Tag Archives: XPERIA

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.

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 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.

Xperia_Neo

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.

AT&T’s Sony Ericsson Xperia Play 4G Announced; Releasing On September 18

Sony Ericsson has just announced the Xperia Play 4G, which is headed to AT&T’s network. Don’t be fooled by the ‘4G’ tag though; the Xperia Play 4G is exactly the same as European version of the Play, and the Verizon’s version as well.

This means the Xperia Play 4G still sports the same 1GHz Scorpion processor from Qualcomm, and an Adreno 205 GPU. There is also 512MB of RAM, along with 400MB of internal storage on-board. Compared to the recent dual-core offerings from other Android manufacturers, the Xperia Play 4G hardware definitely feels old.

Other key specs of the Play include a 4-inch FWVGA (854×480) screen, quality stereo speakers, 5MP camera at the back and a VGA camera in the front, and the usual Wi-Fi, GPS with A-GPS and a bunch of other sensors and connectivity features. The main highlight of the Xperia Play is its PSP like gamepad, which is bound to attract die-hard gamers.

A point to note here is that the Xperia Play 4G, unlike its 4G moniker, does not support AT&T’s true  upcoming  4G LTE support. Instead, it supports its current so called 4G network, HSDPA+.

The handset runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and features Facebook Inside Xperia as well.  The Xperia Play is also the first PlayStation Certified phone in the world, and will come with seven games pre-loaded including Dungeon Defenders, Asphalt 6, Star Battalion, Madden NFL, The Sims 3, Tower Bloxx and Crash Bandicoot.

AT&T owners can get their hands on the Xperia Play 4G in an exclusive “Stealth Blue” color for only $49.99, after a two-year contract. The phone will hit the retail stores on September 18.

 

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.

Google Maps and Reader for Android Updated; Minecraft Now Available For Xperia Play

Google has released updates for two of its popular apps for Android – Google Maps and Google Reader. The Google Maps update brings with it some welcomed changes, including custom transit notifications.

The bubble buttons, which had mysteriously disappeared in the previous update, have also made a comeback. The Transit support has also made its way to the tablet version of Google Maps. The latest update (v5.9) is already available for download from the Android Market.

The Google Reader app for Android has also been updated, and brings with it some much-needed improvements. Most importantly, the Google Reader app finally supports Honeycomb. The tablet layout of the app is similar to the mobile/tablet version of GReader website. The ‘Mark as read’ function has also been improved, and users can now mark an item as read by long pressing on it.

While this update definitely helps in improving the overall usability of the GReader app, it still does not stand a chance in front of the competition.

In other Android apps and games related news, the highly popular and insanely addictive game, Minecraft from Mojang is now available exclusively for the Xperia Play. At the time being, the game will remain exclusive to the Play. Hopefully, the game should be available to other touch screen based Android phones, sometime in the future. Sony Ericsson has also stated that a bunch of new games are soon going to be available for the Play, including Fifa 2012, Death Worm and EVAC HD. The whole list of games can be found  here.

 

 

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.