500 Words and Sony Xperia Z

Twitter has destroyed this blog.

I don’t mean that Ev came and smashed my server with a hammer. But because my inspiration and unique thoughts go straight on to twitter without the chance of elaboration (most often to the detriment of society – sorry), I feel no compulsion to come here and write. As I type this I’m finding it difficult to drag these thoughts out of my head, and the very act of writing long-form is alien.

Is this wrong, or just new?

I was gutted, as is usual, to not attend Webstock this year, but didn’t stop me getting inspiration from the event. One suggestion I heard remotely was for creators to write 500 words each day before reading any, as an antidote to the antidata happening online – the trivialisation of news, the sound-biting of thoughts, and the selection of high-fructose corn syrup* entertainment news over the hard-news broccoli.

So this is me, steaming some fresh broccoli for you. Open wide, here comes the aeroplane!

I’ve been an Android hater for many years now. Back in the bad old days of 2.3 I was like the worst kind of Atheist: ranting against the stupid majority for blindly following their Google God; desperately explaining my stance to an unending stream of believers with closed ears. I still say that early Android was trash. Nothing more than a cheap, poorly designed, user-hostile land grab by Google.

Lately, I’ve been playing with Android 4 variants, and last night I got to take a look at the new Sony Xperia Z (both phone and tablet). Wow! Android: you’ve come a long way baby.

Xperia Z_black_frontFrom the outside, the phone is perfect. Some tech blogs are saying the screen is not the most fantastic and the camera needs work. I suggest you take a fucking step back for a minute and just look at the thing:

  • 1080p 5″ screen in a ultra-slim black rectangle
  • Quad-core 1.5 GHz (jesus christ!) processor
  • LTE radio
  • 13MP main camera
  • 2MP front camera supporting 1080p30 video
  • Completely waterproof to 1m for up to 30 minutes

In what world is that not holy-fucking-shit awesome? In what world do you pick this apart and say that the screen looks a fraction washed-out when you view it off-angle? In person the phone is outstanding. The screen looks like paper: you cannot see a single pixel, while its Android 4.1.2 OS – thankfully largely untouched by Sony – is massively fast and smooth. And a quad-core 1.5GHz processor? Son, in my day that was a kick-ass gaming PC. None of my complaints about old Android stand true here.

One of my other complaints about Android has been the shocking treatment of upgrades, with carriers and OEMs leaving customers out to dry on horribly insecure versions. Sony have mostly solved this by cosying up to the modding community, to the point that they were named XDA-Dev’s OEM of the year. One of the comments on that post grumbles that Sony aren’t releasing new versions and have left support to XDA-dev. That’s the point my man! The one thing us nerds have been asking for is the ability to upgrade our own phones, and Sony appears to give us that by default, rather than grudgingly producing a root unlock down the line when they deign it appropriate.

I started watching Burn Notice last night on the recommendation of a friend. I’m talking S01E01 old-school. I had to check IMDB because the program was recorded in 4:3 ratio and the main character was rocking a Motorola RAZR. Take a guess at the production date.

2007. In 2007 the state of the art was a Motorola RAZR. Today it’s that thing up there. I’m going to get all Matchbox Twenty up in here: Let’s See How Far We’ve Come.

*Apparently the actual analogy was pizza-vs-brocolli. My analogy is better.




  1. About a year ago I read an article about how Android devices all had the same basic software and features and so were trying to distinguish themselves with hardware – faster processors, better screens, bigger cameras, etc. The problem is that it’s relatively easy to increase the hardware spec but extremely difficult to get the battery to keep up, so these new devices suffer in terms of uptime. I shall be interested to see what users report with devices like this.

  2. Well it comes with a 2330 mAh battery so should be pretty good. By way of comparison, my dual-core Galaxy S2 has a 1650 mAh and easily lasts 2 days of normal use.
    Add to that, on most Android phones you can usually get a high capacity battery (albeit sometimes a bit ugly) after market if you want. Or a spare.

    It’s good Sony opened up a year or so ago and allowed bootloader unlocking (like HTC)

    Samsung have been goods too, they gave Cyanogen some phones to lay with and ended up hiring him.

    Having said that, Samsung have been ok at official updates too, at least on their flagship products.

    My S2 has had an ICS upgrade in about October last year, a maintenance release, and now 4.1.2 has started to roll worldwide.

    1. It’s good that things are finally improving, but I’d say there’s still a majority of Android phones out there that are not upgradeable and horribly insecure.

      At least with unlocks available we nerds can help relatives out (kinda like how I upgrade Java and browsers when I visit).

  3. True, a lot of low-end phones
    are not particularly upgradeable.

    I really don’t know numbers, it will be interesting to see the next platform versions update, which should be about due next week.

    Last month, it was about 42% on ICS or later

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