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Sony to blur phablet and tablet boundaries with Xperia Z Ultra WiFi-only version

By Simon Thomas on 21st January 2014

Sony Xperia Z Ultra

Sony to turn Xperia Z Ultra phablet into a mini-tablet?


The size difference between the largest phablets and the smallest tablets has been getting smaller and smaller over the last year. Sony's Xperia Z Ultra phablet has a whopping 6.4 inch display making it just 0.6 inches smaller than 7-inch tablets.


Now Sony look set to turn everything upside down by launching a WiFi version of the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, which effectively turns their phablet into a tablet. The folks over at Xperia Blog have spotted listings on Sony's website for a new model of the Xperia Z Ultra (SGP412), which is believed to be the widely tipped WiFi-only variant.


Sony currently only produce the 10.1 inch Xperia Tablet Z, so this is a quickfire way to get a compact tablet onto the market and could prove to be an astute move. But we're very interested to see how the tablet is marketed and whether it proves a success with consumers.


Many have criticised the Xperia Z Ultra for being too large to act as a phone and we can't deny that it looks a little silly when held to your ear, although users have the option of purchasing Sony's Smart Bluetooth Handset to eradicate the problem. But is turning the Xperia Z Ultra into a tablet really a good idea?


Firstly, we have to question how much the WiFi-version will cost given that '4G ready' Xperia Z Ultra currently costs around £450. Google's Nexus 7 can be picked for £199, so Sony will have to shave a significant amount of the Xperia Z Ultra's price to compete in the crowded tablet market.


Secondly, we have doubts about the battery life of the Xperia Z Ultra. Modern tablets pack in larger batteries enabling users to stream videos, watch multimedia files and browse the web for longer without needing to recharge. Unless Sony pack in a larger battery in the WiFi model you'll need to be charging the Xperia Z Ultra pretty frequently.


What do you think of the idea of launching the Xperia Z Ultra as a mini-tablet? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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