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Some fresh, out of the box news for those of you who are interested in gadgets: Vaio’s second smartphone was launched and it’s a Windows phone. It’s called the VAIO Phone Biz and it sure looks prettier than its name.
VAIO is a name that people usually associate with Sony, and with premium laptops. However, as of 2014, VAIO is no longer a Sony brand: it was sold to a Japanese investment firm, though Sony still retains a 5% stake in the company. Besides smartphones, the new VAIO continues to make and sell laptops, currently only in the US, Japan, and Brazil.
VAIO and Windows Phone – this sounds like the perfect match. The two embattled brands are fighting to remain relevant in saturated tech markets. A couple of years ago, Windows Phone tried to make a powerful impression with vibrant colors, sharp contours and unusual palettes. After that, things got a little slow.
Now, Windows Phone is suddenly up again and Japanese phone makers are generally keeping colors a little bit more muted, while moving to classier-looking materials. Unlike the plastic build of the Lumia 950, and 950 XL, the Vaio Phone Biz comes with a silver-finished aluminum build. It features a 13-megapixel rear-camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing sensor. It comes with 3GB RAM and 16GB internal memory, which can be expanded via microSD slot.
The Vaio Phone Biz supports Windows 10’s Continuum feature. For those of you who don’t know, Continuum is the name Microsoft has given to Windows 10’s unique ability to mold to the platform on which it’s running. Put simply, Continuum will enable its customers to turn their smartphone into a PC.
The sleek-looking device is launching in Japan in April at a cost of ¥50,000, which is about $400,but there’s no word on if or when it will become available further afield.
In a poll held by Trusted Reviews, people were asked if they would be tempted to buy a Windows Phone. Here are the results so far:
Still, according to the release plans, American techies who have a Vaio laptop and would like to get a matching phone will have to wait. Unfortunately, OEM did not specify when or if the Phone Biz will be available to U.S. clients, or other markets outside Japan.
What is for certain, is that Microsoft could face some serious competition from the sleek, newly Vaio Phone Biz.