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Sony unveils thin, light, supersized Xperia Z Ultra

Jun 25, 2013  |  Eric Brown
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Sony unveiled a supersized, 6.4-inch phablet running Android 4.2 on a 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 processor. The Xperia Z Ultra features Triluminos display technology with 1920 x 1080 progressive scan resolution, as well as 2GB RAM, LTE, an 8-megapixel camera, IP55/IP58 water and dust resistance, and a slim 6.5mm profile.

Announced today at Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai along with the SmartWatch 2, Sony’s new Xperia Z Ultra phone/tablet pushes the boundaries on the size, speed, and resolution of Android smartphones.



Sony’s thin, light, supersized Xperia Z Ultra phablet
(click images to enlarge)

 

The 6.4-inch phablet is one of the first devices to incorporate Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 system-on-chip. Clocked at 2.2GHz on the Xperia Z Ultra, the SoC features four ARM Krait 400 CPU cores plus a high-powered Adreno 330 GPU. It competes directly with Cortex-A15 SoCs like the Nvidia Tegra 4 and Samsung Exynos 5.

Recent benchmarks from AnandTech suggest that on most tests, the Snapdragon 800 edges out the Exynos 5 running on the international version of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 smartphone, although no Tegra 4 device was available. Meanwhile, Engadget benchmarks said it soundly beat the Exynos, and barely edged out the Nvidia Tegra 4 running on an unnamed reference device.

On the Xperia Z Ultra, the Snapdragon 800 is supported with 2GB of RAM, and the phone will ship with up to 16GB of onboard memory, plus a microSD slot. 4G LTE is also provided, suggesting that the global Q3 2013 launch will include the U.S.



Using the Xperia Z Ultra as a media player

 

The Xperia Z Ultra is not the first phone to offer 1920 x 1080 resolution, but its 6.44-inch TFT display offers progressive scan technology, 16 million colors, and a high density of 342 pixels per inch. The pen-ready display is also touted for its “Triluminos with X-Reality” technology borrowed from Sony’s Bravia TVs, claimed to offer a wider color range and a greater sense of depth.

The Z Ultra offers IP55/IP58 water and dust resistance, weighs 212 grams (7.4 ounces), and measures a slim 6.5mm. This makes the Z Ultra the world’s thinnest HD smartphone, according to Sony.

Considering the other high-end specs, it’s surprising that Sony settled for an 8-megapixel camera instead of a 12- or 13-megapixel model, but the camera is touted for its 16x digital zoom and Sony Exmor RS image sensor. It also offers continuous burst photos, and the usual wide range of Sony camera features. Needless to say, the front-facing, 2-megapixel cam supports 1080p video recording. The full list of wireless features includes WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and NFC, and the 3000mAh battery is claimed to last up to 14 hours of talk time.

Specifications listed for the Sony Xperia Z Ultra include:

  • Processor — Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974):
    • 4x 2.2GHz Krait 400 CPU cores
    • Adreno 330 GPU
    • 600MHz Hexagon v5 QDSP6
  • Memory:
    • 2GB RAM
    • Up to 16GB onboard flash
    • microSD slot supporting 64GB
  • Display:
    • 6.44-inch, 1920 x 1080 progressive scan “Triluminos” display
    • 342 ppi density with 16 million colors
    • Shatterproof sheet on scratch-resistant glass
    • Pen and gesture support
  • Wireless:
    • LTE, UMTS, GSM GPRS/EDGE cellular
    • WiFi with hotspot functionality
    • Bluetooth 4.0
    • ANT+
    • NFC
    • aGPS/GLONASS
    • FM radio
  • Cameras:
    • 8-megapixel camera with auto focus, 16x digital zoom, Sony Exmor RS sensor
    • 2-megapixel HD front-facing cam
    • Features including continuous burst, HDR, face detection, panorama, special effects
  • Ports — micro-USB 2.0 with native USB tethering, USB charging; 3.5mm audio jack
  • Firmware/apps highlights—Google Maps, Play, Voice Search, Chrome (in some markets); screen mirroring; DLNA, ActiveSync, Google Sync, Facebook
  • Battery — 3000mAh for up to 14 hours talk, 7.5 hours video
  • Ruggedization — Dust-proof and water-resistant (IP55 / IP58)
  • Weight — 212 g
  • Dimensions — 179 x 92 x 6.5mm
  • Operating system – Android 4.2

The Xperia Z Ultra will be available globally in black, white, and purple in the third quarter. More information may be found at Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra product page.
 

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