Would you want to see a pressure-sensitive screen in a future Xperia?

by XB on 14th December 2015

in News

Sony Xperia Force TouchApple is trying to popularise the concept of a pressure-sensitive display in the latest iPhone 6s series. Apple refers to its “3D Touch” technology as the ‘next generation of Multi-Touch’ and an entirely new way to interact with your phone. The idea is that by determining how hard you are pressing on your screen, an app will give you different functionality.

One of the first companies to announce such a device was Huawei with its Mate S smartphone, where it famously weighed an orange on its announcement last September at the IFA tradeshow in Berlin. There are now rumours of others coming to the table with this functionality, as The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Samsung will introduce a pressure-sensitive screen in the Galaxy S7 series.

Given that this feature is likely to become a big marketing point as new smartphones incorporate it, we wanted ask our readers whether it is something you will find genuinely useful? There is a chance we might see it in an upcoming Sony Xperia device, but would its inclusion (or omission) affect your purchasing decision? Personally, for us it doesn’t appear that there is a killer feature for such functionality right now so we’re indifferent, but we’d love to hear your thoughts below.

  • Nodar Sixarulidze
  • Stephen Raharja

    If it doesn’t compromise battery life, screen quality, or processing power, there’s nothing wrong with any new features.

  • Dion

    Do you get paid for posting that fake shit?

  • mountain

    There are popups in the link he posted, so yes, I suppose.

  • xAntifreeZe

    good to have, but if it contributes on top of the high price tag Sony have for their phone, then no thx

  • Paul M

    Samsung used to have “hover mode” on their Galaxy S devices which would detect a finger close but not touching; they previously had this on their Note devices. I don’t think they do it any more, possibly because nobody used it?

  • ChilliPSco

    I wouldn’t mind it, especially if it doesn’t compromise on price, battery or other specifications. I’d still rather Sony Mobile fix this dam blur bug with their Z5 handsets first. Whilst it doesn’t affect everyone, it is affecting quite a number of users. I’ve been at them for 8 weeks now and I’m having to resort to legal action. If they can’t get the basics right, the it doesn’t bode well for adding a pressure sensitive screen in the future. I mean the Z5 series is meant to have “The World’s Best Camera in a Smartphone!”

  • shhh

    Just flag his comments once you see him. I hope XB bans this guy, steals infos and photos and posts it as his own. He already spammed Esato.

  • Matt

    with correct implementation , yes

    maybe let google figure it out or let samsung bend over backwards finding the correct implementation. then copy them

  • SONY only

    useless feature

  • dragonsneeze

    We already have nav buttons and widgets at our disposal, also various gestures etc. I don’t think it’s a necessity. You wanna preview someting? Just go in then hit the back button, wanna open a camera mode? Use the widget. The multitasking button is there, so no need for a side click or whatever. Also if you need to keep the pressure while for example choosing what to do from an icon that’s just too much work if you ask me. It does sound interesting but I can’t see anything that can’t be done without it.

  • Jaissal S

    We don’t need a gimmick feature like that in my opinion. Apple just needed that for a reason to sell the 6S to consumers. Gives it a USP.

  • laci_csk

    No need

  • laci_csk

    In the Xperias, the Glove mode is like same, increasing sensibility of the screen, and detected your finger close but not toching.

  • I haven’t use a device with a pressure sensitive screen and I don’t see the value of it right now, so I’m indifferent.

    HOWEVER, seeing how my Mom ***STABS*** the screen with her finger if she gets frustrated with her M2 Aqua if it’s slow or doesn’t respond I’m totally against a pressure sensitive screen on anything less than the fastest devices because it will increase user frustration if the user does what my Mom has done.

  • @Matt_Na:disqus Pretty much…

  • @jaissals:disqus What does “USP” stand for please?

  • Nurlan

    YES ?

  • Sadman Khan

    Well it can already enabled in Sony phones using the barometer. You need root of course.

  • Great Dude

    Unique Selling Point.

  • @dudethegreat:disqus Thank you.

  • Great Dude

    I don’t really care much about it and that won’t affect my decision at all.

    If the hardware is needed for better more accurate pressure sensitive screen then I hope that they include it on their future phones because Google may implement it on a future Android version and also because apps may include this feature ,actually instagram already added it on its Android app http://www.theverge.com/2015/12/8/9871248/apple-3d-touch-on-android-instagram-limited-update

  • Naresh Gundu

    All i want is to see a better camera.

  • Ambitious Man

    That is bullshit! We need:
    1/ full manual mode.
    2/ monster battery.
    3/ Hi-fi DAC & amp systems.
    4/ 4K feature is more useful.
    5/ smoother, faster.
    That’s all!

  • Great Dude

    you are welcome ;)

  • Jaissal S

    Unique Selling Point

  • Vjekoslav Andric

    No. No need for unneccesary gimmicks…
    Do not copy crap features, invent new ones…

  • Wolf0491

    The only thing I been able to think it might be useful for is games. I’m sure it will require lots and lots of phones to have it to make DEVs consider wasting time incorporating it though.

  • Genta Aditya

    1. can be done
    2. if you’re willing to sacrifice thinness
    3. impossible as long as Sony still uses Qualcomm SOC, since Qualcomm already have their own DAC, it’s very unlikely to have another 3rd party DAC aside it – unless Sony works closely with Qualcomm to develop a custom chipset that doesnt include integrated DAC. That’s why Samsung devices that uses Exynos managed to use Wolfson DACs (though they’re the lowest tier one) while Qualcomm Samsungs uses Qualcomm DACs…. cmiiw
    4. if you use VR a lot, yes… if not, waste of horsepower
    5. can be done

  • Jesús López Sotelo

    I always loved how you could use a pencil on the Z2, I’d like too see that again.

  • adibuyono

    Well.. it may be not usefull for some, but I really think Sony need to move as how the trend go.. I believe in 2016, alot phone will have such function.. rumour has already told us galaxy s7 and xiaomi mi5 will be using it, and also LG, who always able to catch up the new trend. I wish no fingerprint incident happen again, where apple get it in h2 2013, samsung q1 2014, follow by other in early 2015, but sony get it in september 2015.. its really late.. I hope sony will follow the trend and not being leave behind.. go go go sony, we are here to support you….

  • adibuyono

    Well.. I still dreaming a stylus like apple pencil to work with my xperia

  • adibuyono

    1. Agree
    2. Sony doing well now, their sd810 device provide better battery life than others
    3. Agree
    4. Uuurrmmm
    5. Sony is fast enough, that’s the thing bring me out from samsung

  • adibuyono

    Sony need that “USP” too, dont you agree? ;)

  • Jaissal S

    Not really :P

  • Subrat Jain

    No ! Never! Companies big like Sony shouldn’t go for any feature that Apple introduces. Apple is NOT the industry standard. Make your product stand out instead of copying.
    Coming to the point of pressure sensitive sreen, the feature is useless on Android. Android already has feature like widgets and 2 layers along with Google now plus a long tap feature. My gf has 6s and she hardly use it. Plus it feels weird to make such a long press and after sometime you don’t want to do that, it gets tiring.

  • Great

  • Johan

    Short answer: NO!

    A bit longer answer:
    No, because I connect my phone to my TV/screen and use it as my main computer. I do this with a Bluetooth mouse/keyboard connected. If the phone had pressure-sensitive functions, I do not see how those functions will work with a regular mouse. They might find a way around it, but at least initially it would just complicate things, which just barely works as they are now. So I might be open to it in the future, if Bluetooth mice with pressure-sensitive buttons becomes a common thing.
    Until then it is just another gimmick, somthing that the industry as a whole needs way less of and something that Sony have been good at repelling so far. A lot can be changed and improved in the Xperia phones, but let’s not change THAT…

  • Bashar Shehab

    Android 6.0.1 arrived to the concept

    Xperia Z3 Compact

  • deekbee

    If Sony had some decent engineers they could get better results out of their current cameras – other manufacturers make WAY better use of Sony sensors than Sony do themselves.

    Z5C – camera startup time is still too slow, processing time is pathetic (my old 808 starts the camera faster and is WAY at processing, despite having double the pixels to handle).

    There are plenty of other issues with the camera app too …. (4K and slowmo should just be setting in the main camera application).

    Great phone all round, but the camera is disppointing.

  • DBS

    1 – And OIS.

  • kaostheory

    Other manufacturers use older sensors with less mp which increases speed and easier to make algorithms because they’re not the first. I like the fact Sony has the latest tech, but it does come at a price.

  • subm

    it seems like a pressure sensitive screen cost a lot to repair

  • DBS

    This “pressure sensitivity” thing has been available on Android for ages. Once again what Apple did is nothing new. The only difference is that Android developers (and Google) never really bothered with using it the way Apple does. Mainly because Android does a lot of stuff that iPhones don’t, starting with allowing you to choose what’s on your home screen.

    So no, I couldn’t care less for “pressure sensitive” screens. Because we already have them. And there’s nothing truly useful about them.
    I think Android, and specially Sony, have bigger issues to address. Sony specially needs to get their act together and finally release a phone with a camera worth of the Sony brand instead of leaving to LG, Samsung and Apple the work of picking up Sony hardware and do with it what Sony seems unable to.

  • Bashar Shehab

    New SSs, the SW Version is release keys so I think that MM launch is very soon .

  • deekbee

    Nokia 808 – 41mp sensor, running a 1.3gHz ARM11 CPU. That can start the camera application faster than the SD810 based Z5. That is embarrassing. Time to get a preview on an image is almost

    Lumia 1020 – 41mp sensor, with a 1.5gHz S4 processor – that processes images faster than the Z5. Again, that is rather embarrassing. I’d love to see Sony explain this “performance”.

    It wouldn’t be too bad if the Z5 produced better results than either of these, but it doesn’t – Sonys JPG processing is really not that good. Sonys algorithms are flawed, at least in their phones.

  • Bashar Shehab

    Actually Huawei has launched the first Force Touch tech in a smartphone, NOT apple

  • iia3ezu

    If the phone is much heavier with the pressure sensitive screen (it happened with the iPhone 6S), then no.

    Anyhow, sort out your software issues first, stop making so many silly themes. Get your priorities right.

  • Bashar Shehab

    XDA link please?

  • iia3ezu

    I think if there is some sort of implementation of pressure sensitive screen, it must be an industry-wide joint project with Google at the helm.

    The last thing we want is Samsung, HTC LG and the others each doing their own thing Anyone can add the hardware. It is the software implementation that must be standardized. Apple does everything in-house, so its implementation is okay.

  • Zeoxzy

    I just can’t understand how it is any more beneficial than a long press (which doesn’t exactly take a long time to do!)

  • cicababa

    I just want to see Sony’s end. Worst Japanese company.

  • hansip

    Well for future proofing it is nice, but not necessarily needed. 820 though, is a must. To fix what 810 have taken from Sony and others. About OIS though, seems like not the issue Sony will address, seeing their Video Stabilization works much better than OIS. But the jpeg processing really needs to be fixed.

  • Rikimaru Azuma

    Actually why not but am more waitting for RAW support.

  • Ambitious Man

    2/ optimized the software, say no with thinner. :v
    3/ but LG did it, ex: V10. :)

  • Chaturanaga Manchanayake

    Hope they’ll release fast. can’t wait to update my phone :D

  • Ambitious Man

    :D 2 + 3, better is better. They need to go faster.

  • Chaturanaga Manchanayake

    About the 2nd, You’re absolutely right about it. They’re doing way better than other OEMs using SD810.

  • Ambitious Man

    The biggest sony’s rival is themselves. :D

  • dinesh

    We want this feature. This may make the UI more premium

  • Genta Aditya

    2. Haha yeah i do hope so too
    3. Yes by overriding SD’s stock DAC on their stock player app, meaning you can only fire up the Sabre ESS DAC using LG’s stock player, other than that it will run on SD’s stock DAC.
    I am talking in consideration to those people who use 3rd party players, even i myself use USB Audio Player PRO to bypass Sony’s USB DAC restrictions so i can run a native DSD file to a Chord Mojo amp, if i use the stock Music app, the file will be converted into LPCM first.
    And mind you, each music player have their own tunings, and by far i only like Sony’s Music and USB Audio Player’s tuning.

    Samsung may have Wolfson, LG may have Sabre, but if they dont know how to tune them properly, it’s a waste of good hardware.
    We all know Sony is good at tuning their hardware’s performance — except for the camera…..

  • Aldi Wan Kenobi

    I am with with this article, I think it is a useless feature. I would not really care if my phone has it or not. HOWEVER, Sony Xperia cannot afford to be behind the trend, if it desires to compete, then, they have to jump into the band wagon (unfortunately). Or else, they risk to be described by mobile phone “pundits” (duh) as being “lacking in features”.

    Remember, there are rumors that Apple that is going to release a waterproof iPhone 7…so, just imagine, when they market that device, they will surely tag it as “revolutionary”–even if Xperia devices have that features for years!

    So yeah, do I want it? No. But surely Xperia is better off having it available.

  • Utsav Shah

    Yes I want it but with proper wacom like stylus support in an Ultra phone.

  • Sadman Khan
  • fluxx

    Both these phones have a special on-chip image processor performing image scaling. That 41MP sensor was even more spectacular than a lot of people knew. Sad nobody else than Nokia used it.

  • Timel

    Who cares this bullshit 3D touch feature while the camera of Xperia flagship phones still the shittiest among rivals today !

    Now Sony’s trying to follow Apple while the fact that Sony have many better techs in their hand , but Sony is too blind, Sony just never try to put those awesome techs to their Xperia flagship phones, never ever!

    3D touch? Oh it sounds great but…. C’mon Sony should seriously improve the camera on their smartphone first, the superior auto in Xperia Z5 Premium is the shittiest auto mode when compare to auto mode of Note 5, iPhone 6s, LG V10 or even Nokia 1020 and this lame problem is the big fucking deal, Video recording of Z5 Premium is very bad also, colour is stupid, there’s only SteadyShot that very awesome and can work effectively

    So, as a Sony fan, I don’t have problem if the Z6 will come up with 3D touch but please improve the camera quality also, Z6 camera must outperform all rivals next year if not… Most people will choose flagships from Samsung, Apple, LG, Huawei instead Sony for sure

    Not just the outperform camera quality, But Sony need to move forward with Oled technology as well, OLED is the present and future, Oled display on Note 5 is very amazing about color accuracy while Z5 Premium’s,display has bad color accuracy (too red)

    And about sound quality, Sony must improve the quality of smartphone speaker as well, and Sony should combine great sound chip like S-master amp to Z6 as well, At least these things will allure music lovers around the world interesting in Xperia Z6

    When people think about Sony, they expect awesome camera, awesome sound quality, awesome display but in the end there’s only disappointment. Xperia Z series devices (Z-Z5) are just So-So and at some points they are worse than competitors

  • Emil Oskarsson

    To me all Sony’s latest phones (from z2 and forward to z5) do outperform the competitors or plays on the same level as the competition in real life situations. I dont know if you are just basing your opinion on facts from the internet but it seems so.

    Otherwise you might have a damages or several damaged handsets from sony at your disposal. Truth is you should not trust reviews from Phone Arena and similar sites like you obviously do. There is nothing wrong with the software on Sonys lates smartphones (counting from z2 and forward) end of discussion….

    PS. I dont just say this because im a die hard Sony fan. Because im not, im basing my opinion on real life situations when comparing different devices cameras from the same year ofc.

  • Emil Oskarsson

    You can enable it in any phone that have a barometer :p

  • Edwin

    No, Sony is better than that, just because apple is doing it, doesn’t mean everybody has to follow, please don’t.

  • Mateusz Wojtkiewicz

    I don’t give a f*** about pressure sensitive screens. Proper stylus, however, would be nice. But what I really want is better camera and battery life.

  • azzido

    I do not care this new display that much, but you know: no matter people on apple or shamesung will use it really rare, your colleagues will be saying “oh, you do not have it”, and believe me, it will be in every internet review about Z6 i “cons” section, no matter how many “pros” it will have. Also the regular sellers in markets an carriers will be promoting apple and shamesung with this new feature to the clients to draw their attention saying: shame is better cause have a new display and Sony still sticks on the old technology. Now not only they do not have Oled display, but force touch neither…

    So Sony, no matter how frequently people will use it, you need to add it.

    Just remember about camera, design, speakers, S-Master chip, headphones in the box!, Snap 820 with 4GB of RAM and GIVE US BACK THE BATTERY.

    I hear from my friends and family that one of biggest advantages that Sony had (battery life) over competition, with Z5 is gone as it works same amount as other brands. 3400mAh should be included in 5.2″ Xperia, not 2900… And upcoming 5.8″ Z6 Premium should have over 4000mAh battery. Sorry Sony but chinese phones are doing better now. Do not stand behind the competition and stop lowering amount of battery. Think about Oled or Laser technology for screen. 4K is nice but it should be the user than can turn it off and on. If I do not care for battery but for given tome want to make use of 4K display it should be up to me.

    Please also redefine the UI to more stylish as it was with ice cream sandwitch. People claim your UI is too sweet now.. You need tp change the UI completely as it is too long the same, as well as the design. But do not go into rounded corners as Shamesung does. You have talented people to design something really outstanding and new like Arc design was.

    Also 5.8″ and bigger phones should come with nice earphone, blutooth one. Even better, I imagine a very little, mini calm shell phone just for calling – W980 design with its orange lights, but smaller. This would differentiate you from competition completely. All above should put youback to the throne.
    Ehh, the camera ;)

  • kaostheory

    I’ve heard the 1020 is slow to process pics and can takes 3 times longer between pics compared to the 1520. Definitely slower than the Z5.

  • Subrat

    Let’s be real Bashar. Huawei might have release it first but I highly doubt it is their idea. The leaks of Apple using force touch were out long time before the phone was released. So, as the technology itself is not innovative at all and has been around for a while (I did technology survey for a display making company), it wouldn’t have been difficult for Huawei to take it and introduce it first. Huawei will never come up an idea like this on its own. Now, next argument is that even though Huawei released it first, a company like Sony is thinking of introducing it only because Apple used it and not Huawei. Even though apple is doing nothing new in its phone and giving consumers some small gimmicks, Android and Sony does not need those gimmicks. Sony is already giving consumers high class and useful products. They need to focus on doing something different than apple. Now, samsung is planning to bring force touch. I mean, what happened to these companies! They used to be so much more innovative and apple was innovative ONLY once ie. the iphone1. I had been using sony for 6 years until I moved to nexus 5x this year because I moved to US and there is NO sony. So, please bring your product to USA and do something different yet useful.

  • Sadman Khan


  • Afzal Zainal Rddz

    I prefer sony continue using tech z ultra n z2 had for display sensitivity. I can used any pencil or pen as stylus but dont now why sony abandon that function in z3 and above. Fast focus should come with fast captured like xps had. RGW sensor should be standard for xperia flagship with better apperture. The speaker quality should be better and if the reason being waterproof as an excuse sony better remove the waterproof as mention z5 cant be used to captured underwater scene and can void the warranty or maybe just coat internal part for splash proof feutures.

  • rmartinezdl

    That is just gimmicks, like 4k, if it’s going to make the phone thicker I would rather have a bigger battery, or more storage, better display, stop wasting money on gimmicks.

  • jamie evans

    I love to see a new n fresh design rather than new screen technology. Xperia design has to change for its future. radical change.

  • Snake Skywalker

    I’d really love to see a pressure sensitive Xperia tablet in the future. Along with a dedicate stylus is a definitely a PLUS!! iPad Pro and Apple Pencil is really cool, but I am not an Apple fan so I’d rather see a Xperia 12″ tablet with a strong pressure sensitive screen and a 2048-level Xperia stylus for me to work on my design concepts or sketches.

  • George D. Flamouris

    yea, the addition of a digital scale in the phone would be nice. not just for 3d bullshit touch

  • deekbee

    @fluxxis:disqus – the 808 had a dedicated DSP for image processing. That didn’t aid camera startup time though, that was just down to coding.
    The 1020 didn’t have any such DSP, it was just a regular S4 processor – ie. slow. I’m guessing that the sensors were built under an arrangement whereby they were for exclusive use.
    Although the exclusive use did extend to the microphones (which are excellent for gigs), but those did get used by HTC for a while.

    @disqus_15OU1EAOIi:disqus – I have the 1020 (running W10M) and the Z5C, there is definitely similar processing times on both, with the 1020 getting an image ready for preview a little quicker. So “definitely slower” is just a rumour, owning both I am speaking from experience.

    Still love my Z5C, absolutely cracking device – I’m just hoping that Sony realise at some point that “Oh no, we’ve screwed up the imaging potential of the phones”.

  • deekbee

    In my experience (of owning some of these devices), the Sony kit is below par on image processing. The sensors are capable of considerably better results than the Sony software allows. Camera startup time, image processing time – both way too slow on the Z5C.

    On all other areas – build, battery life, overall device use, the Z5C (and I guess Z5 by extension) is an absolutely brilliant device.

  • Khillo81

    If nobody used/uses the gimmicks Samsung keeps introducing and then dropping, it’s because they never work properly. I’ve spoken to Samsung owners and they all told me the same thing: hover mode, eye tracking, etc… are frustrating to use and they only work less than half of the time. Samsung just uses these things for marketing purposes and then removes them in the next iteration while focusing on something else: look at our shiny glass and metal! I don’t know whether this speaks more of Samsung or of our ever increasing goldfish-like attention span.

  • Khillo81

    Even if they don’t release a waterproof iPhone 7, Apple is already marketing iPhone 6S as ‘waterproof’ through unofficial channels. That’s the smoke and mirrors of Apple for you…

  • Timel


    The camera is very slow and the auto mode is very horrible

    Look like Sony don’t understand what most customers really want, this era, in everyday people use their smartphones as point and shoot camera, no one want to waste the time by using manual mode on the device like smartphone, everyday people use smartphone as videos and music player, this is the truth, too bad that Sony never get the point.

  • fluxx

    Sorry, you’re right. I once read that the sensor itself has a soc; but I just checked and it does not do the downsampling which is indeed done by the main processor.

  • HAWX

    Yeah it was really convenient. I didin’t know that it doesn’t work on the newer generation devices :/

  • HAWX

    Well said man :)

  • Timel


  • Timel

    Why Sony never can’t make the great auto mode

  • Timel

    Sony has floating touch feature

  • Timel

    What about Sony’s floating touch feature

  • azzido

    Also fix this digitizer still visible in the sun :/

  • Alvin

    much more useless to me….

    but 3d touch is also useless

  • Battal

    When Sony’s adopt it, you’ll call it Sony Magic !

  • Geese Howard

    ‘next generation of Multi-Touch’ so we get to foreplay our phone before digging in? Damn Apple, no Steve Jobs and you go towards this kind of strategy? Nice :)

  • Paul M

    why repeat yourself?

  • Thariq Mohammed

    For Android 3D touch is not necessary, but app developers will adopt this function to their apps in the future. So I think it’s better to have this on upcoming phones,

  • Riyal

    Xperia Z1 Compact has this feature enabled but hidden. Downloading a pressure sensitive paint app(Not S-Pen) on the device and enabling pressure detection creates a limited pressure sensitivity.

  • Ambitious Man

    :( Samsung have Wolfson but… S6 is a suck (in my mind and my friend’s). I think V10 can beat Xperia flagships, owners’s feedback is also a good performance.

    And if Z6 equip with a hifi system, Sony can do marketing well.

  • Genta Aditya

    that’s why i said Samsung and LG doesnt know how to tune those DACs properly to make them sound enjoyable.
    and as for Samsung, they may use Wolfson, but lowest tier of Wolfson. They’re selling the brand — not the sound.
    Samsung may know how to make it sound very analytical, but not enjoyable. Going text book is much easier than doing improvisation.

    If Samsung ever want to make their phones sounds out of the world, they might just as well hire Astell & Kern’s sound engineer. Both are South Korean company, both have experience tinkering with Android, and both have history of raising market price like douche.

  • Soner Baydar


  • You’re a genius. Totally agreed with what you wrote.

  • OLED or I switch to Samsung (after 10 years of using Sony). The AMOLED displays Samsung put in their phones are absolutely amazing.

  • Marco Chiappetta

    Actually you don’t need root and it only works with waterproof phones. The N5 also has a barometer but the hack doesn’t work.

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