Sony Xperia Z Ultra


Sony surprised the smartphone market when it launched the Xperia Z Ultra in late June. Continuing Sony’s Android ambitions is the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, a handset witha 6.4 inch screen and impressive specifications. Falling into the phablet category, the Z Ultra brings over some of the best elements of their high-end smartphones into the ‘tiny tablet’ form factor. Sony has continued the design cues of the higher-end smartphones (such as Xperia Z) so the Z Ultra comes with tempered glass on both the front and rear of the unit, and metallic frame that can be seen round the edges of the unit. It remains very much a rectangular design with a hunt of curving on the edges to give it a comfortable feel. The Xperia Z Ultra has also been designed with protection in mind. Just like the Xperia Z the Z Ultra meets the IP55 protection standard, and adds IP58. This handset is covered against dust, low pressure water jets, waterproof, shatter proof, and scratch resistant. Given the vulnerability offered by a handset of this size, this is reassuring to read. There’s going to be an obvious comparison to the Samsung Galaxy Mega, which has a similarly sized screen and footprint, but where the Mega had a specification that was lower than the ‘parent hardware’ of the Galaxy S4, the Z Ultra is one of the highest specced Android devices currently available. It comes with 16 GB of internal storage, 2 GB of RAM, supporter for microSD cards, and a screen which is a 6.4 inch monster, with a FullHD resolution of 1920×1080 pixels (giving 342 ppi), and a 3,050 mAh battery to keep it all running. But it’s the processor that should catch your eye, it’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU, running at 2.2 GHz with four cores. That makes the Z Ultra one of the fastest Android handsets out there. The Ultra follows its name both in size, and in potential. You can see that when you start to use the phablet, transitions are smooth, apps open up with almost no lag, switching between apps is quick, and the experience is a fast and enjoyable one. From a hardware point of view, the Z Ultra could easily be the new benchmark for Android. Having spent a few days with the Z Ultra, it feels like the software designers were unsure what to do with all the extra real estate on the screen, both in pixels and in physical space. The home screens are populated by icons and widgets that feel lost in the space because of their smaller pixel size in the high density environment. Move into primarily text based applications, and while some apps cope with the phablet screen size (mostly Google’s own apps), there are others where the text is too small, white spaces are notable, and it feels they simply aren’t suited for this larger form factor. Thankfully, no app really feels ‘cramped’ in the screen, it’s just that some are trying to show too much information in a single screen. I’ve been a fan of Sony’s light touch in their Android user interface for some time – it adds just enough to stand out, but not enough that it moves away from the regular Android UI that Google offers. It does feel that it’s struggling to deliver a consistent experience with the larger screen size on offer here. It’s important to note that this is more from an aesthetic angle, from a process point of view everything works, and there are no functions that are restricted because of the UI. With so many curves on modern slab smartphones, to actually handle a smartphone that is as chiselled as a paving slab is unusual. Sony have stayed with their own design language, but they have taken into account such practicalities as the width of the device and will this fit in the hand (which it does), is it comfortable to slip in your jacket pocket (it is), and can you make an attempt at one handed use (as much as you would expect with a 6.4 inch screened handset). The Sony Xperia Ultra Z is a brute of the phone. The physical styling screams muscle, and the packaging inside the (still thin) profile is the best specified android phablet that is currently on the market. It’s one of the fastest devices out there, with a screen that has a lot of saturation and definition.



Price in USA $999

Price in UK £599

Price in EURO €719

Price in PAK Rs.69,999

Price in INDIA Rs.44,990


  1. Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
    as a first time visitor to your blog I am very impressed.
    thank you

  2. Turn it on, and you're not disappointed. Coming from the blackness, the 5-inch screen springs into life. Whether or not you'll like it is down to personal choice.