Sony Focuses on Iteration, Not innovation

Walking through Sony’s stand gave us time to see the company’s new concepts. The Xperia Eye, a new 360° wearable camera, is a hands-free device, controlled through voice. It features an UltraHD Exmor RS sensor and recognises faces.

Sony EyeNearby was the Xperia Projector; this is a a short-throw laser projector in a compact chassis. It is a standalone device, projecting an interactive interface onto flat surfaces. It will apparently also respond to gestures and voices. A face recognition camera is also built in, so the Projector will know who is using it and what content to show.

Sony ProjectorAs mentioned above, the Xperia Agent is also a projector, but looks very different; more like a robotic coffee maker! It acts as a personal assistant, responding to voice and gesture input and showing notifications, news and weather.

Sony AgentIn the automotive space, Sony was showing the RM-X7BT; an in-car Bluetooth control. It can be retro-fitted into cars without built-in Bluetooth, and used to control paired smartphones using a physical dial; this means that drivers do not need to take their eyes off the road. Music and navigation can be controlled, and there is a function for voice input.

In the smartphone space, the Xperia X series will feature the XA (5″, 1280 x 720), X and X Performance (5″, 1920 x 1080). The XA is entry-level, and distinguished by very thin side bezels. Meanwhile, the X and X Performance models feature Triluminos display technology and Sony’s Predictive Hybrid Autofocus: an iteration on the Hybrid Autofocus introduced on the Xperia Z5.

Sony Xperia XPredictive Hybrid Autofocus enables the phone’s camera to ‘lock on’ to an object and keep it in focus as it moves, even if it is moving quickly. The phone predicts where the object will move to, so the subject will be free of blur in pictures.

All three phones enjoy the fast autofocus and quick-launch camera that was a selling point of the Z5. They are also optimised for low-light photography.

Storage is 16GB on the XA and 32GB on the other phones, although all will accept micro-SD cards up to 200GB. The XA uses a 64-bit octa-core processor (Mediatek MT6755), with 2GB of RAM; the X features 3GB of RAM and a 64-bit Snapdragon 650; while the X Performance has 3GB of RAM and a 64-bit Snapdragon 820. All three run Android M.

Battery size is 2,300mAh, 2,620mAh and 2,700mAh, respectively. The XA has 8MP (front) and 13MP (rear) cameras, while the other phones have 13MP (front) and 23MP (rear).

After the show, we heard that uSwitch had talked to Sony Mobile’s senior product marketing manager, Jun Makino, who said that “There will not be a Z6”. Sony may be switching its focus to the X series instead.