Incapable of stealing the show at IFA 2014 with the quality of one or two groundbreaking devices, Sony relies on quantity to make headlines, although ultimately, none of the company’s over a dozen new products look gifted enough to stand the test of time.
High-end smartphones. Low-end smartphones. High-end tablets. Smart wearables. Lens-style cameras/smartphone imaging accessories. Walkmans, yes, Walkmans, headphones and other audio products.
Sony threw everything but the kitchen sink at IFA’s Berlin audience during the expo’s opening day, and merely recapping all the just-introduced gear looks exhausting. But let’s take a big breath and dig in:
- Xperia Z3 5.2-inch Android handheld
Full HD 5.2-inch Triluminos display. Quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor. 3 GB RAM. 20.7 MP rear-facing camera. Where have we heard all that before? Oh, right, those are the exact same specifications of the Xperia Z2. Pass.
- Xperia Z3 Compact smartphone
Now this is how a mini-flagship should look. Sturdy yet elegant, slim but robust. And so, so beefy, thanks to a quad-core 2.5 GHz S801 chip, 2 gigs of RAM and 2,600 mAh cell. Also endowed with a jaw-dropping 20.7 megapixel snapper, the 720p 4.6 incher will no doubt come in at a fairly prohibitive price. But it’s totally worth it.
- Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
Basically a larger version of the Z3 phone, with an 8.1 MP cam replacing the 20.7 megapixel powerhouse. A decent overall iPad mini rival with Android KitKat, albeit pricing is a bit of a worry here too.
- Xperia E3 smartphone
Awesome looks… for a budget contender, mostly solid specifications, 4G LTE support included, but what’s up with the 4.5-inch 854 x 480 pix res screen? If this is your answer to Motorola’s Moto G, Sony, then forget it.
- Sony SmartWatch 3 and SmartBand Talk
Oh, look, another crappy, overpriced rectangular Android Wear smartwatch and an overpriced fitness tracker with a fancy, curved e-paper panel and built-in voice commands. Come to think of it, the SmartBand Talk ain’t half bad. But the SmartWatch 3 is.
- ILCE-QX1, DSC-QX30 and DSC-QX10 lens-style cameras
Let’s just say we dig the idea of imaging-boosting smartphone accessories, but the execution is not there… yet. Try again though, Sony, you’ll get it right one of these days.
- NWZ-A15 Walkman; MDR-Z7, MDR-1A, MDR-1ADAC Hi-Res audio compatible headphones
Nostalgia aside, why would anyone want to spend $300, yes, $300 on a digital music player? The world’s smallest, lightest, whatever, the question is why. My smartphone can do everything this Walkman can, plus run Asphalt 8: Airborne. As for all those headphones, they’re neat and can actually come in handy, but aren’t worth a lot of media attention at such a prestigious event.