Sony plays it premium with new Xperia devices

Comment from Julian Jest, Research Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, on Sony's new Xperia devices

London, (PresseBox) - Sony launched three new devices at Mobile World Congress today, including the Xperia Z2, the Xperia Tablet Z2 in an attempt to build on its efforts in 2013 to establish itself as a vendor of premium Android devices. The third and final device in the new line-up, the Xperia M2, is Sony's attempt to bring an affordable LTE device to the market in an attempt to capitalise on the desire of mobile operators to increase their LTE user base.

The Xperia Z2 and the Xperia Tablet Z2 are both simple in design, relying on glass and metal materials to give a premium look and feel. These are not just attractive looking devices but are also lightweight, while drawing on Sony's omni-balance design, making them both comfortable to hold, especially important for those users who plan on playing games or watching content while holding the device. The first class experience that Sony hopes to deliver extends not only to audio playback, with built in noise cancelling earphone technology, and, exclusively to the Xperia Z2, but also to the optics in the device with a 20MP camera and 4K recording and playback. Although most consumers probably don't have TV sets or monitors capable of 4K playback, Sony claims to be "future proofing" the recordings, for a time when 4K TV sets are a ubiquitous technology. The water and dust proofing of its devices is becoming something of a trademark feature for Sony, and both The Xperia Tablet Z2 and the Xperia Z2 come with this feature.

Completing the line-up of new devices is the Xperia M2, which has a very similar look and feel to the Xperia Z2, but is in fact a mid-range device, and will launch at around €220. This is an extremely competitive package, especially given that LTE is included, technology which is typically reserved for high end smartphones. This could be a good move for Sony when partnering with mobile operators with LTE networks, who themselves are keen for more of their customers to use this technology. In a move that will be popular in emerging markets Sony will also launch a dual SIM variant of the Xperia M2.

A giant in the movie and music recording industries, Sony hopes to entice more customers to subscribe to its media services. Sony will bundle 6 movies in with the Xperia Tablet Z2 and the Xperia Z2, and 3 movies in with the Xperia M2, and all devices will also come with 30 days free access to its Music Unlimited service. Pushing its content through mobile devices is important not only to increase their perceived value to consumers, but also to expand its horizons beyond sales from CDs and DVDs.

Despite the recent high profile launch of the PS4, its latest gaming console, greater integration between its Xperia devices and the PlayStation is not currently a pressing concern for Sony. There are surely opportunities for Sony's tablets and gaming consoles to be used simultaneously. For the moment, however, it is only a PS3 controller that can be used to wirelessly play games on the Xperia Tablet Z2.

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