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Sony Mobile Is About to Give Samsung a Run for Their Money

Steven Blum
12

Sony is about to rewrite their own history – again. The company's recent releases are making me very excited about the direction in which they are going. Finally, it seems as if Sony has found a way to marry their two strengths: outstanding design and industry-leading performance. If the Xperia Z and the Xperia Z tablet turn out to be the blockbusters they look like they're going to be, they could just give Samsung a run for their money.

Now, I know what you're going to say: Samsung is an immovable giant. It's true. The company, along with Apple, has a virtual monopoly on all smartphone sales. Over the past year, we've seen as the share of nearly every other company, including HTC, Motorola and Sony, has shrunk in comparison. It seems that no other player can match the breadth of Samsung's offerings nor their clever advertising campaigns.

An Android for Design Nerds

But there is still a segment of the population that Samsung will no doubt have a hard time pleasing: the design nerds. These aesthetically-minded folks are the ones who bought HTC phones back when they were the pinnacle of Android design (think the HTC Evo or even the Sensation). They might be tempted to buy an iPhone but would rather not follow the masses. Sony's new phones are for them.

Consider the Xperia Z. All glass.Tiny bezel. 1080p HD display. Minimalist exterior. Or the Xperia Z tablet, which is thinner than the iPad mini and looks incredibly sleek. It appears Sony has finally dropped their cumbersome "newspaper" design and realized that thin is – and will always be – in.

Samsung, on the other hand, is obsessed with plastic – and probably always will be. The way they move products is to release one for every market – one top model for those with the cash to spend and a downmarket model those who just want a smartphone for checking email. They update their specs and roll out an overwhelming number of new features. But their designs usually lack a "wow" factor, even when they're meant for the top-tier. They tend to look the same.

In the past, this is where HTC has stepped in and scooped up the unimpressed. Their phones were often beautiful and well-made. But they were so slow to update their Sense UI, and so insistent on not offering expandable storage options, that even loyal fans have started to complain.

It's Their Turn

And now it's time for another Android manufacturer to rise up. Why not Sony? They offer one of the best Android skins, really fast hardware and excellent developer support. They've even tried to support the folks at Cyanogenmod. That's not to mention the fact that their devices tend to be durable – both waterproof and dust proof. Priced to move, I believe they could stand their own against Samsung's upcoming devices – or at least, better than most any other manufacturer out there. This is Sony's time to shine.

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Comments

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  • Eric McBride Jan 21, 2013 Link

    Steven...bro...amigo....I love ya bro, but you don't seriously believe that Sony is honestly about to have a major go at Samsung just by finally releasing a nice phone, do you? HTC and LG have also released some great phones, but are losing badly to Sammy. It's not about the device. Ya need the entire package (marketing, marketing, marketing, cult following, advertising aggressively, innovation, ect).

    Sorry, but this device, as great as it is, won't even put a scratch on Samsungs windshield.

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  • C Pieterek Jan 22, 2013 Link

    You ever heard of the "Sony timer", or do you buy phones as fast as they come out? I'll stick to my Samsungs. They may not be as cute but they last.

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  • sydney ryans Jan 22, 2013 Link

    that's nice

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  • Steven Blum Jan 22, 2013 Link

    Eric, I don't think they can take on Samsung, but they can -- and will-- definitely take on HTC. "We're #2!" doesn't have quite the ring but it's better than where Sony used to be.

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  • Peter Couch Jan 22, 2013 Link

    I think it's good to have some competition. The only winners will be the consumers. I like my Note 2 and I can imagine Samsung topping that slightly with the Note 3. But if they end up with a decent rival, well who knows what either of them will come up with! Bring it on!

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    Henrique Rocha Jan 22, 2013 Link

    I'm not really a fan of Sony devices because of their UI changes. I'm not familiar with their most recent UI changes but at least on older phones with Android 2.1 it was really bad. I guess I'll keep waiting for the Nexus 4.

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  • Jay Jan 22, 2013 Link

    The only company which can give Samsung a head to head competition is Google itself with their own hardware and software. We all know that Motorola isn't that bad in designs and if we talk about the UI I think Nexus UI is far better than the touchvize. Now don't tell me guys that yous like touchvize over the stock Android. So I think one day in future Google is gonna take over Samsung's crown.

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  • jesus corona Jan 24, 2013 Link

    erick i miss ya

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  • jesus corona Jan 24, 2013 Link

    sorry eric love u

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  • CJ Brown Jan 25, 2013 Link

    Eric nailed it !


    Sony (like LG, & HTC) may offer a nice competitive Android Device, however beyond marketing is "Smart Tech" (which is something Samsung took the time to demonstrate @ C.ES. this year by syncing its oled flatscreens - blu ray disc players - android smart phones - android tablets with shared content via a wifi enriching home entertainment that can be enjoyed on the go) ....


    I am all for healthy competition (especially if it drives the prices down), but Sony needs to show how "Smart Tech" can work on their consumer electronics (Sony had one of the weakest booth / demonstration this year @ C.E.S. - if they want to impress the public? Then they better show how Smart Tech will enrich your experience @ E3 this year) ....


    I am not downplaying marketing - in fact? I think this is something Google should be asking all Electronic Manufacturers to explore @ the maximum potential - don't rely on a contract with a Cellular Service Provider making it Verizon, or T-Mobile, or AT&T's responsibility to advertise for you (in fact? Stop relying on a contractual agreement with a Cellular Service Provider). Yes, this also means Google needs to do something with its ownership of Motorola (starting with an end to contractual partnerships with Verizon) ...

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