Sony Xperia Z Ultra Android phone (preview)
The Xperia Z Ultra's huge 6.3in screen blurs the line between a smartphone and a tablet
- Huge 6.3in screen
- Waterproof, not just water resistant
- Handwriting recognition with regular pen or pencil
- Relatively heavy
- No camera flash
- No AU release date
The Sony Xperia Z blurs the line between a phone and a tablet. The company claims the 6.4in smartphone is the world's slimmest with a full HD display.
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Sony's new Xperia Z Ultra is yet another Android phone that blurs the line between a phone and a tablet. The company claims the 6.4in smartphone is the world's slimmest with a full HD display, measuring just 6.5mm thick.
At almost 180mm tall and over 92mm wide, the Xperia Z Ultra will immediately become one of the largest devices on the market. Its size is comparable to Samsung's Galaxy Mega 6.3, so it's much larger than the Samsung Galaxy Note II, and even the 6.1in Huawei Ascend Mate.
The Xperia Z Ultra appears to follow a similar design to Sony's Xperia Z smartphone and the Xperia Tablet Z. It's a long rectangle shape with flat sides, square corners and a sheet of tempered glass on both the front and the back. All that extra size means the Xperia Z Ultra weighs 212g, which is heavier than the Galaxy Mega 6.3.
Perhaps the best design feature of the Xperia Z Ultra is the fact that it is waterproof, not just water resistant. The phone will handle water and dust to IP55 and IP58 standards, which is an upgrade over Sony's previous water resistant devices.
The Xperia Z Ultra is a top end phone that is likely to retail for a top end price, so it's specifications are certainly impressive, at least on paper. It has a 6.4in, full HD "Triluminos" display which is Sony's fancy marketing term for a new technology that claims to display a wider palette of colours.
The phone is powered by Qualcomm's new 2.2GHz, quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, has 2GB of RAM, and includes 16GB of internal memory. A microSD card slot handles extra storage, while the phone is also 4G capable and will therefore work on all Australian networks.
Like Samsung's Galaxy Note II, the Xperia Z Ultra comes with a stylus that allows users to write and sketch on the screen. However, Sony says the handwriting recognition feature will work with any regular pencil or pen, provided the tip diameter is over 1mm.
The Xperia Z Ultra comes with an 8-megapixel rear facing camera with Sony's Exmor RS sensor but the company has surprisingly omitted an LED flash. The phone's waterproof capabilities means you can film full HD videos underwater, and there's also HDR for both still photos and videos, along with a front-facing 2-megapixel camera that handles video calls.
Other features include a large 3050mAh battery and NFC-connectivity, though the battery is not removable.
The Xperia Z Ultra comes with Google's latest Android 4.2 Jelly Bean software but is once again skinned with Sony's own UI. The Battery Stamina mode feature seen on the Xperia Z is also present here. It prevents applications from running when the screen is locked, therefore saving power.
The Xperia Z Ultra will be available in black, white, and purple colour variants. Sony says the phone will launch globally from Q3 2013, but the company has already confirmed the device will officially be released in Australia later this year.
A promotional video of the Sony Xperia Z Ultra can be seen below.
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First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
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