It’s just a rumor at this point, but it’s possible that Sony will be coming to market with a new Android smartphone with a 20-megapixel sensor capable of capturing 4K-resolution video meant for Ultra HD TVs.
As reported by the Xperia Blog, system software for the phone codenamed “Honami” was uncovered which indicated that video capability will handle the higher 4K standard because of the power inherent in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 chip. The chip’s specs state that it can handle both 4K and also stereoscopic 3D video and still images at a total resolution of 55-megapixels.
New camera modes are expected to be introduced to make use of these advanced features, though it’s not clear what will ultimately make it to the final product. The rumors also suggest that Sony will put its own stamp on Android to differentiate itself more from the crowded and competitive Android market. But again, details are vague, other than a revamped interface, apps and the new camera.
If this comes to fruition, it would be the first reported smartphone to offer 4K Ultra HD video capture, though there are standalone video cameras that can already do so. Ultra HD is still very new, and despite efforts to lower prices, content remains elusive, with true 4K-resolution Blu-ray discs only coming to market next year at the earliest. Sony has said a 4K streaming service is slated for launch this summer, but there has been no word yet on an exact date for that, nor how much content will be available and what it will cost to stream it.
Much like 3D first came to market, this may be a push to spur 4K adoption through user-generated content that can be played back directly onto a 4K Ultra HD TV. There’s also the possibility that competitors will be doing the same, particularly since Samsung, LG and Toshiba have also been working on 4K Ultra HD TVs.
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