Sony

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The Sony PSP is a very popular handheld gaming device. And many people out there owning a PSP are interested in cracking their PSP. Why? Just to unleash its true power.

Before proceeding further, I would like to mention that ‘Cracking your PSP’ means ‘Installing Custom Firmware’ on your PSP. This allows you to use a lot of Hombrew Applications and Games on your PSP through the Memory Stick.

So in this post, I will let you know how to crack a PSP 1000, 2000 and 3000 model. All the models follow same procedure initially, but later change their course a bit. For your convenience and understanding, I will cover the common part first and then different parts later.

COMMON PART

This part is applicable for the PSP 1000, 2000 and 3000. This is the first stage in the process of cracking and hence applicable to all the above-mentioned PSPs. Follow these steps:

  • Make sure that you are on Official Firmware (OFW) Version 6.60.
  • If not then you should update your PSP to Original Firmware Version 6.60.
  • Check out this post to find out how you can update your PSP device.
  • Now you need to download a file named 6.60 PRO-B10.
  • Search for it on the Internet and you should be able to find it very easily.
  • This file is available as a .ZIP or .RAR file.
  • Extract the contents of the file and you should get three folders named PROUPDATE, FastRecovery and CIPL_Flasher.
  • Now connect your PSP to the computer and to your memory stick copy all the above 3 folders to PSP -> GAME folder.
  • Now disconnect your PSP from the computer and on your PSP go to GAME -> MEMORY STICK and Press X.
  • You should see the 3 files from the folders you just copied.
  • Now first run the file named PROUPDATE by pressing X.
  • On the screen that comes up, Press X and then Press X again to start the PROUPDATE.
  • Your PSP will not restart and the Custom Firmware (CFW) will be installed on it.
  • In order to check this, go to SETTINGS -> SYSTEM SETTINGS -> SYSTEM INFORMATION.
  • There in the field for System Software it should say ‘6.60 PRO-B10’.

So this means you have successfully installed CFW on your PSP.

This completes the common part of the process.

DIFFERENT PART

By following the above steps you have installed CFW on your device. But he process is not complete yet. Now depending upon the PSP model you have, it is time to finish the process accordingly. Follow the steps below depending upon your PSP model.

PSP 1000 and PSP 2000 (with Non TA-088v3 Motherboard):

  • On your PSP go to GAME -> MEMORY STICK again and Press X.
  • This time select CIPL_FLASHER and press X.
  • On the screen that follows press X again and then press O.
  • Your device should restart again.
  • Now again head to the location I mentioned above and check whether it says ‘6.60 PRO-B10’ in the field for System Software.
  • If it does, it means you have successfully cracked your PSP with Permanent CFW.

By the way, you guys do not need the FastRecovery file at all. So once you have finished the process, connect your PSP to the computer, go to your Memory Stick and delete the 3 folders that we have copied.

PSP 3000 and PSP 2000 (with TA-088v3 Motherboard):

  • On your PSP go to GAME -> MEMORY STICK again and Press X.
  • This time select FastRecovery and press X.
  • Your device should restart again.
  • You are almost done. By the way, you do not need the CIPL_FLASHER file at all.
  • So once you have finished the process, connect your PSP to the computer, go to your Memory Stick and delete the folders PROUPDATE and CIPL_FLASHER but DO NOT delete FastRecovery.

This is because the PSP 3000 and the Second Version PSP 2000 cannot be permanently cracked. Your CFW will go away once you Restart your device. Hence whenever you do restart your PSP or due to any other reason see that your CFW has been erased, you simply have to run the FastRecovery file again. Your CFW will be back.

By the way, if you have a PSP 2000 and are confused about whether your device has a TA-088v3 Motherboard or not, there are many ways to check that out but there are no guaranteed methods. In order to check whether your PSP 2000 contains a TA-088v3 Motherboard or not you should try these methods:

1. OFW Version when you bought the PSP

If you remember the OFW was present on your PSP by default when you bought it. So the next step is to check whether it is 4.01 or not. If it is, then there is a very high chance that you have this motherboard.

2. Identification Letter of your PSP

If you do have the Box of your PSP, then check for the label that has some bar codes on it and lines like these:

PSP 2000 CW

100v

G

So if you have a letter G, then again there is a high probability that you have this motherboard.

3. Date Code

Remove the Battery of your PSP and check for the Date Code on the Panel. If it says 8C or 8D then there is a very high chance of your device having this motherboard.

Anyways, if you are not able to find out what motherboard your PSP has or if you do not want to take any risks, then simply use the ‘Second Method’ where we only use the FastRecovery. That way you wont damage your device.

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The Sony PSP runs on a system software referred to as Firmware. And if you are not a newbie in the world of PSP then you very well know that when it comes to the PSP, ‘It’s all about the Firmware’.

For people who do not know much about this, Firmware is the system software that runs on your PSP as I have already mentioned. It acts as the Operating system of your Device and is regularly updated and improved over time by Sony as they find out bugs and problems in their firmware and also when they want to include new features.

People are always trying to find out means to Update their PSP to a new Firmware Version. Another interesting point is that people even try to find out why should we Update our PSP to a Newer Firmware.

The basic reason for updating your PSP to a newer Firmware Version is to stay up-to-date with the latest software and get rid of all the bugs and problems that were present in the previous version. And at the same time it is important to update your PSP Firmware so that you are be able to play the Latest and Newly Launched Games. So let us check out how to do it.

How to Update your PSP Firmware?

There are 2 methods by which you can update your PSP Firmware.

1. Direct Update

  • Connect your PSP to the Internet.
  • Now go to SETTINGS -> SYSTEM UPDATE and press X.
  • The device will detect the latest PSP Firmware that it can support.
  • Download the latest Firmware Version file that has been shown.
  • The installation should start once you finish downloading the file.
  • If it doesn’t, go to GAME -> MEMORY STICK on your PSP and run the Update yourself.
  • Follow the onscreen instructions and you are done.

2. Custom Update

Now this method is useful for people who prefer to download the Update File using a computer and then install it on their PSP and for people who want to update their PSP to a new firmware but not the latest One. I said so because, there are a lot of times when you are on Version 6.00 and you prefer to or want to update to Version 6.20 or 6.35 instead of the latest 6.60. So just follow these steps in order to Custom Update your PSP.

  • Search for the PSP Firmware Update file for the Version you want on the Internet.
  • Once you download the file, rename it to EBOOT.PBP if it does not already have that name.
  • Connect your PSP to the computer and open your PSP Memory Stick.
  • Go to PSP -> GAME and make a folder named UPDATE and paste the EBOOT.PBP file into it.
  • Once done, go to your PSP and you should be able to find this Update File in GAME -> MEMORY STICK.
  • Run this file by pressing X and follow the onscreen instructions.
  • Your PSP will be updated to the Firmware of your choice.

Now after you have finished updating your PSP using any of the above methods, on your PSP go to SETTINGS -> SYSTEM SETTINGS -> SYSTEM INFORMATION and check the System Software. You should be able to see the Firmware Version to which you just updated your device. Once you finish the Update process, you no longer need the Update file and hence you can delete it if you want.

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The Sony PSP is one of the best handheld gaming consoles ever. It is a revolutionary device that redefined portable gaming. Hence for every gamer, it is must to own at least one of these legendary devices.

Since the launch of the Sony PSP, there have been many versions and models that have been launched as time passed by. It all started with the original PSP 1000, then came the ‘Slim’ PSP 2000 and then came the ‘Brite’ PSP 3000. Later on came the PSP Go and recently the Next Generation model named ‘PSVita’ was launched.

Now similar to iPhone Jailbreaking, PSP Cracking is another very interesting topic amongst people. Even though I am not quiet sure whether PSP Cracking is legal or not, I know that this fact hardly makes any difference to people who are interested in cracking their PSP devices. Hence in this post, although I cannot tell you anything about the ‘PSP Cracking Process’ I will tell you about the ‘Precautions that should be taken if you are attempting to Crack your PSP’.

So this post is specially written for all those Sony PSP users out there who want to Crack their devices. Cracking allows you to do a lot of extra stuff and opens up different options and possibilities. So if your are going to try and crack your PSP yourself then before you attempt, please go through the following points to ensure that you make no mistakes and are on the right track.

1. Check your PSP Device

As I mentioned earlier, there are different models of PSP. For example PSP 1000, PSP 2000 and PSP 3000 etc. Hence it is very important to identify which device you have so that you can attempt and use the ‘Proper Firmware Version’ and the ‘Proper Crack’.

2. Update to the Latest Supported Firmware

Every PSP can be updated to the New Firmware that is made available from time to time. But it is very important that you only update your PSP to a firmware that best suits you. What I mean by this is that one should use a PSP firmware that can allow his PSP to run a ‘Permanent Crack’ and provide ‘High Stability’ at the same time.

3. Use the Latest Cracks

There are a lot of Developer Groups who have been releasing Cracks for the PSP. But many of them are outdated or do not function as smoothly as others. Hence it is important that you use a Crack that is ‘Light Weight, Easy to Implement, Easy to Uninstall and Runs without Lags’. I would personally recommend that you try and use the PRO-B10 Crack released by Team PRO.

4. Check your PSP Motherboard Compatibility

There have been a lot of cases and issues where people have bricked their PSPs because they used a Crack that was not supported by their PSP Motherboard. Hence it is very important that you confirm which motherboard you have on your device. There are tools out there on the Internet, which can be run on your PSP even when it is not cracked and they tell you the technical details of your PSP like the Motherboard Version, Generation Number etc.

I would like to add an important note for all the PSP 2000 users. The PSP 2000 model comes in 2 different Motherboard versions. One with an older version that can be easily cracked and the other with a newer version that has the motherboard similar to the PSP 3000.

5. Go for Permanent Crack 

It is very important that you give first preference to ‘Permanent Crack’ instead of ‘Latest Firmware’. So if there is a Newer Firmware available for your device but there is no permanent crack available for it yet, then do not go for it. It is better to stick to an older firmware if it gives your device a permanent crack.

6. Take Care while trying to Downgrade

Many PSP users attempt to downgrade their PSP Firmware versions so that they can enjoy Permanent Cracks on their device. The downgrade process is a little complicated and at times does not support some PSP devices. Hence be absolutely sure that the downgrade process will work on your PSP and only then go for it. Any kind of mistakes here might brick your PSP.

Now that you know what problems you might face, the crack process should be easier. Please ensure that you have taken care of each point mentioned above, because if by any chance you brick your PSP, it will be very difficult and tedious and sometimes even impossible to unbrick it.

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If the logo below reminds you of all those awesome games you played/ memories you shared in past and if it gives you Goosebumps all over your body, then you are one of the many true fans of the ‘Sony PlayStation’.

The very logo defined the word ‘Gaming’.

Sony undoubtedly has best managed to continue this legacy, which started with the original PSX and then carried over by PS2 and then PS3. Now, Sony has decided to launch yet another masterpiece. ‘The PS4’.

Yes, the above logo might very soon be flashing on your TV screens once you get your hands on the ‘New PS4’ or ‘Orbis’, which is rumored to be the Codename for this new console just the way the new PSP was codenamed Vita.

Sony PlayStation 4:

According to trusted sources, the PS4 (codenamed ‘Orbis’) will be out in the summers of 2013! Sources have also revealed that ‘Select Developers’ have already received development kits for the PS4 at the beginning of the year; while newer and improved versions of this development kits have been sent out constantly. A much more finalized ‘Beta’ version will be shipped to developers by the end of 2012.

Tech Specs (The Good Part):

Sources have been stating that currently, the working hardware for Sony’s next-gen console includes an AMD x64 CPU and a Southern Islands GPU, with the console capable of resolution output up to 4,096 x 2,160, with the GPU featuring enough pixel-pushing power to comfortably support 1080p 3D gaming. Sony is also aiming to provide support for the latest 4K video playback standards in its Orbis console.

So what you can now imagine is a full fledged, highly powered and an awesome looking gaming console that will set a new benchmark in the world of gaming. The image below is rumored to be one of the most possible designs for the PS4:

Oops! (The Bad Part):

Now this is going to hurt a lot but we still have to wait and watch till the end to find out how much of it is actually true. So even though the PS4 is going to be a blast, there are a lot of things that might emerge as a roadblock in its success as a gaming console.

1. NO Backward Compatibility:

Sources state that the PS4 won’t offer backward compatibility and hence even PS3 games can’t be played on it and Sony leaks ‘No Plans’ of offering this feature.

Now if this is true, then a lot of people will have to hang on to their PS3s if they want to continue playing PS3 games.

2. Not compatible with used games:

It is believed that PS4 won’t allow used games to be played on the machine. It will have some sort of ‘Lock or Check’ that will stop used games from running on the console. So you ‘have to’ buy ‘Brand New Games’ either as Blu-ray discs or through PSN.

3. Compulsory PSN Account:

Now you can’t just buy a game disc and start playing right away. Why? The store has bought discs that ‘have to’ be locked to a single PSN account, where you can save your game data to your HDD or sync it so that you can download it later.

4. Internet Connection;

Yes, the PS4 needs a valid PSN account! It also requires an ‘Internet Connection’ to Start! So now it’s almost impossible to mess and fiddle with this console and get ways around it.

Personally, i feel PS4 is totally worth trying. Till then, let us keep our fingers crossed.

(Thanks to the sources from Kotaku)

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2011 was the year of dual core processor powered phones which gave users a whole new experience of mobile computing but as we all know, Technology is continuously changing and now in 2012, companies are ready to give the power of Quad Core processor powered phones in your hand.

Many big mobile manufacturers showed couple of such phones at the Mobile World Congress 2012. These phones have exceptionally good hardware and most confusing part is which phone to buy.

To clear this confusion we have created a comparison table chart. The chart will help you to compare all the major aspects of these exceptionally well built phones and to select which phone suits best to your requirement and personality. The Android Phone Comparison chart consists of following phones.

HTC One X

A perfect Candybar! Packed with exceptional features, HTC One X is a one powerful phone that every Smartphone lover will like to own.

LG Optimus 4X HD

The Optimus family has been redefined with Optimus 4X HD. The name itself states the quad-core functionality, bringing perfect and vivid color balance on a semi HD display.

Huawei Ascend D quad

Along with quad-core CPU, you will get Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich power. Huawei Ascend D quad is a decent phone which will make its presence felt sometime soon.

ZTE Era

With its list of smartphones announced at MWC 12, ZTE Era is another Nvidia Tegra 3 powered phone lying beside the above quads.

Samsung Galaxy Beam

Samsung’s innovation never ends. The new phone – Samsung Galaxy Beam shows it. It features a built-in projector along with hardware some what similar to Galaxy family. Galaxy Beam will be most loved among the productivity guys.

HTC One S

Another addition in the One family from HTC, HTC One S is a mid end phone for today’s generation featuring dual-core CPU.

Sony Xperia P

Leaving the Ericsson behind, Sony added an incredibly awesome phone to its Xperia family.

Sony Xperia Sola

With innovation in the touch screens, Xperia Sola offers a touch experience that none of the other phones offer – Floating Touch! It’s amazing!

LG Optimus Vu

LG have added another big fat phone to its Optimus family. Vu has 4G LTE support along with balanced battery life.

Orange Santa Clara

Featured on the Orange network, Orange Santa Clara is built up with decent hardware to attract the budget customers. Surely it seems to be great hit like the San Fransisco earlier.

Android Phone Comparison Chart

Android Phones comparison chart

(To download or view in full, click on the image)

If you like our Android Phone Comparison Chart, please spread the word about it by sharing it on your social profiles!

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The Sony PlayStation Vita is the spiritual successor to the PSP, which was launched almost seven years ago. But with two cameras, a web browser, Bluetooth, WiFi, and optional 3G version, it’s more than just a portable gaming machine.

The Vita was officially launched with a  WiFi-only model and a  3G/WiFi model. This review covers the First Edition bundle that was released early with a 3G/WiFi Vita, and a 4GB memory card.

The PlayStation Vita  is a handheld game console manufactured and marketed by Sony Computer Entertainment.

Hardware :

The PlayStation Vita boasts of a 5-inch OLED display with a resolution of 960×544. It looks really crisp and there is just something about it that works. The OLED itself is crystal clear and it offers a wide range of viewing angles, so much to the point that someone can see you playing from a remarkable distance away.

The device itself only has two shoulder buttons but thankfully there are two analogue sticks which are really quite small but are a lot better than the PSP’s analogue “stick”. There is a rear touch-pad on the back which can be used in a number of cool ways but I can’t help but feel that sometimes it gets in your way a little bit. I found myself doing things I didn’t really want to do in games because the design felt a bit awkward to me.

Sony was aware enough of the smartphone threat that it has decided to get out in front of the market for performance. It’s powered by an ARM-based Cortex-A9 quad-core processor; apart from carrying 512MB of RAM instead of 1GB, it’s very close to NVIDIA‘s fast Tegra 3 chip.

The Vita may be faster in graphics, though; the CPU is paired with a PowerVR SGX543MP4+ quad-core video chip that has 128MB of dedicated memory of its own and, if the iPad 2 is an indicator, could be much faster. All of that adds up to some serious gaming power that will drive the platform forward for the next several years.

The end-result, is that the games on the Vita look incredibly good and it’s fair to say that they are almost on the same level as the PlayStation 3 in terms of quality. I found there was a little lack of anti-aliasing because the edges looked a little jagged which was more noticeable in Uncharted: Golden Abyss than anything else. The Vita also has two cameras, one in front and one in rear which are 1.3 MP cameras. This is quite far behind, by today’s standards, when compared to smart phones, but hey, you aren’t buying a Vita to take snapshots of the Gateway of India.

The Device:

The Vita supports the classic motion control in the SIXAXIS form. You either love or hate this feature but it seems to do its job quite capably in the launch games and in the console itself. The device is quick to respond and uses a nice interface that allows apps or games to be flicked away and then forgotten about.

The two cameras allow gamers the use of Augmented Reality which is quite fun and I was able to test this out using Reality Fighters (a game received with the console). I took a picture of myself, placed it on a fighter, chose the “drunk” fighting style and used the AR background which results in the two men fighting on my table.

In my eyes, the Vita can only be described as “sexy”. It’s a very sleek device with a great look to it and the “elevator music” on the dashboard is something that gives it an air of maturity.

I was hoping that the rear touch-panel was a little less glossy than it actually is because I find it difficult to scroll my fingers across it. I was hoping for a more “rubbery” type feel in order to maintain grip on the device and also held with ease of motion when playing games.

All the buttons are in a great position but I couldn’t help but feel the device is a little uncomfortable. It feels like it’s designed for a smaller pair of hands and to be honest, I found myself having some cramps in my hands after extended amounts of play.

Performance:

As previously touched on, the premiere launch title is Uncharted: Golden Abyss which comes on one of the new solid state PS Vita ‘Vita cards.’ It really is an incredible showcase for the power of the platform and taps in to all of the various control schemes and control paradigms the PS Vita offers. Users can opt to use the traditional hardware controls for the most part, or use the optional touchscreen and rear touchpad controls as well.

The implementation of the controls in Uncharted: Golden Abyss is imaginative and incredibly fun, as is the way the gyroscope has been utilized. For example, crossing a log will require users to ‘balance’ Nate by using the gyroscope to tilt the device left or right. The rear touchpad is used to ‘climb’ up and down ropes, or to zoom the in-game camera.


The touchscreen can be used to touch and pick up objects as well as help Nate climb up and across ledges. When shooting someone with a sniper rifle, the user is offered a view through the scope and can move the PS Vita physically to gain a bead on a target as though it were a real gun.

There are a range of other launch titles that use various aspects of the PS Vita’s capabilities, but Uncharted also exploits the graphics capabilities of the PS Vita as well. Some scenes in the game are genuinely attractive, even if you’re used to PS3-level video, and it’s only the necessary lower-resolution textures that give it away.

There is the concern of gimmickry here: much like how many early PS3 games used the motion controls out of Sony’s urging, we don’t know if many of these extras will be used for long. A game like Uncharted potentially becomes too easy: climbing ledges is much faster than it is on the PS3, where you have to jump from point to point with button presses and an attention to direction.

More conventional games benefit as well. Wipeout 2048 both has the level of visual detail befitting the sci-fi racer but plays genuinely well given the twitch responses needed to stay out in front. Difficulty is somewhat more forgiving than it is in the PS3’s Wipeout HD, but it feels more like a gameplay choice than an attempt to coddle mobile gamers. ModNation Racers was solid too. Combined, they’re good signs for the future Vita game library.

If you’ve previously owned a PSP and purchased downloaded games from the PlayStation Store, most of these will also be available in the cloud and ready to download to your console.

Unfortunately, even though Sony offers some enhancements for original PSP titles to improve their appearance on the PS Vita, the extra resolution of the PS Vita display doesn’t translate to improved PSP visuals. They are just as playable, but don’t translate as well as was hoped. Support for the PS Vita’s dual analog sticks is, however, an added bonus.

Overall

There are a number of great things about the Vita and there are also a few drawbacks. This is great gadget to have, but it’s also ridiculously expensive and I can’t say I would buy one personally.

In terms of battery life, the Vita does a great job and can easily see upwards of six hours of play time when playing games. The most expensive model has Wi-Fi and 3G capabilities making it some form of mini-tablet as well which works wonders.

I can’t help but feel with the way technology is going, the Vita shelf-life won’t be lasting for too long. We are already expected to be receiving quad-core phones this year and with Sony’s range of “gaming phones”, there might not really be a market for this device. Having said that, the PlayStation Vita is a powerful gaming device and should you have the money for it lying around, then spoil yourself, because the only thing holding the Vita back right now is the price.

Pros:

  1. Incredible gaming
  2. Solid construction
  3. Brilliant screen
  4. Dual analogue sticks

Cons:

  1. There’s a learning curve
  2. No internal storage
  3. Proprietary-tastic
  4. That browser!

TGC rating:  Excellent

Design:          8.0
Features:       7.0
Performance:  9.0

Price Tag: 

The only WiFi console costs around Rs 19,990  while WiFi/3G  enabled piece comes for about Rs 24,990.

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When it comes to gaming, one of the names that definitely come to your mind is SONY. Sony is a brand that has dominated the gaming industry since ages. They are very popular for their Playstation Gaming Console series which starts right from the PSX, PSone and goes all the way to PS2, PS3 and the almight PSP series !!

Today we are going to check out yet another Gaming Console that has been recently launched by Sony. We shall check out what’s hot in it and what’s not. And what makes it stand apart from its earlier models. What we are checking out today is the new SONY PSP E1000 SERIES !!

What is the SONY PSP E1000?

The SONY PSP E1000 so to say is a ‘Cheap’ and ‘Economic’ model from the PSP series, launched by Sony. This model does not have a Wi-Fi connectivity and at the same time it has just one speaker on the left side, visible in the above screen-shot. This model also has the same screen as that of the PSP 3000 so brightness and clarity will not be a problem.

Many have commented that this model seems to have a ‘Horrendous’ built quality and it actually feels as if the device parts are going to fall apart. Many people seemed to be confused about what to conclude after taking a look at this device because it has a total ‘Carbon Like Body’, which is completely diametrical when compared to the ‘Shiny Gloss Body’ that the PSP 3000 series has. Now I have not yet got my hands on a PSP E1000 machine so I can’t say much personally.

The only thing that could possibly attract a lot of people to the SONY PSP E1000 is the lightweight price tag of $100. Apart from this, there is hardly any reason why someone should go for a PSP E1000, instead of a PSP 3000.

By the way, the PSP E1000 also has a UMD slot, which means it can play all the mainline PSP games. And this PSP will probably have the latest 6.60 firmware, which means that Homebrew will not be a problem either.

Now even though there’s a lot of time for Christmas, if I wanted to buy a PSP for myself then I would rather spend that extra $30 and get myself a PSP 3000 worth $130. This is because, I, personally do not want to save those $30 and lose a chance to play multiplayer games but also i do not want to have a Single Speaker on my Gaming Console.

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The Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman represents Sony Ericsson’s latest attempt to blend its legendary Walkman brand name with Android smart phones, and we have to admit that lookswise, it stands out from the rest. Not the first times Sony Ericsson is trying to mix man and robot. But this time they’re not simply putting the W in Android. The Live with Walkman is part of the company’s ongoing effort to bring their smart phone lineup up to date. It offers some decent specs as well, namely a 1GHz processor, 3.2-inch display, and both a rear and front-facing camera, which puts it right in the mid-range category of smart phones. But is it that good? Let us take it for a spin and find out!

Hardware: Sturdy Stuff

The Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman comes with a standard set of accessories. You get the essential USB cable and detachable charger head, a pair of comfortable earphones in matching white color and 2 GB’s worth of extra storage on a MicroSD card in the phone itself. It might be thick, but the Walkman Live is comfortingly solid and boasts some very decent innards – a 1 GHz Scorpion processor along with Adreno 205 GPU. There is a secondary camera in the front and a 5.0- mega pixel camera with LED flash at the back. In terms of connectivity the device is capable of offering HSDPA speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps but not HSUPA. Nonetheless, the phone does offer Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth connectivity.

 

Display: Small yet Enough to carry Out

The front of the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman is occupied by a bland-looking 3.2-inch display with a resolution of 320 by 480 pixels. Punching these numbers in a PPI calculator gives us the figure of 180 pixels per inch, which is not bad, but nothing is impressive either. Its color reproduction leans a bit towards the warm side, while its contrast levels and viewing angles are average at best. Another problem that we notice is that its pixel response time is rather high, meaning that moving objects leave a faint blurry trail behind them. At least the display brightness output is high enough to make using the Smartphone on a sunny day comfortable.

Software: Gingerbread Glory

The phone runs on Android 2.3 operating system. The semicircular corners remain on Sony Ericsson’s Timescape UI. But now instead of one function they can house five functions. There are five home screen panels, which can be customized by adding widgets, shortcuts and folders. The capacitive touch of the phone is good. The keys on the onscreen keyboard, however, are too small for comfortable typing – a result of the small display, we think.

Sony Ericsson’s Timescape combines all your SMS, SNS, e-mail and voice communications works smoothly with its scrollable tiled interface. Web browsing is good, with support for Flash and dedicated zoom buttons and multi-touch making things easy online.

Apart from the quality along with the XLoud feature the infinity button lets you find related content to the music that is being played on the phone. The sound of the music player is great through loudspeaker and engulfing through the headphones -hey, this is a Walkman phone! The light placed around the 3.5 mm jack blinks rhythmically when the music plays but can be disabled too. A Track ID app is also pre-loaded for track recognition, and works on the FM radio as well.

Camera: For the Street Photographers

The 5.0-megapixel camera on the phone provides respectable stills with shooting modes that include smile detection, scene recognition, panorama and 3D sweep panorama, although 3D panorama is very cumbersome to use – you need to move the camera at just the right speed for it to work. The camera can also capture good quality 720p HD videos and comes with face detection and infinity modes. As far as playback goes, the phone played 1080p HD videos with ease, even though there was no dedicated video player on the phone.

Performance

When it comes to in-call performance, the earpiece of the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman is sufficiently loud, but leaves some room for improvement. “Muffled voices” is what we hear through it, and a rattling noise becomes audible when its volume is turned up to the maximum. On the other hand, the microphone does an excellent job. It picks up clean and distinct voices, which are sufficiently loud on the other side of the line.

The 1200mAh battery that the Live comes with can provide a little over six and a half hours of 3G talk time or 350 hours of stand-by, which is nothing out of the ordinary. When it comes to audio playback, about 17 hours is how long the battery will last, and that is far from impressive as even dumb music phones can last longer than that.

Sadly, we experienced a number of random reboots while using the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman. Over the course of two days, the device restarted a total of four times on its own even though it was not in use. . The problem persisted even after installing the most up-to-date software. A quick search online shows that a number of users are dealing with the same issue, so we hope that Sony Ericsson is going to address it without delay.

Verdict

The Live with Walkman will take over from the Sony Ericsson W8. It’s nothing out of the natural order of things. The Better camera and processor as well as the bigger display take it ahead of the Ericsson W8. This is an upgrade that makes sense in the context of the Xperia lineup.

It makes even more sense in the light of a recent announcement about Sony Ericsson eying a complete shift to Smartphones. The refreshed Xperia lineup will be a solid foundation to build on. But they need to fill some blanks between the two Arcs and the two minis. That’s where phones like the Live with Walkman and the Xperia Active come in. The way we see it, the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman is at the bottom of the Xperia food chain. No shame in that: it’s the phone with the youngest demographics and one that seems to know its target audience well.

Price Tag

The phone is priced a bit higher than it was expected. In the Indian Streets you will get the Walkman around Rs.14K. If you are having a budget of Rs.14K, you can add some more bucks and go for one of the latest Windows Phone i.e. Samsung Omnia W. If you get this phone under the price bracket of Rs.13,500 then you can go for this one.

Ratings:

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Better known for offering easy connectivity, premium content and services, Sony Mobile Communications some days ago announced the release of its new Smartphone – Sony Xperia Sola.

The announcement comes months after the company unveiled 2 other premium handsets from the same family, Sony Xperia P and Sony Xperia U at MWC 2012.

What special features Sony Xperia Sola offers? The new addition to the Xperia family sports a 3.7-inch display that supports 854 by 480 pixels resolution with 16M colors and endorses a floating touch navigation technology for magic web browsing. Sony claims it to be the main highlight of the phone. Why? Well, for navigation purposes a user simply needs to move a finger over the screen, no need to touch the screen for that.

It’s not over yet! The device is also geared to detect touches through non-conductive fabric, which suggests that it can work with gloves too. Simply great!

Next, the Smartphone runs on Android OS V2.3 and is powered by a 1GHz ST-Ericsson NovaThor U8500 dual-core processor. Though the Smartphone runs on an older version of Android OS (version 2.3) an upgrade to the latest version, V 4.0 (IceCream Sandwich) is possible. Also, under the hood you will find a 1320 mAh battery that has the power to keep the  handset running up to 19 days when in stand-by mode and provide a talk-time of up to 5 hours when put on a 3G network.

The Smartphone is also NFC enabled and comes with two NFC Xperia SmartTags. These SmartTags, allow users to change their smartphone’s settings and applications as per their requirements. In addition, the phone includes a 5 MP camera with features like LED flash, auto focus, smile / face detection, geo tagging, etc. The camera is capable of recording videos in HD mode too. Plus, there is a built in FM radio for live music with recording option.

Few words from Calum MacDougall, Head of Xperia Marketing for Sony Mobile Communications, “Xperia sola comes with the power of Sony and a sense of magic with floating touch, giving consumers a fun new way to browse the web and latest technology to show off. With Xperia SmartTags out of the box and access to the latest content through Sony Entertainment Network, Xperia sola is perfect for consumers looking for ease of use and the best in entertainment in a smart and innovative smartphone.

Sony Xperia Sola features:

  • 3.7-inch (854 x 480 pixels) Reality Display
  • 1320 mAh battery
  • 1 GHz STE U8500 dual-core processor
  • Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS, upgrade to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) possible
  • 5MP auto-focus camera with LED flash and 720P HD video recording
  • 3G, Wi-Fi, DLNA, Bluetooth, NFC, aGPS connectivity support
  • FM radio with RDS, 3.5 mm audio jack
  • 8 GB internal storage (up to 5 GB available for user), expandable up to 32 GB

There is no word on the pricing yet. For more information on Sony Xperia Sola visit Sony mobile page.

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As we reported few days back, Sony has come up with two new Xperia variants at MWC 2012. Named as Xperia U and Xperia P, these devices have few specs shared among them. They resemble a lot with Xperia S and both devices run on 1 GHz dual core processor and have 1 GB RAM in support. Read more to get detailed information about these two Smartphones.

Technical Specifications of Sony Xperia P

Sony Xperia P has 8 megapixels camera with unique 2D and 3D panoramic mode and HD recording. It features Sony’s renowned Bravia engine for display with additional technology known as WhiteMagic, thanks to which it is possible to view display very clearly even under direct sunlight.

  • Display: 4  inch Reality Display
  • Storage: 16 GB Flash Storage
  • Connectivity: HDMI and DLNA technology
  • Color Availability: Silver, Black and Red

Technical Specifications of Sony Xperia U

Sony Xperia U features 5 megapixels camera with 2D and 3D panoramic mode and HD recording. It also features Bravia engine for display but lacks WhiteMagic technology as that of its sibling.

  • Display: 3.5 inch Reality Display
  • Processor: 1 GHz dual-core processor
  • Audio: xLoud and 3D sound audio technology for crisp sound
  • Color Availability: Black, White, Pink and Yello

Both devices are running on Android 2.3 Gingerbread but soon will be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich. Both devices will be NFC enabled and Xperia P will be able to use Xperia Smart Tags technology. There is pricing of these Smartphones. Both Xperia variants will be available in Q2 2012. 

Read more about these new Smartphones on official blog of Sony Mobile.

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