Sony supersizes the Xperia Z with new phablet

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Not content with having Samsung rule the awkwardly-named phablet market, with its Galaxy Note range, Sony’s thrown its own entry into the market in the form of the Xperia Z Ultra.

The third Xperia Z product, slotting in between the Xperia Z smartphone and Xperia Tablet Z, has something in common with its Sony cousins: a 1080P display. Of course it wouldn’t be a phone-cum-tablet were it not for a larger-than-phone display, in this case a 6.4-inch screen powered by the company’s TriLuminos technology. The touch screen is also capable of recognising handwriting, and is compatible with any rubber stylus or pen with a metal tip larger than 1mm. Even though it’s more tablet than phone it only weighs 212g and measures a mere 6.5mm thick. It’s also one of the first devices to be powered by Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 800 processor. The quad-core chip in the Ultra runs at 2.2GHz and is paired up with 2GB of RAM. Other essential specs: an 8-megapixel camera, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 3 000mAh battery, 16GB storage, microSD slot, and all of that running on Android 4.2.

Just like its 5-inch phone and 10-inch tablet counterparts, the Xperia Z Ultra is dust and waterproof – so prepare for another round of Sony demos showing it being thrown, hammered, and dunked.

A smaller device to use as a phone, for your big phone.
A smaller device to use as a phone, for your big phone.

Despite the insistence that this 6.4-inch mini tablet can also be used to make calls, Sony’s also announced the SBH52: a Bluetooth receiver that can be used as a small phone. It has a display for seeing details like caller identity and currently-playing songs, as well as a headphone jack. It’s also kitted out with NFC technology so you can pair it up to the aforementioned Sony devices without much hassle.

Sony Mobile South Africa has confirmed that the Ultra Z will launch locally in September, with pricing details unavailable as yet.

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Christo van Gemert

Christo van Gemert

Eleven years ago Christo started writing about technology for one of South Africa's (then) leading computer magazines. His first review? A Samsung LCD monitor. Hey, it was hot news, back then. Nowadays he gets more excited about photography, cars, game consoles, and faster internet connections. He's sort of an Apple fan, but will take any opportunity to remind you about his Windows-powered home theatre PC and desire to own a vanilla Android tablet.   Currently uses: Apple 13-inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display, Apple iPhone 5, Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000, Audiofly AF78 Earphones, Xbox 360, Nikon D50.