Sony's Smart Imaging Stand hands-on

The Xperia Z1 was clearly the darling of today's Sony press event at IFA, but what is a smartphone without a smart imaging stand, right? The peripheral only got a quick mention as Kaz ran through phone specs, but we managed to get a bit more time with it on the floor afterward. The device is a cradle for your handset that you can control via phone, tablet or, in this case, the company's new SmartWatch 2. That's what Sony was using at the event -- though, we have to say, while we appreciated it killing two birds with one stone, maybe it wasn't the ideal choice.

Tap the icon on the watch's display and you'll see a barebones interface. At the center is a camera icon for still photos, with a video record icon in the upper right. There are also four arrows around the perimeter that let you adjust the stand's position. We had some serious trouble with the latter. Connected with the stand via Blueooth, we found ourselves having to hit the arrows multiple times to get it to move. When we did eventually get it to shift, the whole stand moved a bit -- though we're willing to chalk some of that up to the somewhat precarious position the stand was in while on display.

Sony's Smart Imaging Stand handson

Taking pictures was simple enough -- as was video, though there was a noticeable delay between hitting the record button and actually getting the smartphone to record. Also, in video mode, we were unable to adjust the position of the phone -- definitely a bit of a bummer. All said, the configuration doesn't feel quite ready for primetime, perhaps owing something the bevy of wireless networks currently in use at the Sony booth. Either way, we're willing to give it another shot as it gets closer to shipping.

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