Sony Xpe­ria Touch

£TBC (€1,499) • sony.co.uk

Android Advisor - - Contents -

While MWC is typ­i­cally all about phone, tablets and smart­watches, Sony had some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent which caught a lot of at­ten­tion. The Xpe­ria Touch is a short-throw pro­jec­tor that can turn any flat sur­face into a touch­screen.

Price

Like Sony’s other new prod­ucts at MWC, in­clud­ing the Xpe­ria XZ Premium, the Xpe­ria Touch re­lease date is set for ‘Spring’ so it shouldn’t be too long be­fore you can get hold of one.

Whether you’ll want to at a price of €1,499 is an­other mat­ter, though the de­vice doesn’t have any real com­pe­ti­tion.

De­sign

The look of the Xpe­ria Touch might fool you into think­ing it’s an ex­ter­nal hard drive – at least when the de­vice is not in use – but even if it was just stor­age we’d think it was good look­ing.

It’s a very com­pact pro­jec­tor at 69x134x143mm and weighs less than a kilo­gram mak­ing it easy to move around to dif­fer­ent sur­faces or an­other room in the house.

We like the per­fo­rated metal cas­ing and glossy black pan­els giv­ing the Xpe­ria Touch a premium and stylish look.

The pro­jec­tor sits on the side and casts an im­age down­wards onto a flat sur­face like a desk. The con­trols, then, sit on top in a nice neat line in­clud­ing an NFC chip and cam­era.

It might sound odd to have a cam­era on the top but you can change the ori­en­ta­tion of the Xpe­ria Touch so that the im­age is pro­jected onto a wall. This means the cam­era is point­ing to­wards where you’re sit­ting.

Hard­ware

First things first, the Xpe­ria Touch can project a 23in im­age onto your cho­sen flat sur­face with an HD res­o­lu­tion (1366x768). Your desk or kitchen work­top doesn’t need any­thing fancy as the Xpe­ria Touch turns it into a touch­screen with a com­bi­na­tion of In­frared and real-time de­tec­tion via the built-in cam­era at 60fps.

When pro­jected onto a wall, the touch el­e­ment still works but you can make the im­age larger than 23in by pulling the Xpe­ria Touch fur­ther away. It can go up to 80in and once you’re be­yond 23in, you’ll lose the abil­ity of touch in­put. Sony told us that it’s work­ing on ges­ture con­trols via the 13Mp cam­era which will ar­rive with a soft­ware up­date.

Dur­ing our hands-on time we were im­pressed with the Xpe­ria Touch, both on a desk type sur­face and a wall. How­ever, it’s not all plain sail­ing as 720p isn’t great for watch films and we didn’t al­ways find the touch in­put re­spon­sive.

It’s per­fectly fine for ca­sual tasks but when we played a game or tried to DJ, it got oc­ca­sion­ally frus­trat­ing. You’ll also need to use the de­vice in the dark ide­ally be­cause in reg­u­lar light­ing the im­age can look pretty dull. We’d pre­fer it if the Xpe­ria Touch wasn’t lim­ited 100 nits.

In terms of core spec­i­fi­ca­tions, the Xpe­ria Touch is run­ning on an un­named Qual­comm pro­ces­sor, 3GB of RAM and has 32GB of stor­age. How­ever, you can add up to 256GB more via the mi­croSD card. It’s also got an HDMI post, so you can plug in other de­vices to project and it has USB-C for data and charg­ing. That’s right, there’s a bat­tery in­side but Sony says you’ll only get an hour of bat­tery life (video play­back), so it’s re­ally just for do­ing some­thing quick or un­til you find an­other power source.

Re­main­ing spec­i­fi­ca­tions in­clude Blue­tooth 4.2, 11ac Wi-Fi, NFC, Mira­cast, GPS, am­bi­ent light sen­sor, gyro, ac­celerom­e­ter, a mic and stereo speak­ers. That’s quite a lot to pack in and the Xpe­ria Touch can au­to­mat­i­cally switch on when it de­tects a per­son.

The Xpe­ria Touch runs on An­droid 7.0 Nougat and has Google Play Store ac­cess so you can use all man­ner of apps via the 23in pro­jected touch­screen. Gamers will also be pleased to hear it sup­ports Sony PlayS­ta­tion 4 Re­mote Play, al­though we haven’t been able to try this.

Ver­dict

The Xpe­ria Touch is an in­ter­est­ing de­vice with most ri­vals con­cen­trat­ing on phones and the like. We’ve not seen any­thing quite like it and while it’s im­pres­sive, the high price will put many po­ten­tial cus­tomers off. That and the fact it’s lim­ited to 720p and doesn’t have great bright­ness. Chris Martin

Spec­i­fi­ca­tions

• An­droid 7.0 Nougat

• Qual­comm pro­ces­sor

• 3GB RAM

• 32GB stor­age

• Mi­croSD

• 23in pro­jected 10-point touch­screen

• Up to 80in non-touch

• 13Mp cam­era

• HDMI

• USB-C

• NFC

• 11ac Wi-Fi

• Blue­tooth 4.2

• GPS

• Stereo speak­ers

• Mic

• 69x134x143mm

• 932g

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