Sony Xperia Z Ultra, huge mobile star, but will it be successful?

Does the Sony Xperia Z Ultra have what it takes to challenge Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Note for the title? Photo: Sony Mobile

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2013 — When it comes to the mobile device industry, these are exciting times we’re living in. Sony Mobile, for example, has two highly anticipated devices in the making: the Sony Xperia Z Ultra and the rumored Sony i1 Honami camera-phone.

What makes the Xperia Z Ultra so special, increasing its chances to become a huge Mobile Star, is its size. As far as its physical dimensions are concerned, this phone is, literally, massive — one of those phablet hybrids between a phone and a tablet.


SEE RELATED: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 keeps teasing us, release date still not close


Sony Xperia Z Ultra and its flavors

Sony Xperia Z Ultra and its flavors

Until now, the term phablet has been synonymous with the Samsung Galaxy Note series. Sony wants to turn the tables, challenging Samsung’s throne by announcing the Sony Xperia Z Ultra.

So, what makes Sony’s upcoming phablet tick, and does it have a fighting chance against the Samsung Galaxy Note 3?

Sony Xperia Z Ultra


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First of all, recall that this phablet is going to be huge. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with its rumored 5.9 inch display will be dwarfed by the Xperia Z Ultra 6.4 inch TRILUMINOS display. Wait a minute? TRILUMINOS?

Yes, this is a new Sony-developed screen technology which basically enables LCD TFT panels to display a wider range of colors. In layman’s terms, Xperia Z Ultra’s display will show more vivid colors than we have previously seen.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra’s 6.4 inch display comes with full HD resolution (1080 x 1920) and a 344 ppi pixel density. It features up to 10 fingers Multitouch, can receive input from any kind of stylus (even from a regular pen) and is protected by shatterproof and scratch-resistant glass.

The Sony Xperia Z Ultra with its TRILUMINOS display

The Sony Xperia Z Ultra with its TRILUMINOS display


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Enhanced protections of the device have the Z Ultra certified up to IP55 and IP 58, meaning that it can handle low pressure jets of water from all directions. It can also survive for thirty minutes while being submerged in up to 1.5 meters of water. The smartphone is also dust-proof.

Other notable hardware specs are the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.2GHz per core (most powerful to date), 2GB of RAM, 16GB of on-board storage (expandable via a microSD card) and a 3000mAh battery.

Everything is being packed in a very slim body (6.5mm) which follows the same design cues as the Sony Xperia Z: squared corners, metal frame and tempered glass on both sides.

As far as the software department is concerned, the Z Ultra will run on Android 4.2 with Sony’s own UI on top and will come with two very interesting features:

  • X-Reality Engine – a software processing technology which enhances videos and pictures by making them look sharper, improving contrast, reducing noise and fine tuning saturation;
  • Battery STAMINA Mode – an app that, according to Sony, improves the stand-by time of the Xperia Z Ultra by at least four times.
Side to side with the Xperia Z and the Tablet Z

Side to side with the Xperia Z and the Tablet Z

While these features are exciting, there is a downside: the Sony Xperia Z Ultra features an 8MP rear-facing camera without an LED flash. Nowadays, the standard for a flagship’s main camera is 13MP. But as we’ve mentioned numerous times in the past, the photo quality depends on much, much more than just the number of megapixels: type of lens, aperture size, and so on.

However, in a time when people want more than just an ordinary LED flash on their smartphones (Xenon?), the Xperia Z Ultra features no such thing.

Let’s hope that by the time the Sony Xperia Z Ultra release date arrives (sometime during Q3 2013), Sony will change its mind and address this obvious misstep.

______________________

Readers: Share your thoughts on the Sony Xperia Z Ultra and phablets.

Do you find its size to be just a little too much, even for a “phablet”? Is it just right? What about the screen and camera departments? Does one compensate for the other? Let us know in the comments section.

Founder of GforGames.com (where he’s also Chief Editor), Vlad is first and foremost a fan. A technology fan, to be more specific. Follow Vlad on Google Plus.


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Vlad Andrici

Vlad writes about the mobile industry after cutting his teeth on gaming. A technology fan, a telecom and IP engineer in the real world, Vlad made his online debut writing about games as founder and editor of G4games.com from which he has transitioned towards the mobile industry (smartphones and tablets). 

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