Social animals and their smartphones

STILL TALKING Text and photos - Enrico Miguel T. Subido - The Philippine Star

Man is by nature a social animal.” Aristotle said that in 350 B.C. If he lived today, he would have probably Tweeted it or made it his status on Facebook. It would have gotten thousands of “likes,” would have been re-tweeted, and seen several “trolololol” versions on 9gag. Maybe the entire first book of The Politics would have come out little by little as tweets and status updates — with a few blog entries here and there. And Aristotle would have probably been considered cool with as many followers as Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.

But the first part of his statement is undeniable. We are social animals. No one can lead a full and complete life, so to speak, without the participation of others. And Aristotle knew this because it is human, inherent in him and in everyone else. He and other philosophers postulated, debated, and argued in front of an audience at the town agora because they wanted an audience. They wanted to share what they were thinking and hear what others thought about it. They wanted comments, wanted others to share their ideas with those not present, and wanted to create trends. Sound familiar yet?

This in no way means that we modern folk with all our social media can rightfully call ourselves philosophers. No way. But we, like the ancient thinkers, want to interact with our fellow man. The agora was Aristotle’s favorite forum where he could find entertainment (and feel awesome.) Our modern-day “agora” is no longer a physical place. But the hub that is the Internet has connected us all and redefined what we find entertaining.

We’re connected by a myriad of devices from our computers, laptops, tablets and TVs. But nowadays, cellular phones are valued for their mobile entertainment potential. Larger screens, faster processors, sharper cameras, and better sound are all parameters that mobile phone users now look for. The new Sony Xperia ion and Xperia neo L handsets now available in the country seem to fit the bill.

We’re launching both handsets under the mobile entertainment proposition. If you look at the telecommunications industry and the way usage habits are evolving, it’s really moving towards people bringing their entertainment with them. Whereas before you would sit at home with your television set, now you have your movies, music, pictures, and other entertainment with you on the go. We feel that these new phones, because of certain features that they have, are perfect for this kind of use,” says Patrick Larraga, head of mobile for Sony Philippines.

  The launch of the new Xperia took place inside a bus that was driven around Fort Bonifacio Global City in Taguig. Given test units, participants took part in a faux-commute and were made to feel the entertainment capabilities of the ion and the neo L. Needless to say, the phones worked and people were entertained.

 “We have a lot of downtime, especially in the car or on public transport, moving between places like the house and the office. With these devices you’re able to keep yourself up to date and entertained in times that are usually just spent staring out the window,” continues Patrick.

Standout specs on the Xperia ion include a 4.6-inch HD display with a Mobile BRAVIA engine, 12-megapixel rear camera with HD recording capabilities and Sony Exmor R “fast capture” which goes from sleep to snap in a second, and a 1.5GHz dual core processor. The Xperia neo L features a 4” display, 5MP rear camera, 1Ghz processor, and xLoud Sony audio technology for a crisper listening experience.

What I don’t understand, however, is why they put the newer Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS in the weaker neo L and not in the ion. The ion is shipped with Andoid 2.3 Gingerbread. Shouldn’t the flagship model have the newer OS? In any case, both phones are great entries for Sony into the local smartphone market. And they look and feel great. Aristotle would have been proud to own either one. The OS issue shouldn’t really concern everyday users. And Gingerbread can be upgraded anyway; all it takes is a little hacking. It boils down to this: just as long as the thing looks cool, plays music, movies, takes good photos, is fast, connects to the Internet, and lets me interact with the world, then it’s fine.

Demanding, much? Not too long ago that last statement would have simply read: “Just as long as I can make calls and I can send texts, it’s fine.”   

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For more specs of the Xperia ion and Xperia neo L, visit www.sonymobile.com

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E-mail me at [email protected] and follow me on twitter @_stilltalking









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