News

Sony announces the Xperia 1 II, their newest flagship smartphone

A major improvement over the Xperia 1

Published

on

Image by GadgetMatch

It’s been a year since the announcement of Xperia 1 during MWC 2019. Although GSMA surprised everyone in the tech world with the cancellation of MWC 2020 due to the novel coronavirus, it hasn’t stopped Sony from announcing their latest devices.

Even if there are a lot of smartphones coming, the Japan-based company is ahead of the game by announcing three new smartphones: the flagship-grade Xperia 1 II, the midrange Xperia 10 II, and a professionally-targeted Xperia Pro that’s currently in development. The new “Mark II” naming scheme even reminds us of Sony’s Alpha mirrorless cameras.

What’s changed

With the debut of Snapdragon 865 chipset last December, Sony decided to equip their newest flagship with the latest chipset. This means there are improvements in performance over last year’s Snapdragon 855.

What’s groundbreaking is the support for 5G, something the Xperia 1 doesn’t have. To be specific, it uses the sub-6GHz spectrum instead of the mmWave. You can read this article to know all the hullabaloos of 5G connectivity.

Image by GadgetMatch

Sony is generous by giving more memory, bumping up from 6GB to 8GB. Instead of offering 64 and 128GB options, internal storage is only 256GB. Don’t worry, storage expandability isn’t limited to dual-SIM models anymore. Expect more battery life with its 4000mAh battery (which is a step up over last year’s 3330mAh).

There’s also a minor cosmetic change on the Xperia 1 II. The camera bump can now be found at the upper left portion instead of the center, making the design language similar to the Xperia 5.

As expected, it will run on the latest Android 10 out of the box.

What remains

Image by GadgetMatch

Just like the Xperia 1, it’s the same type of monolithic slab that’s sandwiched by two Gorilla Glass 6. Although it has a faster 90Hz refresh rate, it’s still the similar 6.5-inch 4K OLED Display with a cinematic 21:9 Aspect Ratio.

The camera system is still a triple 12-megapixel setup but it now has larger sensors and ZEISS optics. The cameras are also calibrated by ZEISS and the lens have a special ZEISS T* anti-reflective coating on them (something you can only find on professional lenses before). Optical zoom is one-step further with three times magnification instead of two.

Although 8K video recording isn’t there, 4K recording now has a 60p option. There’s even an additional 3D ToF sensor for sensing objects and faster focusing. The Eye AF tracking now works in animals too. It can even do 20fps burst shots with AF tracking. Selfie camera is still rated at 8 megapixels though.

Image by GadgetMatch

The Cinema Pro app still exists for professionally-inclined smartphone videography. An added bonus is the touch focus instead of the fixed focus found on previous versions. In addition to that is the new Camera Pro app which does the same job for photographs taken with the Xperia 1 II.

Front-facing stereo speakers also remain. The IP65/68 rating is still present which helps in keeping the device functioning even in harsher environments. Fingerprint reader is still side-mounted instead of an under-display scanner.

Audio jack resurrected

Image by GadgetMatch

Not totally a headlining feature, but for audiophiles, they know that the 3.5mm audio jack was missing last year. Sony has decided to bring it back with the Xperia 1 II. It’s a clever move considering this smartphone is a multimedia powerhouse. This also indicates that Sony still listens to its loyal fanbase.

Pricing and availability

Image by GadgetMatch

As stated earlier, the Xperia 1 II only comes in one configuration: 8GB RAM and 256GB of onboard storage. It will be available in Europe with a retail price of EUR 1199 (approximately US$ 1299). The Xperia 1 II only has two color options: black and purple.

Availability is uncertain. A French press release stated it will be available by “spring” or around March. Meanwhile, Dutch and Bulgarian press releases suggest “end of spring”, which is around May.

Pricing and availability in other regions have yet to be announced.

Apps

Spotify Premium Mini launches, removes ads with limited downloads

Can be billed through your carrier

Published

on

Spotify Premium Mini

It’s now cheaper to get rid of those Spotify ads. Sure, the voice overs sound good but it just ruins the mood when your jamming to your favorite tracks only be interrupted. Spotify Premium Mini is here for all of us.

What you’re getting with Spotify Premium Mini

Ad-free individual music listening on mobile with unlimited skips — Listeners can access over 70 million music tracks and over 2.9 million podcast titles on the world’s largest audio streaming service

Download and play up to 30 songs offline on one mobile device — This allows a user to be on-the-go and stay connected to their favorite artists and creators without the need to connect to WiFi or tap into their mobile data.

Flexibility at its best –– Whether it’s for a morning exercise or simply seeking a motivational podcast to kick start the week, users have the option to immediately subscribe for just a day or a week at any given moment.

Hassle-free and seamless payment methods — Beyond the credit card option, users can choose to make payment through Carrier Billing or via digital wallets (GCash, PayMaya in the Philippines)

Better together — Premium Mini Listeners also have the ability to tune in to the same playlist or podcast with up to five friends via Group Session in beta.

How to sign-up?

  1. Download Spotify’s mobile app or head over to Spotify’s website on desktop.
  2. Click the ‘Premium’ section at the top right of the website or at the bottom right of the Spotify app.
  3. Choose ‘Get Mini’ and choose ‘daily’ or ‘weekly’ plan. This is a prepaid offering.
  4. Choose payment methods
  5. Register or log in to the Spotify account.
  6. Users can start enjoying Spotify’s Premium Mini experience for the day or week.

Here are the the rates:

Philippines — PhP 7/day and PhP 26/week
Malaysya — MYR 1/day and MYR 3.90/week

Continue Reading

News

Google unveils Pixel 6 series

Way ahead of schedule

Published

on

Over the past few years, Google’s presence in the smartphone realm has considerably dwindled. During its first few launches, the Pixel series boasted a truly vanilla Google experience untainted by bloatware or custom software. However, over the past few launches, the series gradually declined compared to other smartphone brands. With its sixth generation coming, Google wants to reclaim that spot as the best smartphone brand for Android with the Pixel 6 series.

Teased today, Google took the curtain off from the upcoming Pixel 6 series way ahead of schedule. First of all, the flagship series has one of the most interesting prototype designs. Instead of the typical slab phone design, the Pixel 6 series will have a sizable camera strip on its rear. Though the design will surely incite some polarizing opinions (especially from that insane bump), it is a refreshing change from the usual.

The unveiling is just a tease, though. Google is still planning a larger launch event in October. As such, the company only revealed a few details for the coming series.

The Pixel 6 will sport a 6.4-inch FHD+ screen and a smooth 90Hz refresh rate. It will have a dual rear camera setup: a wide-angle main shooter and an ultrawide sensor.

On the other hand, the Pixel 6 Pro will have a 6.7-inch QHD+ screen with a smoother 120Hz refresh rate. The phone will have same two camera sensor but with an additional 4X telephoto lens.

Both smartphones carry the newly announced Tensor processor. For the first time, Google has its own chipset inside the smartphones, instead of relying on the usual Qualcomm chips.

SEE ALSO: Google is developing a Switch to Android app for iPhone users

Continue Reading

News

Google is shutting down very old Android phones

Starting in September

Published

on

Android Gingerbread

Google is slowly shutting down its (almost) long-forgotten past. Very soon, Android’s oldest versions will stop working. Though the company has previously announced the removal of support for Android Jellybean, Google is going a step further and completely shutting Android Gingerbread devices soon.

First spotted by 91Mobiles, Google will stop users from logging into devices with Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread and older starting September 27. The niche market that still runs these operating systems will not be able to use the Play Store, Gmail, YouTube, and other Google apps, rendering them completely useless. Affected users have to either upgrade to Android 3.0 Honeycomb or upgrade to a newer phone.

Given the current state of older Android phones, it might be better to grab a new one instead. According to Google, the shutdown aims to bring older Android users to a more secure front. Android Gingerbread has long stopped receiving necessary security updates, making them prime targets for updated hackers.

On a similar note, Google has also announced the end of support for Android Jellybean devices after August this year. Though Jellybean users can still use their devices, they won’t get any more updates going forward. The timing is, thus, correct. Google has moved its window of old Android versions up a notch: Honeycomb to Jellybean. After September, these versions will not have access to security updates going forwards.

This year, Google is expected to launch Android 12 around the same time.

SEE ALSO: Android 12 comes with added privacy features, almost like Apple

Continue Reading

Trending