2012 was a bad year for Sony for a number of reasons; the tech giant posted a full-year loss of 56.7bn yen ($5.7bn; £3.5bn) in May and has continued to lose money over subsequent quarters, but 2013 – thankfully – looks like Sony has got it’s mojo back as last week they announced a brand-new flagship smartphone, the water-resistant Xperia Z and now there’s rumours of a new high-end Android tablet.
The smartphone includes some staggeringly good specs; there’s a 5-inch IPS screen that has a resolution of 1920×1080, which is the same amount of pixels you’d find on a 42-inch HDTV, and equates to a ppi of 441.
Elsewhere the smartphone comes with a 13-megapixel camera which is capable of recording HDR (high dynamic range), a feature borrowed from its camera division, and is normally the reserve of still images.
The phone dimensions are 139 x 71 x 7.9 mm and it weights just 146 grams (including battery). The Xperia Z comes with a 2330mAh capacity battery. Sony has confirmed the Xperia Z will ship with a 1.5Ghz quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 2048 MB of RAM, and will support 4G LTE.
One of the most interesting features you’ll find on the Xperia Z is Sony’s decision to make the handset dust-proof and water resistant for up to 30 minutes.
Tablet version on its way?
Alongside the Xperia Z smartphone leaks have suggested that Sony will release a Android-powered tablet based loosely on the smartphone.
The leaked specs suggest the tablet will be just 6.9mm thick, and will also be waterproof and dust proof adhering to the IP55 and IP57 standards that the Xperia Z smartphone achieves.
The tablet is expected to feature a 10.1-inch full HD (1920×1080) display running Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2 – and it’s thought that tablet will have a 8.1-megapixel rear camera and a 2.2-megapixel front-facing snapper.
Underneath its shell the Xperia Tablet Z is thought to be powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, running 2 GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage . The device is rumoured to come with a 6,000mAh battery and support Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/, Bluetooth 4.0, NF and LTE as well.
Though Sony has yet to make any official announcement about the Xperia Tablet Z, if these specs eventually do feature on the Xperia Tablet Z, then consumers are looking at a very powerful tablet that’ll easily keep pace with the latest iPad or Nexus 10. It’s thought the tablet will be unveiled at next month’s MWC.
Green shoots of recovery?
Ben Wood, an analyst at CCS Insight, noted that Sony’s mobile unit is enjoying a recovery, and recently passed HTC to become the third best-selling smartphone brand in the UK.
He added that efforts to share designs and technologies across the firm’s different divisions would likely be the key to its revival. However, he added that it was too soon to say whether the new handset and tablet would be winners.
“In isolation these look like a very strong products and it’s the most attractive Xperia phone and tablet that I have seen for a very long time,” he said.
“But we don’t know what these devices will be competing with this year.”
“Until we see the next Samsung flagship devices and other top-end devices at Mobile World Congress in February it’s hard to know how they will do.”