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Sony's Xperia T2 Ultra destined for Africa

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Sony Mobile has unveiled a large-screen 6" smartphone, the Xperia T2 Ultra, targeted at emerging markets, including Africa.

The Xperia T2 Ultra. (Supplied)

Sony Mobile Communications announced on Tuesday its first large-screen smartphone aimed specifically at emerging markets. The Xperia T2 Ultra, with 6" display and 13MP camera, is described by Sony as "the next evolution in large-screen smartphone design". The company says it was designed specifically to take into account needs of customers from emerging markets in China, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific Rim.

The timing of the announcement, coming just days after the end of the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where Sony had a massive presence, is the clearest evidence that the device is not aimed at the North American market.

No pricing has been announced, aside from assurances that it will be at a "mid-range" price point, suggesting a local cost of around R5 000 to R6 000. The pricing strategy, too, emphasises the emerging market approach.

"Xperia T2 Ultra will lead the category through its combination of advanced display and camera technologies, it will bring large-screen entertainment in an amazingly portable form factor and it will do it all while providing incredible value for money," said Calum MacDougall, director of Xperia marketing at Sony Mobile Communications. "Its large HD display will deliver big screen entertainment on the go whilst the efficiency of the design will allow it to remain the world’s most portable large screen smartphone."

Design features
Sony's latest Album, Walkman and Movies apps will be included. while the hardware combines a number of key design features to balance the need for a large screen with portability and battery endurance.

Xperia T2 Ultra’s 6" HD TRILUMINOS display extends to within 2.5mm of the phone's edges. This means that it has a screen to phone size ratio of 73.6%, both making the most of the space available and ensuring that the phone is no wider than a standard credit card. It is also both slim (7.6 mm) and light (weighing only 173 ± 1g depending on variant differences), fitting easily in a jacket pocket.

Big, bright screens can often use a lot of power, so Sony has incorporated a massive 3000 mAh battery, coupled with Sony's Battery STAMINA Mode that automatically turns off functions to save power when users don't need them.

Xperia T2 Ultra features a 13 megapixel camera, which brings together Sony’s digital imaging technology and new smart social camera ecosystem. The latter allows developers to create camera add-ons that extend functionality and re-define the role of the camera. Apps available at launch will include:

  • Portrait Retouch: Turns Xperia T2 Ultra into a virtual mirror to experiment with make-up effects before snapping a self-portrait
  • Collage: Drops images directly into creative photo collages by changing formats, layouts and backgrounds
  • Background defocus: Create images full of depth by separating foreground elements and burring the background
  • Timeshift burst: Takes 31 photos within two seconds, both before and after the shutter is pressed. The user can then scroll through them afterwards to select the best shot.
  • Sweep Panorama: Snap eamless panoramas . Take a snap then sweep the phone in a direction set to capture wide-angle panoramas.

Third party applications
These will feature alongside a growing number of third party applications available through the Sony Select app store and accessible directly from the camera app on Xperia T2 Ultra. Already the smart social camera includes apps for services like Evernote and Sphere with more launching in the coming months. 

The hardware is rounded out by the ability to connect with a wide range of NFC-enabled Sony devices, including speakers, SmartWatch, wireless headsets and TVs; an OLED display; sleek, minimal and splash-proof design; built-in standalone FM radio with RDS; and a smart flip case that also serves as a holding stand, with smart sensors to wake up the Xperia T2 Ultra as soon as the cover is opened.

Key specs for Xperia T2 Ultra:

  • 6" HD display (720p) with TRILUMINOS and Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2 for mobile
  • 13 MP camera with Exmor RS for mobile
  • 1.1 Mp front facing camera with Exmor R
  • Access to Sony’s "one-touch" ecosystem of 132 NFC connected accessories
  • Snapdragon Quad-core 1.4 GHz processor with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of on board storage (Micro SD slot expandable up to 32GB)
  • Large 3000 mAh embedded battery with Battery STAMINA Mode

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