Sony Xperia Z Ultra: Is bigger really better? [Quick Review]

The Sony Xperia Z Ultra is one of the latest handsets to be released from the Japanese manufacturer, but unlike its predecessors this device is a far more cumbersome offering that further blurs the lines between smartphones and tablets.

While the firm’s flagship, the Xperia Z, now stands as Sony’s best ever selling smartphone, the Ultra looks to build on this success even further, as the company seeks to replicate the popularity of rival handsets such as the iPhone 5. Although it’s unlikely to appeal to everyone’s taste the Ultra is far more about the performance it offers rather than its looks, so are its ample dimensions really necessary? Here we take a look to see if it’s got what it takes to prove that bigger really is better.

Key features

  • 6.44-inch full HD display (344ppi)
  • 2.2GHz quad-core processor
  • Android Jelly Bean OS
  • 8 megapixel camera
  • 2 megapixel front-facing camera
  • 1080p HD video recording
  • 16GB internal storage (expandable via microSD to 64GB)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 3,050mAh battery

Design

Despite housing a generous 6.44-inch display the Ultra remains exceptionally thin at just 6.5mm thick, and at only 212g doesn’t feel too weighty when in your palm, pocket or bag. However, its square corners and rectangular form factor makes it exceptionally difficult to use with just one hand.

Xperia-Z-Ultra-2

The handset has been wrapped in tempered glass and finished off with a solid metal frame – which not only makes it really attractive but this extra coating adds an additional layer of durability. One drawback we found to this is that chassis is magnetic to fingerprints, so you’ll find yourself constantly trying to wipe the device clean.

Just like the firm’s flagship, the Xperia Z, the Ultra is also water resistant. However, it is thought the Ultra can be submerged in water beyond one meter for more than 30 minutes (which are the limits of the Xperia Z), although Sony is yet to confirm the exact details. While its dimensions may only suit those with an acquired taste its hard-wearing nature is certainly an attractive element for a phone of this size.

Display

The display on the Ultra is truly stunning and with Triluminos technology at work colour saturation is immediately enhanced, whether you’re viewing pictures or watching a HD video.

Xperia-Z-Ultra-4

Sony has also included its latest X-Reality technology, which has been developed specifically for mobiles, filling in the missing pixels to increase the definition of everything on your screen, making images and what not appear even more detailed and refined around the edges.

Unlike the Xperia Z the Ultra’s display is highly sensitive, which means it responds when pens and pencils are prodded at it. We’re not sure how useful this will be, but, if you want to avoid those fingerprints then this could be the ideal solution.

Performance

Sony claims that the Ultra features the world’s fastest smartphone processor which comes in the form of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 chip, a quad-core offering clocked at 2.2GHz. Not only does it power the display along beautifully, but it also ensures that highly-intensive tasks like gaming, streaming videos and uploading photos are swift and snappy with no danger of encountering any lag or stutter.

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Verdict

Screen performance and processing power alone make this titanic offering even more charming when up against other mobile phones, and when combined these two elements make a great partnership for media hungry mobile users.

The Japanese phone maker has clearly made some big steps to bring users something unique to what is already a heavily packed Android market.

There is no doubt that the device bridges the gap between mobile and tablet devices but after one look beyond its size, Sony’s ability to produce big handsets with big advancements in mobile technology becomes very clear indeed.

This guest post was written by Sarah Hazelwood of Phones 4u, the number one destination for all the latest smartphones.

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