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Computerworld - Sony today announced a slim, light and waterproof Android-based Xperia Z2 tablet and two new Xperia smartphones at the launch of Mobile World Congress here.
The 10.1-in. high-definition display tablet and the high-end Xperia Z2 smartphone, with a 5.2-in. display, will be available globally in March, while the Xperia M2 with a 4.8-in. display, will ship in April. Pricing was not announced, although Sony said the M2 will sell at a "mid-range" price to reach new buyers, such as those moving from feature phones to smartphones for the first time. The tablet and the Z2 run KitKat (Android 4.4), while the M2 runs Jelly Bean (Android 4.3).
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Also at MWC, Sony plans to reveal more details of its Core sensor for use in wearable devices such as the SmartWear product line.The SmartBand works with a new Lifelog fitness app on a smartphone, including the new Xperia Z2.
Sony introduced its Core technology at International CES in January. A month later, Sony announced it was selling off its struggling Vaio PC business, and anticipated a $1.1 billion loss for the fiscal year ending in March.
Sony's latest forays into mobile products are seen as an attempt at a rebirth for the 60-year-old Japanese electronics giant. Wearable devices are where Sony could do best, since the market is young. Sony ranks seventh in smartphones shipments globally with a 3.8% market share, according to research firm IDC. In tablets, Sony hasn't broken into the top 15 and holds less than 1% of the market, IDC said.
The Xperia Z2 Tablet is described as the world's slimmest (0.25 inches thick) and lightest (15 ounces) of the waterproof tablets on the market, and is designed to be comfortable to hold in one hand. The previous Sony Xperia Tablet Z, now selling for $449, also had a 10.1-in. display and a similar look, but was slightly thicker at 0.27 inches.
The Z2 tablet has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor that's designed to lessen drain on the large 6000 mAh battery. Sony promises up to 10 hours of multimedia use on a charge. There is also an 8.1-megapixel rear camera and a 2.2 megapixel front camera. Sony said it has the world's first digital noise-canceling technology built into the tablet, which can reduce ambient noise by 98% when paired with a separate noise canceling headset.