With so many devices competing in a saturated market, mobile handset manufacturers like to go for low hanging fruit. Camera and display are favorites as is size. In 2010 the Dell Streak 5 was considered a monstrosity, but today they are even bigger. Phablet is quickly becoming part of the mobile space jargon you hear thrown about.
The Sony Experia Z Ultra is one such phone. Does it have any steak to go with it’s sizzle? At 179.4 x x 92.2 x 6.5 mm it is the largest mobile you can find. It’s also pretty heavy weighing in at 212g. First off, the weight is noticeable when it’s in your pocket. The size is noticeable when you want to do anything with the phone. Basically it’s too big to try a go at it with one hand, and it’s also too small to really function like a tablet.
It looks very good with glass panels on both the front and rear of the device. It’s a fingerprint magnet but that’s a minor issue. The design mimics what you have see from the Xperia Z line. The changes are on the edges where the mic and speaker can be found. On the right there is the volume, power, microSDXC/ micro-SIM ports and 3.5mm headphone jack. There is also the micro-USB port in addition to the port for the magnetic charging unit. The front-facing camera has 2 megapixels and it also has an LED light above the 6.44-inch display.
The large display itself has something called a Triluminous display which cares for lighting, exceptional viewing angles and fine outdoor performance. At 1,920 x 1,080 resolution you get a pixel density of 344 ppi. There are phones with better numbers, but you wont care one bit. The HD performance bodes very well for future Sony offerings.
On a phone like this you would expect a stylus, but there is none to be had. The capacitative touchscreen is coated with ‘Super Hard ASF’ that can support pen and pencil input. Though it doesn’t register pressure, any number 2 or pen will get the job done. However, when you want to use it the design gets in the way where you inadvertently press buttons while trying to write.
The phone features Android 2.2 Jelly Bean although an update to 4.3 is on it’s way. There is quite a bit of pre-loaded software, Sony branded, which is nothing new to those familiar with Sony handsets. The camera at 8 MP won’t have you writing home to mom, but it’s a decent camera for a phone. Above average for a tablet. The UI is the same as previous generation Xperia devices.
As far as software and performance are concerned this is technically speaking the most powerful phone out there. It has a 2.15 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800. Everything you will need to do with this phone will run smoothly, even multi-tasking. The battery at a robust 3.050mAh will get you through a nice full day of activity. Still, you’re looking at around 10 hours of runtime with this device. There is however the Quick Charge capability which allows the phone to charge very quickly compared to other phones out there.
Priced at $ 675 it’ll catch a few eyes because of it’s market isolation so to speak. It’s larger than the Galaxy Mega (which is not quite as expensive), and ultimately it’s hardware and features make it something. It doesn’t stand out from the rest of the offerings out there,