The Sony of Old: Xperia Z

Good video: “Sony has always brought you new experiences, and now you can enjoy the best of Sony in a smartphone.”

Update 2013.03.11: Perhaps not. Vlad Savov, The Verge:

Color accuracy and the automatic brightness adjustment are both well calibrated on the Z, however Sony’s latest flagship retains a weakness from its predecessors: poor viewing angles.

One of the most important features of… actually the display is the smartphone. Without a perfect display there is nothing you can do to the rest of the smartphone to make it perfect. I cannot believe Sony blew the most simple thing when it comes to a smartphone display: viewing angles.

TED 2013: Sergey Brin

via John Gruber. Casey Newton, c|net:

Speaking at the TED Conference today in Long Beach, Calif., Brin told the audience that smartphones are “emasculating.” “You’re standing around and just rubbing this featureless piece of glass,” he said.

Emasculate:

  • Make weaker or less effective
  • Deprive of his male role or identity
  • What a weird thing to say. And almost none of us rub our smartphone displays, unless we’re trying to clean them. Weirdness aside, Google Glass meets a very specific need: Photos or videos from a first person point of view requiring both hands to be free.

    Polymer Lens Almost Identical to Human Eye Lens

    Ashley Rice, Biophotonics:

    The work, conducted by scientists at Case Western Reserve University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, the US Naval Research Laboratory and PolymerPlus, provides a new material approach for fabricating synthetic polymer lenses. Using a multilayer-film coextrusion technique – a common method used for producing multilayer structures – the team stacked thousands of nanoscale layers, each with a slightly different refractive index. These layers were laminated and shaped into GRIN optics.

    GRIN stands for gradient refractive index and the human eye is a GRIN lens.

    Apple iPhone 5 Overtakes Samsung Galaxy S3 to Become World’s Best-Selling Smartphone Model in Q4 2012

    Strategy Analytics:

    According to the latest research from our Handset Country Share Tracker (CST) service, Apple’s iPhone 5 overtook Samsung’s Galaxy S3 to become the world’s best-selling smartphone model for the first time ever in the fourth quarter of 2012.

    According to Strategy Analytics, Apple shipped 27.4 million iPhone 5’s in Q4’12 and 17.4 million iPhone 4S’s. Both shipped more than the Samsung Galaxy S3’s 15.4 million. Bear in mind these numbers are estimates and for shipments, not units sold to customers. There could be a lot of inventory floating around in the channel.

    Dell XPS-13 Developer Edition

    Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica:

    In postings to the Dell Community site and to Dell Web Vertical Director Barton George’s blog, Dell has announced that as of today, the XPS-13 Developer Edition will be equipped with a “1080p” screen.

    Originally the Ubuntu-powered Dell XPS-13 Developer Edition featured an anemic 1366×768 pixel format. There’s also speculation the LCD could be of the IPS variety.

    LG Display To Invest US$657 Million To Expand OLED Production

    DIGITIMES:

    LG Display has announced it will invest US$657 million to construct a new 8.5G line for producing OLED TV panels.

    Most likely in Paju.

    The market observers said the OLED TV panels are likely to be provided only to LG Electronics, which will sell the TV unit at a US$10,000 price tag.

    Not will sell the OLED TVs, but is currently selling. LG Electronics announced pre-orders reached more than 100 units. That’s not that many considering hundreds of millions of TVs are expected to be sold in 2013, but that’s 100 55-inch OLED TVs more than any other brand.

    Panasonic Micro Color Splitters

    Michael Zhang, PetaPixel:

    Panasonic’s new Micro Color Splitters are an alternative to these color filters. Instead of filtering out light, the splitters act as tiny prisms to split the incoming light into red, green, and blue light onto multiple pixels on the sensor. Color information is still captured, just as with CFAs, but a theoretical 100% of light is directed onto the sensor.

    Most new technologies fail to make it to market because they are not compatible with today’s underlying manufacturing infrastructure or it takes too long or costs too much to change it. I believe Panasonic’s Micro Color Splitters have a good chance of being integrated into next generation cameras and smartphones soon because these can simply replace color filter arrays in existing image sensor solutions. I’m looking forward to better low light photography.

    Transparent Smartphone

    Nicole Scott, Mobile Geeks:

    Transparent display’s are coming and we are hardly able to control our excitement that Taiwanese company, Polytron Technologies, is working to produce a completely transparent Smartphone. We went down to Taoyuan about 35 min from Taipei by the airport to check out a prototype of their transparent Smartphone.

    By far the largest component in a smartphone, except for the display, is the battery. Take a look at iFixit’s iPhone 5 teardown and you’ll see the battery is enormous compared to the other components inside. Unless the battery itself becomes transparent a transparent smartphone will remain science fiction.

    But some science fiction does become reality, and transparent batteries will eventually enable transparent smartphones. In 2011 Stanford researches invented a transparent lithium-ion battery. The question is a matter of when, not if, a transparent battery will become commercially available and affordable enough to power a transparent smartphone.