LIVE FROM IFA 2014: Sony unveiled its anticipated new flagship smartphone, Xperia Z3, accompanied by a ‘Compact’ variant as well as an 8-inch tablet sibling. And the company also looked to maintain its wearable momentum following launches earlier this year, in the shape of two new products.
At the event, Kunimasa Suzuki, president and CEO of Sony Mobile, said that the new smartphones “redefine the difference between good and truly great – and at Sony, we think you should demand great.”
Unlike the ‘mini’ versions of devices offered by many of its rivals, which feature significantly different (and lower) specifications, Sony has aimed more for parity. Suzuki said the Z3 Compact is “for those who prefer a smaller phone but with no compromise”, and the company highlighted its strength in “one-handed” use.
The company noted features for the Z3 family including the highest waterproof rating, “unique power-saving technologies” to give up to two days use between charges, and remote play for the consumer electronics giant’s PS4 games console.
It also noted the camera, which has a 20.7MP sensor, with a new 25mm wide-angle lens to “fit more into every shot”. It is also said to be the world’s first smartphone with IS0128000 sensitivity for better low-light detail.
And it features “high resolution audio”, including technology which “upscales” the fidelity of MP3 or AAC music.
As with the earlier Z2 and Z1 Compact, resolution for the screen is full HD (1080 pixels) and HD (720 pixels) respectively. Screen sizes are 5.2-inches and 4.6-inches respectively. The devices are powered by 2.5GHz quadcore Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processors.
Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact will launch globally from autumn 2014.
Moving onto the Z3 Tablet Compact, the company described the device as the world’s slimmest and lightest waterproof tablet.
Measuring 6.4mm in depth and weighing 270 grams, it is described as “perfect for those on the go”.
While its specifications are generally on a par with the smartphones, it does not feature the same 20.7MP camera, instead making do with an 8.1MP sensor.
With somewhat less flourish, and against the backdrop of a review of Sony’s mid-tier device activities, the company also announced Xperia E3.
The features of which include “a generous 4.5′ display, 5MP camera with HDR and creative camera apps, and fast performance – all at an affordable price.”
And for wearables, Sony debuted two products.
SmartBand Talk is an updated fitness band which includes a built-in microphone and speaker. It also has a curved 1.4-inch e-paper display that is “highly visible and clear”. In addition to a “short call” function, it also supports voice control of paired smartphones.
The waterproof device also picks up new accelerometer and altimeter sensor technology.
Smartwatch 3 is described as “the first [smartwatch] specifically designed for the latest Android Wear updates in close collaboration with Google” – Sony had previously been a noticeable absentee from the Android Wear supporter list.
The company trumpeted its standalone capabilities, including built-in accelerometer, compass, gyro and GPS sensor.