February 22, 2016
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sony xperia X X performance and xa aa 10
Update: Full specs for all three phones added.

At Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, Sony has launched what it is calling “an evolution of the Xperia brand.” The new re-imagined brand hopes to be more than just a smartphone, but a smart connected device “capable of changing the way you interact with the world.”

All-new Xperia smart product concepts challenge conventional categories with machine learning, natural user interface and sensing.

The first three phones in the new X series are the Xperia X,  the Xperia X Performance and the Xperia XA.

The exact details about the new devices are still coming in, however what we do know is that  The Xperia X will use the hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor (2x ARM Cortex-A72, 4x ARM Cortex A53) and the Xperia X Performance will use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820. The Xperia X and X Performance will have 5-inch 1080p displays, while the Xperia XA will use a 5-inch 720p display, along with the MediaTek MT6755, an octa-core Cortex-A53 processor.

 Xperia XXperia X PerformanceXperia XA
Display5" Full HD 1080p5" Full HD 1080p5'' HD 720p
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 650Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 ProcessorMediaTek MT6755
RAM3GB3GB2GB
StorageUp to 32GB, expandable up tp 200GB via microSD.Up to 32GB, expandable up tp 200GB via microSD.Up to 16GB, expandable up tp 200GB via microSD.
CameraRear: 23MP 1/2.3'' Exmor RS with Predictive Hybrid AF.

Front: 13MP 1/3'' Exmor RS, 22mm Wide Angle Lens F2.0
Rear: 23MP 1/2.3'' Exmor RS with Predictive Hybrid AF.

Front: 13MP 1/3'' Exmor RS, 22mm Wide Angle Lens F2.0
Rear: 13MP 1/3'' Exmor RS with Hybrid AF.

Front: 8MP Exmor R
MiscAndroid M, 2620 mAh battery, fingerprint sensor.Android M, 2700 mAh battery, fingerprint sensor.Android M, 2300 mAh battery.

Next-generation tech

The Xperia X and Xperia X Performance include Sony’s next-generation camera technology called “Predictive Hybrid Autofocus.” Developed in collaboration with Sony’s camera engineers, it lets you choose your subject and then predicts its motion, so you can capture the action in perfect focus, without any blur.

As well as camera tech, Sony says that the new X series has next gen battery tech with Sony’s smart battery management, which the company says will deliver up to two days of battery life.

When it comes to design, each X series smartphone has a curved glass display within a rounded, continuous frame, while the Xperia XA features an edge-to-edge display. Also the Xperia X, Xperia X Performance and Xperia XA each have a range of Style Covers and come in four colors :White, Graphite Black, Lime Gold and Rose Gold.

Ambient connected devices

As part of the re-imagination of the Xperia brand, Sony is concentrating on how you interact with your smartphone. To improve the user experience while out-and-about, Sony has also released details of the Xperia Ear, a wireless ear-piece that provides useful information such as your schedule, weather and the latest news to keep you up-to-date on the go. It uses Sony’s voice technology, which means it can respond to verbal commands, so you can ask it to make a call, perform an internet search, dictate a message or navigate to a certain location. The key here is that it is a hands-free experience.

The Xperia Ear connects to your Android smartphone via NFC or Bluetooth and offers all day battery life plus IPX2 water-protection. As well as the ear piece, Sony has also announced the oddly named RM-X7BT in-car Bluetooth commander, which gives you wireless music streaming and hands-free smartphone functions whilst driving. It consists of two units – an ‘adaptor’ module that enables wireless audio streaming and hands-free calls, and a ‘commander’ that facilitates smartphone functions such as navigation, all whilst driving safely.

RM-X7BT

But Sony is also bringing its machine learning tech to just more than a AI which whispers in your ear. It has also announced three more concept products:

  • Xperia Eye  – a wearable wide-angle lens camera that can be attached to clothing or worn around the neck. It features a 360-degree spherical lens and has intelligent shutter technology that  uses facial and voice detection to capture images.
  • The Xperia Projector is designed for family communication using a natural and interactive interface projection on any clear surface. It will respond to touch, voice and gestures just as you would interact with your smartphone screen.
  • The Xperia Agent is a personalised assistant. It will respond to voice and gestures – providing you with useful information, communication assistance and home appliance controls. It is also powered by Sony’s voice technology and will respond to a number of commands – and has a built-in camera and projector display for projecting content onto surfaces.

Wrap-up

This is quite an interesting set of announcements from Sony, I for one wasn’t expecting a Snapdragon 820 based device to be announced. Also it seems that this year’s theme at MWC is “value-add,” peripherals and modules that define the next stage in how we use our connected devices. Sony’s part in this is the Xperia Ear, Eye, Projector and Agent. It will be interesting to see how these “ambient connected devices” perform and if they actually make our lives easier/better.

What do you think? Please let me know in the comments.

Gary Sims
Gary has been a tech writer for over a decade and specializes in open source systems. He has a Bachelor's degree in Business Information Systems.He has many years of experience in system design and development as well as system administration, system security and networking protocols. He also knows several programming languages, as he was previously a software engineer for 10 years.
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