The Sony Xperia Z Ultra is certainly a unique handset in the Sony Xperia range. Putting its 6.44-inch display to one side, it is the first model to adopt a unique touch input system allowing either pencil or stylus to act as an input mechanism. It is also the first to have a “Triluminos Display powered by X-Reality for mobile.” Having a cutting edge SoC such as the Snapdragon 800 doesn’t hurt either.
If you’re interested in hearing some of thought processes that Sony’s engineers and designers took when making the Xperia Z Ultra then it’s well worth checking out an extensive interview over on the official Sony Mobile Blog. We’ve included some key excerpts below from four key people including Toshiyuki Ichino (Product Planner), Naeo Kaneta (Designer), Saki Kaneda (Colour, Material & Finish designer) and Junichi Kosaka (X-Reality for Mobile developer). A very interesting read indeed, be sure to check out the full interview at the source link below.
Brains behind Xperia Z Ultra talk about its conception
On the 6.44-inch display
Ichino: We were searching for a size that would fit well in one’s pocket and feel right when held in one’s hand. However, it’s hard to create a design which is comfortable when you hold it in your hand, or fits well in a pocket or a bag. We adopted a display size of “6.44 inches” for Xperia Z Ultra because we believe that it is an easy-to-carry size.
On the waterproof and dust-resistant chassis
Ichino: To be honest, in the beginning, we were not quite sure if waterproof and dust resistant features would be appreciated in other markets like they are in Japan. On the other hand, we were confident that, once customers tried it, we could give them a sense of security by assuring them that waterproof features will protect their phone on rainy days or near water.
On the Xperia Z Ultra Z’s OmniBalance design
Kaneta: Xperia Z Ultra was designed to appear as a “slate.” In order to achieve this effect, we used aluminum on the sides of the phone and glass on the front (including the LCD) as well as the back. These aluminum side plates increased the phone’s sturdiness and allowed us to achieve a comfortable width and premium, slim design. We aimed for a design that focuses the user’s attention on the content being shown on the phone’s large screen.
Kaneda: I would also like to point out that every detail, including the texture of aluminum plates and aluminum power button, was designed to enhance the high-quality look and feel of Xperia Z Ultra. We used two separate finishes, a sandblasted finish and a hairline finish, to maximize the impact of the Xperia Z Ultra side panels. The soft, rounded feel of the sandblasted finish is contrasted with the sharpness and solidity of the hairline finish, adding a sense of contrast to the phone’s design. The two finishes also scatter light in different ways, providing the edges with an impressive sheen and enhancing the slim look of Xperia Z Ultra.
On the Xperia Z Ultra colours (black, white and purple)
Kaneda: The pure black colour of the glass is expressing the quietness of midnight. We designed the aluminum side panels with a tinted bluish black imagining the surface of the sea, lit up by moonlight.
This soft and gentle white represents the colour of snow in the sunshine. The shining silver aluminum frame adds a sense of tension as well as harmony.
Purple, is the color of twilight. The sky dresses up elegantly at this time. It is a magical hour. The colour of the side panel is bit shinier creating a contrast to enhance the colour’s elegance.
On “X-Reality for mobile”
Kosaka: X-Reality™ for mobile analyzes videos one frame at a time, estimating and complementing any lost information. The algorithms reproduces lacking pixels to optimize quality for the sharpest videos. It analyzes elements depending on the scene and adjusts them based on pattern, outline and colour composition. It also enhances colour composition, vividly reproducing hard-to-display natural colours. The adoption of the high-performance Snapdragon 800 has made it possible to perform super resolution processing that had been difficult to do thus far.
It is unrealistic to use the exact same video processing chip found LCD TVs in a smartphone for various reasons such as power consumption. The distance that users view smartphones at also differs significantly from LCD TVs.
On the Xperia Z Ultra’s touch input
Ichino: We achieved this by improving the capacitance touch input technology we used in Xperia Z and other mobile devices. That’s why a pencil or metallic pen can be used as long as it is conductive. We also have enhanced the character recognition functions that work perfectly with pen input. You can, for example, select a portion of a photo with pen input, enter an email address, add text, and send a message without letting go of the pen. If you miswrite a character, you can correct it by writing the correct character over the wrong character, or erase it by whisking over it with the pen tip.
On the Xperia Z Ultra legacy
Kaneda: I want to create designs that customers won’t get tired of no matter how long they look at them, in addition to using colours that make an impact.
Kosaka: I think that one of the joys of using Xperia and other Sony products is that they offer new experiences. In the video field, we have been aiming to offer natural and realistic looking videos for decades. I encourage you to watch a video on the Xperia Z Ultra. I’m sure you will be amazed at the realness of the videos shown on the screen. I’d like to offer the best video experience on a smartphone because it is something that you always have by your side.