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Uh oh: Verizon drops price of Sony’s Xperia Play to $100

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play front angle view

The PlayStation phone may already be on its way out. Today, Verizon cut the price of the Sony Ericsson phone from $200 to $100 with a two-year contract (via Phandroid). Despite having graphics that exceed the Sony PSP, running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and featuring a complete slide-out Sony gamepad, the Xperia Play may not be selling well. While phone prices often drop within six months and many phones don’t even stay on the market longer than that, the Play was a high profile launch from Sony and represented its first major collaboration with Verizon in some time.

Reviewing the Xperia Play, our own Nick Mokey was impressed with the attempt, but found the phone to be a bit bulky due to the keyboard.

“If you want the most gaming-friendly Android phone, this is it. But don’t cancel your PSP Go purchase just yet,” writes Mokey. “The first “PlayStation-certified” phone is only a handheld gaming console in the same way a bicycle with an engine bolted onto it is a motorcycle – the difference is all in the details. With compromised controls, a small library of available titles that work with them and sometimes lukewarm controller integration on the games that do, the Xperia Play has a ways to go before any real gamer would swap a PSP or Nintendo DS for it. Even so, we have to give Sony Ericsson credit for adding game controls to an Android handset without destroying its credibility as a phone. Unless the bulk bothers you, the sacrifices made for hard game controls are quite livable, making the Xperia Play a worthy consideration for smartphones gamers sick of swiping at glass.”

Of course, any lack of sales is speculation on our part. This price drop could simply be a planned promotional discount. In any case, if you’re a heavy gamer and were considering an Xperia Play, there is no better time to pick one up. Sony claims that more PlayStation compatible devices will be coming in the future, and the PS Vita will have some form of connectivity, but for now, this is it. Still, we can’t help but wonder if Sony won’t give it another go with a 4G LTE version of the Play. Now that might get us excited.

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Jeffrey Van Camp
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Deputy Editor, Jeff helps oversee editorial operations at Digital Trends. Previously, he ran the site's…
Cheaper Sony Xperia phones are coming, but they’re not for US
sony new handsets xperia t2 and e1 big

CES ain't over till it's over. The biggest electronics show of the year happened last week, but today Sony is expanding its line-up of Xperia handsets with the launch of two new devices: the Xperia T2 Ultra and Xperia E1. Both devices appear to run on modest, but okay specs. Just don't expect to see them on Western shelves anytime soon.
Xperia T2 Ultra
First up, the 6-inch, Android-powered Xperia T2 Ultra, which launches with a dual SIM card option, allowing you to set up each card independently with custom ring tones and one-touch switching between cards before making calls or sending texts.
The Japanese tech giant is aiming the T2 Ultra chiefly at emerging markets – specifically China, the Middle East, Africa, and locations in Asia – and looking to score big in the fast-expanding phablet sector.
The new device incorporates a 720p HD Triluminos display and packs a 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of on-board storage (expandable up to 32GB via a MicroSD slot). It also comes with an impressive 13-megapixel rear camera and modest 1.1-megapixel front.
Sony's pushing its entertainment offerings on the new phone, with Album, Walkman, and Movies apps all integrating out-of-the-box; Sony Entertainment Network content is also available to users straight from set up.
To ensure owners get a decent amount of use out of the T2 Ultra before having to worry about charging the thing, it's included a hefty 3000mAh battery. Combined with Sony’s Battery Stamina Mode, which automatically turns functions on and off to save power, we imagine users will get more than enough play time with the T2 Ultra before levels start to run low.
There's no word yet on pricing or release date but we'll be sure to update as soon as we know.
Xperia E1
Next up is the mid-tier, Android-powered Xperia E1, featuring a far more modest spec list: a 4-inch (800 x 400 pixel) screen, a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm (maybe a Snapdragon?) processor with 512MB RAM, and 4GB of storage. Sony is aiming the E1 at music lovers, with its built-in "super clear" 100dB speaker and 30 days free access to millions of songs via the Sony Entertainment Network.
Commenting on the new device, Sony's director of Xperia marketing Calum MacDougall said the E1 "combines the best of Sony’s audio technologies with a premium design and great hardware," adding, “It’s a new, music-focused player in our Xperia line-up that is underpinned by the best of Sony’s design, display and content offers.”
As with the T2 Ultra, the E1 also comes with a dual-SIM card alternative, the cleverly named E1 dual.
The E1 launches with three color options – white, black, and purple – though as with the T2 Ultra smartphone, we're waiting for pricing and release date details.

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LG G Pad 8.3 and Sony Xperia Z Ultra relaunched with Android KitKat
LG G Pad Google Play Edition

Google has teamed up with LG and Sony to bring a pair of brand-new devices to the Play Store. Normally, we’d expect some exciting Nexus hardware, but this time we’ve got some new entries into the firm’s growing Google Play Edition range, and both are the first of their kind.
LG has delivered the first Google Play Edition tablet, in the shape of the G Pad 8.3. Its announcement clears up the mystery of the leaked LG V510 tablet, which was seen boasting the same specs as the standard G Pad, but rumored to wear the Nexus name. The truth of the matter has turned out to be somewhere in-between.
What makes the Google Play Edition different to the regular G Pad 8.3 is the addition of stock Android 4.4 KitKat, which operates without any of LG’s own software over the top. The hardware specs include an 8.3-inch display with a 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution, a quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 5-megapixel rear camera.
The first Google Play Edition tablet has also been joined by the first Google Play Edition phablet, as Sony has swapped out its own Android OS in favor of Android 4.4 KitKat on the Xperia Z Ultra. The almost comically large smartphone/tablet hybrid has a massive 6.4-inch, 1080p touchscreen, and is powered by a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor. It has 4G LTE connectivity, 16GB of memory, and weighs in at a serious 212 grams.
Both these new Google Play Editions are on sale through the Play Store now, with the LG G Pad 8.3 costing a reasonable $350, and the Xperia Z Ultra $650, which is the same price as the Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition. Lastly, Google has added a new color to the 2013 Nexus 7 tablet, which now comes in white, but only if you select the 32GB Wi-Fi version.

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Sony Xperia Z1, Z Ultra, and SmartWatch 2 coming to the U.S.
sony xperia z1 ultra and smartwatch 2 prices release date 5 z 1

Sony recently stated it was going to concentrate its smartphone efforts on the European and Japanese markets, leaving us wondering whether any of the firm’s most recent hardware would be put on sale in the U.S. at all. The situation has now been clarified, and in a most agreeable way, as the Xperia Z1, the Xperia Z Ultra, and the Sony SmartWatch 2 are all on sale in America now.
Sadly, they’re not going to be sold with a contract through a network, but unlocked via Sony’s own webstore. As all devices have been announced in the recent past, we’ll go through each with a reminder of why you may want to splash out on one, starting with the Xperia Z1.
Xperia Z1
Sony’s most recently launched big-screen phone comes with a 5-inch Triluminous display and a 1080p pixel resolution, a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, and a 20.7-megapixel rear camera. The Xperia Z1 was introduced with a set of lens accessories and is being promoted as an alternative to camera phones such as the Nokia Lumia 1020 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom. Like other high-end Sony smartphones, it’s water and dust proof too.
It’s available to order through Sony’s stores now for $670, in black, white or purple, and it’s ready to connect to HSPA+ GSM networks.
Xperia Z Ultra
If the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 isn’t big enough, then the Xperia Z Ultra may be for you. Its screen measures a giant 6.4-inches. It’s another Triluminous panel with a 1080p resolution, and the Snapdragon 800 powers the Android 4.2 operating system. An 8-megapixel camera sits on the rear of the phone, the body is water and dust resistant, plus it comes with a stylus.
Again, a black, white or purple model is available now through Sony’s stores, but this time the phone is offered with either HSPA+ or 4G LTE connectivity. The price has been set at $650 for the HSPA+ version and $680 for LTE.
SmartWatch 2
Check out our review of the Sony SmartWatch 2 watch.
Finally, we come to Sony’s second smartwatch, which will be out soon. Unlike the Galaxy Gear, the SmartWatch 2 is compatible with most Android phones running Android 4.0 or later, and features a 1.6-inch touchscreen with a 220 x 176 pixel resolution. It connects to your phone using Bluetooth or NFC, has a battery which should last around four days, and is water resistant.
There’s an application store with more than 200 apps already available, with more being built all the time. Out of the box, it will display SMS messages, calendar events, your Gmail, plus show notifications from Facebook and Twitter. The SmartWatch 2 is yours for $200.
So, although there’s no network love, it’s good to see all three of these interesting Sony devices on sale in America.

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