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Sony Xperia Z Ultra and SmartWatch 2 launch: as it happened

It seems like a lifetime ago that Sony unveiled its waterproof Xperia Z handset at CES 2013, such is the speed at which the technology world changes. Now, we have another blockbuster launch from the Japanese consumer electronics giant to look forward to, and this time in our very own backyard. We bunkered down at the swanky Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge to witness "the next breakthrough in the Sony design story." Recent speculation pointed to the release of a phablet dubbed the Sony Xperia Z Ultra and that proved to be the case. Our live coverage of today's big Sony's launch event has now concluded but you can catch up on all the action as it happened below, and stay tuned - we'll be breaking cover with our Xperia Z Ultra hands-on shortly.

  • 25 June
  • 11:28

    That's all from the Bulgari folks, things have wrapped up here but stay tuned as we'll be letting loose our Xperia Z Ultra hands-on in the near future. And once again, say hello to the three newest members of the Sony family: the 6.4in Full HD Xperia Z Ultra phablet, the SmartWatch 2, and the SPH52 Bluetooth handset.

  • 11:27

  • 10:45

    And this is a prototype of the Sony SmartWatch 2, the firm's fourth-generation smart watch offering - it's been at the wearable tech game since 2007, it pointed out today. It will come with NFC for one-touch pairing and act as a second screen for your Android smartphone

  • 10:42

  • 10:26

    There she is again - the 6.5mm slim Sony Xperia Z Ultra. You may notice there's a microSD slot - a feature that will no doubt please a great many handset enthusiast. As standard, the Xperia Z Ultra will offer 16GB of on-board storage.

  • 10:23

  • 10:21

    A quick chat with our friends from Sony and we can reveal that the Xperia Z Ultra will start shipping in September of this year. The accessories and the SmartWatch 2, we understand, will be delivered slightly thereafter

  • 10:20

    Below is another new accessory, the SPH52 - it's a multi-function, smart Bluetooth handset specially design to clip neatly on to the back of the Xperia Z Ultra

  • 10:17

  • 10:15

    Initial impressions? It's huge - really seriously huge

  • 10:14

    Here it is folks - our first hands-on shot with the new 6.4in Sony Xperia Z Ultra

  • 10:14

  • 09:59

    There's a lot for us to play with today - we're off to the demo room for some hands-on time with the new devices and will be back shortly with more on Sony's new devices

  • 09:57

    Chief among these is a new magnetic charging port

  • 09:56

  • 09:55

    There's also some new accessories being unveiled today

  • 09:53

  • 09:50

    Tom's risking stealing the Xperia Z Ultra's thunder - he's only gone and bust out a new-generation Sony SmartWatch!

  • 09:49

  • 09:45

    Pierre has handed over to Tom Walder, Sony senior design manager, who is going to walk us through the Xperia Z Ultra's OmniBalance design language

  • 09:42

    Elsewhere, there's an 8-megapixel Exmor RS sensor and the Xperia Z Ultra will weigh 212g - is that a tad on the bulky side? The 5.5in Galaxy Note 2 weighs about 180g by way of comparison - the extra inch of screen real estate comes at a slight price, it seems.

  • 09:40

  • 09:38

    Under the hood, the Xperia Z Ultra will pack a powerful Snapdragon 800 chipset clocked at up to 2.2GHz - impressive, though larger devices do tend to be more power-hungry

  • 09:36

    Like the Xperia Z, the Xperia Z Ultra will be a waterproof device

  • 09:34

    Pierre is outing the key specs now, starting with the 6.4in Full HD display

  • 09:33

    Pierre is talking about "bringing the best of hardware and the best of content into one place" with the Xperia Z Ultra

  • 09:31

  • 09:30

    Sony is claiming the Xperia Z Ultra as the world's slimmest smartphone with the world's largest Full HD display - well, that's a fairly strong selling point

  • 09:29

  • 09:27

    The cloak has been pulled - the next part of the Sony Xperia story is the Sony Xperia Ultra

  • 09:23

    According to Pierre, the recent ascension of Kaz Hirai to the throne has witnessed the implementation of a hugely successful "one Sony" philosophy

  • 09:21

    Pierre Perron, president of Sony mobile for Northwest Europe is kicking things off

  • 09:20

  • 09:17

    Yup, we're getting underway here in Knightsbridge. Big things coming in the next hour, we're assured

  • 09:13

    Right, the time for bacon sarnies and idle chit-chat is over - we're making out way into the cinema for the main presentation, which will feature Pierre Peron, Sony president for Northwest Europe, as well as senior design manager Thomas Walder

  • 08:59

    Then again, a phablet is hardly out the question and part of me thinks that we'll get more than one new device out of Sony today. As you can see, the generic Xperia billboard depicts a handset and a tablet - could that be an indication of what's in the bad this morning?

  • 08:58

  • 08:55

    With the countdown now well and truly on, what do you think Sony has up its sleeve today? A lot of speculation has pointed to a phablet device, potentially dubbed the Xperia Z Ultra, but I'm not so sure. I think we might see a new Google edition of the Sony Xperia Z featuring stock Android 4.2.2, continuing the current fetish for vanilla devices.

  • 08:48

    We're now safely stowed away outside the cinema room in the Bulgari, which is every bit as chichi as its five star rating and SW7 address suggests

  • 08:45

  • 07:21

    Good morning pilgrims! We're just making our way over to Knightsbridge now, with today's event set to get underway at 09:00 BST - stay tuned to see what Sony pulls out of the hat this morning.