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Sony may not have been quite as busy as some of its competitors in 2020, but we still saw some solid products coming out of the company. With a major premium smartphone release, in the form of the Xperia 1 II, we’ve found some stiff competition to Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, and three more phones are expected for release in 2021.
The unveiling of its other core products has been somewhat steady too. Sony continues to produce excellent quality TVs and audio accessories, alongside a growing range of cameras. And of course, we couldn’t talk about the company without mentioning the much anticipated Playstation 5.
All in all, it looks like exciting times ahead for the Japanese tech giant, so we’re here to guide you through some of the best on offer in 2020, and what to expect in the coming year.
Sony has been a little lax on the smartphone front in recent years, losing ground to competitors like LG, Samsung, and Apple, but it’s really pulled it out of the bag with the Xperia 1 II. Once you’ve gotten used to the slightly confusing name (it should be read as Xperia one, mark two) you’ll discover a very powerful handset indeed.
It has a stunning 4K display, image quality that’s usually reserved for high-end TVs, a powerful snapdragon 865 processor, a 6.5-inch screen, and a telephoto lens 4K camera. All of this impressive kit doesn’t come cheap, though, and it’s priced at $1,200. It’s still cheaper than the Samsung Note 20 Ultra, its closest competitor, but certainly sits firmly in the premium category.
Sony has its roots in audio products, and in fact, it takes its name from the Latin word ‘Sonus’, meaning sound, so it makes sense it’s responsible for the best noise-canceling headphones in the world. The WH1000 XM4 headphones are a little expensive, at $349, but they’re exceptional at what they do. They’re lightweight, comfortable, wireless, can connect with Google Assistant and Amazon Echo, and are simply unrivaled on noise cancelation.
Sony has always been a strong competitor to LG and Samsung in the TV market, and 2020 is no different. This year we saw the release of the Bravia A8H 4K OLED TV, and it’s a great product. It comes with built-in Google Assistant and Amazon echo connectivity, a crisp 4K picture, a customizable user interface, and four HDMI ports. It’s also slightly cheaper than the other top of the line OLED TVs, coming in at $2,799.99.
We couldn’t mention Sony’s future releases without talking about the Playstation 5. The company has been the king of the console wars for more than 20 years now, and things don’t look set to change any time soon. We know the PS5 will be powerful, coming equipped with an eight-core AMD Zen 2 CPU and 4K rendering capabilities. It’s also abandoned its hard drive in favor of an 825GB SSD drive, which should make for much faster loading.
Speaking of games, the upcoming lineup includes Spiderman: Miles Morales, Resident Evil VIII, and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, to name just a few. We expect the price to range between $400 and $500, but the company is remaining tight-lipped for the moment.
Sony is hoping to become the best camera brand in the world in 2021, both in terms of market share and quality. While it might still have some way to go to take the crown from Canon, the A5 camera will certainly help. The product hasn’t been officially announced yet, but industry rumors say the A5 will be a full-frame mirrorless camera to rival the Nikon Z5. We also expect it to have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and an SD card slot.
The Master series A9 was released in 2020 in Europe, and we expect a US release in 2021. We’ve included it on this list as a compact, more reasonably priced alternative to a lot of other OLED TVs, like the Samsung 8K QLED. The Master Series is only available in a 48-inch version, but has outstanding color quality, great sound, impressive smart features, and is one of the best 4K TVs on the market right now.
Based on the price tags seen across Europe, we’ll hopefully see the TV come in at under $2,000 when it hits our shores and is being sold as a cheaper introduction to the world of OLED TVs.
We’ve been impressed at the products coming out of Sony this year, and we think 2021 is going to be another excellent year for the company. We’re particularly interested to see how it might improve on its smartphone offerings after several years in the wilderness, and if it can claw back some of its lost market share.
If you’re interested in gaming and good quality TVs, you’ll be well covered as we move into the new year too.