Sony have announced a new line up of phones with a new look and ditching the naming process we have come custom too which is a good move. But is all this a good move or bad or will people underestimate the new additions like last year?
David McQueen, Research Director at tech advisory firm, ABI Research: comments on the below as he did with the Nokia range
Sony’s latest tranche of smartphones announced today are aimed at providing consumers with an unprecedented experience in the mobile space covering the holy triumvirate of display, design, and camera. On inspection, the main stand-out feature in the new range is the move to a 21:9 screen aspect ratio, a first for the smartphone market. It is also one that fits in well with Sony’s mantra to bring to life content in a unique and immersive “ultimate wide” viewing and gaming experience. These stretched successor devices do also come with new naming conventions, which have been simplified by Sony, starting with Xperia 1 for its flagship and Xperia 10 for its mid-range devices.
A closer look at Sony’s 6.5” flagship Xperia 1 reveals an impressive set of hardware features, including a triple lens camera system and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 chipset, but it is the quality of the screen where it can differentiate offering the world’s first 4K HDR OLED display. Sony has also continued to trade on its heritage as a creative entertainment company in the device by utilizing a host of camera technologies, profiles, and experiences.
While the Xperia 1 uses several Sony’s key attributes that will work together to provide a high-quality user experience, it is the use of a 21:9 ratio screen that will be sorely tested as an experience that consumers’ actually want. The ability to multitask in split-screen mode does offer palpable functionality owing to the display’s dimensions, but trading on a users’ consumption of content in the 21:9 format, notably movies, may be a more challenging activity to promote. Also, the suggested retail price, it is difficult to see this level of differentiation and experiences particularly grasping the attention of the consumer when set against competitor smartphones in the same price range. However, with foldable display smartphones on the horizon, perhaps the 21:9 size may yet become a more regular format in future, with consumers more readily able to embrace this new screen perspective.