Sony unveiled its new range of smartphones including the mobile that will be used by James Bond in his new film Skyfall.
The Xperia T smartphone is the latest high end Android smartphone to be released by Sony since its buyout of Sony-Ericsson, and while feature heavy, still doesn’t appear to leap ahead of the raw power of some of its competitors.
It will be running a 1.5GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, with 1GB or RAM, surprising for a top shelf device as most of Sony’s competitors are moving to quad core processors. The Samsung Galaxy S3, which released in April, and is now the top selling Android phone, has a 1.4GHz quad core Exynos processor. The iPhone 5 is expected to launch with a dual core minimum, and possibly a quad core GPU.
Sony CEO Kaz Hirai announces the Xperia range at IFA Berlin
It will also feature a 4.6-inch screen running at 1280×720, with a 13MP camera. Surprisingly it isn’t 4G compatible, unusual since 4G networks (excluding the UK) and their operators are moving out of the nascent phase and looking for high end devices to sell the service.
The Xperia T will also be featured prominently in the new James Bond film, Skyfall – but again, this has historically not translated into big sales boosts for the company. Sony is also continuing to push the Walkman brand, which integrates its music and movie store with the device.
It will launch with NFC capabilities for mobile payments (and connecting to other Sony devices) and will run Google Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) with an update to 4.1 promised (Jellybean). Sony is also pushing MHL connectivity to TVs, but will provide HDMI options for those of us older TVs.
Sony has also finally done away with its ridiculous proprietary memory card format, Memory Stick, and the device will now use MicroSD only.
Sony’s efforts to vertically and horizontally integrate its mobile, gaming and photography platforms under one roof may still be under construction, but it has confirmed that the entire Xperia range will be Playstation Mobile compatible.
What does this mean? PlayStation Mobile was announced earlier in the year as a software framework that will be used to provide downloadable Playstation games and software for devices that meet the company’s requirements. For example, this would mean that consumers owning a Sony TV, Xperia Phone, tablet or a Playstation video game console could all play the same version of an app or game. Sony has been struggling to attract independent developers so far (its Playstation Vita console has also failed in the face of smartphones and tablets), and most users would be tempted to stick to the Google Play (Android) app store.
Sony’s Xperia V is a similarly powered device to the T with a smaller screen size. Its key differentiating factors is its 4G LTE support and minor water proofing to 1m for 30 minutes. The Xperia J, is a stripped down budget version of the range missing many of the aforementioned features. All three products will be brought to the market over the next few months, but no prices were specified.