Posts Tagged ‘CES’

Sony Xperia Ion Coming to AT&T In Q2

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Xperia ion

Sony announced several new phones at CES last week, destined for various parts of the world. North America is getting the Xperia ion by way of AT&T. The ion is similar to the Xperia S which has been named as the 2012 flagship product. There are a few differences between the ion and S though, so I will talk about the S separately. Here are the ion specs:

  • Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), upgrading to Ice Cream Sandwich soon
  • 4.55″ 16 million colour TFT display, with a resolution of 1280×720 pixels
  • 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 MSM8260 dual-core processor
  • Adreno 220 GPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB eMMC internal memory
  • microSD up to 32GB
  • Supports UMTS/HSPA 850/1900/2100 and GSM /EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 bands
  • LTE 700MHz and 1700MHz and UMTS HSPA+ 850MHz, 1900MHz and 2100Mhz
  • Mobile BRAVIA Engine
  • NFC enabled
  • ANT+ enabled
  • 12MP camera with Sony Exmor R CMOS sensor for low light, supports 1080p video
  • 1.3 MP front-facing camera, supports 720p video
  • Transfer Content through DLNA, HDMI and BRAVIA Sync
  • PlayStation Certified

Where to start, here? This looks like the rumored Xperia duo we had been hearing about over the last few months. At 4.55″, this is a very large phone. A dual-core processor brings Sony into the modern phone era, though its competitors are already releasing their next-generation phones. Sony has some catching up to do, and this phone looks like it is off to a good start. Of note, the image sports the Sony logo, rather than Sony Ericsson. There is a note about the name pending regulatory approval, but Sony is planning to release this phone sans-Ericsson.

At 12MP, the camera will be hard to beat. Sony is advertising that it can go from standby to ready to shoot in less than 2 seconds. I am looking forward to seeing this in action. The Xperia X10 was a little slow on that front. Sony is gunning for Apple with this feature. Apple had spent a lot of time playing up the speedy camera feature. Sony’s video camera finally supports 1080p, and throws in 720p for the front-facing camera. I would have liked to see more than 1.5MP on the front-facing camera, but it should be more than sufficient for self portraits.

As with most Sony devices coming out these days, the phone is PlayStation Certified. There is already a pretty respectable list of Xperia Play games available, so if the ion can tap into this, it will be off to a good start. The Tablet S is still waiting for additional games, so it will be interesting to see whether the Xperia ion takes after the phones or tablets for PlayStation support.

Sony is offering a substantial 16GB of internal phone storage, and the microSD slot can support an additional 32GB. Whether you are using this phone for gaming or photography, you should be well-set in the memory department. With 48GB available, you should be able to do quite a bit of both.

Learning a valuable lesson from the Tablet S, Sony is including HDMI support in addition to DLNA. Not all users have DLNA devices, so Sony will be able to reach more customers who do have HDMI-enabled devices.

The Xperia ion is NFC enabled, which means it will support Sony’s new NFC tags, and can support Android Ice Cream Sandwich’s DLNA features.

Sony’s Xperia ion will be available at AT&T in the second quarter of this year, with some rumors hinting about the end of March. There is no word on pricing, or a solid release date.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc Coming Q1 2011

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Sony Ericsson announced the new Xperia Arc last night at CES. This is the phone previously referred to as the ANZU. For the most part it is similar to the Xperia X10, but the differences bring the Arc above and beyond the X10. Here are the specs:

  • Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • 4.2″ capacitive touch screen with multitouch
  • 1 GHz Qualcomm Processor
  • Reality Display with Bravia Engine
  • 16,777,216 color TFT
  • Sony Exmor R for mobile for low-light video and pictures
  • 8.1MP camera with LED Flash
  • HDMI connection for display on TV
  • aGPS
  • Bluetooth A2DP
  • DLNA
  • USB mass storage
  • Up to 512 MB internal memory
  • MicroSD support up to 32 GB, 8GB card included
  • Microsoft Exchange Activesync
  • 3D and Motion Gaming

The top of the spec list shows that Sony Ericsson has been listening to its customers. The phone starts with Gingerbread, making it a competitor for the other big players in the market. It has multi-touch and a 16 million color display, which rounds out the list of common Xperia X10 complaints. I have been pretty satisfied with the X10’s display, but it is usually a good idea to improve from one model to the next.

I would have liked to see more internal memory. X10 users can’t download apps to the SD card, which easily taxes the internal memory. With Gingerbread this shouldn’t be a problem though, which is likely the reason the internal memory wasn’t ramped up.

The Bravia engine is interesting to me. It is the first use of Bravia tech in a smart phone, according to the press conference. It is designed to bring an extra clear image to the phone, making the most of the 16 million color display. It enhances brightness, sharpness, and contrast as well as improving noise reduction. The result is pretty impressive.

The camera’s low-light sensor has been upgraded. Sony has been a leader in low-light chips, so it is good to see an improvement on the Arc’s camera. The LED flash is also a welcome improvement. The solid LED light on the X10 was useful, but definitely needed improvement. Sony Ericsson chose not to bump the camera above 8.1MP, which was a little disappointing to me. I was hoping for at least 10MP for an upgraded model.

The headphone jack was moved to the side of the phone, which also improves on the X10’s design. It looks like the USB connector is still on top though. The USB connector works a lot better on the bottom or side of the phone in my experience. I was hoping to see some movement there.

Check out the video below to see the Arc from various angles. It is a pretty sharp looking phone, which is what Sony Ericsson is well-known for producing.

At the press conference it was announced that this is the first of a new line of smart phones. The fabled PSP phone should be announced next month, based on the internet buzz. I think the Xperia Arc is a good follow-up to the X10. It made some much-needed improvements, and should really enhance the user’s experience. I’ll post a full review when I get a test unit. You can check out the full press release here.

The Xperia Arc will be released in select markets in Q1 of this year. Other markets should get it by Q2. Hopefully AT&T is on the Q1 list, though I doubt it will be. AT&T is content to lag behind the competition.