Introduction

Mobile World Congress is well under way and we stopped by Sony's stand to play around with whatever the Japanese company had prepared for us. We weren't disappointed, even though the tech giant had decided to postpone the launch of the Xperia Z4 high-end smartphone.

Sony MWC 2015

Sony instead pulled the wraps off its new generation full-scale slate, the 10.1-inch Xperia Z4 Tablet. It is stunningly thin and light, features a sharp Retina-grade IPS panel, and retains the isolation from the elements, which has become synonymous with the Sony lineup. The tablet is also equipped to be a strong performer and packs innards, worthy of its flagship designation.

The Xperia M2 Aqua introduced IP68 certification to the budget-conscious crowd only a few months ago. The Xperia M4 Aqua, which Sony just unveiled, comes with markedly better hardware, including an HD display, 64-bit Snapdragon chipset and twice as much RAM.

Sony brought a bunch of accessories as well, most notably a Bluetooth keyboard dock for the Xperia Z4 Tablet, which turns it into an Android ultrabook. A quirky wireless speaker was revealed too alongside a new wireless headset. Fans of wearables weren't left out either, and two more strap options for the SmartWatch 3 were released.

Join us on the following pages where we share our first impressions with all of the above.

Sony Z4 Tablet hands-on

We packed for Barcelona without expecting to lay our eyes on a next-gen Sony Xperia Z4 flagship, and yet that's exactly what happened. Only it was the Xperia Z4 Tablet, and not the smartphone.

Sony MWC 2015

No compromises have been made in terms of hardware and the slate is impressive in every respect. You get a 10.1-inch display of WQXGA resolution (2,560 x 1,600 pixels makes a lot more sense) for a sharp 300ppi density. We had a minor gripe with the previous-gen tablet and its only average 224ppi and we're happy this has been addressed.

Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet in black

It's an IPS panel too, and features Sony's proprietary TRILUMINOUS and X-Reality technologies. In practice this results in pleasant colors, good brightness and wide viewing angles. While the screen remains legible, a significant drop of brightness is observed at extreme angles, though.

The whole thing quickly turns into a smudgy mess, but the engineers pointed out it's not the final version of the oleophobic coating and it will get a lot better by the time the tablet hits the stores. The Xperia Z4 Tablet actually works pretty well when wet - we had the opportunity to test it out and it's miles better than any other touchscreen in that regard.

Design is your typical Xperia affair, or as Sony likes to call it, OmniBalance. Not much has changed since the previous generation, with the notable exception of the 3.5mm jack, which has been relocated to the top.

Engineers managed to trim down the body marginally, compared to the predecessor and now the tablet measures 254 x 166 x 6.1mm. Sony is keen to point out that the Xperia Z4 Tablet is the lightest 10-inch tablet at 392g/396g for the Wi-Fi/LTE versions respectively. It packs the same 6000mAh battery as the Xperia Z2 Tablet, and sports an IP65/IP68 certification, as you surely couldn't have missed in the title photo.

Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015

In the hand • OmniBalance in white

Inside, the Xperia Z4 tablet continues to deliver. The almighty Snapdragon 810 is joined by 3GB of RAM for smooth multitasking, and if the 32GB of built-in storage isn't enough, you can always pop in a microSD card.

Beyond the basics, the Xperia Z4 Tablet isn't short on goodies. An 8.1MP Exmor RS main camera will help you raise eyebrows if used in public, while the 5.1MP wide angle front snapper should be instrumental in video calling. The slate also packs stereo speakers with a handful of quality-enhancing technologies.

Keyboard dock

Sony MWC 2015

Alongside the Xperia Z4 Tablet, Sony announced a dedicated keyboard dock for power users. The BKB50 connects via Bluetooth and transforms the Zperia Z4 into a full-fledged ultrabook. It offers 0-130° tilt angles, keys are comfortably pitched and a touchpad is present, in case you forget that you can simply tap on the screen.

Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015

Sony BKB50 keyboard dock for added productivity

The video below offers a quick glimpse of Sony's lightly-skinned Android interface as well as the keyboard dock in action.

Sony Xperia M4 hands-on

While the Xperia Z4 smartphone was sadly missing in Sony's booth, the company did bring the Xperia M4 Aqua midranger. The Aqua moniker quickly reveals its chief claim to fame, but it's not a one-hit wonder either.

Sony MWC 2015

The IP67/IP68 certified Xperia M4 Aqua comes with a 5-inch display of 720p resolution, which is reasonably sharp at 293ppi. It's an IPS panel too so it offers accurate colors and wide viewing angles. Sony has skipped on the TRILUMINOUS tech on this one though.

The generous bezels mean it's not terribly compact for a 5-incher, but it's still reasonably pocketable. The exact numbers are 145.5 x 72.6 x 7.3mm, so it's actually pretty thin, and weighs in at 136g.

Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua

It's a capable package too, with a Snapdragon 615 chipset paired with 2GB of RAM. The 8GB internal storage is somewhat limiting, but a 16GB version will be available as well, and a the microSD slot provides further expansion options. Major photography occasions can be covered by the main camera with 13MP Exmor RS sensor. The narcissistic folk will enjoy the 5MP selfie unit with 88-degree wide angle lens. A feature, which sadly makes it to fewer smartphones these days, is the dedicated shutter button.

Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua details

The Xperia M4 Aqua doesn't skimp on connectivity options and comes with 2G/3G support as well as cat.4 LTE for download speeds up to 150Mbps. Retail price is quoted at €299 although that will obviously vary by market/carrier. Four color options will hit the shelves with a Silver on, in addition to the White, Black and Coral versions pictured below.

Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua in the hand • Color options for the midranger

You can get a feel of the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua in the following video.

Sony BSP60 Bluetooth speaker

Sony didn't stop there and showed some more interesting gadgets, among them the BSP60 Bluetooth speaker. When it's fully opened, it's reminiscent of a retro style alarm clock. It's not merely a speaker with a built-in amplifier which just pumps out what you feed to it, though. It's NFC-enabled and has its own display with 4 capacitive buttons to control volume and sift through its various functionalities.

The device is more of a personal assistant, much like Amazon's Echo. An "OK, Speaker" command wakes it up and it pops out its motor-driven ears, ready to obey. The BSP60 can be asked to check notifications on your smartphone, which then can be displayed on it, or better yet, it can read them out loud to you. Simple tasks like setting up alarms and checking the weather are no hitch for the multi-functional speaker either. A handy _phone_ finder feature is also supported.

The speaker is not all that small at 10cm in diameter and rather hefty at 349g. Interestingly enough that body houses a pair of wheels on the bottom, which will allow it to roll on flat surfaces, but unfortunately we didn't get to see it whizzing around the event floor.

Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015

Sony BSP60 Bluetooth speaker

Sony SBH70 Bluetooth headset

Audio enthusiasts on the move will be happy to hear of Sony's new SBH70 stereo Bluetooth headset. It features a behind-the-neck design to move the heft of batteries away from the ears. The earbuds themselves are an outer-ear type, so noise isolation is out of the question.

Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015

Sony SBH70 Bluetooth headset

Sony SmartWatch 3

The SmartWatch 3 is not a new product, but Sony chose to unveil a few more strap options. Even more stylish than the already released stainless steel version, the brown and black leather straps could help put the SmartWatch 3 on the wrists of not just us geeks.

Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015

Sony SmartWatch 3

Sony Xperia E4g hands-on

Sony Xperia E4g was introduced shortly before the MWC expo as an upgraded version of the original Xperia E4. It comes with a smaller 4.7" IPS screen of qHD resolution, better MediaTek MT6732 chip and LTE connectivity.

The Xperia E4g went official just two weeks after the Xperia E4 announcement. While it cuts off some screen estate, the E4g model brings a more powerful MediaTek MT6732 chipset with a quad-core 1.5GHz Cortex-A53 processor, better Mali-T760MP2 GPU and 1GB of RAM. The highlight of the new Sony Xperia E4g was, of course, the support for 4G LTE connectivity on both the single and dual SIM versions.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Sony Xperia E4g

Sony Xperia E4g comes with 8GB expandable storage and 5MP rear shooter capable of 1080p video recording.

The Sony Xperia E4g was showcased at Sony's MWC booth and we've managed to grab a few shots with it. The compact fella may not be as interesting as the newly unveiled Xperia M4 Aqua and the Xperia Z4 Tablet, but it still looks like a quite a reasonable offer.

So, the Xperia E4g isn't the ordinary Xperia smartphones we are used to see. Instead, Sony decided to experiment a bit and change a few bits here and there to make it stand out. The result is a bit of a mixed-bag - you can surely recognize the Xperia E4g among other phones, it isn't because of its beauty and seamless design.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

Sony Xperia E4g

Sony Xperia E4g's screen is budging a few millimeters above the rear cover and somewhat compromises the handling. The _phone_ indeed looks unique because of the much bigger rear cover the actual screen glass, but we are not sure this will be everyone's cup of tea. The all-black model definitely looks better than the white cover/black screen glass flavor.

The rear panel is made out of two parts glued together and it is pretty obvious on the white cover, so this is yet another reason to opt for the pure black Sony Xperia E4g.

Sony Xperia E4g
Sony Xperia E4g

The battery cover

The 4.7" IPS display offers above average image quality with nice colors and contrast, but not so hot viewing angles.

Sony Xperia E4g

Sony Xperia E4g's display

The 64-bit quad-core processor handles really nice and the Android KitKat OS and the Xperia E4g offers buttery-smooth performance. The hardware upgrade will surely make for a nice difference over its predecessor.

The Sony Xperia E4g is going to cost about €130, which means you can easily forgive the awkward design and the poor rear cover stitching in case you opt for the white paintjob.

Sony Z4 Tablet hands-on

We packed for Barcelona without expecting to lay our eyes on a next-gen Sony Xperia Z4 flagship, and yet that's exactly what happened. Only it was the Xperia Z4 Tablet, and not the smartphone.

Sony MWC 2015

No compromises have been made in terms of hardware and the slate is impressive in every respect. You get a 10.1-inch display of WQXGA resolution (2,560 x 1,600 pixels makes a lot more sense) for a sharp 300ppi density. We had a minor gripe with the previous-gen tablet and its only average 224ppi and we're happy this has been addressed.

Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet in black

It's an IPS panel too, and features Sony's proprietary TRILUMINOUS and X-Reality technologies. In practice this results in pleasant colors, good brightness and wide viewing angles. While the screen remains legible, a significant drop of brightness is observed at extreme angles, though.

The whole thing quickly turns into a smudgy mess, but the engineers pointed out it's not the final version of the oleophobic coating and it will get a lot better by the time the tablet hits the stores. The Xperia Z4 Tablet actually works pretty well when wet - we had the opportunity to test it out and it's miles better than any other touchscreen in that regard.

Design is your typical Xperia affair, or as Sony likes to call it, OmniBalance. Not much has changed since the previous generation, with the notable exception of the 3.5mm jack, which has been relocated to the top.

Engineers managed to trim down the body marginally, compared to the predecessor and now the tablet measures 254 x 166 x 6.1mm. Sony is keen to point out that the Xperia Z4 Tablet is the lightest 10-inch tablet at 392g/396g for the Wi-Fi/LTE versions respectively. It packs the same 6000mAh battery as the Xperia Z2 Tablet, and sports an IP65/IP68 certification, as you surely couldn't have missed in the title photo.

Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015

In the hand • OmniBalance in white

Inside, the Xperia Z4 tablet continues to deliver. The almighty Snapdragon 810 is joined by 3GB of RAM for smooth multitasking, and if the 32GB of built-in storage isn't enough, you can always pop in a microSD card.

Beyond the basics, the Xperia Z4 Tablet isn't short on goodies. An 8.1MP Exmor RS main camera will help you raise eyebrows if used in public, while the 5.1MP wide angle front snapper should be instrumental in video calling. The slate also packs stereo speakers with a handful of quality-enhancing technologies.

Keyboard dock

Sony MWC 2015

Alongside the Xperia Z4 Tablet, Sony announced a dedicated keyboard dock for power users. The BKB50 connects via Bluetooth and transforms the Zperia Z4 into a full-fledged ultrabook. It offers 0-130° tilt angles, keys are comfortably pitched and a touchpad is present, in case you forget that you can simply tap on the screen.

Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015
Sony MWC 2015

Sony BKB50 keyboard dock for added productivity

The video below offers a quick glimpse of Sony's lightly-skinned Android interface as well as the keyboard dock in action.

post from sitemap