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.