Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact unboxing and initial impressions

It is here. The day I’ve been waiting for. My newly acquired Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact has arrived.

Although I had to wait a little longer than I would’ve liked (due to issues with the shipping companies), it’s here now. So, let’s find out if it was worth the wait.

Here we have the 32GB model, which came from Sony UK. It is selling for £379 but Sony are offering £30 off that price at the moment.

Let’s start with an unboxing video..

As you see in the video above, the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is a neat little device that weighs next to nothing. This alone is a very impressive feat when compared with the likes of the Lenovo Tab S8 (I will be referencing this as a competition device a lot). In fact, here is a picture of them both side by side..

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You’ll see that there really isn’t a huge difference apart from the Z3TC (as I’ll call it for ease) being noticeably skinnier at 6.4mm instead of 7.9mm. Here is a breakdown comparing the tablets to each other.

Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact

  • Display: 8.0 inch
  • IPS LCD,1200 x 1920 pixels, 283 ppi, Scratch resistant tempered glass
  • Processor: Snapdragon 801 CPU Quad-core 2.5 GHz
  • Internal Memory: 16/32 GB (I bought the 32gb), Micro SD up to 128 GB
  • RAM: 3 GB
  • 3D stereo sound, High Res audio, S-Force Surround
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • Battery: Non-removable Li-Ion 4500 mAh
  • GPS with A-GPS
  • Rear Camera: 8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus
  • Front Camera: 2.2 MP, 1080p
  • Android 4.4.4.WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Dimensions: 213.4 x 123.6 x 6.4 mm
  • Weight:270g.

Lenovo S8 Tab

  • Display: 8.0 inch
  • IPS LCD,1200 x 1920 pixels, 283 ppi.
  • Processor: Intel Atom Z3745 CPU Quad-core 1.86 GHz
  • Internal Memory: 16 GB.RAM: 2 GB.Micro SD up to 32 GB
  • Dolby Digital Plus sound enhancement
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • Battery: Non-removable Li-Ion 4290 mAh
  • GPS with A-GPS
  • Rear Camera: 8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
  • Front Camera: 1.6 MP, 720p
  • Android 4.4.2.WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Dimensions: 209.8 x 123.8 x 7.9 mm (8.26 x 4.87 x 0.31 in).Weight:299g.

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Having owned several of the Xperia devices in the past 4 years I have become very familiar with the Sony UI and its customisation. However, this time around I have to say that initially I didn’t like the high DPI being used. It’s forgivable on a phone as it makes the whole device easier to use but the same cannot be said on the Z3TC as it makes it feel “toy like” and it really minimises the amount of useable space on the screen. Particularly when using the device in landscape for things like web browsing. I would love to see Sony add an option to make this adjustable for the user without the need to root the device.

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The screen is as usual superb and what I have come to expect from Sony. This is perhaps one area where the Sony can justify the difference in price between the S8 and itself.
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Another area is the connectivity options. As you will have seen above the Z3TC has a larger capacity for expanding the memory. It also supports NFC for file transfers and contactless payment, if it ever really takes off in the UK.

Overall I am impressed with the device and I am glad I waited but is it worth the premium you pay over the S8? This is not something that I can answer right now as I have to really spend some time with both devices until I can draw my conclusions. In the mean time here are some comparison shots

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The Style cover
As an aside, the eagle eyed reader will have seen that I also unboxed the Style cover for the Z3TC. This came as part of the pre-order package deal. It is a fairly nice cover and it is a very tight fit. It covers all the bits it needs to and alleviates any concerns with carrying the Z3TC around day to day. The stand feature is a good way of propping the machine up for viewing content but it is not really suitable for use when typing.

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I have a Bluetooth keyboard case that I will be testing with the devices. This may improve the productivity, however I wish Sony had thought about this and provided a Surface-style docking keyboard as an option.

Keep it here for the Lenovo S8 Tab  and the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact review over the next few days.

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact unboxing and initial impressions is original content from Coolsmartphone.com

Oh no. Another great deal. Lenovo Yoga Tablet going cheap.

It’s that time of year when you should be thinking of gifts for others. Kids are making lists, your wife or girlfriend wants something “special” that you’ve “put thought into” but somehow you find yourself in the gadget shops on your lunch break, staring at the deals and wondering if you could “accidentally” buy something for yourself instead.

Perhaps, just perhaps, you could buy that gadget and tell your other half not to get you a gift this year as you’ve already got one? Perhaps you could say that it was a “gift” to yourself for just generally being brilliant? Perhaps you could hide it behind the sofa until the New Year and then claim you got it out the sales anyway?

Yeah, that’d work. Wouldn’t it?
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So, meet the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10.1-inch HD+, which you used to pay £329.99 for. It’s now down to (wait for it, wait for it, I need to add at least 30 seconds of unnecessary X-Factor-style suspense) just £159.99.

Stampede!!
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If you haven’t already tripped over your credit card, go and have a look at my up-close pictures of this thing from Barcelona. Oooh. It’s a bit sexy

This isn’t the newer Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 that James reviewed yesterday, but it’s still rather nice and has 3G too.

Available from Amazon this is a quad core 1.6GHz 10.1″ (1920×1200) IPS display) tablet with 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0 and that 3G connectivity so you can still connect away from your WiFi hotspots.

Powered by Android 4.3 it doesn’t come with the keyboard / cover we photographed earlier.

There’s also microSD expansion (up to 64GB), two cameras and a 3.5mm audio jack.

I’ve purposefully hidden my credit card, but if you fancy one, head to Amazon.

Oh no. Another great deal. Lenovo Yoga Tablet going cheap. is original content from Coolsmartphone.com

Google details the ways Android Lollipop protects your phone’s data

Android 5.0 Lollipop

Android 5.0 Lollipop isn't just about a shiny new interface or whiz-bang features; there are some new ways to safeguard your phone's data, too. To underscore that point, Google has detailed Lollipop's toughened-up security features. Some of them you may know if you've followed development closely. Smart Lock lets you unlock your device using a paired Bluetooth- or NFC-equipped gadget, such as an Android Wear watch. Tougher SELinux enforcement, meanwhile, should reduce the chances that a rogue app compromises the entire system. And as much as the FBI may hate it, full device encryption is both on by default (for new devices) and tied to hardware security -- both law enforcement and thieves should have a much harder time spying on your locally stored content. It's probably going to be a while before these new defenses reach your phone, and you'll still want to be cautious when sharing things online. Nonetheless, it sounds like you won't have to worry quite so much about data breaches in the near future.

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Source: Official Android Blog

Apple wants all iOS apps to use 64-bit code starting in February

Apple's graphic when it unveiled the 64-bit A7 chip

Apple may have only introduced 64-bit computing to iPhones and iPads a little over a year ago, but it's already preparing for the day when legacy 32-bit code is gone for good. The Cupertino crew is now telling developers that their iOS apps must include 64-bit support from February 1st onward. While the company won't kick out existing titles, both new apps and updated releases will have to make the switch. Theoretically, this is easy -- developers just have to build apps using the most recent tools and standard settings.

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Via: 9to5Mac

Source: Apple Developer

Google gives you the tools to build apps for Android 5.0 Lollipop

Android 5.0 Lollipop on the Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Android Wear

The official Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade for your phone may be weeks away, but Google has delivered all the ingredients for you to make Lollipop-ready apps. The search firm has released both the finished Lollipop developer kit and a fresh batch of stripped-down Android test releases for Nexus 5 and 7 devices. There's also a new round of Material Design guidelines and assets to make sure apps look at home in Google's flatter aesthetic. This won't help much if you just want to try all the whiz-bang features, but you'll definitely want to hit the source links if you're a software creator.

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Via: Matias Duarte (Google+)

Source: Android Developers Blog

Here’s every device getting Android 5.0 Lollipop so far

Motorola's examples of phones getting Android 5.0 Lollipop

If you're a die-hard Android fan, you're probably champing at the bit waiting for that Lollipop upgrade -- when will you get it? Are you going to get it? Thankfully for you, a number of companies have already promised to upgrade some of their devices to this candy-flavored OS. Google's Nexus 4, 5, 7 and 10 models are naturally first in line, as are Android One and Google Play Edition hardware; its outgoing Motorola brand is equally on top of things with plans to patch the Moto E, G and X alongside Verizon's Droid Mini, Maxx and Ultra. HTC and OnePlus don't have full details, but they're both pledging to give their recent flagships a taste of Lollipop within 90 days of receiving finished code. NVIDIA and Sony, meanwhile, are being vague. While they're respectively teasing plans to update the Shield Tablet and the Xperia Z series, they won't say when just yet.

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Via: TechRadar, MobileBurn

Source: HTC (Twitter), Motorola, Sony Mobile Blog

Flickr chooses a great time to launch its iPad app

Apple has chosen to focus on the iPad's camera abilities with the upcoming Air 2 (we wish they wouldn't) and apparently, finally snagged Flickr's attention. Yahoo's photo sharing service somehow managed to beat Instagram to the punch so perhaps the introduction of its first iPad-ready app (four years after Apple's slate arrived) isn't that late. So what's in the (now universal) Flickr iOS app? iPad-optimized layouts for members to browse pictures whether their own or others that "cascade in a lovely waterfall format." If you must take a picture with your tablet, the app can record photos or videos with live filters and a full suite of editing tools. It requires iOS 8 to work, and some of the upgrades that stretch across devices include support for the new sharing extensions, photo detail editing and a new unified search. The update is live in the app store now, and of course there's no time like 3AM ET on a Saturday to give it a try.

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Source: iTunes, Flickr Blog

Roller Coaster Tycoon 4 Mobile now available on Android

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Back in the dark distant past, when the world seemed like it was in black and white I spent my time whiling away the hours playing some classic games.  One of those titles was Chris Sawyer’s Roller Coaster Tycoon.  Creating your own theme park complete with epic roller coasters, attracting as many guests as possible and getting janitors to clean the inevitable vomit from the paths was all part and parcel a normal day in the tycoon land.

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Good news then for those of us that loved this series for Roller Coaster Tycoon 4 Mobile has arrived on Android and is free to download.

The free-to-play Android edition includes all gameplay experiences offered for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, including the latest park attractions, social features and recent updates. With numerous ways to share and customize coasters and rides, players can grow their parks and connect with friends online to exchange blueprints, send a flyover plane with customized messages, and compare parks.

With this latest version of RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile, Atari has incorporated classic gameplay features from the original games including Queue Lines. Entirely new gameplay, including a RollerCoaster Tycoon-themed slots mini-game and billboards that showcase real-world advertisements adding to the realism of the parks has also been introduced! Additional highly popular and nostalgic RollerCoaster Tycoon features including transport rides, janitors, and even the ability to make theme park visitors visibly sick after enjoying too many coaster rides will be available soon.

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The game which has topped the charts on app stores across several regions on iOS already having been launched in April 2014 on the platform.

Roller Coaster Tycoon 4 Mobile is available to download for free now from Google Play

For further information read the full press release below.

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Roller Coaster Tycoon 4 Mobile now available on Android is original content from Coolsmartphone.com

EE’s newest 4G tablet only costs £99

Alcatel One Touch Pop 7

When Vodafone announced its first own-brand LTE tablet, the £125 Smart Tab 4G, earlier this week, it suddenly made EE's £209 Eagle look a little pricey. Knowing that cost is key in the lead-up to Christmas, the UK's biggest carrier isn't resting on its laurels and has shot back a its rival by pricing its latest 4G tablet even lower. At £99, the vibrant Alcatel ONE TOUCH Pop 7S, is the UK's most affordable pay-as-you-go 4G slate, according to EE, and comes with a 7-inch WSVGA 1024 x 600 display, Android 4.3 (Android 4.4 KitKat available via an OTA update), a quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm MSM8926 processor, 1GB of RAM, 3-megapixel rear and 0.3 front facing cameras, 8GB storage (with microSD support) and a 3240 mAh battery. The operator will also throw in 100MB of free data every month with every 4G tablet bought between now and January 31st, sweetening the deal for parents or bargain hunters looking for a cheap connected tablet.

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Via: EE

Lenovo Reduce the Price of the Yoga 8 to £120

At the moment tablets are grabbing headlines with the launch of the Google Nexus 9, the Hudl 2 and the Apple iPad, and Lenovo are grabbing a few headlines of their own as the price of the impressive Yoga 8 drops to £119.99 through Argos.

The Lenovo Yoga 8 is a stylish piece of hardware with a multitouch 8″ 1280 x 800 IPS screen, unique holding grip & kick stand, it certainly looks the part.

As a general multimedia device the Yoga 8 has a reasonable spec with a 1.2GHz quad core processor, 1GB RAM, 16 GB internal storage, Android 4.2 JellyBean, Dolby Digital sound and with an incredible battery that lasts up to 18 hours the Yoga 8 should certainly live up to your travel requirements.

There maybe more powerful tablets on the market but this is capable device and has great value.
If you are in the market for a new tablet, especially perhaps a family device, then at this price the Lenovo Yoga 8 if definitely worth consideration.

Lenovo Reduce the Price of the Yoga 8 to £120 is original content from Coolsmartphone.com