Sony's 2013 CES is a big one, with upgrades across all its product lines – and a few things we've never seen before. The company's known for having a huge presence at the annual Vegas convention, and it had plenty to show off at its orb of a booth inside the convention's Central Hall. Some things, like a 4K OLED TV prototype, are a long way from actually being a product you can buy; others, like the Xperia Z, are coming soon to a store near you. The company's primary focus is on TVs, as is typical at CES, but it's making changes across all its products. And hey, there's even a new Walkman!Check below for everything new from Sony at this year's CES.
Jan 9, 2013
Almost exactly a year ago, upon these parched steppes of Nevada we know as Las Vegas, Vizio told us it was keen to get into the 4K TV market, but the timing wasn't quite right yet. Vizio asked for a year's worth of patience and, atypically for an electronics company, it's back at CES with the delivery of its 4K promise.Read Article >
Jan 8, 2013
I just had a chance to sit down with Sony president and CEO Kaz Hirai for an enlightening chat about the electronics-maker's past, present, and future. Topics up for discussion include the company's new line of 4K televisions (including that new prototype OLED model), the Xperia line of Android phones and potential expansion to other platforms, and what the road ahead looks like for Sony. Kaz offers a glimpse into the mind of the Japanese monolith, with a surprisingly candid take on the rough times its experienced over the past few years. Check out the video below for the full chat, and stay tuned for more from Sony at CES 2013.Read Article >
Since first seeing it yesterday, we've gotten to spend a little more time with Sony's 4K OLED TV prototype, possibly the best-looking screen you're going to find at CES. The 56-inch TV merges this year's two high-end TV formats with a super high-definition screen and the gorgeous colors of OLED, though while both 4K and OLED TVs are now coming to consumers, this combination is still in an experimental stage. Interestingly, Sony isn't the only one to announce a prototype this year — Panasonic has just unveiled its own 56-inch 4K OLED competitor, which we haven't yet had a chance to examine in detail. Either OLED or 4K can push a TV over $10,000, so if this does come to market, expect it to be out of the price range of just about everyone for some time.Read Article >
Sony has announced that it will be launching the first 4K video distribution service for consumers, giving 4K TV buyers their first real source of content. We don't have much information about the service, but it will be launching in the US this summer, both potentially creating a 4K market and giving Sony an edge. It's something Sony originally tried with 3D, trying to handle all facets of the feature from content creation to distribution and playback. "We intend to expand the world of 4K content from beyond the cinema to TV dramas and commercials," Sony's Kaz Hirai said during the conference at CES.Read Article >
Sony has already announced a series of remastered 4K Blu-rays, and as with 3D, the company is trying to sell studios on the benefits of 4K. Meanwhile, it's announced the first-ever 4K OLED prototype TV and new models of its consumer-ready 4K TVs. In the US, though, super high-def digital distribution could be hampered by ISPs, which aren't likely to look kindly on the stress this will cause their pipes.
Sony's new high-end televisions have a neat trick, enabled by Miracast and NFC, that allows users to simply tap their Xperia device with the TV's remote control to mirror the smartphone display on the big screen. Sony says all of its new high-end televisions (W800 or better) will have Miracast and an NFC-enabled remote control. We got a chance to check out the technology in action on the show floor, and to put it simply, it's really cool; it takes a few seconds of holding the remote to the back of the Xperia Z to connect the smartphone to the television, at which point the TV displays whatever you've got open on the phone. It's one of the best television screen-sharing implementations we've seen, as it makes screen sharing nearly effortless. To disable the mirroring, users just need to re-tap their phone to the remote control.Read Article >
Jan 8, 2013Read Article >
Sony today unveiled the Personal Content Station, and in this case the product's name should clue you in on exactly what it does. The device is a networked hub where Sony hopes you'll feel comfortable storing all of your pictures and videos. After you've loaded that content onto the $299 hardware you'll be able to view and share files to social networks and unspecified cloud services. Files can be transferred to the Content Station from smartphones and tablets, a process made easier (on supported devices) with one-touch transfer through NFC. Data can also be moved over USB, memory cards, and Wi-Fi.
Jan 8, 2013Read Article >
For people who love music as much as they enjoy working out, Sony's new Walkman Sports MP3 Player may be just the thing to keep up with their active lifestyles. The device features 4GB of storage and a one-piece, compact build that shouldn't cause too much of a hassle for runners and swimmers alike, especially since Sony claims that this particular Walkman has a waterproof design. Best of all, the MP3 player features Sony's quick charge function, which will replenish the battery in just 3 minutes for at least an hour of playback. The Walkman Sports MP3 Player will be available in black, blue, white, and pink when it is released this March for $99.99.
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Confirming our earlier report, Sony has unveiled a 4K OLED TV at CES 2013. The prototype Ultra High-Definition display is 56 inches in size, and marks Sony's return to active OLED TV development after releasing the first commercially available set back in 2007. The version we saw on the show floor is crisp, vivid, and quite frankly, one of the most beautiful displays we've seen, with nary a pixel in sight. It's just a prototype for now, so we don't expect a price or release date any time soon, but we're willing to bet that this gorgeous marriage of OLED and 4K resolution will break the bank when it first hits stores.
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Sony's Cyber-shot announcement at CES 2013 is most remarkable for how few cameras it's introducing this year -- the company has simplified its compact camera range with just five new models. (Compare that to twelve new models introduced early last year.) The headlining devices include a number of feature trade-offs. The 16.2-megapixel "ultra-compact" WX80 is the only new model with built-in Wi-Fi and 1080p video recording, and has an 8x optical zoom, and 10fps burst shooting capability. The WX80 will be available in red, black, and white for $199 -- a notable price for a Wi-Fi-equipped camera, considering Sony's previous Wi-Fi model debuted last year at $420.
Jan 8, 2013
When it comes to streaming from your phone to something with some more muscle, there are a lot of options on the market. This year, Sony is taking a page out of Nokia's playbook with a slew of speakers and headsets enabled with Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, apt-X codec support, and speakerphone capabilities. The devices run the gamut from a racquetball-sized orb, to a purse-shaped speaker, to a premium $299 sound bar with a built-in subwoofer.Read Article >
The spherical SRS-BTV5 will cost $69 when it launches and pumps out some OK sound despite its diminutive size. It’s a little tinny, and is prone to cracking at high volumes, but syncing with NFC is super simple, and the 360-degree sound means you won’t have to worry about the seating arrangement when you decide to rock out. The built-in battery only lasts for five hours, though.
Jan 8, 2013
Sony has made it a habit to introduce new smartphones at CES each year, and this year's announcement of the new Xperia Z continues that trend. The Xperia Z — and the very similar Xperia ZL — is Sony's flagship mobile device for the year, bringing high-end specs and a refined design. The Z features a 5-inch, 1080p HD display — a feature that increasingly becoming the norm among high-end Android smartphones — and powerful quad-core processor in addition to a sharp looking exterior.Read Article >
Upon first glance, the Xperia Z looks like a standard slab-style touchscreen smartphone, but once you get it in your hands, you notice how square and rectangular the phone actually is. Instead of featuring rounded corners as seen on many smartphones, the Z is distinctly sharp and blocky, which can make it a little awkward to hold in your hand. Though it is by no means a small phone, the Z weighs only about 140g and is only 7.9mm thick, which helps mask the phone's large footprint. Like the LG Nexus 4, the Z features Gorilla Glass on both the front and the back panels, which is certainly an attractive look. We're not so sure it will be able to withstand many falls or tumbles however, which is always the problem with phones made of glass. The edges of the Z are mostly spartan, save for precisely machined aluminum power button located just about halfway down the right side of the phone. The button's silver color makes it stand out from the deep black color of the rest of the device. The one take-away that we had from the Z's design was that it was unmistakably Sony and evoked the high-end consumer electronics that the company designed back in its heyday.
Jan 8, 2013
Sony's flagship phone for 2013 has just been revealed as the Xperia Z. This 5-inch Android 4.1 device comes with a 1080p display resolution, a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, LTE connectivity, and a brand new 13-megapixel Exmor RS camera sensor. In other words, it's specced to succeed.Read Article >
The Xperia Z is unique among cutting-edge handsets in being water resistant to a depth of one meter, while also matching the Nexus 4 with glass on both its front and back. Protecting against water ingress does mean that there are plastic flaps over the Z's ports (including, annoyingly, the headphone jack), but you do at least get a microSD card slot, a feature that many manufacturers have started to omit from their devices.
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New 1080p TVs will also be on offer, with sizes starting from 32-inches and going all the way up to 70-inches. Almost all the models use Edge LED lighting and come with 3D capability. Both the Bravia R550A and R520A are also capable of receiving and recording DirecTV without an additional PVR, a handy addition that should help declutter the living room. Pricing for the new range has yet to be confirmed, but all the TVs will be available starting from the spring.