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

Related phones

Xperia Z Ultra
  • Display 6.4 inches
    1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera)
    2 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 2GB RAM
  • Storage 16GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3050 mAh
  • OS Android 5.1 Lollipop



48. jack123

Posts: 278; Member since: Jan 07, 2013

I owned Z ultra c6806 for couple months already, but I really like stock android. Is there any way I can flash stock Rom of Z ultra GE for my c6806?

47. Topcat488

Posts: 1424; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

That's a whole lot of bezel on that there Z1, if ya know what I mean there boi. A whole lot.

46. Phaze0085

Posts: 124; Member since: Sep 22, 2011

Anyone know if the battery on the GPe of the XZU will be better compared to the original?

39. crazymonkey05

Posts: 189; Member since: Nov 20, 2012

I really think that Google is hinting that the next nexus device will be by Sony. Because every OEM that has a GPE device has also had a nexus so this leads to speculation. And with the whole Motorola thing I think Motorola will have to step up it's game. As Google said they want to keep Motorola independent from Google so if moto wants a GPE they will have to work for it. And also Motorola also has Google experience devices that are basicly nexus devices as they receive updates from google

38. anleoflippy

Posts: 596; Member since: Jan 03, 2013

The Z Ultra has one of the best screen on the market, companied with powerful internals and marvelous design. I think Google picked the right device to make it a GPE. Even though no Sony software in there, it still retains the X-Reality doe mobile and still able to use a pen/pencil or anything for that matter to operate it. It's just dissappointing that the stock Android does not have any capabilities to take advantage of the screen. Same can be said if a Note 3 GPE exist.

33. belovedson

Posts: 1061; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

which google play phone or nexus of this current gen the best priced

30. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

I guess they only want to sell six, at that price point.

29. maulgandhi unregistered

Im lovin Google how they going all nexus with famous products. They are more than serious about their nexus line. I would still like to see how Google will play with Motorola.

28. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

This leaves Motorola as the only major Android manufacturer without a Google-branded release. Weird, because Motorola is a Google subsidiary.

25. Dowson unregistered

SONY bring US the Z1, holys*it

11. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1227; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

They should've gone with the Galaxy Note 3, but anyway I guess other OEMs need a chance to.

14. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

I really appreciate you that you give this chance to other OEMs.

15. jan25

Posts: 470; Member since: Feb 26, 2012

No, they should've gone with the Note 3. The Ultra could barely pass for a phone.

16. Lycan155

Posts: 254; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

I dont think an s pen device can have pure android because the pen software is orientated around touchwiz ... I hope you can get me :/

17. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2282; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

As well as the multi-window feature.

31. giani

Posts: 269; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

Just so u know...not everyone likes note3...not everyone like plastic aka faux leather...amoled...same old booring design... And don't even get me started on touchwiz ...

36. Jason2k13

Posts: 1487; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

because everyone is buying a Sony Z ultra these days?

35. 21babydoll12 unregistered

Disagree, having one from each manufacture is a great idea as they cover all form sizes too. Looking foward to the GPE 2014 and beyond.

7. GrapeEyes

Posts: 248; Member since: Sep 01, 2013

The best screens are on the Lumia 1520 Best phone in the world!!

8. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

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

13. GrapeEyes

Posts: 248; Member since: Sep 01, 2013

How dare you, I hate Elop!! I am the great GrapeEyes!! :)

18. trickster_qc

Posts: 107; Member since: Jun 18, 2013

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

19. GrapeEyes

Posts: 248; Member since: Sep 01, 2013

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

32. cdgm2509

Posts: 30; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

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

45. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

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

6. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

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

27. imMature

Posts: 87; Member since: Sep 04, 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!

37. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013

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

5. Gaurav008

Posts: 328; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

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

20. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1257; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

I need my flashlight!

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