Last week I posted a couple of blogs about Apple’s new iPhones and the Apple Watch however last week Sony also made an announcement in Germany about their new products which, whilst lacking the hype may actually be more in touch with consumers than Apple! (Those of you who know me will know saying that is difficult for me!)
The New Xperia Z3 & Z3 Compact
In the past I’ve reviewed Sony’s Z1 and Z2 for giffgaff and they’ve always been impressive phones although my biggest criticism has been that they’re too big to use with one hand (the Z1 compact solved this).
This week Sony announced the Z3 and Z3 compact. The 2 phones are very similar in terms of spec although the Z3 compact has a slightly lower quality screen and less RAM however both boast 4K video, a 2 day battery life, a 20.7MP camera and are waterproof and dust tight.
The Z3 has a 5.2” screen and weighs 152g (less than the iPhone 6 plus) and the Z3 compact has a 4.6” screen and weighs in at 129g (the same as the iPhone 6). The pricing for the Z3 stands at £550 and the Z3 compact at £430 which prices them below the new iPhones.
Whilst, to an extent the Z3 & Z3 compact are simply improved versions of the Z1/2 there are small design tweaks and they actually look pretty good. I’m hoping to review them for giffgaff later on this month so it’ll be good to get my hands on one!
Sony also announced a range of watches and smart bands (for fitness).
The new SmartWatch 3 SWR50 is nice but nothing special (in my opinion) however I think the device to watch is the SmartBand Talk SWR30.
The SmartBand Talk SWR30 is probably going to retail at about £100 and is a slim smartBand with fitness sensors built in plus a curved e-INK display, speaker and microphone.
I think this is wear Sony seem to have got the right idea. I don’t particularly want a smart watch that does everything my phone does however a smart band that tells the time and can also show some notifications from my smartphone does seem pretty useful. If you add into the mix a 3 day battery life (not ideal but acceptable) and a smartBand that is up to 1.5m waterproof then I think Sony get it.
Gimmicks vs Usability
Sony seem to be the underdogs in the technology market, Samsung and Apple seem to get the media attention but I wonder if Sony are actually better at producing technology that is actually what users are looking for rather than quirky gimmicks and flashy launch events that try and convince users that they want the latest product.
I’m certainly going to be paying more attention to Sony in the coming months!
(It didn’t quite fit into the theme of this post but Sony also launched a waterproof Z3 tablet which is about the same size as the iPad mini but lighter…also worth a look)