Sony’s Sirius Android 4.4 KitKat leaks in all its glory

by: Bogdan PetrovanJanuary 20, 2014

sony xperia z1s review aa-9Earlier today, the folks at Xperia Blog presented the alleged specifications of the upcoming refresh to the Xperia Z1, known by its codename Sirius, including a Snapdragon 805 processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 5.2-inch display.

Now the website is back with a large collection of screenshots of the Sirius’ KitKat-based operating system, showing changes coming to the design and functionality of Sony’s Timescape UI. In fact, if all these features end up in the final release, the next update to Timescape will probably be among the most substantial ever.

The firmware is based on Android 4.4.2, and has the build number 17.1.A.X.XXX. Without further ado, here’s a rundown of the biggest changes spotted in it:

  • 4K video recording
  • Timeshift video – presumably, users will be able to record normal speed video at 120 FPS and apply slow motion effects afterwards
  • Glove mode
  • Adjustable white balance
  • Smart backlight control – similar to Samsung’s Smart Stay, the screen will stay on as long as you look at it
  • Double tap to wake up the screen
  • Built-in answering machine in the dialer
  • Choice between regular launcher and simple launcher with large fonts and simpler design
  • Audio Accessories functionality – presumably, users will be able to choose between several paired headsets, mics, and other accessories
  • USB DAC support
  • Notifications dropdown customization options
  • The ability to choose the default SMS app
  • Printing option
  • What’s New – what looks like an app that taps into Sony’s media properties, accessible with a swipe up from the base of the screen, just like Google Now.
  • White icons and transparent status bar
  • The ability to close all apps in Recent Apps

The Sirius will reportedly feature stereo speakers and the S Force audio engine, which should really make the sound pop on the device. It’s not clear yet if the engine is software- or hardware-based.

For more details on the update and a full screenshot gallery, head over to Xperia Blog. What say you, Sony fans, are you satisfied with the changes coming to the Sirius?

  • chaki

    Oh! New tier on the block. Sony is making progress with the UI. I hope it is really so advanced :)

  • Guido Petruolo

    All usefull features + Sony UI is close to stock, it’s fast + top hardware = brilliant phone!!

  • MasterMuffin

    If only you could do timeshift in 4K, that’d be amazing!

  • Tjaldid

    RAW support and having Images at the highest 16:9 resolution possible is missing

  • Scott Ricketts

    Well, I’m putting off my purchase of a Z1s that’s for dam sure!

    • Tjaldid

      IPS Display and Dual Speakers says it all.

      • Scott Ricketts

        If they can fix the camera software, they will have my money no questions asked.

        • Shark Bait

          they are doing a damn good job recently!

          • adrian strozier

            Yeah they are. The superior auto takes some of the best 8mp shots i’ve seen too date. An the manual 20.7mp is perfect for taking the perfect shots. I love my Z1 and i’m sure i’m gonna love the Z2 just as much if not more.

          • Shark Bait

            I hoping for it to be the next nexus ! Then I shall buy

          • Castor

            impossible. it will lose the very important sd card expansion.

          • Shark Bait

            1- that alone doesn’t make it impossible
            2- their are no rules of SD cards and nexus
            3- clearly a lot of people cope without anyway

        • S.L Jones


      • S.L Jones

        Where did it say IPS display?!? That certainly would be a game changer

        • pauldrew18

          Haha I also had to look back at the article to find where the IPS display was written. But if I heard correctly, Sony used an IPS display on the Z1 Compact announced at CES recently. If that’s true, then Sony’s succeeding smartphones may probably sport IPS displays as well. I’m crossing my fingers.

          • S.L Jones

            Yea they put one on the Compact, so yes, definitely hoping they use it on this upcoming ‘flagship’…don’t know why they’re sticking with these god-aweful TFT screens so long, seems like an obvious misstep amongst the HTC One’s, LG G2s etc of the world…

          • Tjaldid

            on the T2 Ultra also if I remember it correctly

          • Brendon Brown

            No, unfortunately the T2 Ultra is still TFT :(

          • Tjaldid
          • Anton Nym

            sonys whitepaper on their official website says T2 Ultra is IPS and even goes on to mention it has wide viewing angle.

          • guest

            IPS has a TFT layer as well. Actually every panel type has…
            So what do you want to tell us?

    • S.L Jones

      I’m not trying to rain on your parade or anything, but given Sony’s track record with NA carriers you do realize that an imminent release of this phone on any carrier in the US so close after its announcement is highly unlikely…your best bet if u absolutely have to have the Sony experience is to grab the Z1s on t mobiles next plan and hope they release it in six months….also highly unlikely

      • Scott Ricketts

        Oh I know. And I’d pay full price for the phone anyway if the international unlocked one was pentaband. I’m just wanting an upgrade from my One as far as the camera. I’m waiting on HTC’s announcement about the M8 first.

        • S.L Jones

          Hearing mixed reviews on the Z1/Z1S camera, hopefully Sony gets it together on this one, I would also like a great phone camera, as we all know how the camera performance of the N4 is, thinking about switching to t-mo and grabbing Z1S for 6 months… I’m more so looking forward to Sony’s new tablet, I’d pay for that outright, as the last one was good, except it had last (last) years specs when it came out

        • Dimitar Gospodinov

          you know you are not getting that Z1S unlocked right? It is T-Mobile exlusive….I will advice you to go with the Compact as it’s display is better and it is not plastic…

    • Dennis Lainfiesta

      Remember its going to be a international phone. so US may not get it till late this year. I have the Z1s and when this one is available for US Tmobile i will get this too and not even regret it.

  • Nexususer123

    If it could just be on att. I have tmobile atm and would’ve gotten the Z1S but I will be switching soon. This looks a lot better tho lol.

  • Jayfeather787

    I think 2k is a great idea, but it is not necessary on this phone if it has good battery life and a price. 2K in my opinion is not worth a whole lot more. On a screen of that size, I see 2K as a battery hog, and a slower phone because it has more pixels to push around.

  • Jayfeather787

    I do like the built in themes chooser.

  • Southall87

    Has no one else noticed the system ui icon is jellybean not kitkat?

    • AdminAndriodAuthorty

      Because it has not yet release kitkat so thwy are jsing example first

      • Southall87

        So why is the version 4.4.2 (kitkat)

    • Memphis May [S]unjay

      I noticed it, very odd.

    • Adam Koueider

      It’s still a prototype, so there’s is probably still a fair bit of porting and UI changes left.

  • Chris

    No updates? No way.

  • Joachim Nilsson

    Sony Nexus, anyone?

    • najiy91

      for now google favours has to change to ips/oled display fully and 64gb internal storage to attract google.

    • smokebomb

      I’ve enjoyed my nexus 4 but I’ll never buy a nexus again until there is a 64GB option. A 128GB option would bring me back in a heartbeat. All this holding out on physical storage to force customers into the cloud makes me want to abandon the nexus line for Samsung’s removable battery and expandable storage. I’d take Sony over Samsung but their phones take way too long to come to US carriers.

  • George

    Shiiit…great firmware!!
    Adjustable white balance, usb dac support…I love it! :D

    • najiy91

      what is usb dac?

      • tech4life

        A usb dac (Digital to Analog Converter) converts digital audio signals from the phone to analog signals for the amplifiers and speakers.
        Don’t take my word for it 100%, that was straight of the internet.

        • najiy91

          thanks tech4life.(‘~’)

      • Adam Koueider

        A USB DAC is an accessory which converts the digital audio signal from the phone to analog (Read: BETTER) signals for high impedance headphones, speakers etc. You plug it into the microUSB plug and then plug your speakers or headphones into the DAC. It makes for quite an improvement if you’ve got the right set up.

        • najiy91

          thanks adam koueider.(‘~’)

  • Adam Koueider

    EPIC! (that’s all that really needs to be said)

  • Mokhtar Mouhib

    This features are insane, but i wish if sony change the design, i mean the z1 is awsome and z too, but people by time people will get bored of this design every year, but generally sony will get my money, ips display, ois, slow motion, waterproof, 4k, solide build quality. Thats all what i want

  • huba

    This sounds great, perfect !

  • Frank

    You’ve gotta be kidding me, Sony! I as finally going to buy a Z1 next Friday! How long do you think it will take untill this Sirius sees the light of day, guys?

    • XperiaUser :)

      same here i’m thinking to buy this by next week but if the z2 will release on march i think i can wait :)

  • Hessam

    “Built-in answering machine in the dialer”
    Great !!!

  • adrian strozier

    I can’t wait to get a hold of this device. I’m loving my Z1 and I’m sure that Z2 wont disappoint true Xperia users. An for the Sony hating trollers get a life.

  • Ashish Kumar

    Love the white dailer ! I Only wish Nexus 4 had it.

  • qasim

    hi my name is Syed, I have a problem with my sony xperia z1 that I bought earlier this year and just a couple of days ago I received a notification from VIA “Android Authority”
    App so I heard about a New update it was about some white balance and stuff but the problem is my phone is some how stuck like when ever I turn my phone on I Just shows that Blank white picture with message ” please continue updating ” Why? … is this happening can I get help. [email protected] Help me please.

  • Smart Backlight ??? Samsung sue them !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • shizai