Sony Xperia Z3 unboxing and first impressions

Oct 1st AT 1:58 AM

Sony‘s latest flagship device is still in the midst of rolling out to markets around the globe, and ours has landed on our doorstep – time for us to go hands-on with our unboxing and first impressions of the new Sony Xperia Z3.

sony xperia z3 first impressions aa (4 of 17)

Design and build quality

Our European version comes out of the box with a charger and cable, some documentation and a set of relatively standard headphones. Take the phone out of its little bag, then peel back the plastic protective stickers to reveal that Sony’s glass front and rear approach continues on the Xperia Z3, giving that premium black shine that many Xperia owners have come to love.

The front of the device brings minimal bezels on the sides, and good thumb-hold sized bezeling on the top and bottom, housing some newly designed speaker grills. A simply Sony label adorns that top bezel in the center, pushing the front facing camera sensor off to the right hand side. The clean look takes none of your attention away from that 5.2-inch display.

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The edges of the Xperia Z3 have a pleasant rounded look and feel, that Joshua found much better than that of the Xperia Z1 or Z2 of old. You’ll find the silver power button just above center on the right hand edge, with the volume rocker just below that, providing easy thumb access for one-handed operation. A dedicated camera button sits in the very bottom right edge.

MicroSD and SIM card slots are also on the edge, underneath a waterproofing rubber plug.

The clean and simple approach continues on the rear of the Xperia Z3, with a tiny NFC indicator in the top third and the now iconic 20.7MP camera sensor with LED flash up in that top left corner. As the rear panel is all glass, it is non-removable, locking that 3100mAh battery inside.

sony xperia z3 first impressions aa (9 of 17)

Display

We call it a 5.2-inch display, but the Sony Xperia Z3 actually packs a 5.15-inch panel with good old fashioned 1080p resolution. Where a lot of the competition has stepped it up to QHD resolution and 5.5-inch displays, Sony takes the safe approach,. keeping it elegant, but simple.

We won’t go into too much detail here, but Sony has really taken their display quality to the next level. Their triluminos technology brings greater brightness capabilities, but not at the expense of battery life.

sony xperia z3 first impressions aa (8 of 17)

Performance and Hardware

Although Sony likes to march to the beat of their own drums when it comes to the exterior, the inside of the Xperia Z3 is a relatively familiar story. Processing power is done through the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC, clocked at 2.5GHz. 3GB of RAM and the Adreno 330 GPU round out the familiar specs. 16GB of internal storage means you’ll be putting that external microSD slot to use.

A 2.1MP front camera won’t do much to elevate your selfie game, but that 20.7MP main camera with updated software is a contender for best camera on a smartphone out there today. Your images and 4K video capture at 30fps will be good and smooth thanks to Sony’s SteadyShot image stabilization.

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The Xperia Z3 brings Sony’s digital noise-cancelling technology to your audio experience. Connectivity includes 4G LTE and NFC and water and dust resistance is rated at IP68. Get all you see here in a 7mm thick housing that all weighs in at 152g.

As previously mentioned, under the hood is a 3100mAh battery, which is on par with the majority of flagships out there today. Where the Xperia Z3 excels is in the actual battery life. We recently reported that the Z3 will get you upwards of ten hours of screen-on time, which is in large part due to the display technology.

sony xperia z3 first impressions aa (17 of 17)

Software

The Xperia Z3 runs the Xperia UI on top of Android 4.4.4 KitKat. Performance is snappy, thanks in part to the simplicity of the UI, which offers only a few changes to the vanilla Android experience. Once again, Sony is keeping it simple, which keeps it fast.

You may not get to see the enhancements that Sony has included for their camera app and software, which we will explain in our full review or a feature focus at a later time, for now, expect the same great options list and great photos as you’d previously seen in the Xperia Z2.

Final Thoughts

On paper, the Sony Xperia Z3 is not a drastic update from the previous Xperia Z2, as should have been expected with Sony’s 6 month rapid release schedule. However, many refinements have gone into this device, resulting in the best that Sony has to offer and an experience that, so far, we think transcends the Z2 by more than the specs sheet can explain.

We look forward to getting you our full review of the Sony Xperia Z3, coming soon. We also look forward to Sony launching their flagship to more markets around the globe.

While Josh takes on the Sony Xperia Z3 as his daily driver, what do you think? Is this the phone for you?




Sony’s Xperia M2 Aqua looks like it’s heading to Canada after all

Oct 1st AT 1:41 AM

Xperia-M2-Aqua-05

Last month, Sony introduced us to its Xperia M2 Aqua — a water and dust-proof version of its older brethren, the Xperia M2. At the time of the announcement, Sony stated that the device would be an ‘Asia exclusive’ and would not be making its way to North America. However, it now looks like that’s all about to change.

According to Canadian publisher, Mobile Syrup, the handset is set to launch on Videotron, one of Canada’s smaller carriers, this Thursday, October 3. It’s expected to be free on any of the operators 2-year contracts or $250 on a prepaid plan.

Under the hood, you’ll find a 4.8-inch qHD display (540 x 960 pixels), a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor, an Adreno 305 GPU, 1GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel Exmor RS rear-facing camera, 8GB of expandable storage, 4G LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 and a 2,330 mAh non-removable battery.

You can check out the full gallery of press renders below:

Xperia-M2-Aqua-01 Xperia-M2-Aqua-02 Xperia-M2-Aqua-03 Xperia-M2-Aqua-04 Xperia-M2-Aqua-05 Xperia-M2-Aqua-06

Source: Mobile Syrup


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Scavenger

Oct 1st AT 12:07 AM


Lock screen, great colors

The post Scavenger appeared first on MyColorScreen.



HTC M8 Eye captured in press image ahead of launch

Sep 30th AT 11:22 PM

htc_m8_eyeIt’s obvious the HTC M8 Eye is really close to launch, considering the leaks we’re getting. An alleged press image, shown above, shows the M8 Eye in all its glory, with the same design as the HTC One (M8), but instead with a stellar 13MP camera and a secondary sensor for depth of field measuring. Aside from those improvements, the same internals as the One (M8) are included, with Snapdragon 801 chipset, 5” 1080p display, and Sense-d Android 4.4.4 KitKat.

The M8 Eye is expected to launch on October 8 alongside an action camera from HTC.

Source: Weibo 

Via: GSM Arena


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Project Ara Smartphone Will Run Modified Android L with Hot Swapping

Sep 30th AT 11:00 PM

google-project-ara-final

Project Ara is a very exciting topic–both for hardware and software enthusiasts. The modular smartphone idea looks like a mission impossible, but Google is determined to make it a reality pretty soon. Paul Eremenko from Project Ara team has shed some lights on the project’s status and we now know that Ara will have a modified version of Android L on board.

It was pretty easy to predict that Google would select Android as the operating system for Ara. The more interesting part is that users will be able to replace some elements of the device without powering off the phone (i.e. they will be hot swappable). The only exceptions are CPU and display, for obvious reasons. It remains unknown whether the RAM and storage will be replaceable as well. One word comes to mind to describe all this: craziness. If it’s true, this will be one of the most revolutionary piece(s) of hardware in the history of mobile technology.

Google (or rather ATAP) is working with Linaro to make a modified version of Android. This means that the project should be open-sourced as well as other projects by Google. The Ara smartphone is aspiring to get the most innovative idea of the year title and Google is pushing hard to make it happen.

We should expect a consumer launch of Ara in the first quarter of 2015. Other details remain yet to be seen, most likely to be uncovered during the dev conference scheduled for December.

[via Android Police]

The post Project Ara Smartphone Will Run Modified Android L with Hot Swapping appeared first on xda-developers.



Deal: LG G2 (Unlocked) 32GB – $229.99

Sep 30th AT 10:24 PM

LG-G2-Logo-AH-1

Right now, eBay has a pretty crazy deal. We are looking at an unlocked LG G2, 32GB model for just $229.99. Now while the LG G2 is indeed a year old, it’s still a very powerful device, and it’s running on Android 4.4 KitKat. We’ve got a 5.2-inch 1080p IPS display, Snapdragon 800 inside with 2GB of RAM and a 3000mAh battery. Not bad for just $229.99 unlocked right? You can pick it up from the link below.

LG G2 (Unlocked) 32GB – $229.99

The post Deal: LG G2 (Unlocked) 32GB – $229.99 appeared first on AndroidHeadlines.com |.



Suave

Sep 30th AT 10:22 PM



Another theme for Themer! What do your think?

The post Suave appeared first on MyColorScreen.



Tales Of Pocoro Is An Android Wear Game That Won’t Immediately Make You Hate Yourself

Sep 30th AT 10:05 PM

aPerhaps that title doesn't sound like high praise, but playing games on your smartwatch is a generally distasteful business. I don't know that watch gaming is ever going to be a great experience, but Tales of Pocoro isn't bad. I've played it for a solid 10 minutes and I haven't grimaced with pain. I suppose that kind of makes it the best game for your Android Wear watch.

1 2 3

Tales of Pocoro is a simple puzzle game controlled with swipes or taps.

Tales Of Pocoro Is An Android Wear Game That Won't Immediately Make You Hate Yourself was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



Google+ users can now restrict who sees their content, based on age and location

Sep 30th AT 9:28 PM

Google plus logo

Starting today, Google is now giving Google+ users a bit more control over who is able to view there posts and who isn’t. Specifically, there are a few different options like only allowing viewers who are 18+, 21+ or even the ability to restrict based on location.

Keep in mind that this is an “all or nothing” setting at the moment, meaning that if you set “21+” it applies to all your posts regardless of the content. Same with if you restrict based on location. That means the benefit of this option is more for groups/businesses than individuals, though I’m sure some individuals will find this useful as well. Google’s Yonatan Zunger does indicate that per-post controls are already “on our requested features list”, so eventually G+ users may have the power to hide only specific posts that wouldn’t be appropriate for younger audiences.

With new options for 18+ and 21+ age restrictions, we also have to wonder if Google is toying around with the idea of being more lenient on its censorship policies for those who restrict their content to older audiences. For Google’s part, they say they aren’t changing policies at this time though they admit “this does give us some flexibility to do that”.

Bottom-line, we feel this is a step in the right direction, potentially giving Google+ users more freedom of expression without having to worry about young eyes stumbling on to the content (well.. Unless they lie about their age…). What do you think, like the idea of location and age based post restrictions? For those interested in making these changes to their pages, you’ll need to visit your page and profile settings. You’ll find the restriction options under Audience.


Source: Google+;


Phone Comparisons: Sony Xperia Z3 vs HTC One M8

Sep 30th AT 9:02 PM

Xperia Z3 vs HTC One M8 AH

Introduction

This comparison is between the highly anticipated HTC One M8 (when it was launched) and the equally anticipated Sony Xperia Z3…although the anticipation for the Xperia Z3 was for a different reason – we rarely get to see a Sony flagship in the U.S.  The Xperia Z2 never made it to the States so Sony did a quick refresh of their six month old Z2, called it the Z3 and was able to get T-Mobile to commit as a carrier.  The HTC One M7 was very well received and everybody was wondering just how HTC would improve upon it with the HTC One M8

Both devices are beautiful in their own way – the One M8 is an all-metal design that comfortably curves around the back on the device, making it a pleasure to look at and to hold…but hold tight as it may want to slip out of your hand.  The Xperia Z3 is a glass and metal beauty, much in the same lines of the earlier iPhone devices…it has a metal frame and glass on the display and as a back.  While easy to grasp, it can be a little tougher to hold over long periods of time.

These two devices are very similar on a number of levels.  The first would be in the display – almost the same size (5.2-inches versus 5-inches), they both use the LCD screen technology – the Z3 IPS LCD versus Super LCD3 on the One M8.  Both are Full HD displays with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with 424 pixels-per-inch (PPI) for the Z3 and 441 PPI for the One M8.

They both offer a 16GB or 32GB model and they both offer the ability to expand that memory up to 128GB via a microSD card slot.  Both devices are very similar in size with the One M8 being the thicker of the two – 9.4mm versus 7.3mm – and weighing in at 152 grams for the Z3 and 160 grams for the One M8.

Both offer Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, a TV-out connector, NFC, FM radio and both have front facing stereo speakers, although the Z3 only has one grill and the One M8 has dual grills and BoomSound, bringing a truly great sound from a smartphone.

Please look over the detailed specifications below and see exactly where these two devices stand up against one another.  We will then look at each individual device to compare the extra specs and features they have in order to help us make a determination of the winner of this comparison.

Specifications

Xperia Z3 vs HTC One M8 Final Specs

Sony Xperia Z3

21_Xperia_Z3_Copper_Group

The Sony Xperia Z3 is a great looking device and has the ability to compete with the already released devices – LG G3, Galaxy S5, and the HTC One M8.  But, it will need a refresh again next Spring if Sony hopes to keep up with the next line of flagships, as they will all certainly have QHD displays (the LG G3 already does) and possibly 64-bit processors.  Technology is moving excessively fast to be left behind, charge a premium price, be on one exclusive carrier and expecting to make a real dent in the smartphone market is just unrealistic.

The Z3 does have a slightly better processor, clocked slightly faster than the M8 and it also has 3GB of RAM compared to the 2GB in the M8.  Where the Z3 shines over the M8 is in the main camera area – Sony’s 20.7MP 25mm wide-angle lens simply blows the M8’s 4MP UltraPixel Duo Camera ‘affair’ out of the water, although the M8 beats out the Z3 with a 5MP front-facing camera (FFC) over the 2.2MP FFC used on the Z3.  This means better video chatting and selfies from the M8.  The Z3 does have a larger battery – 3100mAh versus 2600mAh – than the M8 and both batteries are non-removable.

As far as features go, the Z3 has an IP65/IP68 certification against dust and water – you can actually film under water. It also has DLNA built-in, Wi-Fi calling and offers PS4 Remote Play with an optional controller that can be purchased separately and offers the latest Android 4.4.4 KitKat with Xperia UI on top.  It will be available sometime this year, exclusively on T-Mobile and will probably cost in the neighborhood of $885 off-contract.

HTC One M8

HTC-One-M8-T-Mobile-AH (07)Everybody was waiting to see how HTC would follow up the very successful One M7, so the HTC One M8, like most follow ups, was met with all of us wanting ‘more.’  We were expecting a much better camera, more RAM, a bigger battery and even louder speakers.  What we got was more metal and a Duo Camera, with no change to the original and only a 2600mAh battery.  Don’t get me wrong, the HTC One M8 was still a success, but like the Galaxy S5, we expected more – but then, are we ever satisfied?

The HTC One M8 matches up fine in the display department, and even though its processor is slightly less powerful…not by much.  It does have 2GB of RAM versus the 3GB of the Z3, but they both have the same 16GB or 32GB of internal storage with room to expand up to 128GB.

The camera is somewhat a disappointment – not that it takes bad pictures, but if HTC would have upped the “UltraPixels,” it could take even better shots.  What HTC chose to do was add a second, or Duo Camera, on the back – not to take pictures, but to add depth to your photos.  So while your actual photo will not be any better than with the M7, you can add some nice special effects…a nice idea, but I think HTC should have concentrated more on the main camera and let the software do the rest.  Now, when it comes  to the FFC, HTC added a large 5MP job for excellent video chatting and group selfies.

As far as features go, you can use your M8 as an IR Blaster to control your remote devices, the dual stereo front-mounted speakers are the best sounding of an smartphone so far and it has a built-in FM Stereo Radio.  Another feature is its awesome selling price because it has been out a while – you can find the M8 on a two-year contract for about $99, and it is available on all major networks.

…And the Winner is…

18_Xperia_Z3_Group_Angle

Summary

Before anybody gets bent out of shape (too late?), I just want to say that I am putting this down as a tie – I used the Z3 picture because it was more colorful.  I based this mostly on the fact that they are very evenly matched up, the fact that the HTC One M8 is available on all carriers and is a terrific bargain now that it has been out a while…I just cannot justify the price difference and the few extra features of the Xperia Z3 to pick it as the numero uno winner.

If you really want the best camera of the two or need waterproofing, then the Xperia Z3 is the way for you to go.  If you can be satisfied with the HTC One M8’s camera – still very good – then you can pick up the M8 and have FM stereo, an IR Blaster and argumentatively the best sounding smartphone available for a fraction of the cost.  It is every bit as stylish, has smaller bezels and is even more comfortable to hold than the Z3 and will probably get faster Android updates than the Sony Xperia Z3.

The restrictive availability and high price tag, make the Xperia Z3 a premium niche device for Sony lovers rather than a smartphone for the masses.  If the camera and waterproofing are that important to you, then grab the Z3 and enjoy it – you will not be disappointed.  But if you want a real bargain that looks great, sounds even better and is widely available, then grab the HTC One M8 and enjoy. Which category do you fall in? Please look us up on our Google + Page and let us know which of these devices win the comparison for YOU and WHY…as always, we would love to hear from you.

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