Tuesday, September 20


Toys In Boxes

I've been looking for a while for a new tablet to replace my 2013 Nexus 7, and a new phone to replace my 2012 Nexus 4 (which was pressed back into duty when my Nexus 5 disintegrated).

Purely by chance I noticed that Sony was clearing out old stock of their Z3 Tablet Compact at 40% off - down from $499 to $294.  The only shortcoming of that device was that they only sold the 16GB model in Australia.  16GB is barely adequate if the device has microSD support - which it does - but not enough that I wanted to spend $499 on it.  At $294, though, I bit.

The only thing I really wanted from a phone was more storage, but all the cheap models have 16GB like my Nexus 4, or sometimes even 8GB, which is basically useless.  The new Motorola G4 Play has 16GB and a microSD slot - and I picked it up for $199 (normally $279).  Again, I'd rather have at least 32GB built in, but for $199 I'm not worried.  The storage is mostly so that it can replace my old 160GB iPod, and the three main audio apps I use support SD cards just fine.  I'll just need to keep prodding Big Finish to fix their app; their file sizes are huge.

The Sony tablet arrived today.  This thing is great.  It's an 8" tablet with a 1920x1200 screen, a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB RAM, and 16GB of storage, of which about 11GB is available and 9GB is free (they preloaded a lot of stuff).  That's why I don't like 16GB devices - nearly half is gone by the time you get it. 

That aside, it's very light (lighter than my Nexus 7 despite the larger screen) and very fast (the speed was immediately noticeable even under Android 4.4, and Android 5 is faster again).  The screen is bright, sharp, and clear, with vibrant colours.

It's a couple of years old now - it came with Android 4.4 (and a 63% charge, somehow...)  It's now on 5.0 and updating to 5.1; 6.0 is supported and should be available as an upgrade from 5.1.  Apparently it won't support Android 7, because Qualcomm have decided not to upgrade the graphics drivers for their older chips, but Android 6 (Marshmallow) is good enough.

I've stuck in a 128GB microSD card that was parked in my notebook but not really being used.  Shortly I'll see if that works with Android 6's adoptable storage, which should pretty much solve the 16GB problem.

If adoptable storage works out I'm tempted to buy another one; it's that good.

The one odd thing is that it seems to have a SIM slot.  I wasn't expecting that.  I wonder if it actually works...

Update: Don't think the SIM slot works.  But Android 6.0 is downloading now, so that's something.  On the other hand, I'm down to 7.3GB of space on the internal storage and I haven't installed anything yet.

Update 2: Sony have royally buggered up the storage on this thing.  First, it only has 16GB.  Second, they've mapped the logical SD card to internal storage, so that apps that support moving to the SD card don't actually move.  Third, they've disabled the Android 6 feature to mount an SD card as internal storage, which would have fixed the first two screwups.  Ugh.

Update 3: It seems to have decided that it can move apps to the SD card after all.  That's got me the best part of 2GB back.  What it won't move to the SD card is, specifically, the Final Fantasy games, some of which weigh in at 600MB - quite a lot when you only have 7.3GB to start with.  Oh, and the Kindle app data, which adds up fast if you have a magazine subscription (Asimov's and Analog).  But in both cases it claims it has put the data on the SD card, which is more than a little annoying.

Update 4: The Kindle app puts about half its data on the SD card.  Why half, I have no idea.  They probably did it just to irritate me.  The Audible app works properly, as do Google's Music app and Pocket Casts.

Update 5: I don't think the Kindle app puts anything on the SD card.  It says it does, but it's lying.  But I have most of my stuff installed, and I have 3.3GB left internally.  (And 103GB left on the SD card.)  And that's without firing up ADB and enabling adoptable storage.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 02:07 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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1 Forget it Jake, it's Sony.

Posted by: Ken in NH at Tuesday, September 20 2016 11:14 PM (n5I6j)

2 When adoptable storage is disabled you can generally get it to work by using adb to format the card. I got it to work with a Samsung tablet. Google for instructions.

Posted by: Jonathan Tappan at Wednesday, September 21 2016 01:11 AM (yOf5u)

3 Worth a shot; I already have a 128gb UHS microSD card which should work nicely if I can just convince Android to use it.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wednesday, September 21 2016 02:10 AM (2yngH)

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Apple pies are delicious. But never mind apple pies. What colour is a green orange?

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