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Sony unveils Xperia Z2 smartphone, tablet

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Paddy Wood

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Waterproof: Sony's Xperia Z2 tablet and smartphone.

Waterproof: Sony's Xperia Z2 tablet and smartphone.

Sony has unveiled its new Xperia Z2 smartphone, borrowing innovations from its audio and camcorder businesses to provide noise-cancelling technology and ultra-high-definition video recording.

The Japanese tech giant unveiled the new device at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona.

Noise cancellation works with an in-ear headset, which is sold separately, while the camera can capture video in ultra-high definition, or 4K resolution, an emerging standard that offers four times the sharpness of current high-definition video.

"With Xperia Z2 we have taken our premium Z series to the next level, delivering unique experiences that only Sony can offer," said John Featherstone, Sony Mobile managing director for Oceania.

Sony did not disclose how much the phone will cost in Australia, but said they should start shipping around the world from March. The phone will be available through Optus, Telstra, and Vodafone, and directly from Sony.

Sony, once an electronics powerhouse, has had difficulty keeping up with Samsung and other rivals in various consumer electronics. Its phones have struggled to compete with the likes of Samsung and Apple.

The Z2 sports the same 20.7 megapixel camera found in its predecessors, the Z1 and the Z1s. Most other smartphone cameras have 8 to 13 megapixels.

The Z2 is waterproof, like the Z1 phones, and its screen is slightly larger, at 5.2 inches diagonally instead of 5 inches.

Fitness band

Sony also demonstrated a SmartBand fitness accessory that works with a Lifelog app on the phone to record your daily activities.

You see key moments on a timeline, including photos taken and messages sent and received. As your day progresses on the timeline, you see the number of steps and calories burned to that point.

The band is also waterproof and connects to your smartphone via NFC or Bluetooth.

The fitness band will sell for €99 ($150), though an official Australian RRP and release date have yet to be confirmed.

Tablet

Sony also announced a high-end tablet and a separate, mid-range smartphone.

The tablet is also called the Xperia Z2 and features a 10.1-inch screen, larger than most full-size tablets. The Wi-Fi-only model weighs 426 grams, lighter than Apple's iPad Air, despite the Z2's larger size.

The device is also razor-thin at 6.4 millimetres, again thinner than Apple's iPad Air. It sports a 2.3 gigahertz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 3 gigabytes of RAM and an 8.1-megapixel camera.

The tablet also features the same noise-cancelling features found in the Z2 smartphone and is also waterproof.

M2 smartphone

Sony's Xperia M2, meanwhile, is designed as a cheaper alternative to the Z2 smartphone. Its camera isn't as powerful, at only 8 megapixels, and the screen measures 4.8 inches.

Sony is making a version of the M2 with two SIM card slots, something in demand in emerging markets, where plans vary so much that people often have service with multiple carriers and use what's most economical for the circumstance.

The M2 is slated for release in April.

The writer travelled to Barcelona as a guest of Samsung.

AAP, AP

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