Sony has been one of the few manufacturers that promised an Ice Cream Sandwich roll out to all of its smartphones in December last year. And it lived up to the promise quite well to the surprise of the customers. However, we live in the Jelly Bean era now and anything short of Android 4.1 just won’t cut it. But Sony begs to differ with the new Android 4.0.4 update for the Xperia T (a.k.a the Bond Phone) and the Xperia TX. This update, besides being a bump to the Android version, also offers plenty of other functionalities, some of which Sony detailed in its official press release.
First up is the Screen Mirroring functionality which brings the ability to mirror your phone’s display via Wi-Fi Miracast on a compatible TV. This feature requires a TV with Wi-Fi or a Wi-Fi dongle, so it might not be used by a lot of users, but is still a good feature to have in a smartphone. Also on board with the update is the new Extended Standby mode. This basically boosts the battery standby time drastically, helping the phone save juice for long periods of time. Sony claims that the standby time is extended by over four times with this new feature. All the unnecessary apps running in the background, data connection and other functions are turned off after the phone is in sleep mode for a few minutes and that’s when the function kicks in. The user will still be able to receive calls and texts, so it’s only a partial standby.
With this update, Sony has also introduced something known as HD Voice, which promises clearer and crisper voice while on calls. According to Sony, HD Voice is “the most significant voice quality upgrade in mobile history; transmitting a broader spectrum of the human voice resulting in a more natural sound filtering out distracting background noise. It’s now easier to recognize voices, and to hear and understand what the person at the other end is saying, even in noisy environments.” HD Voice has been developed and tested by Nokia along with a few carriers in the UK before. Social networking app Viber recently announced support for HD Voice calls exclusively for Nokia Lumia smartphones. But it’s good news that Sony is bringing this feature to Android, finally. This feature is only limited to the Xperia T, the Xperia TX does not support HD Voice as of now.
Other changes making its way with the update are mostly pertaining to media apps. The Walkman app has been slightly revamped with a new appealing look and feel. The Album app now apparently makes use of the Sony Mobile Bravia Engine, which means it will deliver crisper colors and better contrast. So if you own an Xperia T or TX, there’s enough reason to be excited. While some of the features are limited to the Xperia T, the overall change in functionality is very welcome.