Sony Starts Rolling Out Android 4.0.4 Update To Xperia Handsets

Sony started updating its Xperia branded handsets to Ice Cream Sandwich back in mid-April beginning with the Xperia Arc S, Neo V and Xperia Ray. The roll-out then expanded to other regions of the world as well as to other Xperia devices like the Xperia Arc, Mini and Mini Pro.

Now, it looks like Sony has again started rolling out another software update for its Xperia handsets that bumps the Android version to 4.0.4. The update is being rolled out via OTA and weighs around 20MB in size. The update is being rolled out in certain regions of the world only at the moment, including India. There is no official change-log available, but the update should include an overall improvement in the performance and stability of the handsets along with some bug-fixes. As of now, the update is being rolled out to certain Xperia handsets only including the Xperia Arc, Arc S and the Mini/Mini Pro.

Hopefully, Sony will also be showering some Ice Cream Sandwich love on its 2012 line-up of Xperia NXT handsets including the Xperia S sooner than later. This update also makes Sony the first Android manufacturer to update its handset to Android 4.0.4, except for the Google’s Nexus series.

Now, how about updating that old Gingerbread based 2.6.35.x kernel to 3.x Sony?

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc HD a.k.a Nozomi Poses For The Camera Once Again

The upcoming Sony Ericsson Nozomi a.k.a the Xperia Arc HD pictures have leaked quite a few times on the Internet before. Today, another bunch of pictures of the handset have leaked online, thanks to GSMArena.

xperia_arc_hd

The Nozomi will come with a 4.3-inch LCD, with a whopping 1280×720(720p) resolution. Sadly, the Nozomi will come with a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S3 processor, and an ageing Adreno 220 GPU. Other than this, the handset will pack in 1GB of RAM, and will come with either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory. The phone lacks an external microSD card slot, and comes with a micro-SIM card slot.

Like the Arc, the Arc HD will also come with a mini-HDMI port. At the back of the handset is a whopping 12MP camera aided by a single LED flash. The camera is also capable of recording videos in Full HD (1080p) resolution. The Nozomi or the Arc HD will run on Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread, and should get the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update soon after.

Sony Ericsson is expected to announce the Xperia Arc HD  at the upcoming CES 2012.

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!

 

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.

Sony_Ericsson_Logo

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 Arc S Announced; We Wonder Why!

Sony Ericsson has just announced a new addition to its Xperia branded of Android handsets, the Xperia Arc S. As the name suggests, the Arc S is similar to the original Arc, except that a faster processor powers it.

Instead of the 1GHz Snapdragon chip found on the Arc, the S sports a faster 1.4GHz single-core processor, with the same GPU (Adreno 205) and the same amount of RAM (512MB). Other than the faster processor, the Arc S is a blatant copy of the Arc, which includes its slim waistline of 8.7mm. Like the original, the S sports the same 4.2-inch FWVGA (854×480) Reality Display, with the Mobile Bravia engine. The original Arc was always praised for its 8MP Exmor R camera, and the S retains the same camera. The S is also capable of recording videos in 720p HD resolution with stereo recording.

Other key features of the Arc S include Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS with A-GPS, FM radio, microHDMI port and a bunch of sensors. The Arc S will come with the latest version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It will also include the software enhancements announced by Sony last week, including 3D Sweep panorama and the ability to play 3D content on a 3DTV using the micro-HDMI port. The Arc S will be available in a variety of colors including white, black, blue, silver and pink.

I am still trying to figure out why in this world did Sony Ericsson announce the Xperia Arc S. Except for the faster single core processor, the handset is same as the Arc. The Arc will get all the new 3D features via a software update in a couple of months, so there is no real point in buying an Arc S.

The Arc and the Arc S pack the  same  processor, with it (processor) only being clocked higher by 400MHz on the latter. Arc users, who have already rooted their handset, can easily overclock their handset to 1.4GHz and beyond! In fact, one of the custom kernels for the Arc enables users to overclock up to a whopping 1.9GHz!

Frankly, every other Android manufacturer has released a dual-core powered handset, and its high time Sony Ericsson does the same. There is absolutely no point in wasting money and re-releasing old products with a new name, and minor differences.

 

Sony Ericsson’s 2011 Range of Xperia Devices To Get Android 2.3.4 Update in October

Along with the Sony Ericsson Neo V, the company also announced that the 2011 range of Xperia handsets will be getting a new firmware update, sometime in October this year.

sony-ericsson-logo

The new firmware update will bring some new features along with a minor bump in the Android OS version to 2.3.4. With the Android 2.3.4 update, Xperia handsets users with a front-facing cam will also get to enjoy Google Talk with video chat functionality. The Facebook inside Xperia feature will also be enhanced with this update, by providing users ability to share apps and games through Facebook.

There is also a new 3D Sweep panorama feature, which will allow users to watch images in 3D by connecting the phone to a 3D TV using the HDMI output.

Below is the whole change-log of the update-:

  • Xperiaâ„¢ smartphones to be upgraded to the 2.3.4 version of the Gingerbread platform with new features including Google Talk with Video Chat for smartphones with front-facing cameras
  • Updated Facebook inside Xperiaâ„¢ functionality for enhanced like, share and discover abilities
  • Xperiaâ„¢ smartphones introducing world’s first 3D sweep panorama functionality powered by Sony.
  • The software upgrade enables consumers to turn their Xperia smartphone into a mini-mobile PC by connecting USB peripherals (mouse, keyboard or game controller) to Sony Ericsson LiveDockâ„¢ multimedia station. Connect the smartphone to a TV via HDMI to get a big screen experience.
  • Swipe text input –   text input by swiping the finger from one letter to the next
  • Screen capture – allows the user to share a screen grab from anywhere in the phone.

The last firmware update for all the Xperia handsets also brought a host of new features, including xLoud and themes support. It looks like Sony Ericsson has finally learnt from its previous mistake, and knows that timely software updates also play a major role in a handset’s success.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, Play and Neo Get A Software Update

Sony Ericsson has started rolling out a new software update for three of its Xperia branded handsets the Xperia Play, Neo and Arc. The software update does not bump the Android version to 2.3.4, but brings a host of welcomed features.

Xperia_Arc

First and foremost, the software update adds a Themes’ section to the handset. There are five themes already pre-installed. Each theme is based on a specific color found on the Sony Ericsson logo. SE has also added xLOUD’ feature, which boost the volume of the speaker. I tried this feature on my Arc, and enabling xLOUD just increased the treble a bit.

Another feature which this software update brings is stereo quality audio recording in HD videos on the Arc and the Neo. The core apps found on these apps have also been updated. The Gallery and Music Player apps have also got minor UI enhancements, along with the launcher which now supports landscape mode. The usual performance and stability improvements are also on-board.

Sony Ericsson is slowly rolling out the update to all the Xperia handsets out there, so please be patient before you get the update via OTA.

Sony Ericsson Announces Qriocity Video Service

Sony Ericsson has just announced a new video service for their 2011 range of Xperia branded phones Qriocity.

Qriocity

This new video service will allow Xperia users to buy or rent movies and/or TV shows aired on NBC, International Television Distribution, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Home, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. etc. Users will have access to all the latest TV shows and movies,   along with an extensive back catalogue.

Initially, Sony will launch the service on only two handsets the Xperia Mini and the Mini Pro and in nine countries, which include Japan, U.K, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Canada and United States. Other Xperia handsets (Arc, Pro, Play, Acro, Neo) will get the service later this year via a software update.

With Qriocity, Sony Ericsson aims to compete with the big G’s Movie rental service, and HTC’s Watch service. The blog post from Sony does not mention anything about the average rental price of the TV shows and movies, and the duration you can rent them for. Ultimately, whichever service is cheaper will win.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc Finally Arrives In the US For $599.99

The Xperia Arc is one of the most popular Android phones manufactured by Sony Ericsson. This handset was announced and showcased at the CES 2011 in Las Vegas. The Xperia Arc is already available in most of the Euroupean and Asian markets, but the handset was not launched in the US for some unknown reasons. Now, we have a good news for the folks, who were eagerly waiting for the launch of this smartphone in the US. Sony Ericsson have finally announced the  availablity  of the Android 2.3 powered Xperia Arc in the US.

“At Sony Ericsson, we strive to bring consumers the best in mobile entertainment in superior smartphone design,” said Peter Farmer, Head of Marketing for North America, Sony Ericsson. “The Xperiaâ„¢ arc certainly delivers an entertaining smartphone experience and breathtaking design that has generated rave reviews in other markets and we’re thrilled to make it available to U.S. customers.”

xperia arc

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc features a 4.2 inch multi-touch Reality Display with 854 x 480 pixels resolution, 1 GHz Qualcomm processor, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS, Wi-Fi, 3G Connectivity, 8.1 megapixel camera with Auto focud and Face detection, HD (720p) video recording, 3D games, Media browser, Motion gaming and more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, HDMI, DLNA, 512 MB internal memory, 32 GB expandable memory, 8 GB Memory card bundled, PlayNow service, aGPS, Bluetooth, USB mass storage, Wisepilot turn-by-turn navigation and a 1500mAh battery. This handset measures 125 x 63 x 8.7 mm and weighs just 117 grams.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc comes with a price tag of $599.99 without any contract. This handset will be available for purchase from the next month. You can get this handset in Midnight Blue color from the Sony Store. On the other hand, Newegg.com, Buy.com and Amazon.com will sell this handset in both Midnight Blue and Misty Silver colors.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play And Arc Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread Update Rolling Out Now

Sony Ericsson has started rolling out the Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread update for the Xperia Arc and Play. The update is already available in some regions of the world like Hong Kong, but a wider roll-outwill begin from next week.

Along with the bump in Android OS version, the update also improves the performance and boot-up time of the Xperia Arc and Play.

Here is the official change-log from Sony Ericsson :

  • Battery performance
  • General software stability
  • Wi-Fi stability
  • HD Video recording performance (Xperiaâ„¢ arc)
  • Touch responsiveness

One new feature which this update will bring is Facebook inside Xperia’. Basically, this feature will tightly integrate your Xperia phone with Facebook. Below is a demo of the Facebook inside Xperia feature :

 

Users can update their Xperia Arc or Play to Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread either via OTA or using Sony Ericsson’s PC Companion.

Sony Ericsson also stated that they are working hard on the Gingerbread update for the X10, and they will announce more about the update soon. The Facebook inside Xperia feature will come to the Xperia X10 as well.