Every major electronics manufacturer is pulling out all the stops here at IFA 2014, and Sony is no exception.
Today, the Japanese giant unveiled a cornucopia of new products, including a whole line of audio gear. But the most important part of Sony's press conference was undoubtedly the announcement of the new SmartWear wearables and the Xperia Z3 line of phones and tablets.
First, let's talk about the wearables: the SmartBand Talk and the SmartWatch 3.
The SmartBand Talk looks more like the Nike Fuelband or Fitbit than an actual smartwatch. It has an always-on e-ink display and allows you to receive and answer phone calls in HD voice quality. Perhaps more interesting is Sony's announcement that it's working with fashion brands Roxy, Barbour, and Ted Baker to make a more fashionable version of the SmartBand for future release.
The SmartWatch 3 is the successor to the SmartWatch 2, and it wisely ditches Sony’s proprietary smartwatch OS in favor of Android Wear. That gives you access to Google Now and voice-controlled texting. The new watch has also adopted a look much more in line with Samsung’s Gear series of smartwatches.
The SmartWatch 3 includes a 1.6-inch LCD display, 4GB of memory, and a slew of sensors (GPS, compass, gyro, accelerometer, and microphone). The watch is even waterproof, with an impressive IP68 rating.
You'll need an Android phone to pair with the watch, so Sony also outed three new Xperia models: the premium Z3, slightly smaller Z3 Compact, and the mid-tier E3. The Z3 features a 5.2-inch screen, a 20.7-megapixel camera capable of 4K video, and a 2.5GHz Snapdragon processor. The new flagship is waterproof and even includes a new feature called PS4 Remote Play.
The Z3 Compact is nearly identical to its big brother, with the only noticeable difference being a smaller 4.6-inch screen size. (That's what all "compact" and "mini" variants should be, if you ask us.)
For the mid-range E3, Sony tried to squeeze premium specs into a cheaper phone. It features a qHD 4.5-inch screen, a 5-megapixel camera, and a quad-core Snapdragon processor. The phone even comes in a dual SIM variant aimed squarely at the valuable, rapidly growing smartphone market of the developing world.
Last but not least is the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, an 8-inch slate that's remarkably thin at just 6.4mm. It's powered by a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, 3GB of RAM, and up to 16GB of flash storage with a microSD slot for expansion. Like everything else in the new lineup, it is also waterproof.
Stay tuned to Reviewed.com for our hands-on with Sony’s latest lineup.