Sony will be releasing another update for the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR and the Xperia Tablet Z some time next week. The new software is still running on the older Android 4.3 Jelly Bean but will bring improvements for Bluetooth, Battery life and YouTube video app.
Unlike Sony of the past, it seems that they are more pro-active in updating their devices to the latest Android version these days. The current Xperia Z & ZL will be among some of the models that will receive Android 4.4 KitKat and there’s a possibility that slightly older models like the Xperia TX and Xperia V would get them as well.
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The Jelly Bean update brings a host of new features to the early 2013 Sony Xperia handsets which includes the latest UI for its native apps such as messaging, camera, Walkman & Xperia Themes. It also gets Sony’s Smart Social Camera and a smoother experience thanks to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean’s project butter.
To update, we would recommend doing it through Sony’s PC Companion which can be downloaded here.
After the announcement of Android 4.4 KitKat, most smart phone makers are in the midst of upgrading 2013 models to at least Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Now Sony has given an official update on what’s going on with its line of Xperia models.
For Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, Sony will start rolling out its update beginning next month for the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia SP, Xperia Z Ultra and Xperia Z1. Most of these devices are currently running on Android 4.2.2. Another good news is that Sony is adding more devices into its list with the Xperia T, Xperia TX and Xperia V expected to receive the Android 4.3 update next month as well.
On the latest Android 4.4, Sony hasn’t indicate any timelines but they have mentioned that the current flagships from the Xperia Z to the current Xperia Z1 will be supported. Since Android 4.4 is optimised to run with lower spec devices that packs as low as 512MB of RAM, it is unclear if Sony would plan to extend it to last year models including the Sony Xperia S and Xperia SL.
In comparison, Samsung seems to be rather proactive lately with their Galaxy S4 now updated to Android 4.3 in Malaysia. HTC too has officially announced its roll out of Android 4.3 with its latest Sense 5.5 but the software update has yet to reach HTC One users here.
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The humongous and water resistant 6.44″ Sony Xperia Z Ultra LTE variant will soon be available in Malaysia with a price tag of RM2,199. That’s lower than the initial RM2,299 price tag for its non-LTE (HSPA+) model. As comparison, its current 5″ Xperia Z1 flagship is priced at RM2,399 and it comes with 4G LTE support as well.
The Xperia Z Ultra LTE version will go on sale this Thursday, 17th October and it will be available with a choice of Black, White & Purple colours. Sony is also throwing in RM700 worth of content which includes access to movies and music through Akazoo unlimited music service.
In terms of hardware specs, the Xperia Z Ultra LTE version retains the same 6.44″ Full HD Triluminos display, 2.2GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and a 8MP camera. Compared to other devices, the Xperia Z Ultra is one of the thinnest at just 6.5mm. You can check out our hands on of the Xperia Z Ultra in our 6 minute video.
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UPDATE: Sony Xperia Z Ultra is priced at RM2,299 for HSPA+ (non-LTE) version.
During the global launch of its first ever large format smartphone, Sony said that Malaysia will be among the first countries in the world to launch the device and today Sony is making good with that commitment by announcing the launch date of what we consider one of the best large format phones you can get.
The Xperia Z Ultra will be officially launched to the Malaysian media on August 1 and we’re pretty sure that the device will go on sale soon after that. And judging by the top level Celcom and U Mobile reps that attended the global launch in Shanghai recently, you can expect operators to offer the device around the same time as well.
We’re hoping that Sony will bundle the very useful, SBH52 NFC-enabled Bluetooth headset. The SBH52 headset that can be used like a conventional earpiece that you hook onto your ear or like a mini handset that you pick up (something like a conventional phone). The headset immensely useful and easy to setup thanks to NFC and with a built-in OLED display you can screen calls without the need to take Z Ultra out of your bag.
The big question now is pricing. How much will sony sell the Xperia Z Ultra for and more importantly, how much are you willing to pay for the device? Back at the global launch Sony say that the Z Ultra is positioned to deliver a premium experience at an affordable price. Won’t be long till we know for sure. In the meantime check out what we think about the Xperia Z Ultra here.
Sony’s Latest Video Highlights Some Great Features of the Xperia Z Ultra
First Impressions: Sony Xperia Z Ultra
Sony Xperia Z Ultra side by side comparison with Xperia Z
Sony Xperia Z Ultra launched – Largest and Slimmest Full HD smart phone with IP58 Water Resistance
Sony Xperia Z Ultra officially announced
But the Z Ultra is not without its quirks. The lack of an LED flash and a dedicated camera button are two big sore points that many will find difficult to ignore, the dated UX UI skin is far behind what HTC and Samsung are putting in their phones, and the camera app lacks many of the smart features you take for granted in a Galaxy S4 or HTC One.
Sony would like to convince you otherwise.
In its latest promo video, Sony highlights some of the unique features of the Xperia Z Ultra and we have to admit, all of them are great. The question is, is great good enough? What do you think?
Head on over to after the jump to watch the video.
Phablets, love em’ or hate em’, this form factor is here to stay. Samsung created the niche with the Galaxy Note and established its leadership position with the Galaxy Note II, and while other manufacturers are churning out their own versions of a device that pushes the boundary of what can be called a phone, not many have really captured our attention.
Enter the Xperia Z Ultra, Sony’s debut large format smartphone that brings the brand’s trademark approach to product design combining form and function in one neat package. Read on for our first impressions.
UPDATE: Check out our Xperia Z Ultra Hands-on here.
The 6.4″ Sony Xperia Z Ultra is a rather huge smart phone bundled with top notch hardware going head on with the rest of the phone tablet or phablet segment. With identical design language as the Xperia Z, the glaring difference between the two is the device size. We managed to get a unit to play with and here are some side by side comparisons with its 5 incher sibling, the Xperia Z.
In the hands, the Xperia Z Ultra feels pretty wide and slippery to hold. Those with smaller hands might find the device overwhelming, making it a challenge to use with a single hand. Not surprising since its rather wide at 92.2mm compared to a Galaxy Note II’s 80.5mm. Even the smaller but similarly designed 5″ Xperia Z smart phone isn’t exactly comfortable to hold and we preferred the curved textured back of the Xperia ZL instead which felt more natural in our palm. We shall share more findings in our hands-on post.
More of the comparison shots of the Xperia Z Ultra and Xperia Z after the break.
Sony is expected to jump onto the Nexus experience bandwagon with a Xperia Z that runs on plain vanilla Android OS. This follows after the announcement of Nexus experience editions of Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One which will be sold through Google Play store.
Overall, there’s more choice for the Android purist with now 3 smart phones that comes with Full HD display capabilities. The benefit of having a plain vanilla Android device is quicker access to the latest Android OS versions without the need of UI customisation from the respective mobile brands. The Xperia Z Google edition is perfect for those wanting a device with a water and dust resistant hardware.
If you’re in a market for Nexus device, which would you pick? The Galaxy S4, HTC One or Xperia Z? Of the 3, the Xperia Z offers pure on-screen buttons which is the closest to the Nexus 4.
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In a heart warming way, Sony has released 2 videos showcasing the seamless connectivity of NFC. NFC has been around for couple of years but adoption is yet to reach desired levels. With NFC being a standard on high-end and mid-range models, we are seeing more NFC enabled accessories and audio/visual equipment. In the promo videos, Sony demonstrates the ease of connecting to headphones, speakers and even to the TV by merely tapping.
Watch both videos after the break.