Sony Ericsson Confirms Its 2011 Range of Xperia Handsets Will Get the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Update

Sony Ericsson has confirmed in a blog post that their 2011 range of Xperia handsets will be getting the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update.  The 2011 range of Xperia handsets include the Arc S, Arc, Play, Neo, Neo V, Xperia Mini, Mini Pro, Xperia Active, Xperia Ray and the recently released Live with Walkman. The company did not mention as to when the update will be available for the handsets. Users should not expect the update to be available anytime before early next year.

All Sony Ericsson handset owners out there will definitely appreciate this move from the company. It is also nice to see that Sony Ericsson have learnt from their mistakes in the past. The company was heavily criticized for launching the Xperia X10 back in 2010 with an outdated version of Android, and then taking ages release the Android 2.1 Éclair update. Finally the company stop providing further Android updates for the phone, while the handset was clearly powerful enough to run Android 2.2 FroYo and Android 2.3. After a lot of  criticism, the company did a U-turn and released the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the X10, but only for the unlocked and un-branded variants.

Nevertheless, it is nice to see Sony improving on its disastrous image of Android OS updates for their handsets. Now, only if the company could match other Android manufacturers in terms of raw hardware specifications!

 

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S Now Available In The US For $499.99

Back in August, Sony Ericsson announced the Xperia Arc S smartphone. This handset is the successor of the popular Xperia Arc smartphone. There are almost no changes in the specs, except the 1.4 Ghz single core processor. We have a good news for the folks, who were eagerly waiting for the launch of this smartphone in the US. Sony Ericsson has finally started shipping the Xperia Arc S smartphone in the US.

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Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S features a 4.2 inch multi-touch Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine, sporting a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels, 1.4 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM82555 processor, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System, Wi-Fi 801.11 b/g/n, 3G Connectivity, 8.1 megapixel camera with LED flash, HD (720p) video recording and playback, etc.

Other features include a 3.5 mm audio jack, aGPS, Bluetooth, PlayNow service, TrackID music recognition app, 3D games, Motion gaming, stereo FM Radio, HDMI, DLNA, Micro USB support, Wi-Fi, Wisepilot turn-by-turn navigation, 512 MB RAM, 1 GB internal memory, up to 32 GB expandable memory, up to 37 hours of music listening time, up to 6 hours 25 min of video playback time, up to 7 hours 25 min of talk-time, up to 460 hours of stand-by time and a 1500mAh battery.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S comes with a price tag of $499.99 without any contract. If you are planning to get this smartphone, then just head over to this page at Sony online store.

Sony Ericsson’s First Dual Core Android Smartphone Leaked [Pictures]

Sony Ericsson’s current flagship, the Xperia Arc S, seems grossly underpowered when compared with the dual-core beasts from other major Android smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, HTC, and LG. While Sony Ericsson got its software segment in order in 2011, it was let down by the hardware department. It made a lot of right calls to woo the Android aficionados, including shipping devices with Gingerbread, unlocking the boot loader, and even officially providing support to the ROM development community. Both the Arc and Arc S are stunning handsets with a gorgeous body and a snappy operating system. Unfortunately, under the hood, both of them house a single core CPU that make the Xperia devices a dubious choice for the demanding consumer.

The good news is that Sony Ericsson’s next flagship device is indeed going to be a dual-core power house that can compete with the latest and greatest from other smartphone manufacturers. The device, which is currently going by the name Sony Ericsson Xperia Nozomi LT26i, will be powered by a 1.5 GHz dual-core CPU and have 1 GB of RAM. Here are some leaked snaps by the way of JustAmp.

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Nozomi will sport a 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen, with a massive resolution of 1280×720 pixels. While Google’s Nexus Prime also has similar resolution, it has a slightly bigger screen, which means that the Nozomi will have an advantage as far as pixel density is concerned. Detailed spec-sheet for Nozomi is currently not available; however, from the leaked snaps it is clear that SE will include both front and rear cameras. The pictured handset is running Android Gingerbread 2.3.5, but this can change before release. Given that the handset will probably be released in Q1 2012, Sony Ericsson should ideally launch its next flagship with Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0).

Sony and Ericsson Finally Part Ways

Sony and Ericsson have just announced in a press release that the former will acquire Ericsson’s 50% stake in their Sony Ericsson partnership. This move will make Sony the sole owner of handset division, thus ending this long partnership.

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This move will allow Sony to integrate its smartphones into their network-connected electronic devices like their BRAVIA TVs, Personal Computers and much more. Sony will also gain access to a broad intellectual property cross-licensing agreement covering all its products and services along with the ownership of five essential patent families relating to wireless handset technology. Sony will need to pay Ericsson EUR 1.05 Million in cash for buying their 50% stake.

The transaction has already been approved by all the members of both the companies, and is expected to close in January 2012.

The Sony Ericsson partnership started way back on October 1, 2001, and comes to an end after a decade. Both the companies entered into the partnership to turn their unprofitable handset operations into a profit making business, and were successful to a certain extent. However, for the last few years, Sony Ericsson had been going through a tough time, and was suffering major losses.

Motorola ACTV Announced; Aims To Be Your Personal Fitness Trainer

Motorola has just announced a new device, the ACTV. The new device is aimed at sportsmen, and is aimed at tracking their workouts, gym sessions, cycling sessions etc.

The ACTV is powered by a 600 MHz processor, and is sweat, water and dust resistant. The device also comes with FM radio, and is capable of storing up to 4000 mp3 files.

The company also announced a new Bluetooth based headsets, with inbuilt heart tracking sensors! Yes, it’s time to dump your outdated heart-rate monitors!

The Moto ACTV automatically uploads all your fitness sessions to Motorola’s new sports tracking website MotoACTV.com. The website provides extensive details about your workout session. For connectivity, the device comes with GPS and Wi-Fi. The ACTV can also be paired with your Android handset to show some useful information. The device is similar to Sony Ericsson’s Live with Walkman, except for the phone functionality.

The ACTV will hit the retail stores on November 6th, and will come in 8GB and 16GB versions. The 8GB version will cost $249, while the latter will cost $299.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray Now Available In The US For $424.99

Back in June, Sony Ericsson introduced a new member in its Xperia family – the Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray. This device was announced and showcased at CommunicAsia 2011 in Singapore. This handset runs on the 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 processor, that provides advanced processing power with minimal drag on performance or battery life. Xperia Ray is powered by the latest Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System.

This handset is already available in most of the European and Asian countries. Today, Sony Ericsson officially announced the launch of this device in the US. Sony Ericsson is selling the unlocked version of this handset. Sadly, the Xperia Ray is not compatible with T-Mobile’s 1700MHz AWS frequency band, but it should work fine on AT&T’s 3G network.

sony ericsson xperia ray

Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray features a 3.3 inch capacitive touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS, 1Ghz processor, Wi-Fi 801.11 b/g/n, 3G Connectivity, 8.1 megapixel camera with 16x digital zoom and Auto focus, front-facing camera for video calls, HD (720p) video recording, Stereo Bluetooth with A2DP, TrackID music recognition, xLOUD and much more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm audio jack, FM radio with RDS, aGPS, DLNA Certified, Micro USB support, 300 MB internal memory, microSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, 3D games, Motion gaming, up to 7 hrs talk time, up to 440 hrs standby time, up to 36 hrs music playback, up to 6 hrs 45 min video playback and a 1500 mAh battery.

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray allows you to access more than 250,000 apps from the Android Market. This handset comes with a price tag of $424.99, without any service agreements.

Sony Ericsson Supports ‘FreeXperia’ Developers By Giving Them 20 Handsets and More!

Last year, Sony Ericsson was criticized heavily for releasing a sub-par high-end Android phone, the X10. To add to their woes, the company took ages to update the handset to Android 2.1 Éclair, and decided not to upgrade the handset to Android 2.2 FroYo. For developers, the locked boot loader on SE’s handsets made things tough for them.

However, since the beginning of this year the company has changed for good. The 2011 range of Xperia handsets have decent specs, and most important ran the latest version of Android Gingerbread. The company has also been providing timely software updates to its Xperia handsets, with every new software update adding new features. The company also released a boot loader unlocking tool for its handsets, and wrote a guide on how to build a Linux kernel, showing their support to the developers and their work.

Today, in a bid to support help the developers more, the company has decided to assist the FreeXperiagroup of developers. The FreeXperia’ group of developers have played a major role in bringing CyanogenMod 7 to all Xperia handsets. However, the CM7 ROM for all Xperia handsets have one major issue the camera does not work properly. This is because Sony uses some proprietary drivers for their camera module, making things tough for developers to reverse engineer them.

Now, Sony Ericsson has decided to help the FreeXperia’ team of developers on many issues, including the camera, where they will be providing debugged and rebuilt library binaries to them. SE will also be supporting the devs. by providing them with approximately 20 devices.

Earlier this year, Samsung also supported the Team Hacksung’ developers by providing them with a Samsung Galaxy S II. However, while the developers have been successful in porting CM7 to the device, there are still some major issues to be resolved, including Bluetooth audio (A2DP). Hopefully, Samsung will learn something from Sony Ericsson and help the Team Hacksung developers with the Bluetooth Audio issue.

Android 2.3.4 Update Rolling Out For 2011 Range Of Xperia Handsets

Sony Ericsson has officially announced that it has started rolling out a new software update for its 2011 range of Xperia branded handsets. In fact, the roll out of the update started last week itself.

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The new software update brings Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread to all Xperia handsets, along with some other enhancements. For Xperia phones with a front camera, Sony Ericsson has included the latest version of Google Talk, with video chatting capabilities. The Facebook Inside Xperia feature has also been enhanced with features like app sharing, liking an app etc.

The update also brings 3D sweep panorama functionality to the handsets. Post the software update, Xperia owners would also be able to use their phone as a mobile-PC by connecting USB peripherals via the Sony Ericsson LiveDock. Other features which Xperia owners can enjoy post the update include swipe like text-input, and ability to take screenshots.

The update also enables 720p HD recording on the Xperia Play. Surprisingly, the official change-log from Sony Ericsson does not state anything about this feature. At the moment, the update is being rolled out in the Nordic countries only. The 2011 range of Xperia handsets include Arc, Neo, Ray and the Play.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play Gets 720p HD Video Recoring Post The Android 2.3.4 Update

At the beginning of the year, when Sony Ericsson announced the Xperia Play, the handset was criticized for its seemingly outdated single-core processor, and lack of 720p HD video recording among other issues.

Now, while Sony Ericsson cannot really do something about the lack of a dual-core processor, they have rectified the second issue with a software update. The Android 2.3.4 update for the Xperia Play enables 720p HD video recording, with continuous auto-focus.

Below is a 720p video recorded from the Play, post the Android 2.3.4 update-:

The Android 2.3.4 update also brings a bunch of other goodies, including swipe like text-input, the ability to take screenshots, click 3D panorama pictures and enhanced Facebook inside Xperia, The update also enables a much needed option to disable or enable Automatic brightness. Surprisingly, the option to enable/disable Automatic brightness is missing from other Xperia phones, post the Android 2.3.4 update.

Last year, Sony Ericsson was heavily criticized for its poor software update. This year, the company has had a very impressive track of software updates. While other Android manufacturers only release software updates to fix some bugs, Sony Ericsson is the only company which has released software update to fix bugs, and also introduce new features.

Thanks to @SSaig for the video

(Source)

Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread Update Rolling Out Now

Sony Ericsson has a very bad reputation, when it comes to updating their handsets to the latest version of Gingerbread. However, since the beginning of 2011, the company has been trying its best to keep its 2011 range of Xperia handsets up to date.

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Around a month ago, SE promised that it will start rolling out the Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread update for its current range of Xperia handsets, with some new software enhancements as well.

Now, according to the Xperia Blog, it looks like Sony Ericsson has not only kept its promise, they have actually bettered it. The company has started rolling out the Android 2.3.4 update for the Xperia Neo, nearly a month ago of its promised release date.

The new software update (v4.0.1.A.0.283) also brings some new features like a swype like text-input system, ability to take screenshots, enhanced Facebook Inside Xperia, ability to click 3D panorama pictures, and the ability to playback 3D videos on a compatible 3D TV. Google Talk with video chatting facility is also on-board.

At the moment, the update for the Neo is being rolled out only in the Nordic region. It’s just a matter of time, before Sony Ericsson starts rolling out the update to other regions of the world, and to its other Xperia branded handsets as well.