When we think of smartphones today, it’s awfully hard to ignore phablets. Once considered absolute pariahs in the smartphone industry and criticized by many, the phablet industry today has grown into something big, so much so that it makes an entry in every top 5 or top 10 smartphones list almost consistently.
The introduction of the Sony Xperia Z Ultra last week only made things spicier for phablet fans. For a niche which is mostly dominated by Samsung, it was finally good to see a company like Sony show us what can be done with phablets. The Xperia Z Ultra, while reminding us heavily of earlier Sony smartphones, promises to be a notch ahead of the rest, and no we don’t mean strictly in terms of screen size.
Boasting of water and dust resistant credentials combined with state of the art internal hardware is indeed a killer combination. Up until now, the LG Optimus G Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Note II were considered to be the best in the business, but not anymore. Sony’s late surge is an indication that no company is willing to give up the fight to major corporations like Samsung and Apple. We can expect HTC to follow a similar strategy somewhere in the near future.
What’s more appealing about the Xperia Z Ultra is the timing of its launch. Sony made sure that all the attention was focused on the company during the announcement, and much to its liking, the device was an instant hit with the masses. Although far from hitting the markets, people were generally receptive to the idea of a super-sized phablet with great internals and cool accessories to accompany the device. The SBH52 Mini Handset, which Sony decides to sell along with the Xperia Z Ultra, is something which will go a long way in diminishing the size issue.
Where Sony fell behind the competition though was in not including a dedicated stylus like Samsung does with its Note devices. While it is mostly gimmicky and serves no real purpose in the long run, the inclusion of a stylus makes it that much more appealing as an entire package. However as a consolation, Sony has mentioned that the Xperia Z Ultra is compatible with styluses.
The Xperia Z Ultra features the new 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip inside, which is certainly among the best out there and a great addition to the smartphone’s repertoire. We’re not sure how long the Xperia Z Ultra will last on top with the Galaxy Note 3 set to launch this September. But until then I guess the Sony flagship will enjoy being the top dog.