Sony fires the big guns at Samsung with the 6.4-inch Xperia Z Ultra

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

New phablet sized handset expands the Xperia range and challenges Samsung's Note series

Expanding its well-received Xperia range and aiming to unseat Samsung’s grip on the phablet market, Sony have announced the launch of the world’s slimmest largest (but not slimmest slimmest) smartphone: the 6.4’’ Xperia Z Ultra.

The new Ultra is bigger even than Samsung’s Galaxy Mega – a 6.3’’ handset announced earlier this month. A study by Transparency Market Research has said that Samsung accounted for 70% of the “superphone and phablet” market in 2012. With the Ultra Sony are looking to snatch some of these sales back.

At 6.5mm thick the Ultra is only slightly larger than the thinnest device on the market – Huawei’s newly announced Ascend P6, which measures only 6.18mm deep. Sony plans to put the Ultra on sale in selected Asian regions in July, before bringing it to Europe in September.

Like its little brother, the Xperia Z, the Ultra is also waterproof, but has improved upon the previous Xperia iteration. Unlike the original Z the Ultra does not need users to plug its headphone socket to protect it from water, and it can be submerged in deeper water (up to 1.5m) for up to half an hour.

And in terms of technical specifications the Ultra is similarly impressive with a 1080p screen, a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800, 4G LTE connectivity and 16GB built-in storage (11GB which is user accessible).

There’s also an eight megapixel camera on the back (and a 2mp one on the front), NFC technology and a slightly-heftier-than-normal weight of 212 grams. The Ultra also expands upon normal stylus-only compatibility, with users able to input notes and sketches with “any pencil or selected stylus or pen.”

There’s been no word of price as yet, but the UK version will come with a free £21 voucher to use in Sony’s move, music, and mobile stores, as well as a month’s free access to Music Unlimited – Sony’s on-demand streaming service with over 15 million songs.

Previews of the Ultra so far have been positive, with Aloysius Low at CNET giving a positive verdict of a prototype model, stating he was “impressed with the build quality”, that it was “surprisingly comfortable to hold with one hand” and that the screen was “stunning.”

And for those that consumers that are still (rightly) worried about how they look when actually making a call on such a device, Sony are also pushing the phone with their latest range of Smart Bluetooth Handsets. These can clip to clothing and come with a small OLED screen for browsing calls, receiving texts, or changing music.

We’ve yet to see more details regarding Samsung’s latest phablet – the upcoming Galaxy Note III – but it seems that they’re facing stiff competition from Sony, as their Xperia range really begins to come into its own.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
education
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
News
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
science
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    IT Project Manager

    Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

    Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

    Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

    IT Manager

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

    Day In a Page

    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

    'You need me, I don’t need you'

    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
    How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

    How to Get Away with Murder

    Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
    A cup of tea is every worker's right

    Hard to swallow

    Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
    12 best children's shoes

    Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

    Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
    Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

    Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

    Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
    Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

    Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

    Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

    Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

    UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London