Sony has announced that it has created an Android Open Source Project for its current flagship handset - the Xperia Z. This essentially means that you can freely download the source code for the handset and contribute to it by making your own ROMs. As a bonus, it also helps Sony verify contributions to AOSP on the MSM8064 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro platform. Check out the video demo of AOSP Xperia Z:
AOSP for the Xperia Z is maintained by Johan Redestig and Björn Andersson, who also maintain the AOSP for the Xperia S. You can check out the source code for AOSP for Xperia Z on Sony's GitHub.
The company is also providing some binaries on Sony Developer World. These binaries include hardware drivers that are specific to the chipset. Since some of the binaries are proprietary files provided by Qualcomm, you can grab the Xperia Z binaries after accepting an EULA that state how the files can be used and what limitations exist.
At the moment, the SD-card, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, LED light and the sensors of the Xperia Z AOSP are working. The modem and the camera are also working, as seen in the video, but the binaries for these aren't available. The company plans to release binaries for NFC soon.
The Xperia Z is available in India for a price of Rs 38,990. At that price, it’s a great choice as it comes with a powerful Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core CPU. It also has 2GB of RAM and Adreno 320 GPU.
The Xperia Z will get a considerably improved modding scene now
Here’s a look at the key specs of the Xperia Z:
- 5-inch TFT LCD with a 1920 x 1080p resolution, 441 PPI
- LTE, Cat3, up to 100 Mbps DL, HSPA+, GPRS/EDGE
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspotGPS with A-GPS support
- Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP
- GPS with A-GPS support and GLONASS
- 13 megapixel camera with HDR video recording, image stabilisation, Sony 3D Sweep Panorama; 2-megapixel front-facing camera with 1080p video recording
- 16GB internal storage with microSD card slot
The Xperia Z has a non-removable 2330 mAh battery. Sony’s proprietary Stamina Mode technology should help in increasing battery life by throttling data-hogging apps when in standby mode.
Sony had released a software update for the Xperia Z back in March. It was released to fix a weird bug in the phone, which would turn off the phone and only a hard reset (power + volume up) would get it started again.