Sony has added a unique feature to the screen - you can grab any pen or pencil and use it as a stylus. Capacitive styluses work as well, but those are harder to find, while a pen or pencil should be easy to get your hands on, wherever you are. The 6.5mm thin body would have never permitted the Sony Xperia Z Ultra to hold a stylus anyway.
Sony is starting to corner the market on water resistant devices - the Sony Xperia Z Ultra has an IP58 certification. That's one more than IP57 of the Sony Xperia Z and Samsung Galaxy S4 Active but it's very important - IP57 limits the maximum depth to 1m and the submersion time to 30 minutes, but IP58 means the Xperia Z Ultra can go deeper and stay for longer.
How deeper and how much longer wasn't specified, but underwater photography in the swimming pool is an option with the phablet. Sadly, the lack of a camera flash means low-light shooting isn't its element.
We got the chance to get the Black and White variants of the Sony Xperia Z Ultra together for a photoshoot.
The black remains plasticky on the sides whereas the white version looks aluminum-like.
Compared to a 5-incher in the face of the Samsung Galaxy S4 the Sony Xperia Z Ultra looks nothing short of humongous. Even if you have big hands this device will not allow you to use it in one hand, that's simply impossible at this size.
A good thing we noticed is that Sony managed to cut down on the number of flaps - the 3.5mm audio jack is now left exposed. That leaves only two flaps - one for the microUSB port and one for the microSIM and microSD card slots. The two are on the opposing sides of the phablet. The Sony Xperia Z Ultra comes with 16GB of built-in storage (11GB of which is available to the user).
Moving to the back, there's a camera with an Exmor-RS sensor that shoots 8MP stills and 1080p videos and you can enable HDR mode for both. There's no LED flash here though.
We played with the software shortly and we found it to be impressively snappy and more polished than on previous Xperias we've used so far. A lot of credit for that goes to the insanely powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset.
It packs four Krait 400 CPU cores clocked at 2.2GHz, which is doubly impressive considering Krait 400 beats Krait 300 at identical clock speed. The new Adreno 330 is also expected to be a beast, dwarfing even the ubiquitous 320 found in current flagships.
All in all, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra will be ready to tackle everything on the market when it comes out in Q3 (even if LG and Samsung manage to put out their Snapdragon 800 devices out by then).