Sony's unveiled its latest addition to its Xperia Z series, a new smartphone that blurs the line between smartphone and tablet once more -- the appropriately named Xperia Z Ultra. Packing a 6.4-inch display that runs at 1080p resolution, it bests other similarly gigantic superphones that all currently hover around 720p. This new screen is paired with Qualcomm's latest and greatest mobile processor, the impressively potent 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800, 2GB of RAM and 4G LTE connectivity too.
It all weighs in at 212 grams (over 50 grams more than the Xperia Z) but the body has been slimmed down to a mere 6.5mm uniform thickness, jostling with the barely announced Ascend P6 for title of thinnest phone despite those high-end specifications (and screen dimensions). There's 16GB of built-in storage, 11GB of which is user-accessible, while a microSD slot will add an additional 64GB if needed. To power that screen, Sony has also cranked the battery pack up to 3,000mAh and we're hoping that will be enough for all those high-end components it'll be powering. There's no specifics on LTE bands just yet, but the phone also packs a pentaband HSPA radio, ensuring the global model will play nice on AT&T's 3G service, at least, when it launches later this year. We've got more details (especially on that display) after the break.
That HD (1,920 x 1,080) screen is also the first smartphone display to debut Sony's Triluminos tech, promising a wider, richer color gamut and, at 6.4 inches, it offers 60 percent more screen compared to the 5-inch competition. It also has Sony's X-Reality for mobile technology, improving picture reproduction, increasing sharpness. It's all protected by the elements with waterproofing (IP55, IP58 -- an improvement over the water resistance found on previous models). This particular Ultra model also adds handwriting recognition and will work with any graphite pencil, capacitive stylus or metal pen with tip diameter of over 1mm. The phone will launch in the UK with a £21 voucher to use in its movie, music and PlayStation mobile hubs, as well as a month's free access to Music Unlimited.
Like Sony's existing mini-apps, you'll be able to jot down notes and sketches on top of other apps, including during calls, which could make it a tempting device for business-types. Imaging chops come in the form of an 8-megapixel Exmor RS sensor (capable of HDR video and stills, but lacking a flash) and a front-facing 2-megapixel camera, while the Xperia Z Ultra will be running on Google's very latest Android iteration, 4.2 (Jelly Bean), a step up from what's currently installed on our Xperia Z. It will launch globally from Q3 2013 in white, black and purple and we'll be giving it the hands-on treatment shortly.
Update: The BBC reports a July launch for parts of Asia, followed by a European arrival some time in September.
Update 2: We've since come across a Dutch press release (translated) that prices the Xperia Z Ultra at €719 ($940) outright for an unlocked handset. Naturally, pricing may vary by country, but you had to know that this one wouldn't come cheap.
The new Xperia™ Z Ultra: The world's slimmest and largest Full HD smartphone display
6.4" Full HD TRILUMINOS™ Display for mobile powered by X-Reality™ for mobile engine for the ultimate big screen entertainment 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 Full accessory ecosystem for premium entertainment and one-touch connectivity
Battery STAMINA Mode for outstanding battery life
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 songs from Sony's cloud-based subscription music service, Music Unlimited.
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.
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 to 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.
Xperia Z Ultra features
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 (capacitive stylus or metal pen with tip diameter over 1mm) 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 lifeThe Xperia Z Ultra will launch globally from Q3 2013 (exact timing of availability will vary by market).