Digital

Sony Xperia XZ

Sony Xperia XZ mobiltelefon mobile phone cell phone

What a nice phone I've gotten my hands on: A Sony Xperia XZ. I was never especially fond of their previous Z5:s because of the glass at the back (which more than once seemed to get cracks), so I'm happy to see a phone in all metall.

Sony Xperia XZ mobiltelefon mobile phone cell phone

To acquire a new mobile phone nowadays still makes me happy when you unbox it and start the device for the first time. But after all your apps and icons are in place it's more or less "business as usual". Not so much differences between your old and your new phone, and also since we tend to change phone more often there is not much time for development. I was happy to notice at least some new features from the Xperia XZ and very usable improvements. I'm also happy to see that XZ has gotten the most recent Android upgrade (Nougat = Android 7.0), too which makes the phone feel new and modern. I especially like the feature to use two apps at the same times - sharing the screen, when for example doing lots of cut and paste between two different apps. 

Sony Xperia XZ mobiltelefon mobile phone cell phone

Xperia XZ is firstly and mostly really good looking. I do think think that technical toys should be appealing and personal, so I was a bit sceptical towards the colours (mineral black, forest blue and platinum). The phone I show here is silver i.e. platium, but it's a really nice silvery colour. The back is metal (ALKALEIDO™-metall) which makes the phone feel solid and well built and the colour is really metallicly shiny without being prone to fingerprints. The phone is also really nice to hold: I have always appreciated Sony's clean design and they have here been able to combine the clean straight lines with a soft curvy edge and thin profile, which makes it nice and smooth to hold. The screen is 5.2" and I think it's slightly taller than wider than other phone models, but which also adds on to the nice placement in your hands. The weight of the phone feel very well distributed. The elegant design makes the phone fell solid, without being heavy or clumsy.

From a new phone you do expect it to be fast, and I do think that the XZ is that. I starts really fast and is soon up and running and the screen responds immediately.

Sony Xperia XZ mobiltelefon mobile phone cell phone

I think a fingerprint sensor to unlock your phone is a must tody (the very left button). The fingerprint sensor at the Xperia XZ is located on the right side of the phone, which makes it makes it eay to use. It feels very naturally to place a finger on it, when lifting up the phone. The sensor reacts really fast and the screen unlocks immediately. There is also a camera shutter button to the right, which I think is a nice feature for us taking lots of pictures. It feel much mor naturally to press a button on the side of the phone instread of the screen. I'm happy that Sony keeps this feature. 

Sony Xperia XZ mobiltelefon mobile phone cell phone

The small lid on the left side is the place fo a nano SIM card and a Micro SD card. The small cradle felt a bit flimsy when I loaded it, but on the other hand you don't do this every day.

The camera is all 23 MP, which I think is almost to overdo it. The phone has 8 MP as a default so you have to check your settings if you want it to take full use of the camera. I have not included any examples of photos taken with the XZ's camera just because up here in the far North, the light this time of year is really scarce and it would not be fair to take pics and use them as examples. I will have to return with pictures taken by the XZ's camera later. The front camera is a real camera of 13 MP for those of you who want to take nice selfies. Sony usually performs well with their cameras, so I excpect nothing less than a nice result from this camera, too.

The battery time feels impressive. The battery surely feels like it lasts long for normal use, but what impresses me most is the stand by time. Sony has added a self adjusted charging model, which is supposed to make your battery lasts longer. I do hope that, since the battery is not replacable (which seems to be the standard of phones today - too bad in my opinion).

Sony Xperia XZ mobiltelefon mobile phone cell phone

Sony too has changed to USB C contacts. The nice thing is that it doesn't matter which way you put in the contact. The bad thing is that I (and I do think many of you too) have micro USB cables laying around everywhere when you possibly could need one to charge a phone, a tablet or any other technical thing. I will have to start buying a couple of (quite expensive) USB type C cables instead in order to always have on in reach.

I do think that Xperia XZ is a one of a kind among today's mobile phones. The well known elegant design from Sony and an updated inside. A really, really nice aquintance! 

All specifications are at Sony's home page.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (5,7 tum) vs Sony Xperia XZ (5,2 tum)

Sony Xperia XZ mobiltelefon mobile phone cell phone vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Sony Xperia XZ

Sony Xperia XZ mobiltelefon mobile phone cell phone vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4

LG Nexus 5X vs Sony Xperia XZ (both are 5,2 tum)

Sony Xperia XZ mobiltelefon mobile phone cell phone vs LG Nexus 5X

LG Nexus 5X 4 vs Sony Xperia XZ

Sony Xperia XZ mobiltelefon mobile phone cell phone vs LG Nexus 5X

 

Use Google Authenticator for Microsoft accounts

I suppose you have activated 2-step-verification on your accounts? Both Google, Apple, Microsoft and many other web sites offer this feature for extra login security. When this feature is activated your password is not enough for login. You will also need to enter a PIN code before your login is accepted. In regards with all the hacked accounts and leaked passwords, it's an easy step to add better security to you accounts.

At Android there is an app for Google and one for Microsoft. (I have no idea hwo it works on iPhone and iOS...). Microsoft's apps on Android is seldom a hit and I don't want to use two apps for the same task. I googled and realized that it's possible to add other accounts than Google's to their Google Authenticator app.

To add a Microsoft account into your Google Authenticator you do this:

  1. Log in to https://account.microsoft.com/privacy
  2. Under "Account Security" choose "More security settings".
  3. Remove the old app by clicking at "Turn off existing apps"
    google authenticator microsoft azure
  4. To add Google Authenticator choose: "Set up identity verification app".
  5. Choose "Other".skarmklipp-161122-1948
  6. You will see a QR code (called "bar code" below). skarmklipp-161122-1951
  7. Open the Google Authenticator app on your phone. Press the red symbol down right to add a new account.
  8. Choose the first line with the camera symbol, i.e."Read the bar code".
  9. Let the mobile's camera read the QR code.
  10. You will get a new one time password from the app which you should enter after "Code generated by app". Click "Next".
  11. You are now ready to use Google Authenticator with your Microsoft account.

Pebble health

pebble health smartwatch smartklocka fitness träningsklocka

I am really not into training. I also not imagined that I would care about the fitness applications at Pebble. The only thing I used to check on my present watch was the number of steps/day. Pebble presents everything in a such a nice way, that I can't resist to get involved.

pebblle health fitness app mobile phone träningsapp

In the latest update of  Pebble OS (I have v3.13 and a Pebble Time Steel) a new tab for Health was installed in the mobile app. At the watch, you can access the data via the Time Line, i.e. when the watch has it's start screen activated (the watch screen) and you press the up and down buttons. Everything is automatically registered. I don't have to say: "I'm going to sleep!" but the it works as any other activity band.

Pebble may also sync with Google Fit, which can be set under Settings in Pebble Health.

pebble health fitness smartwatch smart klocka

with that said: Pebble is a really competent fitness watch. The upcoming Pebble Time 2 also has a heart rate monitor, for those of you who need that.

Panasonic LUMIX TZ80 and WiFi problems (DMC-TZ80 SZ60)

I have had problems connecting my Panasonic Lumix TZ80 with my mobile phone (Nexus 5X) and started to get a bit frustrades. So frustrated that I even thought about contacting the support. The camera did make contact to my phone, but I was not able to get the menu on the camera for chosing pictures to send to the phone. Neither was I able to connect to any cloud service.

When you call the support, the first question is always if you have updated to the last version. I surfed to Panasonic's support page and there was an update to version 1.1 of the firmware (I had 1.0 installed). I followed the instructions and the update went without problems.

If I recall correctly, I did this:

  1. Download the file from Panasonic.
  2. Extract the file and you will get a .bin file.
  3. The camera has to be 100% charged.
  4. Remove the memory card and put it into a computer.
  5. Put the .bin-filen at root level on memory card.
  6. Put the memory card back into the camera again.
  7. Start up the camera in PLAY mode and follow the instructions. Do not touch any buttons during once the update has started!
  8. The camera will shut down by itself when the update is done.
  9. Format the memory card (or at least remove the .bin file)

Now, it works really nice to connect my mobile phone by Panasonic Image App to my TZ80 and transfer on or more pictures. It's fast too.

Still have to figure out how to access the Lumix Club or any other cloud service. Still haven't nailed that.

Your own personalized Pebble watchface

bakgrund klocka smartwatch pebble watchface

Pebble has an open source approach, i.e. they urge the users to develop own applications for the smartwatch. There's a site for those who'd like to create their own apps for Pebble: Pebble Developers, with tutorials and guidelines.

A lot is written in C, which I should know, but it's a while since I developed in a large project. A quicker way to create my own watchface is to use any of the web based tools. I prefer: http://www.watchface-generator.de/.Upload your own picture, decide how your time will show up, which date format to use etc. Download the file (I mailed the file to the phone and downloaded it from the mail app. The file ends with .pbw)

The present version only handled black and white watchfaces, but there is a testversion for colour.

So, start creating you own personal watchfaces!