Sony has announced the release of the Xperia Z Ultra, a waterproof Android smartphone with a 6.4-inch screen. They claim it is the slimmest large-screen handset on the market.
The company say they intend for this device to challenge Samsung’s dominance in the jumbo-sized handset sector.
The Ultra follows the previous Sony Xperia Z, which was unveiled in January. It will go on sale in China, Indonesia and Singapore in July and reach Europe in September.
Calum MacDougall, Xperia’s director has said that “Southeast Asia is the key market for the product because the trend towards large-screened smartphone devices is stronger there, but we also see the trend in Europe as well.”
“In the large-screen segment at the moment most consumers are looking at the Galaxy Note. Now we can offer something that is really distinct: a stronger screen, greater portability, waterproofing and something different around the stylus and the pen.”
The Xperia Z Ultra can accept sketches or notes written not just from the optional stylus, but also from a standard pencil or metal-tipped pen.
It is only 6.5mm thick, making it it only slightly deeper than the Huawei’s Ascend P6, the thinnest device on the market.
Sony have done away with the flap over the headphone socket, which featured on the original Xperia Z, after there were complaints that it was fiddly to use.
The handset can be submerged in freshwater for up to half an hour at a depth of 1.5m, that’s deeper than its predecesor.
Some other features that the Xperia Z Ultra offer are:
- A 1080p resolution screen with in-built software to upgrade lower definition videos and photos
- 16 gigabytes of internal storage with support for 64GB microSD card
- An 8 megapixel rear camera
- A battery offering up to 11 hours talk time or 120 hours of audio playback – a figure which Sony claims is a record
Sony is not the only company trying to undermine Samsung’s lead in this market; Huawei, ZTE, Acer, Asus and Lenovo have all released devices, trying to compete for popularity. But with Samsung releasing their own Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Mega, have they already missed the boat?