Print 30 comment(s) - last by Uncle.. on Jun 26 at 8:03 PM

Sony expands its mobile lineup with a new superphone and a new companion device

Bigger is better, right? Well, that's what AT&T's current series of commercials have told us. It seems as though Sony subscribes to that theory as well because the company just dropped a monster smartphone on an unsuspecting public: the Xperia Z Ultra.
The new Xperia Z Ultra comes equipped with a mammoth 6.4" 1080p display featuring Sony's Triluminous technology. Triluminous technology leverages Sony's experience with its Bravia televisions to crease richer colors and sharper video.

Powering this giant smartphone is a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor running at a whopping 2.2GHz. Sony has thrown everything but the kitchen sink inside the Xperia Z Ultra including Android 4.2.2, 16GB of internal storage, a microSD slot, LTE connectivity, a 3,000 mAh battery, 8MP Exmor RS sensor (rear), 2MP front-facing camera and IP55/IP58 compliance for waterproof and dust-resistant protections.
The Xperia Z is just 6.5mm thick and weighs 7.48 ounces.

The latest and greatest from Sony will launch during the third quarter and will be available in white, black, and purple.
In other Sony news, it has announced its SmartWatch 2 companion device for Android devices. The SmartWatch 2 features a 1.6", 220x176 touch screen and dust- and water-resistant aluminum body. The device supports NFC and Bluetooth, and can accept incoming calls from your smartphone (if you don't mind looking silly talking into your wrist).
"Competitors are only now launching first generation devices, while we are already launching a 3rd generation device with all the insight gained from over half a million customers combined with Sony's wealth of technology expertise to create the best ever smartwatch experience," said Stefan K Persson, Head of Companion Products at Sony Mobile Communications.

"The future of wearable devices is incredibly bright with analyst research predicting 41 million 'smart' watches will be sold by 2016. We have over 200 unique apps dedicated for Sony SmartWatch with over one million downloads to date and we are continuing to work with our strong developer network to deliver ever more compelling smartwatch experiences."
The Sony SmartWatch 2 will be available worldwide in September.

Source: Sony

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This is getting ridiculous
By Arsynic on 6/25/2013 9:22:43 AM , Rating: 3
Why not just cut to the damn chase and put phone antennas in tablets and call it a day. Because at this point I don't think there's a sweet spot.

RE: This is getting ridiculous
By BRB29 on 6/25/2013 9:34:44 AM , Rating: 2
Take small tablet

put in phone functions

call it ULTRA

RE: This is getting ridiculous
By karimtemple on 6/25/2013 9:47:25 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree that there isn't a sweet spot. It may be a range of sizes as opposed to a specific size, but there's definitely a different between a big phone and a tablet (and I don't buy into the stupid "phablet" moniker).

The Xperia Z Ultra is a tablet with cellular SMS and voice.

RE: This is getting ridiculous
By retrospooty on 6/25/2013 10:44:13 AM , Rating: 3
"Because at this point I don't think there's a sweet spot."

There isn't, and shouldn't be. The only "sweet spot" for manufacturers is to have variety. If you have a small medium and large phone, this covers customers that was either a small medium or large phone. Simple right? Clearly there are people that want each, just buy what you want.

RE: This is getting ridiculous
By Brandon Hill on 6/25/2013 10:56:33 AM , Rating: 2
That pretty much explains the Galaxy S 4 family. They've got:

Galaxy S 4
Galaxy S 4 Mini
Galaxy S 4 Zoom
Galaxy S 4 Active
Galaxy S 4 LTE-Advanced

RE: This is getting ridiculous
By BRB29 on 6/25/2013 11:03:16 AM , Rating: 2
Can someone explain to me the Galaxy Tablets then?

It doesn't seem to get better or much differentiation between the 1,2 and 3.

RE: This is getting ridiculous
By Brandon Hill on 6/25/2013 11:25:56 AM , Rating: 2
You've got me there. The tablets make no sense to me.

RE: This is getting ridiculous
By retrospooty on 6/25/2013 11:28:32 AM , Rating: 3
Galaxy tablets must be the "put a 1/2 effort into it, just so we have a product on the market - price it poorly and see if anyone bites, old people and non technical people may buy it at best buy, walmart etc" type of product.

That's the only thing that makes any sense.

RE: This is getting ridiculous
By vision33r on 6/25/2013 5:49:21 PM , Rating: 2
Samsung is just selling rebadged tablets. They have no interest in investing heavily while the iPad continues to dominate. If you look at the specs on the Samsung tabs, they are quite minimal in changes over each gen, it's almost embarrassing I would say.

The Galaxy Phones gets more changes with each gen. The Note 1 to Note 2 jump is much bigger than Galaxy Tab 1 to 3.

RE: This is getting ridiculous
By Arsynic on 6/25/2013 2:04:34 PM , Rating: 2
Today's large is tomorrow's medium. Just make a tablet that can make phone calls!

RE: This is getting ridiculous
By karimtemple on 6/26/2013 8:15:04 AM , Rating: 3
Today's large is tomorrow's medium.
That's what she said.

RE: This is getting ridiculous
By Argon18 on 6/25/2013 5:00:19 PM , Rating: 2
Everything has a sweet spot. Look at laptops, for example. Sure there are tiny 13" models, and behemoth 17" models, but the sweet spot is 15". That's what size the majority are sold each year.

That's not to say there isn't a market for 13" or 17" laptops, there is, of course. But your typical consumer apparently favors the 15" size.

Phones will no doubt settle out along a similar bell curve, with some median size preferred by most, with super-small and super-large variants at the edges of the curve.

RE: This is getting ridiculous
By Uncle on 6/26/2013 8:03:16 PM , Rating: 2
Already do that with my tablet, just need WiFi. Plenty of free WiFi around. I use Comwave ephone, I'm sure their are plenty more.

By bah12 on 6/25/2013 9:39:21 AM , Rating: 2
I don't get why they think they need to put any computing power in the watch itself. I would think it would be far better to let your smartphone act as the compute/storage and just let the watch be a wireless display and intereface. Seems like you could greatly reduce the footprint.

RE: Watches?
By GreenEnvt on 6/25/2013 9:53:49 AM , Rating: 2
Interesting idea, but then the watch would basically be dead without the phone in close proximity.

RE: Watches?
By OnyxNite on 6/25/2013 10:22:48 AM , Rating: 3
I'm fine with that. I rarely am without my phone anyway. All I want is a screen so I can look at my wrist for caller id to decide to accept or reject the call or to read a short text message without having to pull my phone out of my pocket. If the phone isn't around for some reason just make it function like a basic dumb watch with just enough logic to show the time.

RE: Watches?
By Mint on 6/25/2013 4:06:21 PM , Rating: 2
Transferring data for wireless display consumes more power in both devices, and that's the main factor determining size (due to battery life).

You need a SoC in the the watch anyway, so I highly doubt that Sony had any meaningfully larger footprint over whatever barebones solution you're thinking of.

RE: Watches?
By bah12 on 6/25/2013 5:53:03 PM , Rating: 2
I don't disagree. I'm just trying to figure out any senario where a watch like this would be appealing. It just doesn't make much sense to me, heck since the smart phone I've not worn a watch. Maybe for cosmetic purposes, but never to actually tell time. Dieing idea IMO, but I'm sure they will still sell millions.

RE: Watches?
By Mint on 6/26/2013 4:29:49 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I'm also not expecting much success from these smart watches.

By Dr of crap on 6/25/2013 12:56:30 PM , Rating: 1
I want my phone to FIT in my pocket.
Now if I used it MORE for a movie player, maybe I'd get an ipad size device.
Can't understand the increase in screen size for a phone.

Maybe they should be separating the screen and the computing portion, much like a blue tooth ear piece is to a phone. That way the phone portion could stay smaller, and when you wanted a bigger screen you "unfold" the screen that auto connects to the phone.

By Brandon Hill on 6/25/2013 1:01:17 PM , Rating: 2
Phone too big? Hey, buy this $200 watch so you can use your phone as a phone on your wrist ;)

By MichalT on 6/25/2013 3:24:09 PM , Rating: 3
Not everyone has your usage model. My wife wants a 6 inch table that makes phone calls; she'll keep it in her purse and use blue tooth to do voice. That way she has a tablet for surfing the net while away from the computer instead of a tiny phone. Also makes perfect sense for someone who's always carrying some kind of messenger bag.

Personally, the phone has to fit in my pocket, but too often we forget that other people have different usage models.

By Mint on 6/25/2013 4:19:50 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. That's one of the reasons that the Note became such a hit, even for those with tiny Asian female hands.

There's a whole spectrum of sizes now, and it makes perfect sense given the many sizes of people and many ways they use their devices.

By retrospooty on 6/25/2013 6:14:45 PM , Rating: 4
"WHY? I want my phone to FIT in my pocket. "

Because... Some people want a bigger screen and dont CARE if it fits in their pocket. It's existence doesn't mean you have to buy it. Its too big for my taste too, but variety is a good thing.

By Basilisk on 6/25/2013 11:32:59 AM , Rating: 2
...who are even now developing copyright and design infringement suits for that watch. Who cares if the iTime hasn't even made it to market! :-)

I've friends who've stopped wearing their watches as their phones have supplanted the need -- like cellphones replacing landlines. Maybe this will sell to those Proud Grandparents who want to show you every pix of their grandchildren?

I can't see much use for a smart-watch except, ridiculously -- as hinted in another post -- it could make a nice memo-display for my smartphone. "Dental appt. in 30 minutes", "email from Sis", "Txt from idiot: blah, blah, blah". I get too many "Dings" from my phone; I'd love to have a watch helping me triage the recent chirp -- should I haul out the phone, or pull off the road, or (most likely) ignore it.

I wouldn't consider a phablet that size with those expansive borders around the display. Too large for a pocket and I'm not metrosexual enough for a man-purse. I'd love a phone with an edge-to-edge display with the face-cam' eliminating a few pixels of display (which could be viewed by scrolling text past the lens area). That would sell a 6" unit for me!

By Argon18 on 6/25/2013 5:11:21 PM , Rating: 2
There are several problems with phone as a wrist watch replacement.

1. Most wrist watches are durable (i.e. they can take a significant impact) while a smart phone cannot.
2. Most wrist watched are water resistant, while smart phones are not.
3. Wrist watches have a very long lasting power source while smart phones can only go a few days (at most) before needing to be recharged.
4. A wrist watch can be worn at all times, even during physical activities. A smart phone requires a pocket, handbag, or other storage container.
5. A wrist watch is unobtrusive and can tell you the time with a casual glance. A smart phone requires you to push a button, which illuminates a bright screen; not always an appropriate thing to do, like in a movie theater, in church, etc.
6. Wrist watches can be had very cheaply, while a trendy new smart phone could make you a target for theft on the subway or in the rough part of town.
7. Smart phones are easily forgotten on the back seat of a taxi, at a restaurant, etc. Its hard to lose a wrist watch since it is strapped to your wrist.

By Basilisk on 6/26/2013 1:22:20 AM , Rating: 2
You've made an argument for not buying a cellphone to replace a watch. However, you've made little argument that one shouldn't set aside one's watch if one must have a cellphone at hand -- as is the case for many (e.g. business people, many parents, Responsible Parties [e.g. on-call staff]).

I wear one or two watches (the latter during some sports); I always carry a cell except during water sports (where I do wear a watch). My friends who've stopped wearing watches have assimilated a change I'd find awkward, but it works for them so why fester about it?

By Schadenfroh on 6/25/2013 6:29:09 PM , Rating: 2
If you don't want to use a Man-Bag, then get you a belt-clip. It should be no larger than a TI-83 Plus, which too required a belt-clip.

"Triluminous" - ?
By retrospooty on 6/25/2013 10:19:23 AM , Rating: 2
Other than the irritating marketing term they made up "Triluminous", I wonder what type pf LCD this is...

Can you hear me?
By flyingpants1 on 6/26/2013 3:45:03 AM , Rating: 2
CAMERA LENS! (replace point & shoot)
SCREEN SIZE! (4.0-4.3", 4.7-5.0", 5.3-6.5")
SPEAKERS! (FRONT speakers, actually listenable quality. One > S4)
BEZEL! (smaller bezel + larger screen = smaller and more useful phone)

Waterproofing is cool too.

No 5" 1440p screens! PLEASE! No LTE version 2.4x Super Fast edition! Just stop! I can't download anything at 40 gigabits or see anything on the screen... when the phone is DEAD because it has no battery life! NO!

"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot
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