Sony Z Ultra Google Play Edition with stock Android 4.4 announced for $649

Two new devices yesterday joined the Google Play Edition line-up which only had HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 till now. Latest to receive unadulterated vanilla Android love are Sony Xperia Z Ultra and LG’s newly launched tablet G Pad 8.3. Both will run stock Android 4.4 KitKat becoming the first non-nexus devices to ship with the latest version of Android out of the box. Given the growing popularity of devices running vanilla Android, expanding the Google Play Edition line-up with latest products in the market sporting strong specs under the hood is only a logical way to move ahead.

Both the devices are identical to the regular variants in term of specifications which isn’t surprising. But what’s interesting is that Sony and Google have dropped the Xperia from the name to call the device ‘Sony Z Ultra Play Edition’. As of now, both the devices are only available in the USA and there’s no word on its availability in the rest of the world. The Sony Z Ultra has some of the latest and the arguably best hardware and is an alternative to the Galaxy Note III in the market. Under the hood, the Z Ultra comes with a 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, 6.4-inch Full HD display, LTE, NFC and dust-resistant and waterproof (IP55 & IP58) 6.5mm body making it one the best phablets currently available. By giving it a stock android 4.4 makes the package even more compelling. Google has priced it at $649. It makes us question, which is going to be the next smartphone to join the Play edition line-up? Samsung Galaxy Note III?