If you've ever wished that Sony would ditch its custom Android interface in favor of Google's 'pure' experience... well, you'll want to book an impromptu Scandinavian vacation. Sony is launching a 500-person Swedish trial of Concept for Android, a "stripped back" take on Android 5.1 for the Xperia Z3 that looks and feels like the stock Google interface while including Sony's more popular apps and features. If you're fortunate to be part of this test run, you'll both improve the software itself and shape Sony's overall strategy -- it's moving toward development based on "real user input" that will hopefully lead to more meaningful upgrades. And don't despair if you don't get in right now. The company is promising trials for more areas and more devices if this catches on, so you may still get a sneak peek at Sony's Android plans.
When Prime Day kicked off last week, I think it took a few hours for the harsh reality of the situation to sink in. Amazon hyped up a sale that would eclipse Black Friday, and instead what we got was a clearance sale of junk that must have been sitting in the back of a warehouse somewhere. It really stunk, but thankfully, now that Prime Day is over, the worthwhile deals have returned.
The release of a remastered Uncharted collection for the PlayStation 4 was basically inevitable. It's one of the tentpole franchises of the PlayStation brand, and all three titles received rave reviews at launch.
With E3 2015 in the rearview mirror, the fall video game release season can't come soon enough. Of course, fall is still months away, so we have to find something to entertain ourselves in the meantime. Thankfully, on Tuesday, Sony unveiled its latest PlayStation Store PLAY summer lineup, featuring four games that will keep PS4 owners occupied for at least the next month.
There is no doubt Sony faces a large challenge in turning around its mobile business. We have recently seen Sony devices running on Mediatek chipsets and squarely targeting the low end, a big departure from the Sony of old. Here at Coolsmartphone.com we will be following the turnaround closely and hope to keep you informed on the developments.
Want to help cure Alzheimer's or breast cancer? From now on, you don't have to do much more than charge your phone. Sony has released a big upgrade to its Folding@Home app for Android that can use your phone's processor for medical research on a continuous basis -- so long as you're on WiFi and charging, you can doze off knowing that you're contributing to a good cause. It also ties into your Google account to both accumulate time on multiple devices as well as earn game-like achievements. The refresh is available now, so give it a shot if you'd like your phone to do more in its idle time than fetch your email.
After putting diehard fans into cardiac arrest during its E3 2015 press conference, Sony couldn't possibly surprise anyone with its Instant Game Collection for July 2015. But even with expectations at an all time high, the company seems to have delivered a pretty solid offering, highlighted by a game that I haven't stopped talking about since May.
Another year has gone by and another Sony Tablet has arrived on our desk at Coolsmartphone towers. Today I have the real pleasure of unboxing the new Xperia Z4 Tablet.
We first saw this stunning device at MWC, which we covered live. It was here that we were kinda knocked off our feet by what it was and what it could offer. I can say that it has been a very long time coming to get this device into my hands for review and I have been eager to get into it so, without further ado, lets delve in …
It is s pretty sweet looking device don’t you think?
It is a little bit smaller than the Xpeia Z2 Tablet due to the slight decrease in bezel sizes, but that is by no means a bad thing in my book. The device is lightweight and it does not feel too unwieldy. I can envisage this being a joy to use for ebook reading etc on the train. The biggest thing for me here is that keyboard. I am very surprised to say that is doesn’t totally suck, which is a nice thing to be able to say about a Bluetooth keyboard. It is a shame that it’s not back lit but then again this is very rare thing indeed.
The keys are quite small but, with a little bit of adjustment I can reach a good-ish typing speed with a slightly higher typo rate. I am actually writing this piece on the Z4 Tablet. It is no worse than a netbook..
Display Diagonal 10.1? – Scratch-resistant glass + Anti fingerprint coating
Processor/Soc Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 64-bits 8-core CPU with Adreno 430 GPU
RAM 3 GB
Internal storage 32 GB
MicroSD up to 128 GB
OS Android 5.0 Lollipop
Front Camera 5.1 MP
Rear camera 8.1 MP
Battery Capacity 6000mAh
Water resistant and dust tight (IP65 and IP68 – 1.5 m submersion)
Not a bad specs list there to be fair. There is one potential area of concern though, and that is the use of the Snapdragon 810. I have been reliably informed that the tablet is not liable to the overheating issues we’ve heard about – mainly due to the greater surface-area. Only time will tell on this one guys, and I will be keeping an eye on it.
The tablet is nice in the hand I have been able to hold it for a reasonable time without any discomfort and it sits well on the lap without taking up too much space unlike the Surface Pro 3.
I have high hopes for this machine and it may even become my replacement for my Macbook Air. That is if I can find a decent video editing and stitching app that will work on Android. We’ll have to see if I am able to achieve this, but I am looking forward to finding out.
Please come along and join me in my journey of discovery over the next few weeks.
To keep you going between now and then here are a few more pics of the tablet including some against a competitior – the Remix Ultra Tablet.
News is starting to trickle in that the new Xperia Z4 Tablet is missing a very important productivity tool. It seems like Sony have made the omission of USB OTG support. It also seems to be that this is the case on the M4 Aqua and the Z3+.
Now what do all these devices have in common? An uncapped microUSB port. It seems to be me that during the waterproofing of this port they have had to make the sacrifice of USB OTG.
If this has been the case you can understand the thought process behind it. At the end of the day a waterproof tablet/phone is going to be more attractive than one that you can plug a USB drive into for the general public.
I am personally disappointed though, as I use USB OTG a lot on my current Xperia devices and I would miss it on the new devices.
We are trying to find out more from Sony about this to see if it is just an omission or if it is in fact something that has been excluded this time around.
I have been doing some digging and asking around and, with the help of Xperia Blog, I found the solution. It seems that this is now something that is hidden under the connectivity menu and it needs to be enabled to find the USB device.
The steps are ..
Plug in the USB drive then go to Settings, Xperia Connectivity, Detect USB.
It will then find the drive. You can also add an option to quick settings from the tip menu on the same page.
So it works! Huzzah! Thanks again to Xperia Blog for the help.