A few devices have sported PlayStation compatibility for some time now, but Sony’s PlayStation Mobile is now available on Android. This new service allows you to get a PlayStation-like gaming experience on PlayStation Certified Android devices and tablets, as well as Sony’s own PS Vita.
Sadly, the list of certified Android devices only includes those with Sony branding. The HTC One X, One S, and One V will be supported soon, as well as other devices from a variety of manufacturers.
PlayStation Mobile’s lineup of 21 launch titles is as follows: Aqua Kitty – Milk Mine Defender, Beats Slider, Beats Trellis, Everybody’s Arcade, Flick Hockey, Frederic – Resurrection of Music, Fuel Tiracas, Hungary Giraffe, Incurvio, Loot the Land, Magic Arrows, Numblast, Nyoqix, Rebel, Samurai Beatdown, Super Crate Box, Tractor Trails, Twist Pilot, Underline, Wipe!, and Word Blocked. The list isn’t all that impressive, but Sony will almost certainly improve upon it as time goes on.
Sony has adopted a habit that is as annoying as it is tantalizing. Sony has been spreading various features across its Xperia line, preventing us from having our cake and eating it too. Sony’s latest exclusive feature, floating touch, has been announced for the new Xperia sola.
The new feature allows you to interface with your device without touching the screen. This is most useful as a highlight-then-click tool. As anyone who has ever attempted browsing craigslist on a mobile device knows, this is a major feature preventing smartphones and tablets from fully replacing PCs.
The design of this phone is built around its screen, with the screen actually popping up a little bit off the body of the phone. Specs are decent, but the phone would be firmly midrange if not for the floating touch feature. The Xperia sola features a 3.7-inch FWVGA screen with Sony’s BRAVIA special sauce, an in-house 1GHz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, a 5MP 720p rear camera, stereo speakers with xLOUD, NFC, microSD, and all the rest of the usual goodies. Pricing has been set at €329, opening on the European market the last week of April.
The Xperia S—Sony’s Xperia flagship device—is one of those rare phones that just makes you stop and go “wow.” With a 4.3-inch HD Reality Display screen, a 12MP rear camera, 32GB of internal memory, and a drool-worthy 1.5GHz dual-core processor, this phone is among the few actually worth its premium £369.99 off-contract price tag.
Sylvia Chind, head of handsets at Three said, “With a striking display, this is an ideal smartphone for those looking for high-definition entertainment. Plus, as the only network to offer all-you-can-eat data on both Pay as you go and Pay monthly, Three customers can enjoy all of the rich content that YouTube, BBC iPlayer and Spotify have to offer without ever having to worry about data limits.”
If you’re of the no-contract persuasion, plans on Three start at £15 for unlimited data, 300 minutes, and 3,000 texts per month on a month-by-month basis. If you are more commitment-inclined, you’re looking at a minimum monthly fee of £30 or £36 a month for Three’s trademarked The One Plan, again with unlimited data. Theoretically, this phone is available starting now. However, no subsidized pricing was announced, and there is no mention of it yet on Three’s online retail outlet. But for a phone this nice, I think we can all manage to take a stand and walk to the nearest old-fashioned physical storefront and talk to a sales rep.
The newly Ericsson-less Xperia NXT line has so far been both exciting and confusing. The flagship phone, the Xperia S, was launched last month, except then we only knew it as the Xperia Ion or Ion S. We now know it to be the Xperia S, and it is shipping right now, with the first sales happening as week speak at the Sony store at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.
While some may like to keep the best for last, Sony came out swinging with the Xperia S, and is now announcing its lesser siblings.The Xperia P—seen above—and the Xperia U—pictured after the break—have been announced this weekend at the MWC as mid-range “premium entertainment” phones. While the S has “ultimate HD,” the P is ultra-bright with “WhiteMagic,” and the U is good, old-fashioned cheap. Or so we hope, we don’t have a price point, but there’s isn’t really anything special about it, so it had better be cheap.
The 4-inch P and the 3.5-inch U share Sony’s Mobile Bravia Engine, along with a 1GHz dual-core processor, and the NXT line’s signature “transparent element.” That translucent band running around the bottom of the phone actually illuminates to alert you to various things and, in the case of the Xperia U, even to match the color of photos displayed on the screen.
Alas, the end ‘tis nigh, and after a fine run of over a decade the Sony-Ericsson name will no longer be appearing on any of our fun toys. Weep and mourn…. Wait, why are we being so melancholy? Ericsson isn’t dead after all, just absorbed, “one with the force” if you will. Sony today announced that the acquisition—the plans for which were announced last October—has been finalized, taking Ericsson out of the title and formalizing Sony Mobile Communications.
The Sony-Ericsson joint partnership began in 2001 and provided us with all forms of technological goodness. But, with market demands as they are, Sony decided to buy out the remaining shares of Ericsson, founded in Sweden in1876, for a cash amount of over one billion Euros.
As was clarified in a customer relations email sent out yesterday, there will be no real immediate effect on customers. All warranties and products currently offered will continue on as if nothing changed. The first Ericsson-less Sony phone will be the Xperia S, along with the Xperia Ion for AT&T, both of which are Android handsets.
Moving forward, Sony is promising to make good on its current advertising, providing a more and more interconnected ‘four screen’ strategy, linking Sony phones, tablets, TVs, and PCs for enhanced customer experiences and Sony’s bottom line.
Hot on the heels of the Nokia Lumia 900 price leak, the Boy Genius Report (BGR) has released additional details regarding AT&T’s roadmap for the first quarter of 2012. The most notable aspect of the report is that the HTC Titan II will be released day-and-date alongside the Lumia 900. But whereas Nokia’s premiere US offering will be priced at $99, the Titan II will run customers $199.99 on contract.
The successor to November’s HTC TITAN, one of AT&T’s highest-rated smartphones, the Titan II Windows Phone improves upon the hardware design with 4G LTE and a 16MP camera. The device’s massive 4.7-inch display and large camera resolution–one of the biggest on the market–certainly sets the Titan II apart from its competitors, but we’re concerned that the price tag might be a bit too high. Customers walking into the store might be more likely to gravitate toward Nokia’s combination of great hardware and a fantastic price, rather than HTC’s powerhouse. To be fair, the Titan II will retail for the same price as the original TITAN, as well as many equivalent Android devices. We just think a slightly lower MSRP would help it in the long run.
The Xperia Ion represents a lot of firsts: it is the first phone from Sony without the Ericsson label, the first dual-core Xperia device, and Sony’s first LTE device. AT&T has claimed exclusivity for this beast of a phone and now you can drop $569.50 to pre-order it off-contract from third-party retailer Negri Electronics.
The list of lust-worthy features on this device is long, starting with a 1.5Ghz dual-core Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm. Complementing the processor is a 4.55-inch display powered by Sony’s mobile Bravia engine. For you video-philes, the Ion boasts a 12MP camera which not only shoots 1080p video; it also goes from locked screen to ready for picture taking in under 2 seconds.
Ending the list of special features is a form factor one-two punch. Sony has adopted part of Motorola’s design, placing the micro USB and HDMI ports next to each other. The two of the one-two is a feature that almost seems to be dying out-a dedicated physical camera button.
Unveiled just recently at CES, the Xperia Ion has gone without any pricing or release date details until now. It is possible that this pre-order is a flub, since it is from a third party and hasn’t been announced through any of the usual channels. The retailer itself appears to be legit with all the usual trappings: an A- BBB rating, certified secure by McAfee, and you can check out with both Google Checkout and Amazon. So if you’re willing to deal with possible delays, cancelations, and refunds then cross your fingers and hit the source link.
The Xperia Ion and S might as well be the same phone, save for a lack of LTE on the Ion S and a couple very minor visual differences. Both phones are slated for AT&T, with the Ion rocking AT&T’s 4G LTE radio and the S rocking AT&T’s 3G HSPA radio.
Kicking off Sony’s new Xperia NXT series with a bang, both phones provide the new standard feature set of top-end phones with 1.5GHz dual-core processors, 720p 4.6-inch displays, NFC, and they share a 12MP camera that would be mind-boggling if not for the Titan II’s one-upmanship.
Xperia S showcases a new design approach referred to as “Iconic Identity”. The design will be replicated across the Xperia NXT series and creates a simple strong look that is instantly recognizable. The transparent element at the base creates an iconic silhouette where the display is emphasized and underlined. In addition, it provides illumination effects and integrates the antenna components.
On both the S and the Ion, Android 2.3 Gingerbread is preinstalled on 4GB of internal storage space, with the obligatory Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich promises that lack release dates.
Sony is promising a 1.5 second boot time for picture taking from standby mode-a huge improvement over current offerings. Also included is PlayStation Certification, so you can put both of those processing cores to proper use. The only downside is that Sony appears to have a large amount of bloatware. No word yet on how badly the bloatware affects the phones, but if all else fails there is always CyanogenMod.
Sony announced on Thursday that it is acquiring Ericsson’s half of the ten-year-long Sony Ericsson partnership for €1.05 billion (approximately $1.5 billion USD) in cash. The deal is expected to be finalized by January 2012 assuming, of course, that it passes regulatory approval.
Sony and Ericsson formed the partnership in October 2001, combining “Sony’s consumer products knowledge with Ericsson’s telecommunication technology expertise.” The joint venture took off, turning both formerly unprofitable phone divisions into a successful partnership.
With Sony in full control of Sony Ericsson, the Japanese company will be able to focus on better integrating its smartphones with other Sony products. Take, for example, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, also known as the “PlayStation phone.” Could this deal bring about an even better smartphone for gamers?
Sony President and CEO Sir Howard Stringer also revealed the company is moving away from feature phones. Android is currently the platform of choice, but Sony might be open to using another OS as well. Thursday’s deal also gives Sony a ”broad IP cross-licensing agreement and ownership of five essential [Ericsson] patent families.”
AT&T released two Android smartphones on September 18: the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY 4G and the Impulse 4G. Both phones are relatively low-cost, with the Xperia PLAY 4G running $49.99 on contract and the Impulse 4G at an affordable $29.99 on contract.
Sony Ericsson’s new smartphone packs a 4-inch screen, 1GHz processor, stereo speakers, and 5MP cameras on both the front and back. The phone includes 1GB of internal memory, but it can be expanded to up to 32GB thanks to the included microSD card slot and 8GB memory card. The Xperia PLAY 4G, like its predecessor, is also designed for gaming. The ”stealth blue” device includes a directional keypad, dual analog touch joysticks, two shoulder buttons, and the standard PlayStation symbol keys. It also comes with a dock and seven free games from popular publishers like EA and Gameloft.
The 3.8-inch AT&T-branded Impulse 4G, meanwhile, is designed and manufactured by Huawei. In it, customers will find a 5MP camera with auto-focus and flash, as well as 4.5GB of memory, 512MB of which is internal. Those looking for more storage can swap out the 4GB microSD card with up to 32GB.
The beautiful Nokia Lumia 900 is manufactured from a single-piece injection-molded polycarbonate shell and features a 4.3-inch AMOLED ClearBlack Display (CBD), 1.4GHz processor, 16GB of internal memory, 512MB of RAM, and a 1830mAh battery. Performance-wise, it can best nearly every device on the market. The 8MP Carl Zeiss camera takes fantastic photos, and the quality of the 1MP front-facing camera is astounding. The intuitive Windows Phone OS, support for AT&T’s 4G LTE network, and $99 price tag are just icing on the cake.
Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX
The Motorola DROID RAZR was easily one of the best Android phones of 2011. It was one of the first seriously thin phones and it had the best specifications, durability, and styling to come out of Motorola in a long time. Now, with the introduction of the MAXX variant, it's almost irresistible, even to those currently locked into a contract. With Verizon’s 4G LTE, a 1.2GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and a 3300mAh battery pumping out over 21 hours of talk time, the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX is ecstasy wrapped in Kevlar.