Woe is Sony

It seems Sony’s string of bad luck with flagship releases continues. It would appear there’s a massive issue with the WiFi on the Xperia Z. Suffering from drop-outs of signal within mere inches of the router, WiFi turning itself off and presenting users with ‘authentication errors’. Not to mention associated problems like DLNA streaming failures from and to the handset and interferences between Bluetooth and WiFi. Forums on XDA and Sony Mobile are flooded with posts about this issue.

Today I’ve left a lengthy post on the Sony Mobile GB Facebook wall which I think reflects my disappointment with this situation:

I’d like some answers please as to why the latest Sony flagship mobile, the Xperia Z, is plagued with problems? I’ve had my Z for little more than 12 hours and have been experiencing severe problems with WiFi dropping out and failing to see media servers linked to my network.

My router is a Netgear DGN1000 and up until yesterday was serving my Xperia S and a Nexus 7 in all manner of WiFi-related matters, including allowing me to access the Sony Homestream media server your parent company has recommended consumers to use.

I understand the latest firmware release .434 is meant to address these issues but after installing this update and doing a complete wipe/factory reset, the problem still prevails.

I am not going to replace my router just accommodate using your phone, when it’s working perfectly well with all other connected devices in my home, so I’d to know what exactly you as a company are planning to do to rectify this appalling situation – and I’d like an answer with some expediency please.

In order to use the phone without any WiFi drop-outs  I’ve been forced to change from the stock Sony firmware to CM10.1, release FXP214. This is at the cost of the camera on the handset, though it should be noted I’ve not completely shot myself in the foot with this change as 10.1 brings Jelly Bean 4.2.2 and an update to the software, FXP215 will be released just a couple hours after writing this post.

At the time of writing, FXP214 has been active on the phone for a couple hours and I’ve also taken the step of installing Advanced WiFi Lock for two main reasons:

1) It forces handsets to keep WiFi active, even in sleep mode. This was an issue that affected early ICS releases and I used it to great extent on the Sony Tablet S, now sadly abandoned to development hell by its makers.

2) It also keeps an eye on WiFi and if there are any drops in WiFi signal – either the phone loses signal or the router drops out – the app automatically switches WiFi off. Two hours in and I’ve not experienced any problems, though the phone still fails to see network media servers. Almost there, but still some work to be done. You win some, you lose some, though on stock Sony the WiFi dropped out within 2 minutes of a full reset and restore. Two. Minutes.

It’s quite the scandal although if I’m going to be truthfully honest, I’d class it as yet another woeful PR nightmare that’s once again incurring the wrath of consumers paying a Sony premium price for a premium Sony product and getting a less than satisfactory experience. Very, very disappointing, especially when the phone has a tremendous amount of potential.

Now I’ve got that off my chest, I’ll be spending some time with the stock Sony firmware so I can review the better features of the handset! Stay tuned!

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