The IFA consumer electronics show kicks off this Friday in Berlin. Today seems to be product announcement day, though, so get ready for a flood of new devices. One of the first companies to show off its new mobile lineup is Sony, which is launching three smartphones, two wearables, one tablet, and a range of accessories at the show.
For now, we'll focus on the pair of flagship smartphones and the tablet. Sony didn't provide full spec sheets for everything at press time, but we'll pass along what we have.
First up is the Xperia Z3, the company's new 5.2-inch flagship Android phone. It has a premium build with an aluminum frame and tempered glass on the front and back of the device. The spec sheet includes a 1080p LCD, 2.5-GHz Snapdragon 801 SoC, 3GB of RAM, 20.7MP camera, a 3100mAh battery, Android 4.4 KitKat, and an IP65/68 dust/waterproof rating.
The biggest failing of any modern smartphone is the battery life, and Sony claims that the 3100 mAh battery will last "up to two-days" with "typical" usage. The Z3 battery is definitely beefier than usual, and Sony has other battery saving tricks like on-display memory, which can cache a static image and power down the GPU.
The IP68 waterproof rating is better than usual, allowing the Z3 to survive submersion "up to 30 minutes and 1.50 meters in depth," provided you close all the flaps.
Sony's camera modules are used by many other brands in the industry (including Samsung) and in the Z3 the company is using its camera experience to its advantage. Sony claims the Z3 has the first smartphone camera with ISO 12800 sensitivity, which should give it superior low-light performance. Along with a 25 mm wide-angle "Sony G Lens," the company is claiming that the Z3 has "The world’s best camera and camcorder in a smartphone."
The Z3 will come in white, black, copper, and silver green, and it weighs in at 152 grams and 7.3 mm thick. The Z3 launches globally this fall, and for once Sony is actually including the US in the festivities. T-Mobile will get the device on-contract (in black only) the same time as the rest of the world.
Sony flagships usually take a few months to hit North America, so even though the T-Mobile-only news is kind of a downer, it's definitely progress over the Z2.
The other standout product is the Xperia Z3 Compact. Sony is one of the rare OEMs that will be answering the cries for a high-end, non-gigantic Android phone. The 4.6-inch, 720p device has high-end specs and shares many components with the full-sized Z3.
The Z3 Compact keeps the 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 SoC, ingress protection, and the camera setup, but it has less RAM (2GB vs 3GB on the Z3), a plastic frame instead of aluminum one, a smaller, lower resolution screen, and, although we don't have exact numbers, presumably a smaller battery.
The 4.6-inch Z3 Compact is the successor to the 4.3-inch Z1 Compact, and Sony has managed to keep the bezels slim enough that it could increase the screen size while keeping the device the same size. The Z3 Compact weighs in at 129 grams and 8.6 mm thick.
The device will launch in black, white, orange, and green, but unlike the Z3, we don't have any news about US availability.
Besides the two smartphones, Sony is also building an 8-inch tablet, the verbosely named Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. The device has a 1920x1200 display, 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a microSD slot, 8MP camera, a 4500 mAh battery, and LTE.
The device has "stainless steel corners" and tempered glass, and it weighs 270 grams. Like the phones, the tablet has an IP65/68 rating, which means it should survive most interactions with dust and water.
As for the other stuff, Sony is launching a 4.5-inch, 480p phone with a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 called the "Xperia E3," a fitness tracker with an e-ink screen called the "SmartBand Talk," and a cheap-looking Android Wear device called the "SmartWatch 3."
Sony's links for everything should be up now or soon after post time.