Brains behind Xperia Z Ultra talk about its conception

by XB on 23rd July 2013

in Videos, Xperia Z Ultra

XZU InterviewThe 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.

Via Sony Mobile Blog.

  • Rishi Rathod

    Show’em how it’s done Sony!

  • Ericsson

    Where are swedish engineers?

  • Folk Hellfang

    They won’t make us wait 6 months here in the states will they?

  • None can beat Sony when it comes to design.HTC is close sometimes but not better than Sony.Kudos with the great job even tho 6.44″ is not for me =) waiting for a 5″ version of XZU :D

  • Guest

    6.44 inch display does not fit into a pocket!
    It’s interesting to see these answers though :)

  • W

    All the glory has gone to Japan.

  • Sand

    On the LED Flash.. Oh wait.. :(

  • Felix

    “We were searching for a size that would fit well in one’s pocket and feel right when held in one’s hand.”

    Is the man an elephant?

  • Lava Man

    It would be good if Xperia Z Ultra will Built-In CamScanner feature.

  • L


  • Angel Morales


  • Phat-t

    Hope the ZU is a success so they’ll make a mini ZU :D

  • Alvin

    Go for honami…

  • Sonylovers

    “We adopted…easy-to-carry size.”Talk about oversized xperia z ! Like seriously, 6.44 inch in my pocket? Heck, even the original xperia z is already too big in my pocket.

  • Carljn

    This was mostly about hardware design, which has been moved to Japan.
    Many software engineers are still in Lund and do great work!

  • Sami Mrabet

    Sweden just do the software

  • Ray

    The mean maximum size of phone that able to achieve that.

  • Ray

    I like how they explain the color.

  • DRPGR8

    Xperia Z Ultra now on sale in India…INR 44990…check

  • Nokianss

    News On July 24, 2013 : goo .gl/OSocqz


  • Arokhantos

    My nexus 7 fits into my pocket surely they could have made it 7 inch.

    xperia z ultra would have been my next smartphone if it had least a IR blaster :(

  • puskar bhandari

    sexy and i know it :D

  • danielx

    They mean in phablet point of . Xperia z to big for you?? Well i guess ur height less then 165cm .

  • ProWeirdo

    Is it why it’s not smooth and not so well optimised?

  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra Hit The Online Store Price @44,990 INR With Black Color Availability.

  • Mac

    Yeah ZU mini 4,6″ with camera flash and IR blaster

  • Felix

    Part is Japan, part is in Sweden, that was presumably why the Xperia S JB update took so long, they struggled if it should be developed in Sweden or in Japan.

  • Sonylovers

    Believe it or not danielx, it is indeed too big for my pocket. Which is why I opted for xperia V n not waiting for xperia Z. Plus, I love the arc design from those swedish engineers.

  • naru

    Qualcomm stated that the xperia zu will be the first sd800 powered phone to hit the states! go to if u want to see for yourself.

  • ProWeirdo

    I know, but didn’t Sony seperated from Ericsson? That was their best decission.

  • Loken

    thats zr?? isnt it apart from ir

  • Sami Mrabet

    Yes they separated but Sweden has the best software engineers in the world so they decided to keep them… and what do you mean with not so smooth and not well optimized

  • Herman

    My Nexus 7 fits perfectly in my hands and in my pocket.
    And I’m smaller than average in my country.

  • Mac

    Not for me since I want the other stuf 2 be high-end as well. ZR lacks a good front facing camera and the internal memory is just stupid! So when I say ZU mini I want s800, triluminos and all the other things plus IR and LED flash. But just 2 save some money it would be okay with 720p screen as it will be more battery friendly and why have 1080p or even a 4k screen on a such small dimension as on a smart phone?

  • Knightpt

    I agree with people saying that in therms of design nothing beats SONY in the 2013 line of smartphones. Unfortunately the sony engineers make a lot of mistakes that undermines the brilliance of their design team. Things like the anti-shatter plastic on top of the otherwise brilliant xperia Z for example is just absurd how can they put plastic that is not even scratch resistant on top of a beautifull glass…. Or how can they put the stupid 0,3” long black software keys on a beautifull large 5” display witout even considering making them transparent on full screen apps, only showing up if you perform a simple swipe gesture…

    Anyways, i think the sony designers are the best in the world, but the engineers and the people that make decisions on simple things still have a long long way to go.

  • maria

    they just mentioning pocket, not pants…. :)

  • afzal

    pocket does not only mades for pants, jacket do have pockets you know. its already proven on sony xp zu commercial where a man can simply placing xp zu inside their jacket and a ladies handling xp zu with one hand ( simple task like answering a call and some typing using left or right swipe keyboard. )

    plus this is a phablet , how hard for you to get it? PHABLET.

  • ProWeirdo

    Galaxy Nexus or Nexus 4’s launcher is as smooth as Nova Launcher, while my Xperia’s launcher isn’t responding on my finger as good as Nova. JB on my Xperia S sucks. I expected more.

  • Sami Mrabet

    well… Xperia S sucks

  • ProWeirdo

    People cannot just say it sucks. The programists suck a lot more. Xperia S’s specs are decently good enough to handle Jelly Bean! Few months ago it was a flagship. The fact that Sony doesn’t care about that model now and brought new ones, doesn’t mean it’s just bad. Programists don’t give a shit about it working great.

    Nexus got similar specs to Xperia S, and it handles it much better.

  • josesl16

    Sony fuc*ed up Xperia S so badly that they didn’t want to fix it :p

  • ProWeirdo

    I know. They didn’t replace my Xperia S in my country when I asked them about the yellow tints on the screen. They “didn’t hear about it”. Still, Xperia S has decent processor and RAM to handle better optimised system. They just don’t give a shit about it. Or they don’t want to…

  • niupai

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