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Sony Z Ultra is the first Google Play Edition phablet, now available for $649

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Sony Z Ultra is the first Google Play Edition phablet, now available for $649
We saw the clues coming about the LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition which was just released into the Google Play store, but the Sony Z Ultra Google Play Edition had us a bit surprised. Sony has always been a close collaborator with Google in the Android Open Source Project, and it has long been assumed that there would be a Google Play Edition Sony device eventually, and that time is now.

When we went to the Google Play store to check the listing for the newly announced LG G Pad 8.3 GPE, we saw that there was another listing: the Sony Z Ultra GPE, which is now officially the first phablet to be in the Google Play Edition lineup. As with other Google Play Edition devices, the Sony Z Ultra GPE is the same as the Sony Xperia Z Ultra on hardware, but is running stock Android 4.4 KitKat. This means that you get the same 6.4-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 800 SoC clocked at 2.2GHz, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 8MP rear camera with Sony's Exmor RS sensor, 2MP front camera, and 3000mAh battery. 

That's a lot of phone right there. As you would also expect from a Google Play Edition device, the Z Ultra is unlocked and selling at full unlocked pricing: $649. It is available right now in the Play Store for U.S. customers, no word on international availability. 

The one odd thing about this listing is that unlike the other GPE devices, the Play Store listing does have the device as the Sony Z Ultra, without the Xperia branding unlike the LG G Pad and Samsung Galaxy GPE devices. It may not mean anything, but it was a curious note. We haven't yet seen an official announcement from Sony, so there may be an explanation of the name change coming.

source: Google Play

48 Comments
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posted on 10 Dec 2013, 13:35 5

1. camera531 (Posts: 346; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)


Sony absolutely ruins their screens with permanent factory PLASTIC screen protectors, so the screen scratches very easily (it's just cheap plastic that you touch, with the glass uselessly under it), and it's impossible to clean off fingerprints and gunk. It's hard to believe that they still do this! It totally ruins the experience with their flagship Z1, which I would've otherwise bought. A real shame!!

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 13:38 17

2. LahiruRD (Posts: 8; Member since: 24 Mar 2012)


Dude, you can always remove it ! or you can buy a good screen protecter & appy it over the preinstalled one. No problems at all. I'm doing that since X10, Arc, S, Z & now on Z1.

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 13:46 1

4. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)


Then DON'T but it if u don't like it

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 14:15 3

10. camera531 (Posts: 346; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)


@It's very, very difficult to remove and most YouTube videos showing it use razor blades and almost always scratch or damage the phone in the process. Also, the Sony logo is actually on the screen protector, not the glass, so you lose that (along with your warranty and ability to return/exchange it if needed). If you want a screen protector, get one. But DON'T FORCE IT ON USERS! Most people hate this, which is well documented and almost every review of Sony's flagships talk about how bad this is.

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 15:14 3

22. tadaa (Posts: 267; Member since: 18 Apr 2013)


it ain't a screen protector. its a shatter proof film like what buccob said

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 15:11

21. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 14182; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Pot calling the kettle black

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 14:11 9

9. buccob (Posts: 2578; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


Those screen protectors are not scratch resistant, they are shatter resistant... meaning that if you are unlucky enough to crack the digitizer, it will most likely have a small crack and not a spider-web crack...

Totally worth it! I hope sony keeps delivering their smartphon with this added protection...

And as LahiruRD suggested, I applied an additional Scratch Resistant protector over the pre-installed one with no problem...

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 14:21 1

12. camera531 (Posts: 346; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)


Fine, then get a screen protector. There are many good ones out there. But DON'T FORCE IT ON USERS, most of which hate them.

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 15:15 5

23. LahiruRD (Posts: 8; Member since: 24 Mar 2012)


But hey, what's the problem with it? anyways no one forces you to buy a screen protector. If you don't like, don't buy it. It's simple as that :)

posted on 11 Dec 2013, 00:39

40. camera531 (Posts: 346; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)


The screen protector is permanently attached to the phone with a heating process. So yes, they force you to have a plastic film over the glass, instead of just glass. So it's basically a plastic screen.

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 16:50 1

26. imMature (Posts: 87; Member since: 04 Sep 2013)


There's not a single user, not power user, that I know that hate the shatterproof sheet on their Sony smartphones. All of them never complained or said anything about it whenever I talk about their phones (I do software services on phones so I got many acquaintances) The thing is.. If you hate it, get another phone. There are thousands(!) of option for Android phones out there.

posted on 11 Dec 2013, 01:02

42. camera531 (Posts: 346; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)


From Android Central: "But we have to take issue with one of the manufacturer’s design decisions, and our main gripe has to do with the invisible, non-removable plastic sheets attached to the phone’s front and back. Presumably they’re there to provide some additional protection for the screen and the back, but they also have the effect of making the phone feel way more plasticky than it should, in addition to being a magnet for fingerprints and lint. Sadly, here’s a metal and glass phone that feels like plastic."

And most other reviewers have the same negative opinion...

posted on 11 Dec 2013, 03:42 2

43. Duketytz (Posts: 534; Member since: 28 Nov 2013)


Hey hey hey! If you don't like the phone, don't get it. As simple as that! What's so difficult about it? Tell me which phone is 100% perfect? If this is imperfection to you, then choose another phone which you think suits you better. I don't see how complaining here against others will make your life better.

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 16:05 3

24. AnTuTu (Posts: 1580; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)


This is not phablet it is a tablet please correct :)

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 19:53

34. 21babydoll12 (unregistered)


I understand the complex sitiuation of not knowing how to remove a shatter protective film from a screen. Really, its very scientificly complicated. I sense a lack of ownership and narrow minded consumer (fanboy???)

My phone hasnt had any issue with with the oem shatter proof film. It saved my phone twice. Kinda wished all other manufacters would do this because its actually very helpful and gets rid of the need of aftermarket products.

posted on 11 Dec 2013, 00:43

41. camera531 (Posts: 346; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)


Fanboy of what? I'm not claiming something is better @21babydoll12. Most reviews of the Z1 pan the plastic screen protector (Engadget, Brownlee, CNET, BGR, etc.) and it's a heat treated plastic film that doesn't just "come off" smartass. I've owned Sony phones, including the Z, and know what I'm talking about.

posted on 11 Dec 2013, 04:38

44. boosook (Posts: 1437; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


You don't even own a Sony phone, and you don't actually know the quality of Sony (and former SonyEricsson) phones. You probably didn't even try the Z1. You just read this somewhere in some forum and, for some unknown reason, you felt an urge to come here and express an opinion on something you don't actually know. Thank you for your precious contribution, anyway.

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 13:46 3

3. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Well this was a happy surprise for the end of my day!

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 13:51 5

5. Gaurav008 (Posts: 328; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


No flash dissappointed me. For a high end phone, you would think it's a given. :/

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 15:02 2

20. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1237; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)


I need my flashlight!

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 13:58 8

6. emadshiny (Posts: 1144; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


Now I see good signs to hope the next nexus to be made by Sony.
NEXPERIA is a good name for it!

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 16:52 2

27. imMature (Posts: 87; Member since: 04 Sep 2013)


Lol. Good one :P

Anyway, every other top manufacturers has got their turn to do a Nexus so Sony should get their turn next! Would really love to see an Xperia Nexus!

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 20:44 1

37. apple4never (Posts: 1064; Member since: 08 May 2013)


an xperia nexus would be boss especially with sony's camera expertise

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 13:58

7. GrapeEyes (Posts: 248; Member since: 01 Sep 2013)


The best screens are on the Lumia 1520

Best phone in the world!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jwrfESjB84

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 14:01 18

8. ihavenoname (Posts: 1693; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


Elop, is that you? Your companys advertising is becoming more and more desperate.

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 14:22 3

13. GrapeEyes (Posts: 248; Member since: 01 Sep 2013)


How dare you, I hate Elop!!

I am the great GrapeEyes!!

:)

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 14:39 1

18. trickster_qc (Posts: 107; Member since: 18 Jun 2013)


what a boring video. the music sucks and the image quality isn't good at all.

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 14:52

19. GrapeEyes (Posts: 248; Member since: 01 Sep 2013)


I did say it was a basic video. However it has over 1500 likes on facebook :)

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1400929700150687

posted on 10 Dec 2013, 18:27 3

32. cdgm2509 (Posts: 30; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


can you freaking stop posting stupid things about nokia and their crappy phones on other brands articles? Thank you.

posted on 11 Dec 2013, 04:40 1

45. boosook (Posts: 1437; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


Lumia? Why should I care? Does it come in a google play edition?

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