Here’s another cool smartphone from Sony. Two years in, and the company appears to have hit a stride with its smartphone portfolio, churning out new Xperias on a consistent basis. And today is no different with the unveiling of the Xperia L, a mid- to low-end effort that places a heavy emphasis on the camera experience. Carrying on the Arc’s legacy, this 4.3-inch handset packs an FWVGA display, dual-core 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, 1,700mAh battery, 8GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD), NFC and an 8-megapixel rear shooter with Exmor RS sensor into a conspicuously curved body rounded off with that signature Xperia power key.
Though it lacks the greater resolution and screen size of its 720p sibling the SP, this more budget-friendly device does enjoy an exclusive perk: HDR stills and video. A feature Sony’s included to make the L an attractive point-and-shoot option for budget-minded consumers concerned with style points and not LTE or raw performance. Unsurprisingly, it comes pre-loaded with a trio of Sony’s own media apps — Walkman, Movies and Album — a precedent it set at IFA last year.
Now might be the time to familiarize yourself with the Power Matters Alliance (PMA). The industry’s most recognizable standard, Qi, is facing serious competition from the PMA, which has garnered support from Duracell Powermat, AT&T, smartphone manufacturers such as BlackBerry and ZTE, and even Starbucks shops, which have begun rolling out its wireless charging tech in certain outlets. Beginning soon, you may be able to charge your compatible smartphone at European McDonald’s restaurants, too — the food service giant’s support comes courtesy of Helsinki-based PowerKiss, which is now ditching Qi in favor of the PMA. The move is arguably the Alliance’s most significant to date, and it could bring confidence to organizations currently considering their own strategies.
It’s unfortunate for consumers who may have recently invested in Qi, however — popular wireless charging spots in major European train stations, for example, will be swapping out their infrastructure to support PMA. According to PowerKiss founder Maija Itkonen, the decision was based on the standard’s new technology that enables individual charging sites to monitor usage trends and control consumption, along with significant support from companies throughout the industry. We’ve even heard speculation that Apple may soon announce support for the PMA standard, though we remain skeptical. Regardless, this is a major blow to Qi, though it could be a significant step forward for consumers — that $99 Powermat charging set might seem a more-reasonable acquisition now.
Filed under: Cellphones, Household, Wireless, Mobile