Xperia Z Ultra

Sony’s Product Design Director Jun Katsunuma explained in an interview the design principles behind the latest smartphone announced by the company, the supersized Xperia Z Ultra.

From the looks of it, it seems that Sony is interested in applying some of the same design principles to multiple devices, while keeping in place differentiating elements for each of them:

[quote qtext=”At Sony, we need to bring some of that message with consistency. The Xperia Z, the Xperia Tablet Z and the Xperia Z Ultra are very strong in consistency, but of course, they have different propositions. So that’s how we decide to use some different materials, different pigmentation and sometimes construction. Based on this product and based on our one design language, we really do some differentiation but with high consistency.” qperson=”Jun Katsunuma” qsource=”Engadget” qposition=”center”]

Obviously, the Xperia Z Ultra is immediately compared to the Xperia Z smartphone and the Xperia Tablet Z tablet, Sony’s others 2013 flagship devices. But Jun told Engadget that the Xperia Z Ultra is not just a bigger version of the Xperia Z handset, as it features some unique elements.

When talking about the size (particularly width and thinness), “Jun said it was simply a matter of finding the largest panel that he could fit into the width plus a similar thickness of a passport,” which is something that travelers carry around, right next to a pen, which can be used as a stylus.

When looking at U.S. passport we found out that it measures 5 x 3.5 inches (or 127 x 88.9 mm) – that’s height and width when passport is closed. Comparatively, the Xperia Z Ultra measures 7.06 x 3.63 inches (or 179.4 x 92.2 mm), so it’s actually similar in width with a passport, although overall it’s a lot bigger than one. The thickness of the Xperia Z Ultra (0.26 inches or 6.5mm) is probably comparable to a passport’s thickness.

Xperia Z Ultra

Jun explained that the Xperia Z Ultra uses aluminum in the side plates instead of the plastic or PMMA (transparent thermoplastic) used on other devices, which makes possible the “super thinness” of the device.

When it comes to color options, the Xperia Z Ultra will be available in black, white and purple, just like the Xperia Z, but the purple version will not get the same “glittery purple paint” as the Xperia Z – in case any of that matters to smartphone buyers.

More importantly, the Xperia Z Ultra does not come with Gorilla Glass, but the “glass on the new phone is just as strong,” according to Jun and his team.

That said, the Xperia Z Ultra is definitely a very interesting device when it comes to design and sports some interesting features, so the competition better make sure it’s ready for some tough competition in the supersized smartphone department.

Are you buying the Xperia Z Ultra this year?