By Stephen Schenck | January 10, 2014 11:17 AM
When we reviewed Sony’s giant Xperia Z Ultra phablet last summer, we came away with a general fondness for the device, though one tempered by a few concerns. High at that list was that the 6.4-incher was just too darn large for most people to appreciate as a phablet, and really felt like it might be more suitable for the device to just admit that it was a tablet. Well, as it turns out Sony might be thinking quite the same thing, as we see evidence pointing to work on a WiFi-only version of the Z Ultra.
We have two separate finds to check out: an FCC certification listing from back from November, and a recently uncovered AnTuTu benchmark result. Combined, they paint the picture of a new version of the Z Ultra, switching from the MSM8974 Snapdragon 800 in the original phone (with integrated LTE support) for an MSM8074 – the same chip in the WiFi versions of the Kindle Fire HDX, an 800 without cellular connectivity.
It’s no certainty, but a WiFi-only Z Ultra stands to be significantly more affordable than the $680 unlocked LTE version. Sure, it would almost certainly still be much more expensive than devices like the Nexus 7, but Sony may be able to balance that with the premium aspect of this device: it would still be super-thin, at just 6.5mm thick, as well as offer waterproofing. Considering the WiFi Xperia Tablet Z sells for about $500, maybe a price in the $350-400 range wouldn’t be crazy to expect?