6.4" Sony Xperia Z Ultra unveiled - thinnest, fastest waterproof phablet comes with pencil input
posted by Daniel P. / Jun 25, 2013, 3:25 AM
We waited, catching a whiff of a rumored Togari phablet from Sony as early as back in January, wondering how it will hold up against an eventual Galaxy Note 3, if both came with a stylus. The wait is finally over, and Sony's first phablet, called indeed the Xperia Z Ultra, checkmarks every little detail rumored about it, and then some.
It marks two very important firsts in the mobile world - it is the first phone with the scorching quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, clocked at the breathtaking 2.2 GHz here, and the phone with the largest screen so far, clocking in at the hearty 6.44 inches. The panel sports Sony's new Triluminous display technology, taken from Sony's fresh TV portfolio, and is naturally sporting a 1080p Full HD resolution.
The rest of the specs are top-notch as well - 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, and thankfully a microSD slot for memory expansion. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 naturally sports a built-in 4G LTE radio, but it is also capable of HD voice quality, if your carrier network supports the service. The camera on the back is an 8 MP Exmor RS sensor, with all the usual bells and whistles like HDR video capabilities.
Sony didn't stop here, though - it made the world's thinnest Full HD phone, at mere 6.5mm, and, despite the tempered glass chassis OmniBalance build, graced it with superior waterproof functionality, complying with the IP58 standard. That is chillaxing in 5 feet of water, up to thirty minutes, and escaping unscathed, and a remarkable achievement for such a thin device. Granted, at 212 grams it is not the lightest out there, but considering the huge display panel, the metal side frame around it and the phone's glass shell, it is worthy of praise in this department as well.
The Japanese have not only made the thinnest watertight phone with the largest screen and fastest processor with the Xperia Z Ultra, but it also wanted to diversify its phablet functionalities beyond what is possible with Samsung's Note family, for instance. As such, they have employed a technology that allows you to write on the screen with any regular pen or pencil whose tip is more than 1mm in diameter, besides gracing it with stylus input functionality. Or, as Sony put it in the ongoing press event in Shanghai:
Maybe you don't want to just type. Maybe you want to make a sketch? Or take notes? With Xperia Z Ultra you don’t even need a stylus. Pick up any pencil or pen with conductive tip and you can start writing or drawing. And you can write during calls, so you’ll always be ready capture your thoughts as they happen. Note taking and sharing has never been easier.
Android 4.2.2 with Xperia UI coating is running the show, all backed up by a 3000 mAh battery, allowing the world's longest audio playback at 120 uninterrupted hours and talk time is top-notch as well, cited at 14 hours. Of course, with this display panel diagonal video playback endurance is on the average side at 5.5 hours.
The phone also comes with a bunch of innovative accessories, like the SBH52 dynamic Smart Bluetooth Handset with one-touch hands-free call handling. Its OLED display allows you to browse your call log, view text messages, and see who’s calling, so most of the time the huge phone can stay in your pocket or purse. It is also a stereo music headset, and has a built-in standalone FM radio with RDS. Pairing is done simply by touching it to the Xperia Z Ultra or any NFC-laden phone. The SBH52 has a splash-proof minimalistic design, so you can use it even when raining.
The other cool accessory if the Magnetic Charging Dock DK30, which sports a magnetic pin that allows you to slip the Xperia Z Ultra in the cradle quickly with one hand. When charging, the phone still stands at a viewing angle suitable for watching movies on the big display, for instance.
The Sony Xperia Z Ultra will launch globally starting Q3 2013, which means next month in certain markets, but for exact pricing and availability by market we'll have to wait for the scheduled rollout. The world's largest phone will be available in white, black and purple for every taste. What do you think, will the rumored Note 3 have a real competitor now?
The new Xperia™ Z Ultra: The world’s slimmest and largest Full HD smartphone display*
June 25, 2013 25th June 2013, Mobile Asia Expo, Shanghai – Sony Mobile Communications (“Sony Mobile”) today introduces the next revolution in premium large-screen Android smartphone entertainment. The new Xperia Z Ultra is waterproof**, ultra-slim with a lightweight design so you can enjoy it anytime, anywhere. It’s the first smartphone ever to incorporate a Full HD TRILUMINOS™ Display for mobile powered by Sony’s latest X-Reality™ for mobile picture engine to deliver the most immersive viewing experience imaginable. Additionally, the Xperia Z Ultra will also feature the fully integrated Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 800 processor with 2.2 GHz quad-core CPUs, 4GLTE and HD voice to provide a seamless connected entertainment experience, industry-leading battery performance and amazing speed.
“The Xperia Z Ultra is the most exciting revolution in large-screen smartphone entertainment devices with both the slimmest and largest Full HD smartphone display* in the world that is second to none.” said Calum MacDougall, Director of Xperia Marketing at Sony Mobile Communications. “We’re already bringing the best of Sony technology and design across a range of premium smartphones and tablets, and now we are bringing this same premium offering to the large-screen smartphone segment, setting a new standard for others to follow.”
The world’s largest Full HD smartphone display* Xperia Z Ultra features a 6.4” touchscreen Full HD display with Sony’s unique TRILUMINOS® Display for mobile, creating a wider palette of rich natural colours thanks to Sony’s BRAVIA TV expertise. The breakthrough technology includes X-Reality™ for mobile – Sony’s intelligent super resolution display technology which analyzes each image and reproduces lacking pixels to optimize quality for the sharpest videos. It analyses elements depending on the scene and adjusts them based on pattern, outline and colour composition. It also strengthens subtle patterns and accurately portrays their detailed feel, as well as reinforcing bold outlines. The large Full HD display has been optimised to experience at least 60%*** more of the screen than most other smartphones.
The world’s slimmest Full HD smartphone* Xperia Z Ultra is supremely slim and lightweight with a beautifully crafted 6.5mm body and weighing just 212 grams for ultimate portability. Sony craftsmanship in design and attention to detail comes to the fore with clean lines and premium materials – the front and back are made of tempered glass, creating a seamless surface with the OptiContrast™ panel housed in an innovative solid metal frame which looks stunning from any angle. It features the same acclaimed OmniBalance design as Xperia Z and Tablet Z. The Xperia Z Ultra is available in a choice of black, white or purple colour finishes.
The only waterproof Full HD smartphone** Xperia Z Ultra is both elegant and durable. With an impressive rating of IP55 and IP58, this smartphone isn’t only resistant to dust, but is waterproof** too – giving you the freedom to enjoy it anywhere. You can even film in Full HD underwater, taking your large-screen smartphone experience to a new level. The camera features “Exmor RS for mobile”, HDR for both photos and film, and Superior Auto mode automatically activates HDR and noise reduction when needed, so you’ll get stunning imagery even in challenging light conditions.
Ultimate entertainment experience The Xperia Z Ultra is uniquely positioned to offer the ultimate big screen phone entertainment experience for watching movies, playing games, reading books and browsing the web.
Sony’s “WALKMAN”, Album and Movies media applications enable discovery of online and offline content through a single access point with new ways to enjoy and share that content.
The “WALKMAN” application leverages Sony’s audio engine and Facebook integration for sharing and discovering new music and is unique in that it provides seamlessly integrated access to all your downloaded music as well as access to a global library of over 20 million songs2 from Sony’s cloud-based subscription music service, Music Unlimited3.
The Movies application brings new intuitive ways to discover, manage and play movie content, together with easy access to an extensive library of blockbuster movies and the latest TV episodes from the Video Unlimited2 service.
The Album application provides seamless integration with the PlayMemories Online2 service, letting you access all your photos and albums from within the Album app instantly and easily, wherever you are. You can even set an automatic upload of your photos to the PlayMemories Online service to access and enjoy from any your favourite Sony devices.
The Sony Reader app2 provides seamless Reader store2 access so you can download and enjoy the latest bestsellers – it even lets you sync purchased books in popular formats and continue reading from same page.
Xperia Z Ultra will include an exclusive free entertainment content offer, including a free trial of the Music Unlimited2 service (subject to availability).
Ultimate performance with the world’s fastest smartphone processor**** The Xperia Z Ultra features the world’s fastest smartphone processor**** – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with HD voice, that together with Sony´s audio Sony’s ClearAudio+ mode and Xloud loudness enhancement, delivers not just exceptional speed and performance, but also unsurpassed voice and audio quality.
Battery STAMINA Mode significantly improves the standby time of your smartphone by four times or more1 as it recognises when you’re not using your display and automatically turns off the functions you don’t need, while keeping the notifications you want. As soon as you press the power button to wake up your screen, everything is up and running again.
Built for business The Xperia Z Ultra is the ideal business partner thanks to the super responsive screen with handwriting recognition which is compatible with any pencil and selected stylus or pen (capacitive stylus or metal pen with tip diameter over 1mm). . You can even write notes or sketches during calls so you’ll always be ready capture your ideas as they happen. The easy-toggle keyboard makes it ideal for one-handed input and multi-tasking, with small apps to help you improve productivity so you don’t lose time browsing between windows.
The robust security architecture safeguards both your corporate and personal data, with support for multiple accounts that are quick and simple to set up. Further business oriented applications will be made available in future as software updates, ensuring you get the best smartphone experience – whether for work or play.
Ultra connectivity With one-touch functions you can instantly and easily share music, photos and videos from your smartphone to a wide range of NFC-enabled Sony devices, including speakers, SmartWatch, wireless headsets and TVs. There are several new and innovative accessories joining the range of popular connected devices.
The SBH52 is a dynamic Smart Bluetooth™ Handset that provides easy hands-free call handling with a single press, while leaving your smartphone conveniently in your bag. The OLED display conveniently lets you browse your call log, view text messages, and see who’s calling you. Use it as a quality stereo music headset to listen to your tracks or to the built-in standalone FM radio with RDS. Pairing and connecting is done simply by touching it to your Xperia Z Ultra or other NFC-enabled device. And it’s sleek, minimal design is splash-proof, meaning you can now use it anywhere, in any weather.
The latest generation of SmartWatch, the SmartWatch 2 SW2, helps you keep track of everything without taking your smartphone out of your pocket or bag. The SmartWatch 2 is a truly multifunctional digital watch and phone remote that lets you receive notifications, control your music, and connect with one-touch NFC to your Bluetooth™ headset for easy call handling. The water-resistant design makes it more versatile to use than ever and can be personalised with any standard watch strap. Use it as a standalone watch or with your smartphone. There are over 200 apps available for our first generation and with an open API we expect new applications will be developed quickly and easily for SmartWatch 2.
The Magnetic Charging Dock DK30 has an innovative magnetic pin that lets you place your Xperia Z Ultra snugly in the dock using one hand, either with or without the phone cover on. While your phone is charging, it stands at a comfortable viewing angle easily allowing you to keep watching your favourite movies even while charging.
The Xperia Z Ultra will launch globally from Q3 2013 (exact timing of availability will vary by market).
For all the latest news, views and info on Sony Xperia products, follow @SonyMobileNews on Twitter.
Download complete press kit
Download the press release as a PDF
Specifications Xperia Z Ultra 6.4” Full HD TRILUMINOS™ Display for mobile powered by X-Reality™ for mobile engine for the ultimate viewing experience Ultra slim, waterproof** and dust resistant (IP55/IP58) durable design Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 800 processor with 2.2 GHz quad-core CPUs and 4G LTE for fast performance Write and sketch with any pencil and selected stylus or pen (with conductive tip) 8 megapixel camera with “Exmor RS for mobile” sensor and HDR for videos and photos Full accessory ecosystem for premium entertainment and connectivity Battery STAMINA Mode for outstanding battery life * Specifications verified by Strategy Analytics’ SpecTRAX service, as of 19th of June 2013 the Xperia Z Ultra is the slimmest smartphone with a Full HD display, for more information on Strategy analytics results go to: www.sonymobile.com/testresults
** As of 24th of June 2013, outside of Japan, the Xperia Z Ultra is the only waterproof smartphone with a Full HD display on global distribution. In compliance with IP55 and IP58, Xperia Z Ultra is protected against the ingress of dust and is waterproof. Provided that all ports and covers are firmly closed, the phone is (i) protected against low pressure jets of water from all practicable directions in compliance with IP 55; and/or (ii) can be kept under 1.50 metre of freshwater for up to 30 minutes in compliance with IP58. The phone is not designed to float or work submerged underwater outside the IP55 or IP58 classification range that may lead to your warranty will being void. Find out more www.sonymobile.com/testresults
*** Display area available compared to smartphones with a 5” display or smaller
**** Specifications of Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core 2.2GHz processor verified by Strategy Analytics’ SpecTRAX service as of 19th of June 2013, for more information on Strategy analytics results go to: www.sonymobile.com/testresults
1 Based on testing done with default settings, default accounts and applications for Skype™ and Twitter downloaded to the phone. The more applications installed, the bigger the effect of Battery STAMINA Mode.
2 Number of tracks available from this catalogue varies by country and may be less.
3 Sony Entertainment Network services are subject to availability by region. Please visit www.sonyentertainmentnetwork.com for more details.
6.4" Sony Xperia Z Ultra unveiled - thinnest, fastest waterproof phablet allows pencil input
I am very impressed by this device and I do think it should push Samsung to really go all out for the Note III. While the screen size may be monstrously huge for a lot of people, we can put that aside and just marvel at what this device brings to the table. I will be honest, after seeing Sony finally step up and offer a high end device with this kind of specifications that are pretty much ahead of the competition, I am highly considering buying a Sony device for my next phone. In the past, Sony was playing catch-up. I mean the Xperia Z is a great handset but in the hardware department it seemed to be lacking behind in some areas (mainly the S4 processor that we had seen for months instead of the new 600 processor that the latest high-end devices were offering). I'm glad to finally see them get out ahead of the competition and offer a device with the latest hardware. If you think about it, the Snapdragon 800 wasn't suppose to go into production until next month, so for them to offer a device with the Snapdragon 800 right when the processor starts production is amazing. I have also been impressed with Sony's support for software updates on all of its devices. I've seen them offer support for the latest Android build on devices that were released two years ago. Samsung, in my opinion, still lags behind in that department.
So, I am looking forward to see what Samsung, HTC, and LG have to offer in response to this device. Overall, I was excited before but now I'm really excited to see what's coming later on this year!
I think it's more like a tablet. Way too big for the Phablet category.
I think design could have been better something like less bezels and little bit smaller in size. This design is deal breaker for me. But well done with the technology you have put in this device Sony.
Will wait for Note 3.
Reviews. Oh those deceiving words by those judgemental reviewers. I guess you should wait to touch it first rather than believing those reviews. One's perspective is different from the other, especially when one is a pure critic of the product. One example here is L920. Reviews I've read about it are at rage when it comes to its size. But when I manage to have one in my hand, it was so comfy.
I am sure you realise this display is OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) Not TFT which is a version of LCD (TFT stands for thin film transistor). Guess some people never get over their bias even when they read and see something different! Rant over....
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