Forget iPhone 6, you can write on Sony Xperia Z Ultra’s 6.4-inch phablet screen with a pencil

The rumours were, indeed, true. Sony Mobile has unveiled the Xperia Z Ultra with a massive 6.4-inch screen size at an event in China.

Sony Mobile today launched what it claims is “the world’s slimmest and largest full HD smartphone” at the GSMA Mobile Asia Expo 2013 in Shanghai, China. 

And with this launch, it’s given everyone else in the phablet race something to compete with: The Xperia Z Ultra adds handwriting recognition and will work with any graphite pencil, capacitive stylus or metal pen with tip diameter of over 1mm. Beat this!

“You can even write notes or sketches during calls to help you capture ideas as they happen,” Sony Mobile says in its media statement. “The easy-toggle keyboard makes it ideal for one-handed input and multi-tasking, with small apps to help you improve productivity so you don’t lose time browsing between windows,” it adds.

I'd say that’s really cool. Hold it with one hand (it’s light and slim) and write on it with your regular pen with the other. And given that it’s a Sony Xperia Z, you'd know that it’s waterproof, dust-proof and all that. So, in effect, it could be a waterproof notepad when you want it, and of course a phablet otherwise.

While there have been, in the past, rumours about a pencil-compatible screen from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) for its upcoming (but still rumoured) iPhone 6, with this launch, Sony has made it very clear about its intentions for the very top of the mobile devices market. Read: iPhone 6 release rumours: Screen you can write on with a pencil… features to kill Galaxy S4?

A screen on which you can write with an ordinary pen or pencil has to extraordinary, we’d say. Sony maintains the display has a special type of coating that compensates for the marks (scratches?) made by pencils and pens, thus avoiding any damage to the screen. So, it’s as simple as a really sensitive screen protector, isn’t it? We’ll ask Sony more about it.

The Xperia Z Ultra's 6.4-inch display makes it the largest, so far, in the “phablet” category – and only slightly smaller than the 7-inch screens used by many tablets.

“The Xperia Z Ultra is the most exciting revolution in large-screen smartphone entertainment devices with both the slimmest and largest Full HD smartphone display in the world that is second to none. We are already delivering the best of Sony technology and design across a range of premium smartphones and tablets, and now we are bringing this same premium offering to the large-screen smartphone segment, setting a new standard for others to follow,” said Calum MacDougall, Director of Xperia Marketing at Sony Mobile Communications. 

Sony’s superlatives for the Xperia z Ultra

“World’s slimmest full HD smartphone,”

“World’s largest full HD display”

“World’s fastest smartphone processor”

But with a huge 6.4-inch screen, we’re wondering if the Xperia Z Ultra phablet should still be called ‘handheld’ or should we promote it to the tablet (or even laptop) category?

Nope, it’s still a phablet, we’re told, so we’ll stick to that for now.

The ‘phablet’ category is, for now, dominated by Samsung, with its Galaxy Note range of devices. With this launch, Sony has now announced its direct competitive entry into that market.

The Xperia Z Ultra is also waterproof, like its smartphone sibling, has full HD resolution and houses a quad-core 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 mobile processor inside and, of course, boasts of 4G LTE connectivity.

The display is HD (1,920 x 1,080), with a Sony-first – the Triluminos tech, promising a wider, richer colour.

Despite the size, the Xperia Z Ultra weighs only 212 grams (still 50gms heavier than the Xperia Z smartphone) but is, and take notice, is just 6.5mm in width, almost the same as the recently announced Huawei Ascend P6. That width, for comparison sake, is as much as your passport, according to Sony designer Jun Katsunuma.

Built-in storage is at a mere 16GB, but a microSD slot adds an additional 64GB – much needed, I’d say.

The battery has been upgraded to 3,000mAh, perhaps enough to power up that large display and other high-end components it hides under the boot.

Like its other devices, the Xperia Z Ultra has the X-Reality for mobile technology, improving picture reproduction, increasing sharpness.

All this comes with Sony’s water- and dust-resistant casing that we have now become accustomed to.

Sony has announced global availability of the Xperia Z Ultra in the third quarter of 2013, and will be available in black, white and purple. Okay, when is it coming to the UAE? 

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