Sony has launched the Xperia C3, a device we knew was on its way thanks to a less than subtle hint at the beginning of the week, which it calls the first PROSelfie smartphone. What makes the C3 more “pro” than any other phone? Sony says it’s because it is paying as much attention to the front camera as it usually does to the rear, including fitting a dedicated LED flash above the screen.
If you’re a selfie obsessive, the Xperia C3 will definitely be attractive. The front camera has 5-megapixels, and a wide 25mm angle lens with an 80 degree field of view, giving you the chance to fit all your friends into the same shot. Sony has added its Superior Auto mode to the front cam too, so it can select the best scene style and adjust the settings based on the available lighting too. These automatic features are usually found only on rear cameras.
The LED flash, a feature we rarely see at all, has been tweaked to produce a softer, less harsh light, which supposedly makes close-up pictures more flattering. To further enhance the front camera’s ability, it has an HDR mode and access to a wide variety of selfie-centric apps. These include Portrait Retouch, where you can add one of ten different beauty styles to your picture, and Sony’s AR Effect app for crazy augmented reality graphics.
Snapping your selfie gets easier with the Xperia C3 too. Aside from the usual on-screen shutter release, there’s also Smile Shutter software which waits for everyone to smile before taking a picture, plus the rear cover has a touch sensitive section where you can take a snap with a double tap.
While the front camera is the Xperia C3’s headline feature, here’s what the rest of the device is all about. The screen is a huge 5.5-inches, and the resolution sits at 720p, while the rear camera has 8-megapixels. There’s a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor running the phone, and Android 4.4 KitKat is installed, plus there’s 4G LTE connectivity, 8GB of internal memory and a MicroSD card slot too.
Sony says it will be releasing the Xperia C3 all over the world, but has so far only confirmed a dual-SIM version for China, where it’ll launch in August.
CONTINUE TO PAGE TWO FOR ALL THE EARLY XPERIA C3 RUMORS, PUBLISHED BEFORE THE OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
New rumors, and a tiny bit of official information, point to Sony announcing another smartphone this week, and the standout feature could be a top-notch front-facing camera for taking the ultimate selfie. We’re expecting it to be another entry into Sony’s Xperia range of Android devices, and the Xperia Blog says the phone could be named the Xperia C3.
Our first glimpse of the phone comes from a set of leaked pictures, which appeared on a message board, but if you’re looking for something a little more official, Sony itself has also chimed in. A tweet sent from the SonyXperia account said “See your selfies in a whole new light,” along with a couple of hashtags telling us we’d “get the full picture” on July 8.
Upon closer examination of the leaked picture, we can see the front facing camera has its own flash unit, a rare feature seen on only a handful of devices such as the Acer Liquid E3. This would explain the cryptic tweet, and also ensure the new Xperia stands out in the growing selfie-phone market. The only other features we can gather from the leak is the presence of a 2500mAh battery, and the possibility of some brightly colored rear covers.
Recent releases from HTC, Huawei, and others have introduced us to 5-megapixels front cams, and LG refers to the setup on its G3 smartphone as a “selfie cam” rather than a video call camera or something similar. LG’s approach to a front flash was to utilize the screen, where the brightness is upped momentarily to illuminate your face.
We’re becoming ever-more obsessed with sharing pictures of ourselves over social networks, so there’s growing demand for smartphones with decent front cameras. Given many of these pictures are taken inside, a correctly tuned front flash could improve results. Details are short on the new Xperia phone, and we don’t know if it’ll be released internationally, but it seems we’ll hear much more about it on July 8.
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