmartWatch 3 is $249.99, and will be available on Google Play soon.

Verizon Pre-order Link

Via: Sony

Sony Smartwatch 3 Now Available for Pre-order at Verizon is a post from: Droid Life

Sony intros LinkedIn for Info-eye camera

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Sony’s Info-eye Xperia camera app has been revolutionary. When it was first introduced, Sony had little to show. We knew it’s a smart social camera that could do more than just take photos. It’s a smartphone camera being reimagined to make “socializing” faster and easier.

Sony collaborated with LinkedIn, a business-oriented social network, to turn the smartphone camera into something that will make business networking a cinch. With the updated Info-eye app, a user can take a picture of a business card. The app then scans the card and automatically searches LinkedIn for matches. This way, the user can quickly connect with the contact. Even if you lose the card, at least, you already found the person and connected with him on LinkedIn.

The app seems like an easy project to do but it was not. Sato Takasi, a member of the Info-eye developers, said that they had a hard time matching up fonts. He said: “The inherent difficulties in matching up different fonts, different fields and then integrating all that into a reliable LinkedIn search posed a huge challenge but we’re really happy with the result.”

Takasi also noted that ‘immediacy of the contact’ is very important in business networking. Snapping a photo of the business card and connecting to LinkedIn is a great solution to socialize with another professionals while it is fresh.

infoeye linkedin

The Info-eye is considered as the “smart eye” of the phone. This may be the first app but we can expect more similar programs to be developed. After LinkedIn, maybe Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Instagram integration? All these are possible with face recognition.

Actually, the Info-eye team earlier mentioned something about food recognition. That seems useless but you know, taking photos before every meal is the norm these days. Maybe food recognition will make it easier for people on Instagram to tag a certain restaurant or meal….or not. What do you think?

SOURCE: Sony Mobile

Smartwatch 3 up for pre-order via Verizon, coming soon to Google Play

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

sony smartwatch 3 aa 1

Now that on-board GPS support (alongside offline music playing and more) has arrived to the Android Wear platform, it’s only appropriate that we see the launch of a watch that can take full advantage of this update.

The Sony Smartwatch 3 has now arrived for pre-order to Verizon at a price of $249 (outright) with a shipping date of October 30th. For those looking to get the watch outside of Verizon’s website and stores, Google says that the watch will soon be hitting Google Play and it’s likely other retailers will follow suit in the near-future as well.

Sony’s latest smartwatch moves away from the OS of its predecessors in favor of Android Wear, and while the experience will about the same as other AW devices already on the market, the biggest difference is the inclusion of onboard GPS. With the new offline music mode and GPS, the Sony SW3 could be the perfect watch for those looking for a companion watch for your runs or for biking.

Anyone planning on picking up this watch for its GPS capabilities?

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Review

Posted by Kellex October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

I love Sony’s current approach to smartphones. They start with a flagship phone that has top tier specs to compete with anyone. But then to compliment that phone and appease those of us who don’t like oversized phones, they release a smaller, “compact” version that doesn’t lack in any department. These “compact” phones are flagship-level devices, unlike the “mini” phones that LG and Samsung tend to release each year as alternatives to their own flagships.

As you all know, I can’t stand the trend of smartphones these days, which is to constantly make everything as big as possible. (No, folks, bigger is not always better.) Sony gets that. And this year, they are proving that by releasing the Xperia Z3 Compact, a smaller, but equally impressive version of the Xperia Z3.

The Compact line from Sony is not new to me, as I tested the Z1 Compact earlier this year for a month or so. All I can say after using both it and the Z3 Compact is that I wish more manufacturers would do similar things with smaller phones. They feel amazing in hand, can be used with one hand, and are a fantastic option. Let’s talk about this particular model in more detail.

This is our Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review. 

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The Good

Hardware, Specs, and Design

As I mentioned in the intro, Sony is doing things with smaller phones that I can really appreciate and get behind. With their Compact series – Z3 Compact included – they are using high-end flagship-level specs in phones that aren’t oversized and are instead packed into bodies that are made for one-handed use. With the Xperia Z3 Compact, you are looking at a 4.6-inch HD TRILUMINOS display (1280×720), 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, Adreno 330 GPU, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, micro SD support up to 128GB, 20.7MP Sony camera, water and dust resistance (IP65 and IP68), and a 2,600mAh battery packed into a body that is just 129g and measures 127×64.9×8.6mm. It’s small, yet powerful.

The materials used are premium, buttons are placed perfectly, and you almost never need a second hand to operate it. The power button is easily differentiated from the volume rocker by touch, as is the dedicated camera button. Sony even surrounded the device with a soft, gel-like padding that adds cushion to the device where it needs it the most. I’m not saying that the Xperia Z3 Compact is going to withstand a pocket drop to a corner, but it might. There is protection there.

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In terms of in-hand feel, the Xperia Z3 Compact is a joy to hold. It really is the perfect size for one-handed use. Also, previous Sony phones bothered me because they had sharp edges between panels, but those seem to be gone with this phone. The Z3 Compact is smooth, yet grippy, and almost has a soft feel to its edges and backside.

As you can see, I went with the red/orange version to spice things up a bit and am glad I did so. There are black, white, and tealish green versions as well, in case you also want to pick this phone up and ditch the world of bland. The red/orange model I have is extremely bright, really pops that color, but is also classy at the same time. I can’t say that anyone has complimented my phone in public, but no one has laughed at it either.

Overall, the Xperia Z3 Compact is built the way all phones in 2014 should be built – with premium materials, a shape that fits your hand, and water and dust resistance.

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Battery Life

Before we picked up the Xperia Z3 Compact, all we were hearing was that this was the battery champion of the year for Android phones. As you can imagine, after coming from the new Moto X and its average battery life to this phone, I was really excited to see how long I could push it before needing juice. I think it’s safe to say that you are never going to need a charger throughout a day with this phone. On most days, I found the phone with 20-30% remaining after 17 hours of use and over 2 hours of screen-on time. On at least one day, I had around 4 hours of screen-on time, forgot to plug the phone in at night, and still had 20% left the next morning. I may not be seeing a full 2-day battery life like some are claiming to have seen, but I bet I could come close.

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There are some ways you could easily get there, though. Sony, to me, is the champ of battery extension and power management. What I mean is that they include so many different types of power management settings that you can completely customize the way your phone sips power. You can let everything run or you can choose from at least three different types of battery modes. For most of my testing, I left the stamina modes off, but once I started utilizing them, the battery on this phone just wouldn’t die. Thankfully, you can tweak each so well that you really won’t lose much in terms of performance or connectivity either. Sony will even tell you if unused apps are harming your battery life or if frequently used apps need to be dealt with. Again, Sony is the king of power management, I just wish other manufacturers would follow their lead.

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At 4.6-inches and a 720p resolution, you wouldn’t expect to like the Xperia Z3 Compact’s display, especially after coming from devices like the Galaxy S5, LG G3 and new Moto X. But you know what? I actually really like this display, maybe even more than the Moto X and LG G3’s. Colors are super clean and clear, accurate, and much more pleasing to the eye with their cooler tone that some of the others. Take a look at the photos below with those four devices maxed out on brightness. You could argue that when looking directly at all four, the Xperia Z3 Compact might be the best of the bunch, which is saying a lot with the Galaxy S5 sitting there. Now, viewing angles aren’t great, which is something Sony has struggled with for years.

xperia z3c display1xperia z3c display2

But outside of that, I’m a fan. Brightness levels go from extremely high for outdoor viewing to incredibly low for those night time email checks. Also, the Xperia Z3 Compact utilizes an Adaptive brightness adjustment, rather than Auto, which is a fancy way of saying that it is a much more customized brightness experience, set by you initially, and then adjusted for automatically from there.

This is a really nice 720p panel, for the most part.

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Macros for fun.



I have a love-hate relationship with the camera on the Xperia Z3 Compact. On one hand, you have a camera that is capable of taking some of the best mobile photographs I have seen a mobile phone take. It can be awesome, just wait until you see the samples below. But on the other, you have an insanely slow shooter that might miss the perfect shot more often than it captures it as it takes time to load, focus, and eventually, snap the shot. Also, don’t even consider shooting video with this thing, unless you are prepared to wait and wait and wait for it to switch itself over to video mode.

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From a software standpoint, Sony is doing a lot. Out of the box, the Z3 Compact comes with 18 different shooting modes or apps (another 20 or so that can be downloaded), some of which are quite good, others that you can probably skip over. The camera can broadcast live video to YouTube, capture slow motion video, 4K video too, use the front and rear cameras to snap dual shots, do a bunch of weird augmented reality effects, and even defocus the background of shots to bring home the bokeh. It even has a full manual shooting mode for the photogs in the building, but I typically just shot everything in Superior Auto mode.

The controls are simple and in the places you would expect them to be, with shortcuts for the gallery (top right corner) and settings menu easily available. Overall, the software experience is solid, but nothing new, which isn’t exactly a bad thing.

So what about samples? Well, let’s take a look at some.

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See, pretty solid photos. The Xperia Z3 Compact really captures macros and landscapes well, two types of photos that I tend shoot more often than any other. If that oyster picture doesn’t look refreshing and make you crave seafood, then I can’t help you. :) But from the depth captured in that simple coffee picture to the brilliant sunset in Vegas to that bright red, almost pinkish water faucet (it really is that color), the Z3C camera just comes off so versatile. Low light shots also come out acceptable for a smartphone camera, even though I don’t have any great examples to show you, since most are of my 11 month own son.

One picture type missing would be action shots. The Z3C camera can capture some movement, but as I mentioned above, can be so slow at times that you just never know what you might end up with.

Overall, the quality of the photos that this phone takes have won me over and I eventually just came to terms with its slowness. I think you could do the same if your photos came out looking like these.

xperia z3 compact review-7

Software and Performance

We talk a lot of trash about Samsung’s TouchWiz, but I would be lying if I told you that Sony’s skin was any better. In fact, because I have experience with a couple of other Sony phones, I knew better than to ever use the Xperia Z3 Compact with Sony’s launcher or keyboard. From the minute I added my Google accounts, Nova Launcher was one of the first things I installed, as was the Google Keyboard. Unfortunately, those didn’t exactly improve the full software experience or eliminate all of the performance issues, but it certainly helped.

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Sony’s skin just looks dated, for the most part. It’s not minimal or flat, nor is it bright or refreshing. The skin is filled with greys and subtle color accents in most places, but then randomly blacked out in others. There are often times too many settings for simple things like personalization or in the camera. Sony even put this non-removable and completely obnoxious shortcut to a “What’s New” app next to the Google Search shortcut that is accessed with a swipe up on the home button. I don’t even know what this app is for, but I want it gone forever.

Sony also tries to follow the multi-tasking trend by including a set of floating apps that hover over current tasks in mini-app boxes. There are apps for a calculator or timer or mini-browser, but I rarely found a need for them. Plus, apps like that are great on bigger screens with high resolutions, not so much on a smallish 4.6-inch display with a 720p resolution.

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And the lag…my lord, the lag. As a reminder, the Xperia Z3 Compact is powered by 2GB RAM and a Snapdragon 801 processor – there shouldn’t be lag. But a simple task like swiping up from home into Google Now isn’t smooth. If you want to take a picture in a timely manner, good luck, as the camera is beyond slow to load. And don’t even try to record a video or stopping one without waiting through a 5 second loading period on each end. Even interacting with notifications is slow. If an email comes in and I tap the “Delete” button in the notification shade, there is a solid second some times before that notification goes away.

Now, I don’t know that I would say, “Don’t buy this phone because of the lag!” but it has certainly been something that I have noticed from day one. Look, this phone performs well enough 90% of the time, it’s just that when you compare it to a phone like the new Moto X that stutters, well, never, you can see how one would be put off by the performance.

It’s not all bad, though. As I mentioned earlier, the battery and power management settings are awesome and should be utilized by anyone with this phone. Sony is also doing really nice things with audio (ClearAudio+), media sharing (DLNA, screen mirroring, DUALSHOCK support, etc.), and they even included a double-tap-to-wake when the phone is asleep.

Overall, the Xperia Z3 Compact is bloated with too many of Sony’s apps that most will never use and is hampered by a stuttering and dated skin. Sony, like Samsung, is in need of an Android skin intervention.

The Not-so-Good

Availability and Price

As much as I may like the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, in the end, it all means very little because most of the world will either not know it exists or ignore it because there aren’t many ways to buy it. At this time, the only way US customers can buy the Xperia Z3 Compact is through Sony’s online store at a full retail price of $529. Before that, you had to import the device from the UK and pay even more. No US carrier has announced plans to carry this phone, so you likely won’t ever be able to buy it at a discounted rate or with a payment plan. That’s unfortunate, as this device would probably be an awesome fit for many of you.

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vs. iPhone 6, Galaxy Alpha and Moto X


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The Verdict

I really like the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact. It probably isn’t my favorite phone of 2014, but it has been (mostly) a pleasure to use, thanks to its perfect size, awesome battery life, and impressive display. Its camera is capable of taking some really nice photos too, the performance issues I mentioned above aren’t deal breakers, and features like water and dust resistance help place it up there with the other flagships of 2014. By all means, the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is a winner that Sony should be proud of and fans of small phones should consider.

In the end, if you want to spend $529 on this phone through Sony’s store, you won’t regret it. Just don’t wait around for it show up cheaper at a carrier near you.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Review is a post from: Droid Life

Xperia Z3v now on Verizon, Note 4 Developer Edition coming soon

Posted by wicked October - 23 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

sony xperia z3v first look aa (24 of 30)

Good news for clients of America’s largest carrier. Two hot new Android smartphones are coming to Verizon – Xperia Z3v and Galaxy Note 4 Developer Edition.

Xperia Z3v

The Xperia Z3v was announced on October 9 as a Verizon-exclusive variant that oddly mixed the specs of the international Xperia Z3 with the slate-like design of the Xperia Z2. That’s not a bad thing in itself, given how good the Z2 looks – it’s just an interesting choice by Sony and Verizon.

The Z3v offers a bigger battery and wireless charging, but under the hood, it’s identical to international version of the Z3: you get a beautiful 5.2-inch Full HD display, a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage with microSD for expansion, a 20.7MP camera, and Sony’s water proofing tech.

Verizon is now offering the Sony Xperia Z3v in black and white for $199.99 on a two-year contract, $24.99 with 24 monthly installments, or $599 unlocked.

Check out our Xperia Z3v hands-on for more impressions:

Galaxy Note 4 Developer Edition

If you’re the tinkering type, and you have the expendable income required to buy a high-end Android unlocked, the Note 4 Developer Edition may be the device for you.

Coming soon to Big Red’s network, the Developer Edition of Samsung’s popular device will be available for just $662.53. We said “just” because $662 is actually less than the $699 price tag of the regular unlocked Note 4 on Verizon, and much less than the $799 AT&T brazenly asks for the same device.

Note 4 Developer Edition ships with an unlocked bootloader and none of the Verizon pre-loaded apps you get on the regular version. Other than that, it’s the same Note you know and love.

Check out or Note 4 review for more impressions:

Are you interested in these devices, Verizon users?

Samsung using Sony’s IMX240 camera sensor for the Galaxy Note 4

Posted by wicked October - 22 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off


The Galaxy Note 4 is no slouch in any area. The phone is an absolute beast and one of the standout features is the 16-megapixel camera. Much of the time, hardware manufacturers go with components supplied by competitors. That is exactly the case with the Galaxy Note 4′s camera sensor. It is the IMX240 camera sensor from Sony. This is a departure from Samsung’s ISOCELL camera sensor that was used with the Galaxy S 5. It is possible that Samsung wants to leave all of its in-house parts for its true flagship phone.

Source: IT168
Via: Phone Arena

Come comment on this article: Samsung using Sony’s IMX240 camera sensor for the Galaxy Note 4

Galaxy Note 4 teardown shows Sony IMX240 camera inside

Posted by wicked October - 22 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

The Galaxy Note 4 might be Samsung‘s latest high-end contender but, for the first time after a long while, the OEM isn’t bragging about its own camera technology inside. Instead, a recent teardown revealed that Samsung’s best is borrowing components from its competitor, sporting a 16 megapixel camera sensor made by Sony, specifically the Sony IMX240.

Of course, this isn’t exactly scandalous, as OEMs are known to use components made by others, even by industry rivals, to make their own. This is just how the business goes. That Samsung would be using Sony’s imaging technology isn’t exactly new either. Or at least we’ve heard it before. Way back last year, there was already a rumor that the Galaxy S5 would use Sony’s camera inside. The flagship, however came instead with Samsung’s own technology, which is what makes this revelation somewhat interesting.


Even before the Galaxy S5 went out, Samsung was already singing the praises of its ISOCELL imaging technology. It claims to be able to reduce bleeding and improve light absorption by creating walls between cell, isolating them from one another, hence the name. The Galaxy S5 debuted with a 16 megapixel sensor with this technology and with the Galaxy Note 4 also packing a 16 megapixel sensor, it was merely presumed that they are similar. For whatever reason, however, it seems that Samsung has ditched that and gone with the Sony IMX240 instead. Whether that points to a change in beliefs about its ISOCELL technology is something we’ll have observe in the future. For now, however, Samsung is curiously silent on that front.

That said, this tidbit doesn’t really speak much about the Galaxy Note 4′s camera capabilities, aside from the fact that it has larger than usual 1/2.6-inch sensor. Its photography prowess still has to be properly tested and documented, perhaps by something like DxOMark, who crowned the iPhone 6 as the king of the smarpthone camera hill shortly after it awarded the title to Sony’s Xperia Z3. And we are definitely still waiting for iFixit to give the Galaxy Note 4 a proper teardown treatment.


VIA: phoneArena

Sony likely to trim smartphone sales forecast again

Posted by wicked October - 22 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Sony is going through some troubled waters at the moment and it doesn’t seem as if the immediate future looks much better. Earlier this year the Japanese electronic giant posted a net loss of over $1 billion for its 2013-2014 financial year, which ended in March. However Sony forecast that it would sell some 50 million mobile phones from April 2014 to March 2015. Unfortunately things didn’t go as expected and in September the company adjusted its forecast and lowered its sales target by some 7 million, to 43 million units.

Although the Xperia brand will remain core to Sony’s smartphone business, the brand has been struggling against cheaper handsets from Chinese OEMs.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Sony is yet again preparing to reduce its smartphone sales forecast by several million units. It is believed that Sony intends to reduce its presence in many of the world’s emerging markets, especially in China. This means that Sony will reduce or stop making altogether entry-level handsets. It seems that Sony has decided that introducing entry-level models for emerging markets was a mistake.

Although the Xperia brand will remain core to Sony’s smartphone business, the brand has been struggling against cheaper handsets from Chinese OEMs. Sony’s Chief Financial Officer Kenichiro Yoshida said that the smartphone business unit will focus on high-end models and won’t seek a major share of the global market.

Sony isn’t the only one feeling the pitch.

Last month Sony released more bad news for investors when it announced it would write down $1.68 billion off the value of its smartphone business. It also lowered the earnings forecast for the current business year to a loss of over $2 billion. Sony isn’t the only one feeling the pitch. HTC is in the middle of a turn around after a period of loss making, and Samsung is expecting its Q3 profit to plummet 60% compared to last year. However some companies are managing to do well. LG is expecting record sales this year, while Xiaomi has just taken over the top spot in the highly competitive Chinese market.

Sony will hold a meeting with investors in November, where it will reveal its updated smartphone business plan. If you want to know more about why Sony’s mobile business is doing so badly then read our very own Robert Trigg’s excellent analysis: Why is Sony’s mobile business in the red?