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Where to buy Sony’s Xperia XZ in the UK

Sony’s smartphone launch timetable has been pretty questionable of late. After bringing the Xperia X Compact to the UK the day after Apple’s iPhone announce, the company is back with a poorly timed release of the Xperia XZ, just as the dust is settling after Google’s big Pixel event. Nevertheless, the Xperia XZ is Sony’s first smartphone of the year bearing all the hallmarks of a flagship. It may only pack slight improvements over the uninspiring Xperia X Performance, but between the handset’s industrial design, powerful innards and laser-autofocus camera, there’s still plenty to like. And as of today, it can now be yours.

EE O2 Vodafone Carphone Warehouse Buymobiles Mobiles.co.uk
Cheapest contract (with upfront) £38.49 (£50) £34 (£70) £32 (£120) £28.49 (£90) on EE £18.49 (£325) on EE £23 (£175) on O2
Cheapest contract (lowest upfront) £51 (£10) £37 (£0) £42 (£20) £36 (£0) on EE or O2 £36 (£0) on EE £42 (£0) on Vodafone
Pay-as-you-go £552 £550
Unlocked (SIM-free) £540 £519

Typically, Sony phones don’t get this amount of traction among carriers and contract resellers, but it seems they’re all ready to show the Xperia XZ some love. There aren’t any particularly cheap options, though, so you’re either looking at an upfront payment of some variety, a high contract cost or low monthly allowances, if not all three. Speaking of Three, the carrier will be offering the Xperia XZ but hasn’t nailed down its pricing structure just yet. We’ll be updating this post just as soon as Three adds the phone to its online store.

It appears giffgaff is the only MVNO ranging the Xperia XZ, at least on launch day. The provider’s pricing starts at £35 upfront on a £35.49 per month contract (this goes down if you pay more upfront), or you can buy the phone outright for £549 and bundle it with plans starting at £10 per month.

If unlocked is more your style, then Buymobiles.net has the best deal we can find currently at £519. Mobilephonesdirect.co.uk is pretty close with its £523 pricing, but right now there’s no point looking elsewhere, with most other retailers charging between £540 and £550 for the device.

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My name is Ms A C Kennedy and I am a Health practitioner and Consultant by day and a serial blogger by night. I luv family, life and learning new things. I especially luv learning how to improve my business. I also luv helping and sharing my information with others. Don't forget to ask me anything!

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Existing EV batteries could be recharged five times faster

Lithium-ion batteries have massively improved in the last half-decade, but there are still issues. The biggest, especially for EVs, is that charging takes too long to make them as useful as regular cars for highway driving. Researchers from the University of Warwick (WMG) have discovered that we may not need to be so patient, though. They developed a new type of sensor that measures internal battery temperatures and discovered that we can probably recharge them up to five times quicker without overheating problems.

Overcharging a lithium-ion battery anode can lead to lithium buildup, which can break through a battery's separator, create a short-circuit and cause catastrophic failure. That can cause the electrolyte to emit gases and literally blow up the battery, so manufacturers impose strict charging power limits to prevent it.

Those limits are based on hard-to-measure internal temperatures, however, which is where the WMG probe comes in. It's a fiber optic sensor, protected by a chemical layer that can be directly inserted into a lithium-ion cell to give highly precise thermal measurements without affecting its performance.

The team tested the sensor on standard 18650 li-ion cells, used in Tesla's Model S and X, among other EVs. They discovered that they can be charged five times faster than previously thought without damage. Such speeds would reduce battery life, but if used judiciously, the impact would be minimized, said lead researcher Dr. Tazdin Amietszajew.

Faster charging as always comes at the expense of overall battery life but many consumers would welcome the ability to charge a vehicle battery quickly when short journey times are required and then to switch to standard charge periods at other times.

There's still some work to do. While the research showed the li-ion cells can support higher temperatures, EVs and charging systems would have to have "precisely tuned profiles/limits" to prevent problems. It's also not clear how battery makers would install the sensors in the cells.

Nevertheless, it shows a lot of promise for much faster charging speeds in the near future. Even if battery capacities stayed the same, charging in 5 minutes instead of 25 could flip a lot of drivers over to the green side.

Via: Clean Technica

Source: University of Warwick