Sony reported results for the year ended 31 March 2017 earlier today, with Group sales down by 6% to 7.6 trillion yen and operating profits down by 2% to 289 billion yen. On the mobile side, Sony reported sales of 759 billion yen, along with full year profits of 10 billion yen.
It is great to see Sony back in the black, but this was mainly driven by restructuring cost initiatives, rather than top-line growth. The scale of the task that Sony is facing can be seen with how many phones it shipped during the fourth quarter – 2.9 million. It only sold a smaller amount when it first started selling Android smartphones with the Xperia X10 back in 2010.
Sony Mobile has updated the beta version of the Xperia Home launcher, adding a new wallpaper picker in the process. Build number 10.2.A.3.0 includes a “what you see is what you get” wallpaper picker, which should make it more intuitive for casual users to change both their lock screen and home screen.
There are a number of other big fixes in this release including Android N support, suspended apps support, as well as a fix for Instagram badges. The new Xperia Home version should be live for all of those subscribed to the beta. It is worth noting that the Beta is currently not compatible with newer Xperia handsets, such as the Xperia XZs. [read more…]
Sony Mobile has added the Xperia XZs to its Open Device Program. Sony has a history of adding some of its key devices to its AOSP project, and now that the Xperia XZs has joined the program, it will enable budding developers to build your own custom version of Android Nougat software.
Sony already provides set of readily available instructions to build and flash AOSP, so all you’ll need to do is download the relevant software binaries before you get started. You can find further information at the source link below. [read more…]
Sony Mobile has released the Android 7.1.1 Nougat firmware update for the Xperia XZ and Xperia X Performance handsets through build number 41.2.A.2.199.
The update includes a number of native Android 7.1 features including app shortcuts (with a compatible launcher – the Xperia Home launcher does not support app shortcuts at present). The Android security patch has also been updated to 1 April 2017. [read more…]
Sony Mobile has started pre-orders of the Xperia XA1 into the United States. The handset is available to pre-order in four colours (black, white, gold and pink) for $299.00 through Amazon.com and will launch on 1 May 2017.
Sony is selling the single SIM version of the Xperia XA1, unlike the Xperia XZs, which was sold in the dual SIM variant in the US. The handset will also be available through Best Buy, B&H Photo, BrandsMart and Fry’s. [read more…]
Sony Mobile has added a new “Bronze Pink” colour option for the Xperia XZ Premium. This is the third colour for the Xperia XZ Premium, sitting alongside the previously announced Deepsea Black and Luminous Chrome. The Bronze Pink Xperia XZ Premium will be available in select markets at the end of June 2017. There will also be a matched coloured STH32 stereo headset launching soon too.
Satoshi Aoyagi, Xperia Colour Designer, explained the thinking behind the latest colour option: “We wanted to find a colour that represented a feeling of warmth whilst at the same time exemplifying the premium features and design. The bronze metallic finish adds a feeling of depth to the glass on the front and back. Also just like the other colours every part of the Xperia XZ Premium Bronze Pink has been expertly crafted – such as the top and bottom edges, which are carefully diamond cut and creates an added shine. It’s a chic addition to the choice of colours offered with XZ Premium.” [read more…]
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ has been released over the last week across a number of regions around the world. So it’s great to already see a quick video comparison in how the handset compares against one of Sony’s very best, the Xperia XZs.
The video below from YouTube user Phone Battles (previously Xperia Fan) has put the Galaxy S8+ against the Xperia XZs in a quite challenging low light video test. A number of video recording features are tested including digital zoom, as well as OIS (optical image stabilisation). [read more…]
Sony Mobile is celebrating the picture taking ability of its smartphones by releasing a “Taken with Xperia” Xperia Theme. The theme showcases a curated selection of images taken by Sony Xperia smartphones, cycling through each image every few seconds. It would have been a nice touch if Sony allowed us to use our own images with the theme, perhaps food for thought in a future update.
This is a dark theme, employing some nice icons for the home, back, recent symbols. The lock screen has a transparent large “X” showing the ‘Taken with Xperia’ image underneath. The free theme can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. [read more…]
It looks like there was some confusion over yesterday’s report on Sony’s plans for Concept for Android. Sony is ending the Concept programme for the Xperia X next month, but it will not continue with the Xperia XZ Premium as we reported.
Sony’s original post was somewhat ambiguously worded, referring to next steps being a “community similar to the InTouch community for our upcoming Xperia XZ Premium”. Many assumed this meant that the Xperia XZ Premium will continue to fly the flag for the Concept programme. [read more…]
Sony Mobile’s Concept for Android developers have confirmed that their programme for Xperia X users will end in early May, when the last update will be pushed. After this, there will be no more updates for Xperia X Concept users, not even Android security patches.
If you want to keep your phone updated, you will need to re-install stock firmware, which Sony says will continue to receive these security updates “for a fair bit longer”. The Xperia X follows the Xperia Z3, which was the first handset in the Sony Concept for Android programme back in 2015. [read more…]
Sony Mobile has released Android 7.1.2 for the Xperia X Concept for Android programme as promised. The update includes Bluetooth connectivity improvements and battery usage alerts. Sony has also improved faster camera start-up times in this update.
As part of the process to get Android 7.1.2 to Xperia X Concept users this early, some compromises had to be made, and one of these is that the Setup Wizard only supports Wi-Fi right now (this will hopefully be fixed in a future update). [read more…]