25
Jun
xzusmall
Last Updated: June 27th, 2013

Sony is getting into the plus-sized phone game in a big way. Today they've officially announced the Xperia Z Ultra, a super-sized handset that follows the design principles of the original Xperia Z. Nearly all the specifications (with the exception of the camera) have been boosted over the current Sony flagship, starting with a downright massive 6.44-inch 1080p screen. Other highlights include a Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor clocked at 2.2Ghz, (labeled as "the world's fastest") a super-slim 6.5mm body, and a water- and dust-resistant design.

9_Xperia_Z_Ultra_Black_Front

The screen is definitely the star of the show here. Sony calls it a TRILUMINOUS Display, incorporating technology from the Bravia television line, including the X-Reality video-enhancing software. The idea is that the screen will actively analyze video and reproduce lacking pixels in a sharper and more vivid way. Obviously we can't comment on the efficacy of these claims, but it's safe to say that those who love enormous screens will be well-served by the Xperia Z Ultra.

That unbelievably slim body is built with the same layout and visual cues as the Xperia Z and Xperia Tablet Z, including tempered glass on both sides and the power button mounted on the center of the right edge of the device. The frame is metal, giving the phone more strength than one might think - it's also rated IP55 waterproof, which means that it can handle 1.5 meters of liquid submersion for up to 30 minutes. It's reasonably resistant to dust and other small particles. Sony will offer the phone in black, white, and purple colors.

11_Xperia_Z_Ultra 12_Xperia_Z_Ultra 3_Xperia_Z_Ultra_Power_Key_Black

Storage will be offered at 16GB, with a MicroSD card slot accessible to the user. That's a bit on the low side for a flagship device. The battery, on the other hand, is a quite respectable 3000mAh, though that screen will definitely eat it up faster than more conventional phones. Sony claims that the Xperia Z Ultra will get up to 11 hours of talk time, 5.5 hours of video playback, and a whopping 120 hours of audio playback. Sony attributes this to its STAMINA system. The phone's software is Sony's customized version of Android 4.2.

8_Xperia_Z_Ultra_black_Flat 14_Xperia_Z_Ultra_Range

The only downside to the phone is a somewhat dated 8-megapixel rear camera, which is fine, but compares poorly to the 13.1 megapixel shooter on the Xperia Z and other high-end smartphones as of late. The reason for this apparent downgrade isn't clear - perhaps Sony couldn't get a bigger sensor in that slim body? In any case, the phone will include HDR modes for video and stills. The front-facing camera is 2MP.

17_Xperia_Family

The Xperia Z Ultra is set for a third quarter 2013 global release, with precise dates varying by market. There is no price set for the phone at the moment.

Update: As some of our commenters have noted, there appears to be no LED flash for the Xperia Z Ultra's rear-mounted camera. Other sites that have had hands-on looks at the Mobile Asia Expo have confirmed this. It's a baffling omission on what's otherwise an ultra-premium device.

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 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 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.

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 life

The Xperia Z Ultra will launch globally from Q3 2013 (exact timing of availability will vary by market).

* Specifications verified by Strategy Analytics’ SpecTRAX service, as of 19th of June 2013 the Xperia Z Ultra is the slimmest smartphone with a Full HD display, for more information on Strategy analytics results go to:  www.sonymobile.com/testresults
** As of 19th of June 2013, outside of Japan, the Xperia Z Ultra is the only waterproof smartphone with a Full HD display on global distribution. In compliance with IP55 and IP58, Xperia Z Ultra is protected against the ingress of dust and is waterproof. Provided that all ports and covers are firmly closed, the phone is (i) protected against low pressure jets of water from all practicable directions in compliance with IP 55; and/or (ii) can be kept under 1.50 metre of freshwater for up to 30 minutes in compliance with IP58. The phone is not designed to float or work submerged underwater outside the IP55 or IP58 classification range that may lead to your warranty will being void. Find out more www.sonymobile.com/testresults
*** Display area available compared to smartphones with a 5” display or smaller
**** Specifications of Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core 2.2GHz processor verified by Strategy Analytics’ SpecTRAX service as of 19th of June 2013, for more information on Strategy analytics results go to: www.sonymobile.com/testresults

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Danny Holyoake

    The Xperia Zed You.

    The sooner Sony fix their naming scheme the better. Damn.

    • SetiroN

      what are you facially spastic that you can spell S but not Z?

      • Danny Holyoake

        ... what?

        • jwtsonga

          think he was taking a dig at samsung 'S' branding.....maybe???!?

  • HellG

    "the Xperia Z Ultra is the only waterproof smartphone with a Full HD display on global distribution"
    What about the Galaxy S4 active o_O

    • Sean Thomas

      doesn't it have some shitty display or something?

      • KatsumeBlisk

        I think the only difference is that the Active has a TFT display instead of SAMOLED.

        • andy_o

          Don't know why sites have been reporting that as a "downgrade". It's not a Pentile display, so in some ways, like resolution, can be considered an upgrade. Even though it's 1080p and has a small size, consider that pure blue and red resolution on that Pentile screen is still half, so 540p.

          • Matthew Merrick

            because

            a) pentile is not that bad, never has been

            b) at that resolution, you can't even see the pentile matrix anyways.

            c) TFT screens are washed out and have shitty viewing angles and sunlight visibility as compared to SAMOLED / IPS / SLCD displays.

          • andy_o

            I wonder why Internet people can't properly comprehend an argument before they post an emotional response.

            a) That's your opinion. A very questionable opinion ("never has been"?), especially considering the first low-res Pentile screens. Even on the S3 Pentile is noticeable with some content.

            b) Like I said, pure reds and pure blues are basically 540p. That's a fact. I did not say if it's noticeable or not for most content, but if a phone came out with a 540p 5" LCD screen pure blue or red small text (for instance) would look pretty much the same resolution-wise as on a Pentile "1080p" 5" screen.

            c) Again, your opinion. Others think AMOLED is oversaturated. I personally like AMOLED though, but I prefer non-Pentile like the Note II. Viewing angles are a non-issue for most modern LCDs out there.

    • Bakaouji

      Also the Xperia Z. -_-

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Both the Galaxy Active and the Xperia Z only offer IP67 and IP57, respectively. The Z Ultra offers IP58. Water resistant vs waterproof essentially.

    • Aman

      Didn't they say Smartphone? :-P

  • Patrik Carlsson

    Only 16 gb? Totally the achillesheel on this badboy.

    • Ambroos

      Does it really matter if you have a MicroSD slot available?

      • KatsumeBlisk

        It does when you use things like Google Play Music/Movies or games that only use the internal storage. What good is the display if you can't use the apps you want due to lack of space?

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          I wonder if Sony will do what Samsung is doing and re-add apps2sd support back to Android.

          • KatsumeBlisk

            On Samsung devices, does this allow all the data to be put on the SD card like all the songs cached with Play Music?? I've only used Nexus devices since ICS came out, so I don't know.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            No idea, they've only just done it to like 1 device, in a recent update. And I don't have that device.

          • G Mohal

            no only apps can be moved to sdcard and another thing this feature is only available in Samsung galaxy s4 due to user complaint of less internal memory.

      • Patrik Carlsson

        Yes it does... (I also have a Note 2 lte which is filled fast with installed apps, and even though I have a 64 gb external sdcard it tends to lose contact with the phone ever other boot.)

        I just don't get how a modern device is not 32 gb or bigger as default now that every camera is stuffing as much megapixels as possible.

    • mikegonzalez2k

      Seriously they need to change that, I mean most high end games these days are at least a 1 GB and that's just the install file.

  • Kaero

    I kind of want this... though whether or not I get it depends on how it will match up against the impending Galaxy Note 3.

    • Andrei

      So you'd give up Sony's build quality for Samsung's plastic and poorly-written software just based on a couple of benchmarks?

    • Jay T

      I don't understand why no one else seems very enthusiastic about this phone. I mean, it's big, but you don't have to buy it. I like big phones because they're so much nicer to use, and have really good battery life.

  • Yasser Syed

    “Xperia Z Ultra is….
    “The world’s slimmest full HD smartphone”
    “The world’s largest full HD smartphone display”
    “The world’s sharpest large-screen smartphone display”
    “The world’s fastest smartphone processor”

    • flippingthecoins

      Phablet != smartphone. Someone has to limit the size of a phone.

      • TynanDeRosa

        Phablet = Smartphone. Deal with it.

        • abqnm

          I agree with the idea here, but not the name. It is just a large smart phone.

      • jonathan3579

        I can't believe there's still people who bitch and moan about this. It isn't for everyone. Move along!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      I see the Sony fanboys have come out to play. We know full well this phone will lose half of those "world's x" titles by the time it comes out, because A.) most S800 phones will be clocked at 2.3GHz, and B.) the Note III and HTC phablet will also be 1080p. Sony can make all the pretty hardware it wants, as long as it remains stagnant on the software innovation front, its phones will remain boring.

      Also, they want back to an older 8MP Exmore sensor after a 13MP on the Z / ZL? Lolwut?

      • JayVyari

        Does that really matter though whether or not it will be outpaced by competition in a couple of months/whenever? When Samsung comes out with hardware that is the best at the time, people praise it even though it's trumped by whatever device is released shortly after. Yet when Sony does it, people are quick to downplay it's progress.

        Also MP doesn't matter all that much, and the 13MP that was on the Z/ZL was reviewed as 'not that good', so potentially this older 8MP might perform better. Who knows though as it's just been announced and not released.

        PS. Claiming "Sony Fanboys" have come out to play is odd because in every phone announcement, there is brand loyalty regardless of the company.

      • Yasser Syed

        Mr.Sony hater lol keep hating SONY products we dont care.

        Sony has shown this year that its a premium company making almost perfect products in every category.
        PS4,4K,Tablet Z,VAIO PRO,Now Phablet in another few months best 5" phone will come to prove everybody that SONY is perfect in every thing it makes.
        You sound so scared all of a sudden lol
        The reason why Sony Z Ultra has 8mp is because every OEM buys Sony's 13mp sensor so obviously they can produce that many sensors to fit in Z Ultra.

      • Mahesh

        So nw thy have hired an AP staff too, gr8 going shamshung :D

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          I don't even know what you just said.

      • Sootie

        I usually agree with you David however in this case I really dont. Android police regularly criticize samsung (quite rightly) for the bloted mess touch wiz has become with way too many features and usually recomend the close to stock android phones however in this case you seem to hate it.

        I really dont get the bad camera though so I'm with you on that but almost stock andoid on crazy good hardware is what AP have been asking for forever but now they have it they dont want it.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          I actually like this phone, with its monstrous size and sheer power, but I'm with David on the software side. The reason I adore the Note II and don't want the HTC One is the software and the myriad of little things Samsung added everywhere that add up to a great user experience (though one that's been getting dated).

          Samsung remains my favorite Android OEM, but Sony's definitely catching up. Their hardware is top notch, I just want to see some software innovations now.

          • Sootie

            Work has actually just given me an s4 (literally today!) and I cant find a single one of the touch wiz features I think I would actually use with the possible exception of smart stay (if it works), coming from my s2 running CM10.1 my initial impressions are largely oh god why have they made android so ugly and annoying.

            I'm genuinely interested in which of the Samsung features you use on a regular basis Artem and David so I can have another try at liking them before I dismiss all of them as rubbish.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            I only have the Note II and don't have some of the GS4's features. Some of my favorites that I use are:
            - pulling down the notification bar anywhere, including fullscreen apps. I lovvvvvve this tweak
            - multi-window - I use it all the time to quickly check up on email at the gym while watching The Walking Dead and having it keep playing
            - notification toggles - this is pretty common, but HTC has mucked this up badly in the past. Also the brightness slide and the Wi-Fi information.
            - I like the physical buttons because they make it easy to reach the menu button. I still hate the overflow menus and think that menus should all be at the bottom
            - Best Photo mode in the camera - it snaps 8 and picks the best one, and then allows me to save just that one or any others. This results in much better photos overall as I can catch the right moment
            - video camera controls are handy and I like them better than stock

            Other than these, I can't really think of TouchWiz-specific features that are very useful. CM has far more useful features, and it looks good. But overall, I'm much happier with the Note II than any other phone I'd owned before because of its battery life, screen size, loud speaker, and a great camera. Looking forward to Note III here. But I'm actually interested in the Xperia Z Ultra, the upcoming G2, G Pro, and other large phones.

          • Sootie

            Thanks for the reply artem I will definitely look into those features, it might make an interesting series of articles at some stage to see what the ap team is using and/or what's on their main home screens. I always like to see how other people do things and usually find it the best way to pick up better ways of doing things.

            Also I love this site, being able to talk directly to the experts makes it so much more engaging and useful.

  • Matthew Merrick

    No camera flash. WTF Sony. This actually is a dealbreaker. I was about ready to ditch the Note line for this guy too....

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      That can't be right... I have sent in an inquiry to Sony about this.

      • Aman

        Well there seems to be no flash in Z Ultra but it houses BSI (Backside Illuminated Sensor) which enables to shoot in ultra low light conditions :-)

        • SetiroN

          yeah right, unlike 100% of other phones.

      • Jason Bailey

        If thats true it just kills it for me. Low light shooting is great, but occasionally I need a flash... If only to use as a torch and see where I'm going in the dark :-)

        • Aman

          I feel for you man.. But no phone can be absolutely perfect.. :(
          Still pretty good stuff here.. :-)

          • Jason Bailey

            I don't think this is the right device for me. Currently using a note 2 with a zerolomon 9000 mAh battery.

            However its great for the market and innovation in general to give people choice.

            Off topic, too all those people complaining it's too big, just don't buy it.. Vote with your $$ but let other people have the option as well. One size doesn't fit all :-)

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            It was close.

      • sri_tech

        It does not have flash from the numerous pics we saw and on the spec sheet also not mentioned.

  • ian

    At the end of the end.... I'll buy the new nexus phone. $299 for 16gb snapdragon 800 with nikon lenses.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      At the end of a year from now maybe.

    • yahyoh

      keep dreaming ;)

  • TY

    Jeremiah, I think you should highlight the ZU's ability of using almost any pointed objects as a styles. That should be a big selling point of this thing.

  • Alex

    The size race its nonsense... That its just a tablet for me.

    And phones bigger than 4.5" I just cant used then as a phone.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I have the Note II, and I very easily use it as a phone. I bet it would take only a few days to get used to yet another less than one inch.

      • Mandeep Singh

        I got used to my note 2 in just 2 days
        Well that could be just me but it is easily usable device contrary to some claims that people make

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          Everyone else just has puny phones now :)

    • Krzysztof

      yes exactly, this phone will look ridiculous in you pocket (if it will fit at all). my htc one sometimes feels too big and its 'only' 4.7 inch.

      • Brian Byron De Guzman

        obviously this phone is not designed to be pocketed.. duh..

  • Jason Bailey

    Even with a 3000 mAh battery the battery life would be my main concern. I personally wish they had gone 4000 mAh plus. Especially when the battery is non removable.

    The larger the screen the more likely you are to use it like a tablet and the more likely you are to drain that battery quickly...

    Lets remember the battery usage figures are unusually over optimistic anyway.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Yup, just add another mm or two to the thickness and give us a bigger battery, but noooo. Everyone is stuck in a pointless race to be the thinnest.

      • John O’Connor

        I thought that race ended when we started seeing phones get bigger post RAZR-era

  • SetiroN

    A device that large and thin will feel extremely awkward in hand.
    Of course they couldn't add 2mm for a decent battery, let's always force customers to use an outlet every 12 hours... 3000mAh quite respectable my ass, that's not a <5" device.

  • ZhoraGosha

    Well guys, what about those fucking viewing angles??? They couldn't go wrong this time...

    • Aman

      Well dude it was never a problem at least for the sane guys who like to work with their face front on.. But yes it has been resolved for the nerds who like to be fantasy Spidermans and work on their phone from awkward angles..

      • SetiroN

        While I partially agree with you, I happen to use my phone laying on bed from time to time, and good viewing angles are required in that scenario.

  • tracetk

    Jim Carrey's phone!

  • Kumar Sagar

    So sony's also a part of the ratrace now. Nevertheless, Sammy's gud but i'd still put my money on a better built phone wid a more elegant ui any day. Right now, it's just between Sony n HTC.

    • jonathan3579

      I'm sorry but did you just spell good as gud and with as wid? That's a filthy use of the English language.

      • Kumar Sagar

        Lol :D stop whining! It didn't trigger an apocalypse. This is the world wide web for God's sake!

        • John O’Connor

          worse, it will soon trigger a trollapalypse

          • Kumar Sagar

            I am waiting.

  • Martin

    Phone without flash light is like car without lights... Useless in the dark :)

    • valapsp

      WTF? I didn't mention it. too bad.

    • SAM

      i dont understand people who talk about flash!! who the hell will take pics on extrem dark condition with a phone?
      all phones cams are not a substitute vs real camera, they exist only to take cool pics in sunlight condition as memory of daily life, not even to do a A2 picture
      so 8 MP or 13MP, with or without flash is not the deal, the dreal is a good sensor cam with an optical lens that captures max light

      • Martin

        How you will make COOL pics in a club or walking near the beach at night without flash? :-) Think before you write man :-)

  • valapsp

    shut up and take my money on both the ZU and the SW2.

  • valapsp

    Anybody mentioned the awkwardly placed headphone jack and the lack of LED flash?

  • http://meatcastle.com/ Youre My Boy Bloo

    Holy crap... I would stab a truck load of babies in the face for one of these...

  • TechGuy22

    wow that looks awesome. waiting on HTC ONE MAX

  • RaptorOO7

    Why do they offer these phablets with so little internal storage. You can't put apps on the microSD card and that is a HUGE issue.

    • Jack

      You can tho.

  • Jack

    My note 2 is upgradle in October, up until I was only considering the Note 3. This is a game changer in the large smartphone market no doubt.

  • laszlo gaspar

    i actually like it and i'm not a fan of some of the other phones that sony have come out with recently.

    • mennon

      Let Sony come up with the same size but seeing that all the complaints are attended t viz.battery,flash and so on.Awaiting the non beatable from sony

  • Sootie

    want!

  • John O’Connor

    Waterproof and dustproof, but what if the slim puppy falls out of your hand? Will it shatter like glass candy?

  • John O’Connor

    Any word on future US carrier availability (GSM only?)

  • Gandalf_Teh_Gray

    I'd love to have this on Verizon :(

  • http://the-jade-domain.com Jaime J. Denizard

    Did anyone else enjoy the clever Sony product placements? Spider-Man movie, Sony SmartWatch...very nice, Sony Marketing Team. This phone is pretty sexy. Too bad it's so giant. O_O

    This would be the perfect phone for me if it wasn't so giant and the lack of LED flash. Maybe bring it down to Note II size and we'll talk. But everything else is gold. Snapdragon 800, 1080p screen, waterproof, ONSCREEN BUTTONS, slim and sexy...what more can I ask for?