Sony Xperia Z Ultra review

Sony Xperia Z Ultra review

By | Sep 12, 2013

No, that’s not a typo, we did mean to write Dell. When we first saw the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, we couldn’t help but think back to the Dell Streak, a 5-inch device announced back in 2010 as a “tablet that can make calls.” While calling 5-inch devices ‘tablets’ seems ridiculous now,

Design/ Build

At first glance, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra looks like a slab of premium chocolate – it sports the same rectangular design, and is about the same thickness, and the Black colour variant looks especially biteable. Pick up the phone and try getting your fingers around the width of its display and you realise that the phone just about fits in your hand,

The left edge of the Xperia Z Ultra has the dock connector in the middle and the Micro-USB port towards the top. Since the Xperia Z Ultra is a waterproof phone (a claim we were not tempted to test), the Micro-USB port and the microSD and Micro-SIM slots (present on the right edge) are protected by flaps.

Display

The Sony Xperia Z Ultra comes with a 6.44-inch full-HD display with a resolution of 1080×1920 pixels. While the pixel density takes a hit due to the humongous screen size, at around 340ppi, most won’t notice the difference in the quality of text and images, though the display is definitely not as sharp as the one seen in, say, the HTC One.

Camera

The camera on the Sony Xperia Z Ultra is a bit of a mixed bag. The images look good on the phone’s display or when you are viewing images at the default zoom level. However, zoom in to 100 percent and you’ll notice that the objects lack detail that even our two-year old iPhone 4S was able to capture. This problem gets accentuated when clicking pictures in macro mode.

Software/ User interface
he Ultra is quite heavy on skinning, customising stock apps and adding a number of pre-installed apps. Like other devices in the Xperia series, you have WALKMAN (for Music), Album, and Movies for media consumption, all with additional functionality and UI touches from Sony. Other pre-installed apps on the Xperia Z Ultra include Socialife (A Flipboard-like app from Sony), TrackID (Sony’s answer to Shazam), Wisepilot for XPERIA (GPS-based navigation app), File Commander (a file explorer), Voice Dialer, Word Search, Converter, X4 Video Player (lets you play four videos simultaneously), McAfee Security, Foneclay (live wallpapers), PicsArt (photo editor), Smart Connect (perform actions when certain accessories are connected), X-Alert for XPERIA (Sony’s anti-theft solution), Notes, and Drag&Share. The list of bundled apps doesn’t end there, with popular apps like Facebook, Chrome, YouTube, WhatsApp, Box, and LinkedIn thrown-in for good measure.

Performance/ Battery life

Sony Xperia Z Ultra is powered by a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor alongside 2GB of RAM. It’s safe to say it is the fastest device we’ve come across, handling everything that we threw at it with great aplomb. From multi-tasking and switching between apps, to casual as well as heavy duty games, everything was butter smooth.

Verdict The Sony Xperia Z Ultra is a difficult phone to summarise. It gets a lot of things right – it’s a scorcher in terms of performance and the big, full-HD display makes for a great viewing experience. However, it’s too bulky for most people, and the large display means the battery life takes a hit. The camera performance could’ve been better too.

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