They may be a little cumbersome compared to the average mobile, but ultra-large smart phones — or ‘phablets’ as many are calling them — are most definitely on the rise in Asia, whether trendsetter Apple is on board or not. Samsung’s stylus-toting Galaxy Note II has already become a firm favourite with those who require a device offering greater ease of use than a regular smart phone but with more portability than a tablet, and competitors from Huawei and Asus aren’t far behind. And now it looks like Sony is set to come out all guns blazing with its giant Xperia Z Ultra, the latest in the Japanese electronics giant’s line of mobile devices and its first foray into the phablet scene. Oh and did we mention that it’s completely waterproof?

Yep, Sony Mobile is actively encouraging us to throw our expensive electrical equipment in the water. Thankfully, doing so with the Xperia Z Ultra won’t result in electrocution since, at least according to the promotional video released yesterday, even muscular male models can take their device for a dip without fear of it breaking. Quite why you’d want to do such a thing is beyond us, but still it’s nice to know that helpful toddlers giving your phone a bath, or leaving it in your jeans on laundry day won’t necessarily spell complete disaster for your new pocket pal.

The Xperia Z Ultra’s 6.4-inch, 1080p display is also the first phone ever to feature Sony’s much-vaunted Triluminous display technology, which is purported to offer richer, more vibrant images than ever. Of course, these are official videos designed to show the phone in the best possible light, but even we have to admit that the phone’s display looks pretty gorgeous in the demonstration below, and the thought of watching movies on the go without having to pack a tablet in addition to a smart phone really is quite tempting.

The main issue many people have with phones of this ilk is their size. Add the surrounding bezel to that already enormous screen and the Xperia Z Ultra, like Samsung’s Galaxy Mega before it, may be a little too much for those with smaller hands–or pockets, for that matter–to handle. Somewhat mercifully, Sony’s new phone is super thin, coming in at just 6.5 mm (0.2 inches) thick, giving it an even lower profile than the likes of the ever-popular iPhone 5, whose 7.6 millimetres (0.30 inches) slip into most pockets without creating too noticable a protrusion.


Sony’s phone will launch with a somewhat unimpressive 16GB of internal storage, but features a microSD slot that will allow the storage hungry to add up to 64 gigs more. In terms of performance, the Xperia Z Ultra boasts a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM, which should handle pretty much any app you’d care to throw at it through the standard Android 4.2 operating system, but we’ll know more as soon as we’ve had a chance to get our greasy mitts on the phone and dirty up its pretty screen.

Rumoured to go on sale in Asia in July and with a European (and hopefully North American) release in September, Sony’s answer to the Galaxy Note II will be available in black, white, and purple models. Perhaps for once Apple, who has shown little sign of following in Samsung and Sony’s footsteps with their new designs, will be late to the party and we’re just about to enter into an era of ultra-mini tablets? Or perhaps that should be ultra-large smart phones?

Source: Engadget Japan
Images courtesy of Sony Mobile