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.
Just recently, Samsung is said to be working with yet another variant of the Galaxy S4. While we are starting to get a taste of LTE, the folks at Korea are stepping up to faster LTE Advanced which delivers 2 to 3 times faster speeds than current LTE networks. Obviously trying to ride on the high speed wave, Samsung is expected to announce a LTE-A version of their current flagship device, adding yet another number to their multiple variant product.
The LTE-A variant not only gets a faster network support but its internals are rumoured to get a boost with a new quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor that’s also found in the recently launched Xperia Z Ultra. In terms of colours, it is spotted with Artic Blue and Aurora Red.
No doubt, the move of releasing yet another model would disappoint early S4 adopters but it seems that Samsung is simply churning too many models in such a short time. It is quite unlikely we would be seeing the S4 LTE-A model making its way to Malaysia soon as our current LTE roll out is still in its early stage. Another shot of the Galaxy S4 LTE-A variant after the break.
Update: Full BlackBerry Q5 details in Malaysia here.
The BlackBerry Q5 is coming to Malaysia soon with its media event happening early next week. The Q5 is an entry level QWERTY device running on BlackBerry 10 OS, which is more of a Curve replacement compared to its higher end BlackBerry Q10 device.
To recap on the specs, the BlackBerry Q5 runs on a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor with 2GB of RAM and 8GB of on-board storage that’s expandable with microSD. Display wise, the Q5 is similar to the Q10 with a 3.1″ 720×720 touch screen but the Q5 uses IPS LCD as opposed to the Super AMOLED screen found on the Q10. It also comes with a 5MP camera which shoots 1080p HD video as well as a front facing 2MP that does 720p video. No details on the pricing yet but being a “Curve” contender, we reckon it should be priced below the RM1,500 mark.
Sony has taken the covers off from its latest flagship device – Xperia Z Ultra which they claim to be the largest Full HD display ever fitted on a smart phone. With a massive 6.4″ screen, the Xperia Z is going head on with its phablet contenders particularly Samsung’s Galaxy Note II. Going big on display is just half of the story as it comes with top notch hardware and design. While smart phones with 6″ or higher isn’t entirely new, the Xperia Z Ultra display pushes a Full HD 1080p resolution which gives a respectable 342ppi. With the stylus becoming a trend with phablets right now, Sony has done something different with its advanced capacitive screen that recognises handwriting with a pencil or pen with a diameter of 1mm.
Powering the Xperia Z Ultra is the latest Quad-Core 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 processor mated with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. There’s a microSD slot to expand the storage that supports up to 64GB. Out of the box, it runs on the latest Android 4.2 operating system.
Design wise, it inherits the same omni-balance design of the Xperia Z and Xperia Tablet Z with its waffer thin look with flat edges and rounded corners. Putting the trio together, the Xperia Z Ultra sits nicely in the middle offering tablet-like experience in a somewhat pocketable form. Thickness wise, the Xperia Z Ultra is the thinnest yet at only 6.5mm, which is 0.4mm thinner than the already super thin Xperia Tablet Z. In terms of width, the 6.44 incher is quite a stretch at 92.2mm compared to the 6.3″ Galaxy Mega (88mm) and Galaxy Note II (80.5mm). With a huge 3,000mAh battery, the Xperia Z Ultra weighs 212 grams.
Going with the water resistance bandwagon, the Xperia Z Ultra comes with water and dust resistance of IP58 rating which allows you to submerge underwater for deeper and longer duration than the Xperia Z. However the downside is that it lacks dedicated camera shutter button which might be a problem taking photos when submerged. Interestingly the headphone jack is exposed which means no annoying flaps when you use your headphone.
In terms of connectivity, the Xperia Z Ultra as expected comes with 4G LTE support like its high end siblings. However in the imaging department, it is a notch below the Xperia Z as they have placed a 8MP camera which strangely lacks LED flash. The Xperia Z Ultra comes in 3 colours – Black, Purple and White. It will be available commercially in Q3 2013. Stay tuned as we will be sharing our hands on experience soon.
Head after the break for official photos and videos of the Xperia Z Ultra.
UPDATE: Check out our Xperia Z Ultra Hands-on here.
We are live at Sony’s Summer Product Announcement in Shanghai, where they are announcing its latest Sony Xperia Z Ultra flagship device. The Z Ultra is their largest smart phone yet at 6.44″ which is capable of pushing Full HD 1080p resolution. In terms of design, it retains the same Omni-balance approach as seen on the Sony Xperia Z. Powering the device is a rather high end Quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor that’s clocked at 2.2GHz.
Just like its former flagship, the Xperia Z Ultra also comes with water resistant capabilities but with a higher rating of IP58. Like the Xperia ZR, the IP58 provides slightly deeper and longer water resistance than the swimming pool friendly Xperia Z. Camera wise, it packs a 8MP main Exmor RS shooter that’s capable of shooting 1080p videos with HDR support.
In terms of thickness it is even thinner at just 6.5mm, overall making it the slimmest and biggest Full HD smart phone to date. As comparison the Xperia Tablet Z is 6.9mm thick while the Xperia Z smart phone at 7.9mm. With a huge 3,000mAh battery, the Xperia Ultra weighs 212 grams which is expected for a phone this size. Another interesting feature is the Xperia Z Ultra’s advanced capacitive screen technology that recognises input from conductive pen and pencils. It comes in 3 colours – Black, White and Purple.
Sony is also introducing a new SmartWatch 2 as well as a waterproof Bluetooth headphone which doubles up as a handset. Follow us live on twitter at @soya_cincau.
Head after the break for the announcement video and photos from the event.
To recap on the specs, the Galaxy Mega has a 6.3″ Super Clear LCD screen that does 1280×720 pixels resolution and it runs on a dual-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm processor with 1.5GB RAM. There’s a 8MP main camera and a front facing 1.9MP shooter. Juicing up the device is a huge 3,200mAh battery which is 100mAh more than the Galaxy Note II. Overall it weighs 199 grams and has a thickness of 8.0mm which is merely 0.1mm thicker than the Galaxy S4.
Based on the Galaxy Mega’s product page in Malaysia, we are getting the 16GB version and if you need more storage, it comes with expandable microSD slot as well. For those craving for faster connectivity, you’ll be pleased to know that the Galaxy Mega comes with 4G LTE connectivity support as well.
You can check out the full specs of the Galaxy Mega here.
Thanks @im_joshwong for the heads up!
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At Samsung’s event yesterday, the ATIV lineup took centre stage with a range of laptops, All-In-One as well as convertible tablet-notebook hybrids. For those needing full productivity in a compact form factor, Samsung has announced the ATIV Q convertible hybrid tablet and ATIV Tab 3 tablet which both runs on Windows 8.
The ATIV Q is convertible device and like the Acer Aspire R7, it comes with a flexible hinge which lets you transform from notebook productivity mode and all the way to full tablet mode in 4 different stages. The 13.3″ touch screen display is its main highlight with a QHD+ resolution of 3200×1800 giving a massive pixel density of 275ppi.
Powering the device is a Intel Core i5 processor with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of on-board SSD storage. It comes with a 720p HD camera, 2 USB ports (1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0), HDMI port and a micro SD slot. There’s a RJ45 port which is extended with a separate dongle. Overall, the ATIV Q weighs just 1.29kg with a thickness of just 13.9mm, making it one of the thinnest in its class. The ATIV Q offers the best of both worlds with instant switching between Android and Windows 8 environment.
Samsung has just revealed its Galaxy NX, its first ever interchangeable lens camera that is running on Android. Compared to its Galaxy Camera and recently launched Galaxy S4 Zoom, this is a more serious photography tool.
The Galaxy NX comes with a 20.3MP APS-C Sensor with an Advance Hybrid Auto Focus system which lets you shoot at 1/6000 second shutter speed and burst mode of 8.6FPS. To share those amazing shots and videos, the Galaxy NX stays connected with WiFi, 3G and even 4G LTE. There’s a wide array of lenses available including a 45mm 2D/3D lens.
Powering the device is a Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS which lets you edit and share while on the move. Like any Galaxy cameras, you’ll get the similar interface as well as Smart features such as Sound & Shot from their smart phone line up. At the back, it comes with a 4.8″ HD TFT display and internally it runs on a 1.6GHz Quad Core processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage. It takes up microSD memory up to 64GB. The Galaxy NX weighs 495grams with its 4,360mAh battery. Don’t ask us whether it is able to make calls.
For more information, visit the Galaxy NX product page.
More product images after the break.
Aside from the huge battery and a few other essential upgrades, the Butterfly S looks set to be a great value purchase with a mish-mash of cleverly selected new and old parts. The 1.9GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 (same processor as the LTE Samsung Galaxy S4 and S4 Active) is new and have proven to be exceptionally frugal when it comes to battery consumption. The UltraPixel camera first seen on the HTC One is also new and you also get Android 4.2 with the latest Sense 5 skin on top along with all the features we love like the HTC Zoe and Beats Audio with dual front-facing speakers.
Like the old Butterfly, there’s 2GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard storage with 25GB of Dropbox cloud storage thrown in. If that’s not enough, you can expand storage further with MicroSD. Also, the Butterfly S uses the same 5-inch 1080p display as the original Butterfly with a respectable 440ppi pixel density. The design of the Butterfly S has not changed much from the original either safe for the added thickness and weight due to the large battery (10.6mm versus 9.1mm of the old Butterfly with an extra 20 grams)
Speaking of battery, the old Butterfly only had 2,020mAh but even with that it managed to give a respectable 12 hours of battery life. The HTC one with its 2,300mAh consistently averages around 14 to 15 hours of usage which is far better than the 10 to 12 hour battery life of the 2,600mAh octa-core Galaxy S4. However the new 1.9GHz Qualcomm Quad Core processor has a lot to look forward to with its stellar battery life performance in the Galaxy S4 LTE version.
If you don’t mind the plastic build, the HTC Butterfly S is shaping up to be a great all rounder device with amazing battery life. The only downside we can see at the moment is the lack of 4G LTE connectivity. If HTC can price this right when (and if) the Butterfly S comes to Malaysia, then they may very well have another winner in their hands.