Sony Xperia Tablet S sales to resume in mid-November

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Oct 272012

Sony Xperia Tablet SSony halted sales of its Xperia Tablet S in early October after discovering a manufacturing flaw, a small gap between the screen and the case, that made the water resistant tablet more susceptible to water damage than it should be. Sony Japan has now confirmed that sales will resume “gradually” in mid-November.

In the meantime, Sony has been offering free checkups and repairs for tablets already in the hands of customers.

Read more: Sony Japan (in Japanese) [Google translation] (Source: XperiaBlog)

Rumour: Dual-SIM Sony Xperia E Dual revealed

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Oct 242012

Sony’s upcoming 2013 device lineup appears to have been fleshed out a bit more by Postel, the Indonesian Telecoms Regulatory body’s website. The higher-end Sony Odin (C650x) and Sony Yuga (C660x) look set to be joined by the Sony Xperia E Dual (C1605). The Dual likely refers to support for dual-SIMs.

Sony Xperia E Dual on Postel
Click for a larger version

While Postel provides little but the name of this new device, XperiaBlog has a few additional details. It confirms dual-SIM support and codename (NanHu DS). It adds that there will also be a single-SIM version, the Sony Xperia E bearing model number C150x and codename NanHu SS.

Both devices are expected to be powered by a 1.0GHz single-core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM7227A chipset with Adreno 200 GPU and Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. Both will also come with HVGA (320×480) displays.

At this point, a launch in early 2013 appears to be the likeliest scenario.

Read more: Postel (Source: Xperia Blog)

Water resistant Sony Xperia go coming to Canada in November

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Oct 242012

Sony Xperia goSony Mobile Communications today announced that the water resistant Sony Xperia go was coming to Canada in November. With its IP67 rating, it can survive being immersed for up to 30 minutes in up to 1 meter of water and is dust-proof.

“The Xperia go is the ideal smartphone for the everyday user looking for a device that can keep up with their lifestyle regardless of whether it rains or shines,” said Peter Farmer, VP Marketing for Sony Mobile Communications. “This phone has the highest level of dust and water resistance in its category and we feel many consumers will appreciate its durability and uncompromised performance.”

Sony Xperia go specifications:

  • Processor: 1GHz dual-core NovaThor U8500
  • Operating system: Google Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • Cellular connectivity: Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and tri-band UMTS/HSPA
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, DLNA
  • Display: 3.5-inch HVGA (320×480) with Mobile BRAVIA Engine
  • Input: Capacitive multitouch with “Wet finger tracking”
  • Memory: 512MB RAM
  • Storage: 8GB onboard and microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 5MP AF with LED flash and 720 HD video capture
  • Front-facing camera: None
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, micro-USB
  • Battery: 1,305mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 111 x 60.3 x 9.8 millimeters / 110 grams
  • Other: Dust and water protected (IP67 certification), Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited

The Sony Xperia go will come preloaded with Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited apps from Sony Entertainment Network. Sony also offers up 50GB of cloud storage through Box completely free.

The Sony Xperia go will be available through Fido and exclusively at Sony Stores in a limited edition yellow starting in November. Pricing and specific availability details were not revealed.

Read more: Sony Mobile Communications

Sony Nexus X is a hoax

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Oct 212012

Remember the Sony Nexus X pictures? It turns out that our assessment (as well as that of many others) was correct: It was all a hoax. The person who posted the pictures, Ti Kawamoto, has come forward and revealed that they did so to show Google and Sony “how much of a demand there is in the market for a premium Nexus experience from a manufacturer like Sony” and also to see how much fact checking news agencies and blogs do before running such stories.

Rumoured Sony Nexus X

The hoax is revealed in all its glory in a Tumbler account called ‘Anatomy of a Hoax.’ Essentially, the Nexus X combines elements of the Xperia TL, Xperia ion, and pogo pins found on devices such as the Galaxy Nexus. Throw in a bit of 3D modelling, some Photoshop work, and creative photography (the fake images were snapped with a Galaxy Nexus to impart the leaked image blurriness and quality we’re used to) and you have everything you need for a new rumour to catch like wildfire. Quite a bit of effort went into this project; Kawamoto spent about 7 hours to create the pictures.

Definitely check out the full story below – It’s a great read.

Read more: Anatomy of a Hoax

Sony Mobile outlines Xperia Jelly Bean update plans

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Oct 192012

Sony Mobile CommunicationsSony today announced its upgrade plans for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Most of its 2012 lineup will be upgraded but the same cannot be said for older 2011 devices. Confirmed for updates are the following devices:

  • Xperia T and Xperia TX
  • Xperia V
  • Xperia S
  • Xperia acro S
  • Xperia ion
  • Xperia P
  • Xperia go
  • Xperia J

As for its 2011 lineup, Sony concluded “after thorough evaluation” that it will not upgrade them beyond Ice Cream Sandwich. Rumours about this decision first surfaced in the summer with Sony responding that it was still “actively investigating Android OS upgrades for all devices.” Also missing from the list above are some 2012 entry-level models such as the Xperia and Xperia Tipo.

Sony provided few details as to when the upgrades would be available. So far, it has only confirmed that updates for the Xperia T, Xperia TX, and Xperia V would be available “from mid-Q1 2013.” Presumably other updates will follow afterwards.

Read more: Sony Mobile

James Bond’s Sony Xperia T coming to Canada in November

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Oct 172012

Sony Xperia TSony Mobile Communications today announced that the Sony Xperia T will launch in Canada in November with a number of Canadian carriers. Featured in James Bond’s latest adventure, Skyfall, it will come preloaded with exclusive Bond content including behind the scenes footage, clips, wallpapers, ring tones, and more.

“Entertainment is in our DNA and the Xperia T is the latest example,” said Peter Farmer, Vice President of Marketing for North America, Sony Mobile Communications. “Offering stylish design, easy connectivity and access to premium entertainment anywhere, anytime, the Bond phone will soon be available to Canadians.”

Sony Xperia T (LT30p) specifications:

  • Processor: 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8260A
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Cellular connectivity: HSPA+ / EDGE / GPRS
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS, 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5 GHz) Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 3.1, DLNA, NFC
  • Display: 4.55-inch HD (1280×720) Reality Display
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 1GB
  • Storage: 16GB and microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 13MP with 1080p video capture
  • Front-facing camera: with 720p video capture
  • Battery: 1,850mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 129.4 x 67.3 x 9.35 millimeters / 139 grams

The Sony Xperia T is coming to Canada this November in both LTE and HSPA + variants (depending on carrier). It will be carried by Bell, Mobilicity, MTS, Rogers and Vidéotron. Pricing was not announced.

Read more: Sony Mobile Communications

Sony Nexus X revealed in pictures?

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Oct 152012

Tired of the LG Nexus 4 smartphone rumours? In a change of pace, pictures of what could be a Sony Nexus device have surfaced today. Billed as the Sony Nexus X, it is very similar to the Sony Xperia ion but bears no Xperia branding.

Rumoured Sony Nexus X

Rumoured Sony Nexus X

No details are given about the device.

Rumours have been flying that we could see more than one Google Nexus smartphone announced this year. Sony has been among the rumoured manufacturers (along with HTC, LG, and Samsung) so this could well be the first sighting of Sony’s contribution to the Nexus device lineup.

Update:A closer look at the pictures suggests these are fake. Icon alignment on the display is off and zooming in on the back of the device also suggests that some Photoshop’ing has taken place.

Read more: Picasa (Source: Xperia Blog)

Sony C6603 Yuga gets benchmarked

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Oct 142012

It was only days ago that we learned about what could be one of Sony’s 2013 Xperia flagship devices, the Sony C650x ‘Odin.’ It now appears that it will share the limelight with a very similar second device, the Sony C660X ‘Yuga.’ According to Xperia Blog, the two devices will share very similar specifications but have different appearances.

Antutu benchmarks for Sony C6603

The Sony C660X ‘Yuga’ has already surfaced on both the AnTuTu and NenaMark2 benchmark websites. AnTuTu reveals that the Sony C6603 will be powered by a 1.5GHz processor (number of core unspecified) and Google Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean.

NenaMark2 benchmarks for Sony C6603

Both devices will allegedly run a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 chipset (APQ8064, Adreno 320 GPU and MDM9615 baseband chip with LTE support). The C6603 Yuga will sport a 1080p HD (1920×1080) display. The physical size is unknown but Xperia Blog expects it to be no smaller than 5-inches. This is certainly plausible, especially in light of a recent announcement by Japan Display Inc (JDI) that it has started to produce 5.0-inch TFT-LCD IPS display modules with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels and 443 PPI.

There is still no word on exactly when Sony could announce its C650x and C660x devices.

Read more: Xperia Blog and XperiaBlog

Rumour: Sony C650x ‘Odin’ to be 2013 flagship device

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Oct 092012

Sony Mobile CommunicationsMore changes appear to be in store for Sony Mobile Communications in 2013. The manufacturer looks set to replace its current ST/MT/LT model number structure with a new five character convention. A new UAProf (User-Agent Profile) reveals not only this new model numbering but also what is likely one of Sony’s 2013 devices. Codenamed ‘Odin,’ it shows up with three model numbers (C6502, C6503 and C6506) in tow.

The UAProf reveals only a few details. The Odin looks set to be powered by Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean with Sony’s 10.1.A.0.XXX firmware. The three models appear to be different regional variants of the same device.

Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 4.1.1; en-us; C6502 Build/10.1.A.0.211) AppleWebKit/534.30 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/534.30
Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 4.1.1; ja-jp; C6503 Build/10.1.A.0.168) AppleWebKit/534.30 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/534.30
Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 4.1.1; sv-se; C6506 Build/10.1.A.0.201) AppleWebKit/534.30 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/534.30

With little else to go on, it remains to be seen if this will be Sony’s next flagship device. The fact that Odin is the chief god in Norse mythology may suggest that the Sony Odin could be a new flagship device. Hopefully more information will surface to confirm that in the near future.

Read more: Xperia Blog

Sony halts Xperia Tablet S sales over manufacturing defect

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Oct 052012

Sony Xperia Tablet SSony has halted sales of its Xperia Tablet S just a month after its launch. Sony spokeswoman Noriko Shoji explained that the manufacturer made the decision after finding a manufacturing flaw that creates a gap between the screen and the case.

The Sony Xperia Tablet S is supposed to be water resistant but the gap makes it more susceptible to water damage.

Sony has shipped about 100,000 tablets so far to Canada, the U.S., and other markets. It is offering free checkups and will repair tablets already in the hands of customers.

Sony has yet to announce when it will resume sales.

Read more: Reuters

Google Nexus devices coming from HTC, LG, Samsung and Sony?

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Oct 042012

Google AndroidPast rumours have suggested that HTC, LG, Samsung, and Sony could all be tapped by Google to make upcoming Nexus devices. On the heels of a report that Google is set to change the rules of its Nexus program to support multiple Nexus devices, Digitimes reports that a number of device manufacturers could be potential partners. The companies named are Samsung, LG, Sony Mobile Communications, and HTC. Coincidence?

The report adds that vendors will be able to set their own hardware specifications as long as they can support the latest version of Android. This suggests that Google will set a minimum set of specifications but allow manufacturers to go beyond them if they want.

The same report adds that Microsoft has chosen to go a different route. Supporting earlier rumours, it suggests that Microsoft will work with Pegatron to manufacture its own Windows Phone 8 smartphone. With Microsoft setting stricter hardware rules, its devices would compete with those of partners.

Read more: Digitimes

Sony Tablet S update adds Xperia Tablet S features

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Sep 292012

Sony yesterday announced that it has begun to push out a new upgrade for the Sony Tablet S. Rather than an OS upgrade, this update brings to Sony’s original Android tablet features introduced with the new Sony Xperia Tablet S. Among these are:

  • Guest Mode: A separate user account for guests or children with its own application access rights, wallpapers, and more
  • New Small Apps: Additional apps including a small browser, IR remote, and voice recorder
  • New macro functionality on the Remote Control App: Six new programmable macro keys to program sequenced commands
  • Socialife: Revamped version of Social Feed Reader Cloud social news magazine app

The update is now being rolled out. If you have not yet seen the notification, you can manually check by selecting About tablet > System updates > Check Now in your Settings.

Read more: Sony

3G-enabled PlayStation Vita coming to Canada with Rogers as exclusive carrier

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Sep 112012

Sony PlayStation VitaSony Computer Entertainment Canada today announced that it will launch the 3G-enabled PlayStation Vita in Canada this fall. Rogers will be the exclusive carrier for the necessary wireless connectivity.

“PlayStation Vita with a 3G connection will completely transform the way Canadian gamers play on the go, offering new ways to play games and interact with entertainment,” said Stephen Turvey, Vice President and General Manager, SCEC. “With access to the Rogers 3G wireless network, PlayStation Vita owners will be able to stay connected with their friends and experience PS Vita’s rich social gaming features virtually wherever they are.”

Two contract-free month-to-month data packages (activated directly on the Vita) will be offered:

  • 250MB for CA$15.00 per month
  • 5GB for CA$35 per month

The PlayStation Vita 3G/Wi-Fi will launch on October 2nd for CA$299.99 with a download voucher for Gravity Rush and Unit 13.

The Wi-Fi-only version of the PS Vita launched in Canada earlier this year.

Read more: Sony Computer Entertainment Canada

Sony Mobile considering Windows Phone 8?

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Sep 102012

Sony Mobile CommunicationsGoing as far back as its days as Sony Ericsson, Sony Mobile has preferred to focus on Android for its smartphones. At the same time, it never completely closed the door on Microsoft’s operating system. Rumours that Sony Ericsson would launch Windows Phone devices (including a keyboard slider) surfaced regularly but never came to fruition. It appears that Sony Mobile’s position remains unchanged. Sony Mobile UK & Ireland Managing Director Pierre Perron recently told MobileMagazine:

Sony’s strategy is one of openness. Microsoft is a Sony partner with the likes of our VAIO laptops and it’s integrated onto our tablets. As far as Xperia smartphones go, Android remains the preferred partner, although Sony is not a single partner company. We are currently investigating with the likes of Microsoft the possibility of diversifying our product strategy.

It’s not clear just how open the door is to Windows Phone 8 though. Sony Mobile just refreshed its smartphone lineup with new Android-powered Xperia devices at IFA 2012 so a Windows Phone device probably would not appear before 2013 at the earliest.

Read more: Mobile Magazine (Source: Xperia Blog)

Crowdsourced Metric “Synthetica” video shot with Sony Xperia ion smartphones

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Sep 032012

I don’t normally post music videos but this one has a gadget angle – And I am a huge fan of the band. Sony Mobile Communications and Sony/RED distributed music artist Metric have released a music video for the title track from Metric’s latest album Synthetica. The video was shot entirely using the Sony Xperia ion, Sony’s first LTE smartphone.

“Metric has a history of quickly adopting emerging technologies to try new things and push the envelope,” said Metric Manager Mathieu Drouin. “When Sony came out with a new smartphone that had the capability to shoot in true HD, we immediately took notice. We were already looking for something fun and creative to do for the song ‘Synthetica’, and the idea of an HD video shot in a live setting by a collective of fans on Sony Xperia ions and then edited together to create a cohesive piece sounded like a great place to start. We’re thrilled with the result.”

Guests attending a Sony event at Hotel on Rivington’s penthouse in New York City not only got to see the band perform an acoustic set but were given Xperia ion smartphones to record the performance. The footage was used to put the video together by director Chris Lenox Smith, who has also worked with Passion Pit, TV on the Radio and My Morning Jacket.

If you are now inclined to shoot your own music videos with a Sony Xperia ion, it is carried by Rogers in Canada and A&T in the U.S.

Read more: Metric [via YouTube]