Sony @IFA 2014

Sony-IFA

Continuing TekTalk’s summary of IFA so far, we turn our eyes to Sony. Now, they came in with quite a few products waiting to be revealed and from the hands on videos, they have impressed big time.

The Z3 isn’t worth upgrading to

Beginning with their latest iteration of the flagship smartphone line, the Z3 was shown off and although we at TekTalk maintain our stance that this isn’t worth upgrading to if you happen to own a Z2 or even a Z1 Compact but for people who will be upgrading from a phone released in early-mid 2013, this is a a very compelling phone and one that everyone should seriously consider. Sony’s decision to develop their phone every 6 months will draw the ire of a lot of people but when faced with results like the Z3, it is a strategy that has SOME merit.

The little upgrades add up to provide an experience a teeeeeeeeny tiny bit better than its predecessor but if thin margins are what you base your life around, this is worth the upgrade. The camera has a lot more technology crammed into it and could be one to consider for camera buffs, the software has removed some of the stupidity like the Sony content option when pulling up from the home button and the rounded corners have had unanimous praise for how good it makes the phone to hold. The screen is still 1080p rather than 2K but for us, it’s a positive rather than negative. Very wise to wait until content arrives rather than just sticking one on the phone for the sake of it.

Next is what I call the ‘Zx range supporting cast’, which this time round comes in the form of the Z3 Compact and the Z3 Compact mini tablet. What they lack in compelling product names, Sony more than makes up for with the build quality of these devices. The Z3 Compact is an engineering marvel, a ‘mini’ phone by today’s standards but packed full of technology which would make even top tier flagship phones of some companies weep. If I were Apple, I’d avoid comparisons with any other phone and concentrate solely on this device as its competition because for ANYONE that dares to consider themselves a wily technology consumer, this is the phone to buy if you like Android. It is just perfect in every way and I for one am excited beyond words in anticipation of picking one up and backing these words up with a full review.

Finally, Sony released a bunch of wearables and phone accessories, some which have been cruelly overlooked and others which are fairly ordinary. The ordinary category is chiefly made up of wearables predictably chiefly the Smartwatch 3 and SmartBand Talk. The Smartwatch 3 now uses Android Wear rather than Sony’s take on Android and is standard fare for the platform but with Sony’s customisable touch. I wasn’t much of a fan and the same goes for the SmartBand Talk which is exactly what it says on the package. It’s essentially the LifeBand wearable but with an e-ink display and the ability for the owner to talk to it. If only the same amount of attention was given to the Sony camera add-ons, the QX30 and QX1. The QX30 builds on what I thought was a much underrated gadget last year (QX10) by providing any smartphone (5” screen max.) with a powerful lens to take pictures with. The QX1 though could be the jewel in the crown though, for this writer at least. A 1” lens that has the ability to have any additional Sony attachment lens from the professional Sony camera range, onto it and essentially have the innards of the pro camera on the smartphone. Pricing will make or break this product but one thing is for sure, I will be very surprised if ANYTHING is half as interesting as this QX1 lens.

 

That is it for Sony, next up is Microsoft. Stay tuned for that to drop within the day.

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