Sony has brought some exciting new Android smartphones this year and the Japanese giant seems to have one last ace up its sleeve. All fingers point to Sony announcing the Xperia Z1, or the Honami, at IFA 2013 and this smartphone is supposedly the culmination of CEO Kazuo Hirai’s ‘One Sony’ strategy. You can view the Sony press conference from IFA, live here.
What does Sony have in store for the Xperia range?
The Z1 is said to come with a never-before-seen 20.7-megapixel camera along with some cutting-edge mobile camera optics and Sony’s G Lens. It’s expected to shoot 4K videos, something that’s looking like the next frontier for smartphone makers. Just like most Sony smartphones this year, the Z1 will also be waterproof and will have a metal frame to add to the sturdiness.
Another highly-anticipated announcement is Sony’a QX100 and QX10 smartphone camera attachments that add a lens kit, a memory card and image processing chip in a removable case that attaches on the back of most smartphones. We have heard quite a lot about these accessories and cannot wait for the official announcement.
Stay tuned for all the latest as it happens. To keep track of all the latest happenings at IFA 2013, make sure you bookmark our Buzz page. You’ll find all the live coverage, news and discussions right here under one roof.
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7:35pm – Minutes away
The event is about to begin any minute now. We are expecting the Sony Xperia Z1 and a couple of camera accessories from Sony. But will they have a surprise up their sleeve? Perhaps the Honami Mini?
Kazuo Hirai on stage
7:45pm – Underway
Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai takes stage and this event has kicked off. “Each of these products is based on two important priorities,” says Hirai. What are they? Innovation and engineering excellence, and consumer feedback.
7:50pm – Looking at Europe
Hirai invites Masaru Tamagawa, the president of Sony's Europe business to talk about how the company has been doing in the continent. 42-inch-plus HDTVs are leading the way for Sony in Europe says Masaru, before talking about the new range of 4K TVs and 4K content for the same.
Masaru Tamagawa, Sony Europe president
7:53pm – Starting with imaging
Hirai is back on stage and it's time to talk cameras. Presenting the Sony RX1R, part of the famous RX family of point-and-shoot cameras. Hirai then goes on to talk about the RX 100 II, which we reviewed recently. Sony's new connected cameras are being given some more time in the spotlight.
Hirai talked at length about the much-praised RX series
7:55pm – PC time
Hirai now takes us to the VAIO segment and the new range of Ultrabooks such as the Vaio Pro and tablet PCs. These have already been announced a while back and are available in the market.
A new 4K Handycam is coming soon
7:58pm – The 4K package
Hirai taking us through the 4K products that Sony has planned for this year. It must be noted many of these products are already available in some markets, but are being announced only now for Europe. Sony will be launching a new 4K projector for Europe later this year.
8:05pm – The big one
It's time for the Xperia Z1. Hirai holds up a black Z1, which looks to have a metal frame, just like it was rumoured. “The absolute embodiment of that One Sony ethos,” says Hirai.
Introducing the Xperia Z1
8:07pm – G Lens
The Z1's 20.7-megapixel camera has a Sony G Lens, BIONZ mobile imaging engine and a 1/2.3-inch camera sensor. It has up to 3X 'clear image zoom' that Hirai says delivers zero loss of image quality. The camera has a burst mode that takes a series pictures even before you hit the shutter.
8:09pm – Software side of things
Hirai is now talking about the bunch of software goodies that the great sounding camera gets. Instant camera search, augmented reality, live streaming to social networks and much more.
Live streaming from camera to Facebook
8:12pm – Spec glut
“Latest” Qualcomm Snapdragon is on board. We are guessing that's the Snapdragon 800 SoC. There's also a 5-inch full HD Triluminos display. The Matt Damon-starrer Elysium will be a free download when it's available for digital release. In addition, users will get some amount of free audo and video content from Sony.
Sony is bundling a lot of content with Xperia Z1
8:13pm – Camera focus
Cyber-shot QX10 and QX100 are official. Hirai takes one of them and puts it on an Xperia Z. Hirai says he asked the imaging team to give RX level of imaging prowess for a smartphone. And this weird accessory is the result. Hirai says this will work with “almost any smartphone.” Both feature Wi-Fi and one-touch connectivity. The QX100, Hirai tells us, is on par with the RX100 II.
8:19pm – Available soon
Xperia Z1 will be available from this month's end, says Hirai as he takes stage after a short video about the Z1's camera. Once again, there was a lot of emphasis on the camera software.Hirai ends with a passionate speech about the new products and the way forward.
8:20pm – That's a wrap
Well, that was short! Hirai exits the stage and that's that. Stay tuned to tech2 for all the specs of the Xperia Z1, and the QX10 and QX100 camera accessories.
Publish date: September 4, 2013 6:55 pm| Modified date: January 7, 2014 11:54 am