Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sony Xperia Sola - Does manipulating a touchscreen without touching it equals magic?

The Sony Xperia Sola has one very interesting feature: the Floating Touch Display. This allows you to manipulate the touchscreen without actually touching the screen. It can detect your fingers floating a few millimeters over it. I really do not see many practical uses for this feature at the present time (unless it works with gloves).  Still if you want to keep your display finger print free...

Anyway, lets look at the other aspects of this phone.

Quick specifications:
  • Android 2.3, with a announced upgrade to Android 4.0
  • 3.7-inch, 480 x 854 LCD display, scratch resistant glass
  • Floating touch display
  • 8 GB storage (but only 4 GB available to the user), expandable to 32 GB via a MicroSD card slot.
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • Dual core 1 GHz processor, DB8500 graphical processing unit
  • 5 MP autofocus camera with LED flash
  • None
  • 720p video
  • HSDPA 14.4 Mbps
  • 1320 mAh battery
  • Php16,990 suggested retail price
The Sola will cost Php3,000 more than the Sony Xperia U which has almost identical specifications. The Sola has a slight larger screen, the floating touch technology and, most importantly, expandable storage. I would be willing to pay the 3K for the expandable storage alone.

The Sony Xperia Sola is expected to hit the shelves in mid-may.


  1. Pa confirm naman kung meron talagang front camera... Kasi madaming comment na walang front camera..(fingers crossed) sana meron!

    parang may napanood ako sa YouTube na gumamit sya na nakagloves gumana naman...

    Like this article!

  2. Sorry, no front camera.

    Whether it will work with gloves in interesting. I saw a video from Android Next showing the touchscreen working while the user cover his finger with a non-conductive cloth. I saw another one where a user used gloves (not sure about the material) to unlock the phone and scroll the browser bit the the demo on gloves was just for a few seconds. Sony itself does not seem to be saying it works with gloves or even designed to do that, though some websites do.

    Sony has an explanation of how floating touch works which can be found here:

    "However, since the floating touch™ technology depends on self capacitance, it is not possible to perform multi-touch gestures with the fingers hovering above the screen. However, multi-touch will work fine for the normal touch gestures on the screen."

    "All Android™ applications will work perfectly fine, just like before, and only the apps that explicitly 'listen' for floating touch™ events will react to them."

    The screen reacts to gloved fingers, but multi-touch gestures wont work. Apps probably wont be using floating touch to replace regular touch actions but to perform additional functions, like in the browser where it is used for precise pointing.

    Basically, the screen reacts even when using gloves, how functional the phone is in glove mode depends on how this technology is built into apps.

    I suspect for example floating touch might be disabled when the keyboard is active. But lets see how this technology develops.

  3. Thnx... for the reply! Sayang at walang front camera.


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