Mobile World Congress: Sony comes out fighting with new smartphones

Sony stole a march on its competitors on the opening day of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona with the launch of three new smartphones and a complementary earpiece.
Mobile World Congress: Sony comes out fighting with new smartphones

The Japanese company — which has fallen behind the likes of Apple, Samsung, and HTC in the smartphone game — came out fighting at the technology conference with its range of Xperia X handsets.

Users will be particularly keen to see how the “smart battery” technology, which Sony claims can deliver up to two days battery life stands, stands up to scrutiny.

If the manufacturer’s claims are to be believed not only will the phone hold its charge for longer but the lifespan of the battery will also be extended as a result of additional technology developed by Qnovo which can adapt its charging patterns depending on the health of the battery.

The company has based its new models around three features it claims the Xperia brand is known for: Camera, battery, and design.

The sleek design is complemented by matching covers which will be available in four different colours from this summer.

On the camera front, the new Predictive Hybrid Autofocus in the Xperia X and Xperia X Performance models lets the user capture unblurred images of moving subjects by predicting the subject’s motion.

Sony’s latest attempt to attract users back to its handsets also comes with some added oomph in the shape of Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor driving the Xperia X and the Snapdragon 820 processor running on the Xperia X Performance.

The joker in the pack of yesterday’s device launches also came courtesy of Sony, which unveiled Xperia Ear — an in-ear artificial intelligence assistant.

The device — worn in the same way as bluetooth headset — links wirelessly to the user’s smartphone to reduce how often the handset itself is needed. An app can then deliver information on any number of things from Facebook and Twitter notifications to news and weather updates. It’s also voice-activated in the way Siri works on the iPhone.

Also launched at the event, which is expected to attract up to 100,000 attendees over the course of four days, was smartphone stalwart Samsung’s latest handsets — the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.

As expected, the latest additions to the Galaxy family include an always-on display which displays notifications as well as the time in low power mode when not in use.

The thinking behind the feature is to reduce the number of times the phone has to swing into action fully by always displaying key pieces of information.

Some old favourites also return with the slightly chunkier S7 handsets having been cut adrift with last year’s S6. Both phones can support 200GB of extra memory with the return of a microSD slot while the S7s are also water resistant.

Chinese smartphone maker ZTE unveiled some nice looking new handsets with the mid-range Blade V7 and V7 Lite while LG also got in on the action with its LG G5 which is being heralded as the Korean firm’s most daring handset yet.

Huawei also took the opportunity to launch its rival to the iPad Pro and Microsoft Surface with its MateBook.

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