If you’ve been following our coverage of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, you would have undoubtedly caught Sony‘s launch of their brand new Xperia X lineup. A curious launch because the Xperia X Performance featured a set of killer specs that many felt should have found their way into the Xperia Z6 instead.
The original Xperia Z may be coming up to 3 years old, but Sony is still keeping the updates coming. A newer Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update with the version number 10.7.A.0.222 is being rolled out to the first gen Xperia Z series. This covers the Xperia Z (C6602 and C6603), Xperia ZL (C6503 and C6506), Xperia ZR (C5503) and Xperia Tablet Z for both WiFi (SGP311, SGP312) and LTE (SGP321) models.
Sony has been in the forefront of making waterproof flagship smart phones starting with the Xperia Z. Apart from offering extra protection and underwater content possibilities, Sony has released a couple of interesting apps that are designed for underwater use.
These specially developed apps can only be used underwater and it does know when it is submerged by emitting an inaudible sound and it measures the pick up from its two microphones. Some of these apps are just purely done out of fun while there are others that let you play a submarine game which works only when the phone is submerged.
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.