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Samsung might not have things all its own way in the phablet market for much longer, a poll suggests, as the Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra becomes the latest device from the reborn phone-maker to turn tech-fans’ heads.

With combined lifetime sales of 30 million, the S-PEN stylus-toting Note range pretty much invented the market for smartphone-tablet hybrids. And until now, it’s a segment that Samsung has largely had to itself.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra black (official)

However, that might be about to change with the arrival of the Xperia Z Ultra. In a poll of 1,436 uSwitch Tech readers, 60 per cent said they considered the Z Ultra, which also packs stylus support, to be a viable challenger to the Note range.

Signs that the Z Ultra will get a warm reception when it drops in September come after Sony recently posted its first annual profit for five years, as the venerable tech and entertainment giant begins to climb out of the torpor it found itself in when bound to former-partner Ericsson.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 White

The phone-maker’s change of fortunes was spurred by strong sales for the Xperia Z, which was also Sony’s best reviewed smartphone in recent memory.

Unlike the Note range, Sony’s effort allows buyers to use any kind of pen or pencil as a stylus. With its 6.4-inch Full HD display, the Xperia Z Ultra is also substantially larger than other devices marketed as phablets, packs an eight-megapixel camera and is waterproof.

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