Chilling With Sony Mobile

By Jorge Figueiredo - December 22nd, 2014


Not too long ago, I was invited to hang out with Sony Mobile to check out some of their new hand-held devices. So, I made my way over to where they were holding the Touch & Try Event, and was lucky enough to have arrived before everyone else! I sat down with Rob, a product representative from Sony Mobile, to check out a few of their new products – including a demonstration of Playstation 4 Remote Play on some of those very devices!

Xperia Z3 Line

Rob had three devices on the table: An Xperia Z3 Compact, a Z3 Tablet Compact, and an Xperia Z3, which was attached to a Playstation 4 DualShock 4 controller thanks to Sony’s Game Control Mount GCM10. Rob set the tone of the demonstration by talking about how Sony Mobile’s philosophy is about more than just providing good phones – they are aiming to provide great devices.

Each device runs Android OS, and are good for up to 2 days of battery life with standard usage. There is also a Stamina Mode, which Rob likened to a refrigerator door being opened and closed, with things only being active once the “door” is “open”. You can specify which apps stay active, and which ones you can only use when your phone is engaged. There is also an Ultimate Stamina Mode, which reportedly provides up to 7 days of battery life.

Hi-res sound and a wicked display. Not too shabby, Sony.

Each device comes equipped with hi-res audio (which sounds fantastic, as per the demonstration using a pair of hi-res audio headphones) and a Bravia-tech screen (which adjusts to the sunlight and looks brilliant). The two phones also boast 20.7 megapixel cameras which are capable of ISO 12,800; the tablet, on the other hand, clocks in at around 8 megapixels. The devices are also equipped with a Sticker Mode, that allows you to capture images and super-impose them on newly-acquired photos shot with your camera. Imagine, for instance, taking a picture of your cat, using the on-board tools to erase any trace of the background, and then taking a photo of landmarks on a business trip with your cat in the foreground. It’s a nice touch that makes it really easy to have fun.

All three phones are dust-proof and water-proof when all of the flaps are closed (much like the Xperia Tablet Z that we reviewed last year). Not only are they spill-proof, but they can be submerged underwater for a limited amount of time. While it is not really meant to be taken free-diving, it is nice that these devices have this feature, especially if you spend time with them by the pool. It’s also much easier to clean the screens when you can rinse them under the tap, rather than just wiping them with a cloth.

I mentioned earlier that Rob spoke of hand-held devices that gave the user a great experience. Part of this excellent experience involves integration with the PS4, in the form of Remote Play. For the uninitiated, Remote Play is the ability for the Playstation 4 to be used as a host, sending game-play to a remote device. In the past, this was done using the Playstation Vita; but now, the Xperia Z3 line is joining in the fun. Provided you have your Xperia Z3 device tied to the same Wi-Fi network as your PS4, you can enjoy remote-play adventures as long as you are within range of the router. The benefit of Remote Play is that it allows for mobility within your home, and allows someone else to use the television for something else.

Keeping things in place. Works on all 3 models you see in the background.

The Game Control Mount GCM10 is what enables comfortable game-play, as it utilizes the DualShock 4 as a controller. The GCM10 snaps on snugly to the body of the DualShock, and has a tilting arm with a suction cup that attaches to the back of any of the Xperia Z3 devices. It does a great job holding fast to both the controller and the hand-held device. The GCM10 covers the DualShock 4’s headphone jack; however, users may use a Bluetooth headset or plug a wired headphone into their Xperia device to experience the full effect.

Along one of the walls was a gaming display, complete with a Playstation 4 and a flat-screen television; LittleBigPlanet 3 was in session, with the display from the television being simultaneously shown on the Z3. I navigated around the screen, taking Sackboy through part of the level before pushing Remote Play to the limit by swapping out LBP3 with Driveclub. Needless to say, while there was a little bit of lag, there wasn’t enough to take away from the enjoyment. The Xperia Z3 devices help up well during the test, making the Sony Mobile phones a compelling choice for those who want another avenue to game.

SmartWatch 3 SWR50 and SmartBand Talk SWE30

Unfortunately, I had another engagement to make my way to, so I didn’t get as much time as I would have liked to check out the SmartWatch 3 and the SmartBand Talk. Both devices respond to voice input, and are Bluetooth-ready, so you can connect to other devices. The SmartWatch has built-in GPS, a Quad ARM A7 1.2 Ghz Processor (with 512MB of RAM), a Transflective display and a host of sensors. The SmartBand has a curved E Ink display, runs Android Lifelog, and contains an accelerometer and an altimeter.

Hoping to see more of this in the future.

The SmartWatch boasts a 2-day battery life, while the SmartBand can be active for as long as 3 days. Both of these look pretty compelling, and I look forward to checking them out in the future.

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