Just from looking at press photos and studying the specs-sheet of Sony Xperia Z Ultra LTE, it's hard not to expect the Japanese company's 2013 flagship phablet not be a beast of a device in the flesh.

Holding it now, I tell you, it definitely lives up to all of my lofty expectations; It's truly elegant and durable, beautiful and powerful all at the same time.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra LTE, Sony Xperia Z Ultra LTE Philippines

Measuring only 6.5 millimeters at its thickest point and weighing just 212 grams, Sony Xperia Z Ultra reflects Sony's legendary craftsmanship and attention to detail. The phablet flaunts clean lines and premium materials – the front and back are made of tempered glass, creating a seamless surface with the OptiContrast panel housed in an innovative solid metal frame which looks stunning from any angle. Furthermore, Z Ultra - available in White, Purple, and Black color finishes - comes with the same acclaimed and ultra-slick OmniBalance design as Sony Xperia Z and the Sony Tablet Z.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra LTE, Sony Xperia Z Ultra LTE Philippines

IP55 and IP58 Certified, this mega phablet isn't only resistant to dust, but is also completely waterproof – making it an ideal phablet for power users living an active lifestyle or pushing the limits of their gadgets to the extreme. You can use it to record Full HD underwater videos, taking your large-screen smartphone experience to a whole new level. Love taking photos under the rain? No problem!

The 8 MegaPixel camera features Exmor RS (backside illuminated sensor) for Mobile, HDR for both photos and videos, and Superior Auto mode, which automatically activates HDR and noise reduction when needed, so you're assured of getting crisp and vibrant images and videos even in low light conditions.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra LTE, Sony Xperia Z Ultra LTE Philippines
Too bad, though, unlike Sony Xperia Z and Z1, Sony Xperia Z Ultra LTE it doesn't have an LED flash. Why didn't you give it that essential feature, Sony?!

Last April, I disclosed that Sony will bring its TRILUMINOS BRAVIA display technology to upcoming high-end Xperia mobile devices. Well, Sony Xperia Z Ultra with its 6.4-inch Full HD screen is the very first smartphone to don Sony's very own TRILUMINOS Display for mobile, which delivers a far wider palette or gamut of rich natural colors for an enhanced visual experience (versus the plain TFT display of Sony Xperia Z). Also, users will enjoy X-Reality for mobile - Sony's intelligent super resolution display technology formerly available only on BRAVIA TVs - analyzing each image and reproduces blurry or missing pixels to optimize quality for the sharpest images and videos possible.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra LTE, Sony Xperia Z Ultra LTE Philippines
Sony Xperia Z Ultra sports a massive 6.4-inch Triluminos Display! 
Here's a side-by-side size comparison of the phablet vs. the 4-inch Apple iPhone 5.

Xperia Z Ultra looks arresting on the outside but its innards are just as stunning. The phablet effectively handles multitasking with 2GB of RAM and runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system skinned by Sony's gorgeous Timescape user interface with its Quad Core 2.2 GHz Krait 400 based Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset. Sony Xperia Z Ultra's powerhouse innards combine to give the handset Antutu Benchmark Test scores in the area of 32,400 to 33,600 - which were unrivaled prior to the release of Samsung Galaxy Note3.

Users likewsie get 16 GB of internal storage, which is expandable via microSD card slot and a 3050 mAh Li-Ion battery pack optimized by the company's new STAMINA Mode for mobile devices that significantly quadruples the standby time as it recognizes when the user is not using the display and automatically turns off the functionalities that are not needed, while keeping the important notifications and connectivity options on.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra LTE, Sony Xperia Z Ultra LTE Philippines
Sony Xperia Z Ultra LTE Unboxing Video, coming up!

Kimstore, my trusted online store, is currently offering the LTE-capable version of the Sony Xperia Z Ultra for just Php 28,880, which I think is already very low for a release of this caliber. For purchase information, kindly give Kim a ring at +63908-886-9799 or (02) 904-2966.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra LTE, Sony Xperia Z Ultra LTE Philippines

The Kimstore package includes the unit itself (the battery is non-removable), the in-ear headphones, two pairs of extra silicon buds, earphones wire clip, microUSB to USB connector cable, and the charger.

Although Sony Xperia Z Ultra could be considered the Japanese company's first legit answer to Samsung's very successful Note phablet line, the 6.4-inch device - oddly enough - doesn't ship with a stylus. Apparently, this is because - according to Sony - you can use any pen or pencil to write on Z Ultra's scratch-resistant capacitive glass touchscreen. While I think that's cool and all, it would have been really nice had Sony also included an S-Pen like tool tucked in its hole somewhere on the shell of the phablet. I mean, it's great that you can use a pencil to write on the display but I'd really hate wiping the lead off the glass after I'm done scribbling.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra LTE, Sony Xperia Z Ultra LTE Philippines

Oh, and if you're wondering: Yes, 6.4-inch Sony Xperia Z Ultra LTE fits perfectly in the pocket - or, at least, in my jeans' front pocket when I'm standing up. Frankly, though, it's a bit awkward and I often find myself taking it out when I sit down - especially if I'm wearing tight pants. I know the phablet is supposed to be quite durable but when I think about how thin it is, I just know I'd do well to take extra care of it.

TechPinas Smartphone Technical Specs Table (TSTST)
Name Sony Xperia Z Ultra LTE
Type Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen), Phablet
Price Category High End (Flagship Level)
Dimensions179.4 x 92.2 x 6.5 mm
Weight 212 grams
Available Colors Black, Purple, White
Operating System Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
Display 6.4 inches (~344 ppi pixel density), 1080 x 1920 pixels, Triluminos, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, scratch-resistant mineral glass
Processor Quad-core 2.2 GHz Krait 400 CPU Adreno 330 GPU Qualcomm MSM8974 or MSM8274 Snapdragon 800 chipset
RAM 2 GB RAM
Internal Storage 16 GB (11 GB user available), expandable via microSD card slot, supports up to 64 GB
Camera 8 MegaPixels, 3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus, no LED flash, BSI (Exmor RS); 2 MegaPixels front camera
Video Capture Full HD 1080p 30 frames per second for main camera
Audio and Video Playback DivX, Xvi, MP4, H.263, H.264, WMV, MP3, eAAC+, WMA, WAV, Flac player
Ports microUSB v2.0, TV-out (via MHL A/V link), 3.5 mm audio jack
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, NFC, Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP, EDR, 3G HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps, HSPA+; LTE Variant: Cat3, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL
GPS Yes, with GLONASS and A-GPS
Sensors Accelerometer, Digital Compass, Proximity, Gyroscope
Network 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, 3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100, 4G Network LTE LTE 800 / 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1800 / 1900 / 2100 / 2600
SIM Card Type microSIM
Battery Non-removable Li-Ion 3050 mAh battery
Uptime Standby time of up to 820 hours, Talk time of up to 16 hours, Music Play of up to 120 hours
Value-Added Features IP55 and IP58 certified to be dust and water resistant, massive 6.4 inch display, first handset from Sony to flaunt a Triluminos display, supports hand-writing on screen using pencil or supported pen and stylus, Battery Stamina mode, LTE connectivity support
Announcement Shanghai: June 25, 2013
Availability Out now at Kimstore
Price Kimstore: Php 28,880