No Android 4.1 Jelly Bean for Sony Xperia Arc S, Ray, Neo V and the other 2011 Xperias
Jul27

No Android 4.1 Jelly Bean for Sony Xperia Arc S, Ray, Neo V and the other 2011 Xperias

It looks like none of the Xperia handsets introduced last year (when they came out under the Sony Ericsson brand) will be updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. John Cooper, Sony Mobile UK’s Product Manager, has taken the time to respond to some questions that came from users on Facebook. Regarding Jelly Bean updates, he specifically said that the Xperia Arc S and Xperia Mini Pro would remain running Android 4.0 ICS. And since the Arc S is the most capable Xperia device of last year (featuring a 1.4GHz processor), it’s hard to believe that other 2011 models will get Jelly Bean. As a reminder, here are all the Xperias introduced in 2011: Xperia Arc, Xperia Arc S, Xperia Neo, Xperia Neo V, Xperia Pro, Xperia Play, Xperia Mini, Xperia Mini Pro, Xperia Ray, and Xperia Active. Of course, things will be different for the Xperias launched this year (which are all Sony-branded). Most of them should get Android Jelly Bean at some point – we’ll let you know when it happens. Via...

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Unlocked Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S can now be grabbed for just $261.99
Jun20

Unlocked Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S can now be grabbed for just $261.99

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S is a flagship Android smartphone from a few months ago. And while it doesn’t have a multicore processor, it’s still plenty capable even in this day and age. Plus, it comes with a neat camera and a unique shape. So if you’d like to get this device for an excellent price, listen up. Buy.com is now offering it for just $261.99, unlocked. That’s right, no need for any long-term contract signing or anything like that. The smartphone is available at that price in black, blue, or white. Unlocked as it may be, you’ll only be able to use it to its fullest on AT&T. It comes with support for that carrier’s 4G HSPA+ network. The Xperia Arc S will work on T-Mobile too, but you’ll only get 2G/EDGE mobile data speeds. So this is a great deal if you’re looking for a decent Android smartphone to use with a prepaid account on...

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Sony Ericsson Xperia Play won’t be updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich after all
May25

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play won’t be updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich after all

Sony has put out yet another progress report detailing its roadmap for updates to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. And while most news is good (or at least not bad), if you own a Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, the following won’t make you happy at all. This is what Sony had to say about the aforementioned game-focused Android smartphone and its ICS update: “We have concluded that a consistent and stable experience, particularly with gaming, cannot be guaranteed for this smartphone on Ice Cream Sandwich – therefore, we will not make the Android 4.0 upgrade available for Xperia PLAY.” So there you have it. The Xperia Play will never receive an official update to ICS. Although the reasoning sounds a bit too vague to be trustworthy, on the other hand Sony is updating all of its other phones released in 2011 and 2012 to the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system, so there may be something to that excuse after all. Most likely, Sony had to work a lot harder than it expected in order to make the ‘gaming experience’ in ICS up to par with that in Gingerbread. And the company simply decided it wasn’t worth it. After all, the Xperia Play proved to be a mostly failed experiment, and not the unique lustworthy device that Sony (then Sony Ericsson) hoped it would be. So it got the niche treatment – denied OS updates for the future. Sad, but that’s the way things are. As for Sony’s other smartphones, here’s how things stand with regard to the ICS update as of today’s report: Xperia S: end of June Xperia P: following Xperia S (no specific time frame given) Xperia U: during Q3 (July-September) Xperia Arc S, Xperia Ray, Xperia Neo V: update to Android 4.0.3 already rolling out, update to Android 4.0.4 will start rolling out next week Xperia Arc, Xperia Neo, Xperia Mini, Xperia Mini Pro, Xperia Pro, Xperia Active, Live with Walkman: update to Android 4.0.4 will be rolling out starting next week As you can see from the list above, the phones that have already gotten a first taste of Ice Cream Sandwich will be updated to 4.0.4, which is the absolute latest version, alongside all the other members of the 2011 Xperia...

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AT&T offers Sony Tablet P bundled with Sony Ericsson Xperia Play for $299.99
Mar10

AT&T offers Sony Tablet P bundled with Sony Ericsson Xperia Play for $299.99

If you’d like to get both a Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and a Sony Tablet P, and would like to purchase both from AT&T with contract… well here’s a special offer tailored specifically to you (if you really exist, that is – I have my doubts). The carrier has started selling the two devices bundled together. Buying them in this way will allow you to save about $100, which isn’t bad, but is not great either. And of course we’re back to the fact that both the Tablet P and the Xperia Play are niche devices that probably won’t ever appeal to the average consumer. That said, in some way this makes sense – at least they are two niche offerings bundled together. If you’re in the niche of consumers craving one of them, you’re a lot more likely to also be craving the other one I guess. Anyway, the price for the bundle is $299.99. And yes, you’ll need a two-year commitment, but you’ll have to sign two different contracts – one for the phone and the other for the tablet. This could all add up. Though in the end it is your choice. You, who wants both a Tablet P and an Xperia Play. Yes you. Go to AT&T now and seal the deal, will you? What are you waiting...

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Sony Ericsson officially is no more, hello Sony
Feb16

Sony Ericsson officially is no more, hello Sony

After many rumors saying that it would happen (spread over a couple of years, no less), last year in October Sony officially announced that it would be buying Ericsson’s stake in Sony Ericsson, the joint-venture established ten years earlier. But these things won’t actually happen with just the agreement between the parties involved. They have to be approved too. And today Sony has gathered all the necessary approvals from authorities across the world, and as such the deal was closed. Sony paid Ericsson €1.05 billion for the privilege. And now that Sony Ericsson is a fully owned subsidiary of Sony, the first thing that will happen will be a name change. It was pretty clear that it was coming. So from now on, there will be no more Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications. Its place was taken by Sony Mobile Communications. Sony promises to accelerate the “convergence between Sony’s lineup of network enabled consumer electronics products, including smart phones, tablets, TVs and PCs” in the future. Then again, it’s this same convergence that was touted as one of Sony’s assets back in 2001 when Sony Ericsson was created. But maybe Sony can do a better job alone. It remains to be seen. Anyway, welcome back Sony to the mobile device...

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HTC PlayStation certified devices coming in 2012
Feb14

HTC PlayStation certified devices coming in 2012

HTC will be the first third party manufacturer to launch PlayStation Certified devices, Pocket-Lint reports. Sony opened the certification initiative over a year ago when it announced PlayStation Vita. But until now, none of the the other smartphone makers were interested. PlayStation Certified smartphones and tablets have the ability to download and run PSOne and other Sony developed content, even when they lack physical keys of a traditional gaming console. They do it via PlayStation Suite – a gaming framework that can be installed on Android devices, and emulates hardware gaming controls on a touchscreen. The only requirements for Android smartphone or tablet to be PlayStation Certified is to run Android 2.3 Gingerbread or higher, and to have the adequate hardware. Minimum of which probably is 1GHz single-core CPU, 512 MB of RAM and Adreno 205 level GPU found on Sony Ericsson Xperia Play. It might give you hope that most of current mid to high end HTC phones, including all the Desires and Sensations could become PlayStation Certified sometime. Unfortunately, I can not see a single business reason for HTC to do so. Expect PS compatibility in smartphones announced at Mobile World Congress, at best. Neither company confirmed this yet. But the Congress in Barcelona is just around the corner and looks as good place as any for HTC and Sony to break the...

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Sony (Ericsson) launches the Xperia Active Billabong Edition
Feb03

Sony (Ericsson) launches the Xperia Active Billabong Edition

Available around the world since October 2011, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Active now has a special edition, launched by SE in collaboration with Billabong – an Australian brand which “promotes an authentic lifestyle and the true values of core boardsports (surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding and wakeboarding).” The new handset, called Xperia Active Billabong Edition, comes with an exclusive back cover, Billabong screensavers and videos, and a Billabong LIVE app. Just like the regular Xperia Active, the Billabong Edition is dustproof and water resistant. It features a 3 inch HVGA display, Wi-Fi, HSDPA, GPS, barometer, compass, flashlight, 1GHz single core processor, 512MB of RAM, 1GB of internal memory, and a 5MP rear camera with 720p video recording. The smartphone runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich should arrive in March or April. “The partnership is an expansion of our long term relationship with Sony and an extention of an Asia Pacific alliance developed with Sony Ericsson in 2011. Our customers are very tech savvy and their top interests include music, photography, social media and, of course, action sports. Each of these interests can be captured or experienced through the Xperia active and we are working on some exciting apps and accessories that should add to the user’s experience. The first to benefit will be the athletes at our major international events who will be testing the Xperia active device in conditions as diverse as the snowfields in Austria, surfing the big waves of Tahiti and even skateboarding in Singapore”, declared Scott Wallace, Billabong’s International VP of Strategic Partnerships & New Media. Sony didn’t say how much the Xperia Active Billabong Edition costs, but it did mention that the smartphone is now available in select markets (probably Australia and New Zealand). Via Press...

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Sony Ericsson announces 2011 results. 6 million Xperia smartphones sold in Q4 2011
Jan19

Sony Ericsson announces 2011 results. 6 million Xperia smartphones sold in Q4 2011

Sony Ericsson has announced its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2011 and full year 2011 – the last ones before the Ericsson brand disappears from its name (following Sony’s acquisition of Ericsson’s share in the joint venture). The results are far from being great. The company posted a €207 million loss for Q4 2011, and a €247 loss for full year 2011. 9 million SE handsets have been sold in Q4, and a total of 34.4 million units were shipped throughout the year. “Our fourth quarter results reflected intense competition, unfavorable macroeconomic conditions and the effects of a natural disaster in Thailand this quarter,” declared Bert Nordberg, President and CEO of Sony Ericsson. Sony Ericsson also said it sold 28 million Xperia Android smartpohnes to date. Since the number of Xperias shipped was 22 million in Q3, this means a total of 6 million units have been sold in Q4 2011. Via Press...

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Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman launched in India
Jan18

Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman launched in India

Although Sony Ericsson is now just Sony, there are still Sony Ericsson-branded smartphones that are being launched around the world. Take the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman, for example, which was just released in India. Priced at 14,549 INR (about $288), the SE Live with Walkman comes with a 3.2 inch HVGA scratch-resistant display, 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS, dedicated Walkman button, Sony xLOUD technology, 5MP rear camera with 720p video recording, VGA front-facing camera, and a 1GHz single-core processor. Indian customers should be able to find the new handset in either black, or white. Retailers Flipkart and Let’s Buy have them both. The Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman is currently running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is bound to be released later this year. Via...

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Sony Xperia S coming to Orange UK, Vodafone has no plans to offer it
Jan11

Sony Xperia S coming to Orange UK, Vodafone has no plans to offer it

Yesterday, O2 and Three UK have confirmed that they would launch the new Sony Xperia S. And today it was Orange’s turn to do the same. Unfortunately, Orange didn’t say when exactly its Xperia S would be available – it will probably happen in the next few months anyway. Alongside AT&T’s Xperia Ion, the Xperia S is the first smartphone to come under the Sony brand (following the company’s acquisition of Ericsson’s share in the Sony Ericsson joint venture). The new handset runs Android Gingerbread (upgradeable to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in Q2) and features a 4.3 inch Reality Display with 1280 x 720 pixels, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 12MP rear camera with fast capturing time and 1080p video recording, 1.3MP front-facing camera, 1GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal memory. Unlike Orange, O2 and Three, Vodafone UK reportedly stated that it “has no plans” to offer the Sony Xperia...

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