Sony Xperia Z Ultra packs 6.44-inch 1080p display and Snapdragon 800, SmartWatch 2 also officialAlex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
Sony is making its presence at the Mobile Asia Expo 2013 known in a big (literally) way. The company today announced the Xperia Z Ultra, an Android 4.2-powered smartphone that features a 6.44-inch 1920x1080 TFT LCD screen that features Sony's TRILUMINOS Display for Mobile. This includes Sony's X-Reality mobile engine, which the firm claims will help to make videos sharper by "reproducing lacking pixels." The Xperia Z Ultra's screen is also said to be extremely responsive, allowing users to write or sketch with any pencil or stylus with a tip diameter of over 1mm.
The high-end specs don't step at the Xperia Z Ultra's face, as Sony has also opted to include a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, which is Qualcomm's current top of the line chip. There's an 8-megapixel rear camera with continuous burst mode and HDR for images and video on the back of the Xperia Z Ultra's frame, and Sony has tossed in a 2-megapixel shooter on its face as well.
Rounding out the Xperia Z Ultra's list of specs is 16GB of built-in storage (11GB user-accessible), microSD slot with support for cards up to 64GB in size, 4G LTE connectivity. Also included is a 3,000mAh battery that's powering the entire package, which measures 6.5mm thick and is IP55 and IP58 rated. That means that the Z Ultra is dust resistant and can survive being submerged in 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.
Sony says that the Xperia Z Ultra will be available in black, white and purple, with a global launch expected to kick off in Q3 2013. That means that you've still got some time to go shopping for pants with extra large pockets. There's no word yet pricing, but I expect that we'll hear more once we get closer to the Xperia Z Ultra's launch.
Along with the Xperia Z Ultra, Sony has taken the wraps off of the new smartwatch that it teased earlier this month. Known as the Sony SmartWatch 2, the new wristwear features a 1.6-inch 220x176 touchscreen, which is larger than the 1.3-inch display on the previous SmartWatch. Sony also promises that the display on the SmartWatch 2 is easier to read in sunlight. Along with its larger display, the SmartWatch 2 packs Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, a micro-USB port and the ability to be used with any standard 24mm wrist strap. Finally, the SmartWatch 2 is IP57 rated, meaning that it can withstand splashed water and rain.
On the software side of things, the SmartWatch 2 is powered by Android and features a UI similar to Google's mobile OS, which Sony says helps to make the SmartWatch 2 a more intuitive experience. The new wrist gear can also display a user's missed notifications (including Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, calls and messages) and can be used as a remote for a Sony Walkman or other media players. Sony says that the SmartWatch 2 is compatible with "most Android phones." The device is expected to begin shipping worldwide in September 2013.
With both the Xperia Z Ultra and SmartWatch 2, today is big for Sony. The Xperia Z Ultra looks like it could be a competitor for the phone/tablet hybrid crown, and I'm sure many folks are looking forward to finding out how the device performs and how it fits into their hands. Meanwhile, the SmartWatch 2 is Sony's latest entry in the rapidly-growing smartwatch market, and given Sony's history in the product segment (this is its third SmartWatch) it'll be interesting to see how the SW2 stacks up against recent competitors like the Pebble and MetaWatch Strata. What do you think of Sony's new products? Would you clear space in your pocket or on your wrist for either of them?