If consumers were asked “how big their smartphone screen should be?” a few years back, majority would’ve answered with a display size of 4 to 4.5-inches as the sweet spot. However, things have drastically changed in the last couple of years. Not only consumers have accepted the idea of a device with a large display, manufacturers have also started experimenting to push their large screen device to guage the market acceptance.
Sony is one of the companies that is trying their hand to entice customers with the Xperia Z Ultra. But is the entire package attractive enough? We take a look.
Sony has adopted a new design language for its Xperia devices post the launch of Xperia Z and since Xperia Z Ultra belongs to the same family, it’s understandable that Sony has gone with a similar design. The OmniBalance design and the svelte looks does make the Xperia Z Ultra look attractive. Adding to the design is the IP58 certification that makes it resistant water as well as dust. However, there are few things that possibly works against the device. The all glass design looks good in the hand but it also becomes a fingerprint magnet. And though the glass is said to withstand accidental falls, you wouldn’t really want to test its endurance.
Another major factor is the size. There’s no doubt that Xperia Z Ultra is not your regular run-of-the-mill phone and it inclines more towards a tablet form factor.
In addition to the size, the biggest statement Sony tried to make with the device was packing in the best hardware available in the mobile industry. The Xperia Z Ultra is the first device from the Sony’s stable to be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 processor. The quad-core chip is top-of-the-line from Qualcomm and even powers Sony’s current flagship – Xperia Z1. There’s really nothing to complain on the performance front on the Xperia Z Ultra. Snapragon 800 + 2GB RAM is more than enough to handle the most intensive tasks on an Android device with ease.
Another meaty hardware inclusion is the 6.4-inch Full HD Triluminos display. Triluminos technology is developed by Sony and the Japanese company promises to improve the overall picture quality with better colour production and contrast. The pixel density isn’t up to the mark when you compare a 5-inch display with the same resolution but it isn’t really a big issue since the Triluminos and X-Reality work well in conjunction.
The Xperia Z Ultra runs Android 4.2.2 and has been confirmed by Sony to get the Android 4.3 next month and Android 4.4. KitKat thereafter. Just like almost every other manufacturer, Sony also overlays their customised user interface on the Xperia range and the good thing about Sony’s UX is that it’s minimalistic.
Xperia Z Ultra features an 8MP camera and notably, there’s no LED flash. We don’t know the exact reason for Sony’s omission but the camera is equipped with an Exmor RS for mobile sensor that claims better low light images. Users can shoot images in Superior Auto mode that restricts the megapixel count to seven while regular modes will get you full eight megapixel resolution. As the name suggests, Superior Auto mode automatically adjusts the settings so all a user needs to do is tap the shutter button. However, we found clicking in Superior Auto mode adds a lot of details to the image that borders towards ‘heavily processed.’ Here’s a comparison shot with one taken in Auto mode and another in Superior Auto. The latter adds a lot of blue colour in the picture while the former maintains the original blue colour.
|Xperia Z Ultra Sample Shot|
The Xperia Z Ultra is equipped with a non-removable 3,050mAh battery. Needless to say, the device can last through a day of web surfing, moderate amount of calls as well as gaming. Battery Stamina Mode is a handy feature that gives control of what features and apps you want to run in the background and what to disable, thus helping to extend the battery life further.
Xperia Z Ultra is really a hit and a miss device. Hit due to the integration of powerful hardware making it a top-of-the-line device and miss due to its size, for obvious reasons. The phone is really big and could prove unwieldly for many, thus restricting the device to a niche set of users who’s specific requirement is to not carry two devices – a smartphone and a tablet.
The Xperia Z Ultra retails for Rs. 45,000.
Pros: Performance, IP58 certified
Cons: Size, no LED flash
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