Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Sony Xperia Z Ultra

The Sony Xperia Z Ultra is a big ol' phone. It’s huge in fact. After the 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the 6.3-inch Samsung Galaxy Mega, Sony is pushing the limits of what is acceptable to carry in your pocket with this giant 6.4-inch Android smartphone.

Almost every smartphone seems to be small when you compare it to the Xperia Z Ultra. The smartphone/tablet hybrid is huge with 179 x 92 x 6.5 mm, but also very thin. The Galaxy Note 3 is considerably thicker with 8.3 mm, but also more than 40 grams lighter. The use of glass at the back should be the main reason for that additional weight since the case of the Galaxy Note 3 is once again completely made of plastic.

The physical button for stand-by and the volume rocker can easily be reached with one hand because they are on the lower half of the device - no risk for contortions. The build quality is on a very high level and the materials can convince us - even though the glass at the back attracts fingerprints. The torsion resistance cannot quite keep up with the HTC One because of the thin profile and results in a slight point reduction.

Similar to many other Xperia devices, the Z Ultra is also certified according to the IP55 & IP58 standards. This means you can submerge the phone for 30 minutes to a depth of 1.5 meters. Even though the Ultra Z is supposed to be equipped with a back of robust glass and a protective film, we already had a few scratches after a little while.

The Xperia Z Ultra packs a powerful quad-core 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974 System-on-Chip which is paired with Adreno 330 graphics chip clocked at 450 Mhz. To make the best of this SoC, Sony has fitted 2 GB RAM in the phablet. We ran variety of popular benchmark apps just to satiate our itch for testing the new SoC breed. We weren't surprised for the Snapdragon 800 easily topped in several benchmarks such as 3DMark scoring 15899 in the Ice Storm game benchmark. Interesting bit is that the Samsung Galaxy S 4 LTE-A model with the same processor gets slightly more score than the Xperia Z Ultra. The secret lies in the optimization performed by both companies separately.

The Xperia Z Ultra packs an 8 megapixel camera at the rear with Exmor RS imaging sensor for fast capture. When you look at the back, Sony inadvertently repeated the same mistake that Apple did with the first iPhone and Samsung followed it with Galaxy S - no LED Flash. Now there goes an opportunity to offer great images with little bit of artificial light. The Camera app remains the same as it has been with the last couple of Xperia series handsets. In the camera app, the on-screen button in upper left corner can be tapped to get single tap access to various modes - Normal, Burst, Picture Effect, Sweep Panorama, Scene Selection (With sub-menus), Video Camera and Front Camera-video.

The Sony Xperia Z Ultra is large screen phablet promising great multimedia possibilities at Rs 39,000 approximately. Undoubtedly the Xperia Z Ultra is one of the best and powerful phablets in the Indian market. The waterproof nature and slim body design makes it attractive to those who love big devices that can comfortably stay in the overcoat or blazer pockets. There is no way that this phablet can comfortably rest in the trouser pockets and having said that, it is one of the uncomfortable smartphones in terms of size.