Yesterday in Berlin started IFA 2012, one of the premiere European tech conferences, where there are a couple of big companies making product announcements this week. Sony is taking the center stage with the first round of announcements about a ton of new products up to view ranging from televisions to cameras to phones. As we tend to focus mostly on gadgets for around the house and on the go (Phones, tablets, and laptops) I’m going to skim over some of the consumer grade equipment before getting into the details you are really looking for.
2 Sony Cameras Announced
Sony has 2 camera announcements coming out of IFA and they are the upgraded NEX line in the 16.1MP NEX-5R and their new rugged line in the 16MP Exmor R. The NEX-5R is the upgrade to their mid-range camera line which was due as the low end one recently received an upgrade. The freshly announced NEX-5R has a 16.1-megapixel sensor that is based on the version that packaged with the 5N. It also has built in WiFi which allows the majority of new features that they are offering: a Smart Remote Control app that will let you use Android and iOS devices to take remote shots, direct upload, and a slew of sharing applications as well as PC access.
The second camera they are offering up is the Exmor R which is their new cam that is designed to be small and take a beating. The purpose of it is for the person who wants to record on the go, as in skiing or skydiving kind of go. For the more adventurous consumer it is a 16MP camera that records at 720p at 120 frames per second and is solidly built to take a beating.
Both of these cameras will also be able to access the PlayMemories Camera Apps which I’ll key you in on at the end of the article.
Sony Home and Audio
At 84 inches Sony’s TV announcement will no longer be a TV that just stands out as one of the largest to date. The 100+ inch TVs are in fashion however the 4K Bravia KD-84X9005 will stand on it’s own for quality. All of the press seeing it had agreed that the new screen they have developed it’s one of the most beautiful ever.
Also for those who are looking for something new to look through is the HMZ-T2 which is a personal 3D display. Putting it on gives you 45 degrees of three-dimensional entertainment though a pair of .7-inch OLED monitors that create the illusion and is lighter than the previous generation. Aside from being noticeably lighter there did not appear to be any real advances in the technology from the initial announcement.
Finally on the audio front we have a new set of MDR-1 headphones which are an upgrade to the Beats headphone line that will be available wired and bluetooth. They also have a new set of SRS-BTM8 wireless speakers in white or black that are designed to be portable. Pricing for both of these were not yet available at the initial press release though they are also going to have a NFC option to instantly be paired with the new NFC technology built into all future phones and tablets from Sony.
Prices on all of the Home Audio equipment is still to be determined.
Sony Xperia Tablet S and VAIO Duo 11
The rumors that were spreading around the internet on the Sony Xperia S appear to have all been 100% dead on aside from the price. It’s insides include a Tegra 3 chip, Android 4.0 and up to 64GB of built-in storage. It still has the magazine styled end to hold onto the tablet with that was made popular in its previous iteration. One of the other upgrades coming with this release is the included IR transmitter that will allow the tablet to work as a universal remote. That is huge if you are a fan of it or useless if you do not use it. Finally the battery will give this 9.4 inch laptop 10 hours of run time. On release it will be running Ice Cream Sandwich though they are pushing for their custom applications to be optimized as soon as possible so they can upgrade to Jelly Bean. The price comes in at $400 for the 16GB model, $500 for the 32GB, and finally $600 for the 64GB and they will be available on September 7th.
The VAIO Duo 11 is the first touch screen tablet/laptop hybrid that Sony has created to compete in the world of Windows 8 where touch is everything. It has an 11.6 inch screen, 1080P touchscreen for your viewing pleasure. Its insides are familiar for anyone who has been looking at Ultrabooks with an i3, i5 or i7 processors as well as a 128GB or 256GB SSD, NFC wireless, GPS, and HD-capable cameras at the front and back. The release date looks to be coming later this October.
Three New Xperia Smartphones Announced
Now onto the phone releases and what every mobile fan has been waiting for. Sony has three new Xperia phones coming out. The J, the V, and the T. That is also the order from budget to flagship that they are laid out in.
The Xperia J is the budget line of Xperia phones which matches the look of the Xperia line. It has a 4 inch FWVGA display and is only 9.2mm thick. It only runs on a GHz single-core processor but will be running Ice Cream Sandwich on release.
Jumping to the V line it is a LTE handset with a 4.3-inch, 1,280 x 720 display that is water resistant. The processor in this one is a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm MSM8960 dual-core processor with a 13MP camera. The phone will be offered in pink, white, and black later this year and also will be running Ice Cream.
Finally the Xperia T is Sony’s current flagship phone with the largest screen clocking in at a 4.6inch 1,280 x 720 display. Sony is hyping it as the “best HD experience on a phone to date” for video recording. The phone is being shipped with Ice Cream Sandwich though, unlike the lack of an announcement on the two lower lines should be updated to Jelly Bean shortly after launch. Spec wise it runs on a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8260A Snapdragon S4 CPU, pentaband UMTS / HSPA+ radios, a front-facing cam with 720p video capture, MHL connectivity, FM radio, 16GB on board storage and an 1,850mAh battery
Pricing on all three of the phones are still to be released.
Play Memories Camera Apps
The PlayMemories camera apps are going to be hitting the NEX-5R and follow up on future cameras and phones. While not announced I suspect we will see it on Sony tablets as well. The software suite itself is going to be added into most of Sony’s devices at some level or another. At launch the first generation of the software will include:
- Picture Effect+
- Bracket Pro
- Multi Frame NR
- Smart Remote Control
- Direct Upload.
In the future they are also planning to add a Photo Retouch software as well as a Time-lapse and Cinematic photo application. It will allow you to access anything PlayMemories related online, through your mobile software, through a Studio software for your desktop or laptop, and the pictures or video you take will be able to be viewed or transferred to compatible TVs, smartphones, tablets and PS3 consoles. It is an interesting tact on Sony’s part to further tie in all of their hardware together.