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MWC: New Sony XZ phones more immersive

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At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Sony Mobile announced two new smartphones to its flagship range, the Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XZ2 Compact.

Sony says the devices are “built around the concept of bringing you the most immersive entertainment experiences yet”.

The flagship Xperia XZ2 has an extended 5.7” HDR Full HD+ 18:9 display. Viewers can watch existing HDR content, using Sony’s Bravia TV technology, X-reality for mobile, which will up-convert content to near High Dynamic Range (HDR).

The XZ2 incorporates a new haptic experience, adding the perceptual sense of touch so users can feel the viewing experience. It uses Sony’s new Dynamic Vibration System, which analyses audio data and lets users feel the action in their hands, bringing movies, games and videos to life. Videos can also be shared with friends, thanks to the XZ2’s powerful front facing stereo speakers. Featuring S-Force Front Surround, they’re the loudest Xperia speakers yet.

High quality audio is also provided, using Sony’s audio expertise with Hi-Resolution Audio together with DSEE HX technology for upscaling.

The Motion Eye camera gets a ground-breaking upgrade with the world’s first 4K HDR Movie recording in a smartphone. usersu can now capture video with greater contrast, detail and true-to-life colour and share or upload to a compatible HDR TV or YouTube. Super slow motion video recording is also upgraded, with 960fps now possible in Full HD. Motion Eye camera uses intelligent control features such as Predictive Capture with motion and smile detection, Autofocus burst and Predictive Autofocus, and Quick Launch and Capture.

The 3D Creator application launched last year is now available with greater flexibility for 3D scanning. Users can you create 3D scans of objects or faces in less than a minute using the main camera, as well as 3D selfies using the front camera.  Post-processing is now available to achieve greater quality of 3D scans. The 3D scan or selfie can now be posted directly to a Facebook timeline within 3D Creator.

A new design expression, with a fluid 3D glass surface that creates a seamless form, is contrasted with a tough exterior, built with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and metal frame to add extra durability and a premium feel.  Its four different finishes offer a reflection and shine from every angle, thanks to the glass and flow of light, available in Liquid Silver, Liquid Black, Deep Green and Ash Pink. Certified IP65/IP68, XZ2 is designed to withstand splashes and spills.

The Xperia XZ2 Compact (Left) and the Xperia XZ2 (Right)

The Xperia XZ2 Compact (Left) and the Xperia XZ2 (Right)

Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform with X20 LTE, XZ2 will provide immersive user experiences at connection speeds up to 1.2Gbps, with the second generation Gigabit LTE solution.

The XZ2 carries a large 3180mAh battery and power efficient control thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform. Xperia’s useful battery features are also included, such as Smart Stamina, STAMINA mode, Battery Care and Qnovo Adaptive Charging technology, which help the battery stay healthy for a longer lifespan. It supports a wireless charging dock (WCH20), and other compatible Qi chargers.

Xperia XZ2 Compact

The premium compact version of the phone, the XZ2 Compact, offers similar features in a smaller form factor, with a 5” HDR Full HD+ 18:9 extended display, intended to be “the ultimate compact entertainment device”.

It features many of premium updates found in its big brother, such as all the Motion Eye 2018 upgrades, including 3D Creator for selfie and Full HD Super slow motio.  It also uses Sony’s audio enhancing technologies, such as Hi-Res Audio and front facing stereo speakers, and is also powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform.

Its curved body offers comfort in the hand, while durability is ensured with a tough exterior, including Corning Gorilla Glass 5, anti-scratch hard-grade polycarbonate, IP65/IP68 and metal frame. It is finished in four colours with a smooth frosted finish: White Silver, Black, Moss Green and Coral Pink.

Accessories

A range of supporting accessories will be available, including covers Style Cover Touch and Style Cover Stand in corresponding colours for both models. Also available are charging accessories, the Wireless Charging Dock (WCH20)  and Quick Charger. The new 2-way Style USB Audio and Bluetooth Headset (SBH90C) allows users to enjoy music and talk wirelessly in high quality as well as via a wired USB Type-C Cable option that offers Hi-Res Audio with direct USB digital output.

The Open-ear Stereo Headset (STH40D) offers lightweight and comfortable dual listening, and Xperia Ear Duo utilises Sony’s acoustics leadership to deliver wireless ‘open-ear’ stereo headphones, so that one can listen or communicate while simultaneously hearing sounds around one. A USB Type-C 2-in-1 Cable (EC270) is also available for enjoying audio with non-Bluetooth headphones and simultaneously charging the phone.

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CES: And thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for making and enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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