Sony announces Xperia Z Ultra phablet with 6.4-inch display, Snapdragon 800 and more

We’d heard Sony had some “big” news to drop at its Mobile Asia Expo press event, and it looks like that term was more literal than we imagined. Introducing the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, a 6.41-inch full HD tablet that houses Qualcomm’s 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor. The touch-screen is using something called “TRILUMINOS” technology to create richer color palettes, and that goes along with all the other benefits the BRAVIA-enabled displays have been giving us in many of Sony’s other smartphones.

Sony is calling this the world’s slimmest full HD phone at 6.5mm thin and 212g light, and it’s also waterproof and dust resistant with IP55 and IP58 certification. That gives it the ability to be submerged in up to 1.50 meters of water for up to 30 minutes. Other specs and features of the Sony Xperia Ultra Z include an 8 megapixel HD camera, 4G LTE, NFC, Bluetooth and more.

Being a phablet, you’re probably wondering about stylus functionality. The phone features advanced “Pencil” recognition that will make it easy to use the device’s various apps with pretty much any stylus or pencil-like device, including actual pencils or — naturally — your finger.

Sony mentions the device will launch globally beginning in Q3 2013, with some markets slated to get the device a bit later than others. Unfortunately the full list of expected regions hasn’t been disclosed yet, but we imagine the usual suspects (pretty much everyone in Europe and Asia, and perhaps some folks in Canada) will get a crack at the Ultra Z. This is literally Sony’s biggest bet in the smartphone market yet, folks. Find more images of the product below.

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  • godrilla

    I want one

    • http://thebeeobee.com/ thebeeobee

      I want a tablet version for $279. Using this to make calls doesn’t interest me too much.

      • krYshuT

        Keep on dreaming.

        Anyway, amazing phone, hope the display doesn’t suck as the one on the Z.

      • Amber Collier

        as Richard explained I am inspired that any body can profit $9865 in one month on the internet. did you read this site w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

  • Gsizzle

    Now give me this baby with a 4.5”-5.0” display with the same specs, I will be all over it.

    • Sean Royce

      I personally think 6.4 inches really is pushing the boundaries between phone and tablet. I think 6.1 inches is the absolute maximum I’d go. Believe it or not, those 0.3 inches really do make a difference.

      • Bobby Phoenix

        There are no more boundaries with this now. Smartphone with 6.4″ compared to Tablet with 7.0″. The line is gone. I wonder how apps will work as far as them being designed for either a smartphone or tablet. Which one do you pick? I guess whatever one looks better.

        • Sean Royce

          You people down vote so easily.

          • Tony Lai

            You care about down vote so easily.

        • Michael Landauer

          Android apps don’t really care whether it’s a phone or a tablet (unless they need initiate phone calls obviously). They categorize display sizes as small, normal, large, and xlarge. Both a 6.4″ phablet and a 7″ tablet would fall into the large category. They also categorize devices by pixel density (low, medium, high, xhigh dpi).

          http://developer.android.com/guide/practices/screens_support.html

    • Todd Turner

      Honami, what?

      • Gsizzle

        Sony Xperia i1, what? JKS!

        Man I just can’t see myself pry away from Nexus line up :(

        • Todd Turner

          Tomato, tomato.

          Considering Sony’s track record, they may do a generic AOSP version.

          My bigger issue is that I need a new phone now and don’t think I can wait another 6 months for it to show up.

          • Sean Royce

            All these first world problems. I’m sure you’ll survive.

  • Jeremy Beasley

    Please bring this to Verizon!

  • Autobot

    hmmm….. very interesting indeed!! might seriously consider it!

  • Sean Royce

    Damn! Didn’t see those specs coming! This thing is a powerhouse!!!

  • izzyt

    “(pretty much everyone in Europe and Asia, and perhaps some folks in Canada)”…..what? how do people in Canada get this and we cant?!?!? :/

    • thatcrazyone

      cause canada rocks!

      • izzyt

        no, it doesn’t, justin beiber comes from there…eeewwww

    • http://www.phandroid.com Quentyn Kennemer

      Sony just doesn’t have a very strong presence in America when it comes to smartphones. I’m hoping that changes with the Xperia Z on T-Mobile.

  • izzyt

    that thing is huge!!!!

    • Bobby Phoenix

      That’s what she said!

  • Shawn_Locke

    I feel weird about touching a glass screen with a lead pencil.

    • ac

      I agree. That’s extremely weird to me. So, does that mean that the display technology will not allow the led to make marks on the screen? Or does that mean that when you write on it with a pencil, you have to erase the led marks afterwards?…wth?

      • Brandon Golway

        I think you mean lead (graphite actually) not LED lol But yea I feel the same way, graphite won’t write on glass and it’s not hard enough to scratch it, but it still is kind of odd.

        • ac

          Yup…lol… Thanks for the correction. I’m figuring that Sony did R&D, but as paranoid as some people can get with their devices, I can easily see those people still using a capacitive stylus instead.

          • Brandon Golway

            Yea I hear ya, it just goes against everything you know to use something as sharp and pointy as a pencil on a glass screen.

          • ac

            I can even imagine people trying their mechanical pencil and as soon as the lead starts going down to the tip, without their realizing, all of a sudden their mechanical pencil tip starts putting superficial scuff marks on the screen. I’d love to see Sony’s explanation on how it works and why people should feels safe doing it.

          • Brandon Golway

            IIRC graphite is electrically conductive so that’s how it transmits the touch…but while writing this I remembered that wood isn’t so I don’t know how that works. My S4 has an option to increase the touchscreen sensitivity so that you can use it with any gloves, maybe it’s something like that. As for feeling safe they probably use some sort of super-hard glass like Gorilla 3 or something.

  • tomn1ce

    Couldn’t they shave off some of the bezels to make the phone a tad smaller. Especially the bottom and top bezels.

    • Jerel Butler

      got to hold it somewhere that not a touchscreen

      • malcmilli

        i dont know about you, but i hold the sides and back of my phone

        • DonMcCall

          Considering that there is no mainstream phone out there as thin as this, and that it’s larger than any phone out there, most people (especially women) would find that difficult. The bezel was a wise design decision.

        • Jerel Butler

          but this thing is huge to hold

      • tomn1ce

        I can easily hold my G-Nexus with no problem without having to touch the display when viewing videos. I usually hold the phone by the sides and support the back and never on the front.

        • DonMcCall

          A Galaxy Nexus is also much thicker, and has only a 4.65″ screen. This is a much larger phone, and with the thinness of it most folks would have some overlap of their fingers while trying to hold it in one hand. Also…all those guts have got to go somewhere. The Z Ultra has a much larger battery and more memory.

          • tomn1ce

            I know that the G-Nexus has a 4.65″ screen but by how she’s holding the phone on the video I doubt that I myself will be holding the phone by touching the front. I doubt that the memory modules are that much bigger then the one in the G-Nexus. I also doubt that much of the guts are any bigger as well. The s800 itself is smaller then the TI OMAP 4460. Anyway due to the size of the phone, it has more room to spread out all of its guts throughout the motherboard. In terms of thickness that’s where they should’ve added a few mm in thickness to accommodate the battery instead of aiming for the slimmest FHD device. Instead of spreading the battery into a larger area on the device they should’ve make it a tad thicker.

        • Jerel Butler

          That is a device i have never used nor even held. nor have ever used or held a device with a screen bigger than 4 inches in terms of phones and i have big clunky hands I hold my phone from the bottom or hold the whole thing in my hand. coming form that i think its for holding

          • tomn1ce

            I know what you mean but even when I hold the phone in landscape I don’t hold the phone by the bottom or top bezels. My hands and fingers are on the edges and the rear of the phone. My point is that if the bezels wouldn’t be so huge the phone would be smaller making it easier to hold.

        • hellhoundwp

          That is exactly what I do. I don’t any bezel at all, actually a thick phone (huge battery) is all I need for a grip.

          • hellhoundwp

            Don’t need

  • kev2684

    oh my glob

  • Jordan Caviness

    SD800 is Beast!

  • Charles Chambers

    I really like it. Now if HTC could put Boom sound on it, I would be sold. I hope the battery life on it is good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

    If this has a microSD slot I’d be tempted to import it. Anyone see anything about storage?

    • mpw

      It can be store in a messenger bag or large pocket

      • Marsg

        or a man purse

      • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

        lol good one

    • Tony Lai

      On Sony’s official site, it listed 16GB ROM and microSD expansion is available.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

        Oh good, thanks dude!

  • InspectorGadget80

    I’M BUYING ONE! upgrading from my Xperia GO

  • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

    Bonus points for this sony promovid demonstrating the use of a (included?) BLUETOOTH HEADSET to head off the “but it’s too big to hold against my head” self-conscious funny-guy comments. Samsung never bothered to demo this in any of their Note 1 or 2 ads, I guess because asians aren’t self-conscious like ‘Murrikans.

    Still, I’m not that interested in Sony’s phablet VS the upcoming the Note 3, for several reasons:

    * Note 3 will be a more manageable size
    * Note 3 will get way more developer support
    * Note 3 will still have an actual wacom digitizer built-in
    * Note 3 is supposed to debut with the new “unbreakable” flexible OLED display tech
    * Note 3 has a camera FLASH, which this xperia zu is apparently missing (wtf?)

    The only plus to Sony’s phablet is water resistance… but I’m not a clutz. :)

  • mpw

    I don’t get why they’ve omitted a flash??

    • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

      Really? FAIL. (Haven’t seen the back yet)

      • AlphaRayz

        It is on the back. Are you guys blind?

        • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

          Even the engadget hands-on review said the flash was missing.

          • AlphaRayz

            You’re right. Apologies.

  • Morris

    Do Sony phones come to the US

    • JBrowne1012

      The Sony Z is to t-mobile exclusively usually when sony is usa its at&t bound but the z regular was announced for t-mobile.

  • Morris

    I like the specs, I like the screen size but the top and bottom bezel is too much.

  • asilvas

    Interestingly no mention of LTE-advanced, despite it being based on the Snapdragon 800 series. Not sure if it was “forgotten” or disabled.

  • Austin Deane

    Depending on what Samsung does with the Note III, this might draw me over to Sony, something I never thought I’d find myself saying.

  • Phillip Bee

    You had me all the way up until no back camera flash .. #EpicFail #Pass !!

    • AlphaRayz

      There is a flash on both phones. It is clearly visible. Use your eyes and pause button.

      • Phillip Bee

        Where is it so clearly visible? The NFC making? .. Thats NFC not a flash as you know.

        Obviously per the below comments Im not the only one that caught that as my eyes are wide open.

        • AlphaRayz

          Sorry, I stand corrected.

    • JBrowne1012

      Maybe its low light performance is superb?

      • Phillip Bee

        That would be awesome. I like the optimism !!

    • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

      All that space on the back and no flash? That’s odd.

      • Phillip Bee

        Extremely !! Why would you do that ?? .. ugh

  • real0325

    sign me up!

  • Austin Deane

    nah, not big enough :P I want the gigantic Atomos Curve with it’s 6.9″ 2560×1440 display.

  • Marsg

    I found a leaked image of the Sony Xperia Mega Ultra: down below:
    You need a wheel barrel to carry it around the screen protectors cost over 200 USD.
    doubles as a Google T.V.

    • JBrowne1012

      Nexus S by samsung at best buy was a great device

      • Marsg

        I know its the Nexus S, it was a joke lol

  • Guest

    OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHIWANTITHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!

  • Jose Antunes

    lol i just got my xperia today and they announce this.
    I want that now

  • vioalas

    I’d like this paired with their new smartwatch and a bluetooth headset. That way I don’t look foolish making phone calls.

  • Brandon Golway

    Nice looking device and it’s a beast, but you’d look like a jackass making calls on it, just like the people that take pictures in public with their iPads.

  • Paul

    Would have got if it had a flash