Sony CES announcements

, posted: 10-Jan-2018 21:11

Sony have announced a number of new products at CES this year. I had the opportunity to look around their stand at their press conference and check out many of their new products as well as some very cool new pre release Xperia headphones.

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In the TV space Sony have announced new OLED and LCD models featuring their new X1 Extreme processing chip. In 2017 Sony entered the OLED market (along with Panasonic) using OLED panels manufactured by LG but with their own processing chip and user interface. Many believe (and I’m one of them) that the quality of the picture on the Sony TVs exceeded that of the LG TVs. LG have played catch up this year, but Sony have also made significant improvements.

Their new A8F series OLED TVs will hit the NZ market with 55” and 65” TVs on offer. These will be joined by the new X9000F series LCD panels which also feature the same X1 Extreme processing chip. Both ranges support Dolby Vision HDR but do lack the new HDR10+ standard. Like the 2017 models they are running Android TV with Google Assistant integration. Audio quality of the new OLED models is stunning with the upgraded acoustic surface design.

 

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In the headphone space Sony announced a number of new products including the world’s first Bluetooth noise cancelling sport headphones. The WF-SP700N is a true wireless product, and WI-SP600N is cabled. I had the opportunity to listen to the WF-SP7000N and was very impressed by these. Google Assistant is fully supported.

 

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Also on display was a protype Xperia Ear headphone that was also pretty awesome. There is no word yet on a launch date for these but they are something I’d love to own. As an open ear style headphone they didn’t actually sit in the ear canal so allowed ambient outside noise and easily allowed a conversation while playing music. They had gesture support allowing you to change tracks by moving your head, and touch controls on the headphone itself. Like pretty much every audio product on display here Google Assistant support was also included.

 

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Sony also announced new Xperia phones at CES – which is a big deal as Sony have really struggled in the US market in recent years. The new Xperia  XA2 and XA2 Ulta have been launched and both will be sold in the NZ market. Both are mid range handsets with the XA2 featuring a 5.2” screen and the XA2 Ultra featuring a larger 6” screen. Both feature a new slimmer bezel design than existing Xperia handsets and a new fingerprint reader on the back of the phone. Sony have traditionally had their fingerprint reader on the power button (and as a Xperia user it’s something I really love) but due to patent issues have had to disable the fingerprint reader in phones sold in the US market. Moving the fingerprint reader allows solves the issue. The phone also features a wide angle front camera for selfies.

 

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Also on display was Aibo - Sony’s robotic dog. After a hiatus it’s made it’s way back to life and was very impressive to see. At this stage it’ll only be available in the Japanese market.

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