Sony’s big is here and it is insanely big but not just big it packs high-end specs in a super slim profile. Welcome Sony Xperia Z Ultra, a 6.4 inch smartphone just a few millimeter shy of a proper mini tablet.
Two days back the device was launched in India for Rs. 46,990 and I got my hands on the super-big smartphone at the Bangalore launch event. In this Sony Xperia Z Ultra hands-on review I sum up my first impressions.
Sony wades into the super-big display territory with Xperia Z Ultra. We have earlier seen the likes of Galaxy Mega 6.3 and Huawei Ascend Mate sporting a 6.3 inch and 6.10 inch display respectively. Sony outwits both of them by touting Xperia Z Ultra as ‘the world’s slimmest and largest Full HD smartphone display’, though in this break-neck competitive mobile world, these sort of claims are sure to be drowned by a new model pretty soon. Still as of now, Sony Xperia Z Ultra beats the competition hands down with its impressive and mighty specs.
The front of the device is dominated by the imposing 6.4 inch display with a screen resolution of 1080×1920 pixels stacking up 344 ppi pixel density. The display integrates Sony’s Triluminos display powered by Sony’s latest X-Reality engine. This is a big leap from the previous technology Sony used in it’s flagship device, Sony Xperia Z. The Japanese maker introduced the new technology very recently at CES with its Bravia televisions and now it finds way into its smartphone.
It would be understatement to say the display is impressive. For this category, it is the brightest and vivid display I have come across and delivers rich, natural colours. The new display technology makes amends to the viewing angle proble that the Xperia Z faces. Almost to the point of flawless, the big screen is a delight and visual treat to watch movies and play games in this big screen.
Like Xperia Z, Sony Xperia Z Ultra is also made of tempered glass on front and back and a metal frame piecing them together on sides. The big device is the sleekest of all the super-big phones measuring just 6.5 mm in thickness. At 212 grams, the weight looks well distributed for its size.
The big back features a 8 mega pixel camera but lacks a flash. It is capable of a full HD recording. Barring the subtle Sony and Xperia logo, the rear is clean.
The rear is not removable and the device packs a 3050 mAh non-removable battery. We reserve our comments on battery performance and camera till we get a proper review device to fiddle with. It does have a stamina mode for optimum usage of battery power.
Like Xperia Z, Sony Xperia Z Ultra is also dust and water resistant with IP55 and IP58 certification, the ports and slots are protected with plastic flaps.
The front features a 2 megapixel camera along sensors above the display. There are no physical buttons on the front but only soft on-screen controls for navigation.
On the right side is the now familiar rounded metal button for the Power/screen lock functions that Sony uses in all the Xperia devices now. Just below this button, you find the volume rocker key.
Also found on the right side of the phone above the metal button is a microSD card and micro-SIM card closed and sealed by a flap. Above the flap is the 3.5 mm headphone jack.
The left side of the device holds the micro-USB port protected by a flap again. On the left side center you find the contacts for docking the device to the dock accessory. Though, you need to shell out separately to buy one. The device features dual speaker and the outlets can be found on the top and bottom edges.
The hardware internals are top notch too featuring a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB of RAM. Sony Xperia Z Ultra must be the first device with this blazing chipset, correct me if am wrong. With the brief period we handled the device, it gave a snappy performance. The phone bundles free Asphalt 7 game and the gaming experience is brilliant on the big screen and with powerhouse hardware. I doubt i would ever enjoy playing the game this much in devices with smaller screen.
The device runs on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. Another interesting feature I liked is the device’s ability to support any stylus input including pencils or metal pen with tip diameter over 1mm. I sketched using a normal pencil and it works like a charm. It also features a neat handwriting recognition. Though Indian languages are yet to find way. It also allows to make notes during calls.
The keyboard can be toggled for one-hand usage and multi-tasking enhances the productivity.
Sony Xperia Z Ultra accessories
The following are the official accessories from Sony to enhance the Z Ultra experience. Though good in usage, we find the accessories pretty pricey.
The magnetic charging dock gives a comfortable viewing angle for a leisurely movie experience. The phone can also be simultaneously charged while docked.
The magnetic charging dock DK30 has to be bought separately and is priced at Rs. 2,990.
Another available accessory is the Smart Bluetooth handset for hands-free calls. For a phone of this size, it is a necessary as mostly likely the phone w0uld be carried in a bag.The OLED display lets you browse you call log, view text messages and caller identification. With the ear plugs, it can also be used for stereo audio listening. Owning it will set you back by Rs. 7,490.
The other available accessory is cover with battery. It helps to extend the battery range of the device when it is snugged inside. Again, priced at Rs. 11,990 it is a costly pick too.
On a final note, Xperia Z Ultra impresses us with its brilliant display and blazing hardware specs. Obviously smartphones of this size are not for everyone. Many might find the super-size ackward to use as a phone. As a multimedia device for watching movies and playing games it is way ahead of it’s rivals in the super-big club right now.
Ultimately if you are comfortable with this super-size or you want a secondary device which can be both a smartphone as well as substitute a mini tablet and don’t mind burning your pocket for better movie and gaming experience and high-end specs, Sony Xperia Z Ultra looks to be a device to choose.
Ofcourse, do look forward to our in-depth review of the Xperia Z Ultra but the first impression is a great impression purely based on the display and hardware internals.