New Sony software features revealed
As Mobile World Congress approaches, we're getting to see even more of Sony's next high-end Android phone, the D6503 "Sirius," a device which might come to market as the Xperia Z2. Today yet another hands-on video with prototype Z2 hardware has emerged online, showing the new phone's hardware and Android 4.4-based software. YouTube user Rimas Flyil — the source of another recent leak — has published a twelve-minute hands-on video showing the phone's hardware and software in detailed (if slightly dark) footage.
The video is rather long, so here's a quick breakdown of some of the main features —
- We're dealing with an Xperia Z1-like design, but with a few changes. The left-side ports are now covered by a single plastic door, and the security latch is on the bottom left corner, not bottom right. Like the Z1 and Z1 Compact, there's a magnatic charging port on the left edge. The camera button also appears slightly larger.
- Display viewing angles appear much improved from the Xperia Z1.
- There's a new boot animation and live wallpaper featuring animated light patterns similar to those found on the PlayStation 4, as well as a new screen unlock animation.
- The new UI uses transparent gradients at the top and bottom of the home screen, and new KitKat-style notification bar icons.
- "Smart call handling" lets you answer calls by placing the phone to your ear, dismiss them by shaking the device, or silence the ringer by placing it face-down.
- A new notification manager in the Settings app lets you enable or disable notifications for selected apps.
- "Simple home" gives you a simplified launcher with larger icons and fonts.
- There's an app stub for Sony's "Lifelog" application, though this isn't working in the prototype software.
- Tap-to-wake lets you double-tap the screen to wake the phone up, similar to LG's "Knock On" (though Sony actually had this feature on its Xperia Tablet Z last year.)
- Smart backlight control lets you "keep the screen on while you're looking at it" — similar to Samsung's Smart Stay feature.
- Glove mode is included, allowing a high-sensitivity screen mode for use with gloves — a feature present on the Z1 Compact but missing from the Z1.
- There are new options for connecting stereo mics and high-res audio equipment over USB.
- New ringtones
- There's a built-in answering machine for taking messages directly on the phone.
- The background defocus camera app from the T-Mobile Xperia Z1s is included.
- Timeshift Video lets you "record high frame-rate video and apply slow motion effects"
- 4K video recording is supported, with a message warning to use internal storage or a high-speed SD card for 4K footage.
- There's a new "CamScanner" mode for capturing documents with the camera and coverting to PDF
- The max resolution for still photos is still 20.7MP in 4:3, though there's now an option for shooting at 15.5MP in 16:9. The default resolution remains 8MP in 16:9.
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Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.