Sony unveiled their new flagship Android smartphone at IFA this morning. The Sony Xperia Z1 has a 5-inch, 1080p Triluminous display and runs on a Snapdragon 800 SoC. This phone is powerful and looks great, but if there's one place that it really stands out, it's the camera. The Xperia Z1 rocks a 20.7 megapixel camera with a ½.3-inch G lens sensor. Beyond almost every smartphone camera on the market, this camera will rival Sony's excellent point-and-shoot cameras.
Sony announced their new Social Camera suite of apps to go along with the camera, too. The software suite is designed to keep your friends and family connected to what you're doing, all the time. The main feature of Social Camera is something called Info-Eye. It gives you a visual search function based on what you see around you, be it landmarks or restaurants or cars, whatever you happen to be snapping pictures of. It's a bit like Google Goggles on steroids.
There's also a cool AR effects feature that lets you add overlay animations on top of your pictures. For instance, you can add a moving dinosaur to your photo, chasing you through the street. Another feature called Timeshift Burst takes 61 images in a quick 2 seconds, ensuring that you capture the shot that you really want. There is also something called Social Live that lets you broadcast live to your social network of choice. Your Facebook friends can now watch everything you do, all day, in real-time.
Innovative suite of Xperia Camera Applications
Xperia Z1 takes the conventional camera experience to a whole new level by including an innovative set of Xperia Camera Applications that deliver new experiences. Applications at launch include:
Social live: Broadcast precious moments live from Xperia Z1 to Facebook and get your friends' comments right on your screen.
Info-eyeâ„¢: Innovative visual search function that provides related information on landmarks and on items such as books or wine simply by capturing them with the camera.
Timeshift burst: Capture the perfect shot every time - Xperia Z1 takes 61 images in 2 seconds - a second before and after pressing the shutter - so you can scroll back and forth to find the perfect image.
AR effect: Overlay a selection of fun, customizable animations to create pictures using Sony's SmartARTM augmented reality technology.
This experience is supported by a robust ecosystem of established and up-and-coming developer partnerships who are working to create Xperia Camera Applications. Many more apps will be available through the Sony Select recommendation store after launch.
Right now, the Social Camera suite, with all of its features, is only available on the Xperia Z1. Other Sony smartphones may get the software suite later on, we don't know. For now, if you want to get in on all of this social action, you'll need Sony's Honami smartphone. The phone will launch later this month, although we don't know where in the world it will be available, or for how much.
IFA 2013 in Berlin rolls on today with the Samsung Unpacked event announced the Galaxy Note III and Galaxy Gear smartwatch. That event begins at 1pm EST. We'll have all the details for you right here.