Sony has launched two new smartphones today in the form of the Xperia X and Xperia XA at Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona today.
The two new X series are the first of the ‘new-look’ Xperia brand. Both are available in a range of colors, as well as being offered in a gold version. The XA model has a larger, edge-to-edge display.
Sony says its efforts have largely gone into redesigning its flagship series, improving the camera performance and making sure the battery has enough oomph to get you through the day.
A new feature called ‘spontaneous capture’ promises to let you focus quickly and there’s a new hybrid autofocus borrowed from Sony’s cameras that lets you choose a subject in shot and predict their motion to eliminate blur. How well it works, we’ll have to see in our hands-on testing.
Sony says the battery will run for up to two days but didn’t say exactly how large power pack is in either device.
Due to arrive “this summer”, both the Xperia X and Xperia XA have a range of matching Style Covers and will roll be offered in: White, Graphite Black, Lime Gold and Rose Gold.
Rather than focus on the ‘speeds and feeds’ approach to smartphone launches, Sony talked up a new range of connected devices due to launch in the future.
The first of these to arrive is called the Xperia Ear and lets users voice commands to do things like check your schedule, news or weather while on-the-move. It can also perform other smart assistant functions, like taking a message, navigating you to a destination or searching the Web for specific info.
It’s not restricted to Xperia smartphones, and connects to an Android app that provides additional features, like letting you set up specific app notifications or customize a morning summary when you first connect each day.
Other upcoming Xperia connected devices currently in concept stage include the Xperia Eye (a wearable, wide-angle camera with a 360-degree lens), the Xperia Projector (for interacting with devices via touch on any surface) and the Xperia Agent (a personalized smart assistant that has a built-in camera and projector).
The Xperia Agent, particularly, sounds like an intriguing proposition – a little like an Amazon Echo with additional hardware and capabilities. The wearable camera experiment didn’t end so well for devices like the Autographer, forcing the company back to the drawing board, so whether Sony will have more success – or if it will even bring the device to market – remains to be seen.
There’s no release date or pricing for the devices as yet, but the Xperia Ear will go on sale this summer.