updated 03:10 pm EST, Tue December 10, 2013
New Google Play editions of LG tablet, Sony phablet
Google on Tuesday revealed two new additions to its Google Play Editions line of devices, the Z Ultra from Sony and the G Pad 8.3 from LG. The two new devices sport the same hardware as their normal counterparts, but they run an unskinned, "pure" version of Android and will receive updates to Google's operating system faster than the standard manufacturer versions. Google also showed off a white version of its new Nexus 7 tablet.
Sony's Xperia Z Ultra launched earlier this year with a 6.4-inch display that puts it nearly into the small tablet segment. It has the largest display of just about any smartphone on the market, but with thin bezels to help the device fit into a user's pockets. The screen outputs at 1080p resolution at 344 pixels per inch. Inside, it packs a 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM.
The Z Ultra also supports stylus input, and Sony designed the device so that it can detect and respond to manual input from even a pen or pencil. In its original form, the Z Ultra had Sony-built handwriting recognition included, though it is unclear whether this functionality survives into the Google Play Edition.
LG's G Pad 8.3 has an 8.3-inch, 1920 x 1200 WUXGA display with a pixel density of 273 pixels per inch. Inside, it packs a quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor clocked at 1.7GHz and paired with 2GB of RAM. It has 16GB of internal storage, expandable up to an additional 64GB with a microSD card. It also has a 4,600mAh Lithium polymer battery inside, as well as a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera.
The white Nexus 7 is available only in a 32GB configuration with Wi-Fi connectivity only. It has the same technical specifications as the black models, including a 7.02-inch, 1920 x 1200 display with a pixel density of 323. It has a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera. Inside, it has a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 3,950 mAh battery with Qi wireless charging, and 2GB of RAm.
All three devices are now available for purchase from the Google Play Store. The Z Ultra sells for $649, and comes unlocked and contract free. The G Pad 8.3 sells for $350, while the white Nexus 7 sells for $269.