A purple-colored version Sony Xperia Z Ultra of as of yet unknown origin has apparently gone on sale somewhere in China, and it holds a little surprise for Sony fans. Those of you who identify themselves as such probably know this, but Sony's touted X-Reality Engine for mobile, along with the promised UI refresh are nowhere to be found on Z Ultras in circulation, our review unit included. This seems to have changed, as a user on the Chinese GFan forum boards has shared snaps of his new purple Sony Xperia Z Ultra showcasing a new software version, 14.1.B.1.493 (our review unit had 14.1.B.1.491), along with support for the X-Reality engine, the successor to the mobile Bravia Engine 2. Also shown are the somewhat reworked keyboard and an extra side menu in the app drawer that we've seen running on the Sony Honami software.
Though we rated the Sony Xperia Z Ultra highly in our in-depth review, there's no denying that the omission of the otherwise marketed X-Reality engine, and to a lesser extent – the new UI, left us wanting. To that end, we're definitely glad to see the first of the new firmware, and hopefully it won't be long until Z Ultra owners get an update prompt. Last we heard, the new software is expected to start rolling out the week commencing September 9. Whether that turns out to be the case remains to be seen.