Whoever said phablets were going out of style certainly hasn't spoken to Sony. The electronics giant has just announced its latest smartphone, the Xperia Z Ultra. With its 6.4 inch-display, this water resistant Android device is an absolute giant, dwarfing big-screen phones like the 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II by a mile. And yet the Z Ultra measures just 0.26 inches thick, making it the thinnest full HD smartphone in the world.
It's not just its massive display and dunkability that set the Xperia Z Ultra apart from the crowd. This monolithic phone is also one of the first to come packing one of Qualcomm's quad-core Snapdragon 800 processors. And with a clock speed of 2.2-GHz, this bad boy should have no trouble handling your most system intensive tasks, namely those hours long "Candy Crush Saga" binges.
As with many of Sony's high-end Xperia devices, such as the Xperia Z and Xperia Tablet Z, the Z Ultra features a dual-resistant IP55/ IP58 chassis, which means it can survive anything from dust and sand particles to being submerged in up to 5 feet of water for 30 minutes. In fact, Sony says you'll be able to shoot HD video underwater using the smartphone's 8-megapixel rear-facing camera.
To improve the camera experience, Sony has included an HDR shooting mode for both photos and video, as well as the company's Superior Auto mode and a host of other photo and video options. Up front, the Xperia X Ultra sports a 2-megapixel shooter.
Xperia Z Ultra users will also get access to Sony's litany of entertainment apps, including the Sony Walkman music app; Movies which gives you access to movies and TV episodes from Sony's Video Unlimited service and Album, which lets you create photo albums out of all of the images you capture on using the handset.
The Xperia Z Ultra isn't just a party animal, though. Sony says the device is also "the ideal business partner" as a result of its handwriting recognition and stylus compatibility. However, the company doesn't mention whether a stylus is included with the phone.
Sony says the Xperia Z Ultra will launch globally in the third quarter of 2013. But with the company's track record of leaving the U.S. market for last, we'll wait for an official announcement that the phone is headed stateside before we get too excited.