Lately I’ve been posting a lot of large phones on this website. Well brace yourself, because none of them was a big as this one. The Sony Xperia Z Ultra is one of the biggest phones I’ve seen in a long time, and that’s saying something considering it’s bigger than phones that call themselves “phablets” or “phoneblets”. It’s actually 0.2 inches away from a tablet. That’s why, since I didn’t really see it fit into either Phone or Tablet category, I decided to put it in BOTH.
There were EXTREMELY many variants to the Sony Xperia Z out there – so many even that it was nigh-impossible to choose from them which one to put up on the website. In a dash of inspiration, I decided: to hell with it, we’ll write about the biggest one that there is. Hence we decided to review the Sony Xperia Z Ultra. This particular device is a truly strong phone or tablet or whatever you want to call it ( although it’s more of an oversized phone, rather than a tablet ).
There are a few different versions to this device, each of them with minor differences from the other. Most differences reside in the networks supported, having little to no difference whatsoever in the hardware or in other areas that matter MORE than the type of networks it can use. Even so, for those of you who are curious to know what each of them is called, we have as follows: Sony Xperia Z Ultra HSPA+ C6802, Sony Xperia Z Ultra LTE C6806 and Sony Xperia Z Ultra LTE C6833. Now as far as features and the ability to resist all sorts of damages, this phone is an EXCELLENT device. For those of you who think of yourself that you are more careless, let us call it, than others, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra should offer you some interesting concepts with all the things it is bringing to the tablet. If this device has any OBVIOUS disadvantages or let-downs, I for one cannot see them ( of course, there may be that one regarding the size, but not everyone is afraid of big phones ).
As far as networking goes, all versions of the Sony Xperia Z Ultra can support all standard 2G and 3G networks ( I grow tired of writing what that means – do feel free to check out some of my older reviews and you shall see there exactly what I mean ) and there are only minor differences as far as the LTE goes, as the C6806 and the C6833 use a few different channels for their networks. Leaving all that behind, one of the more interesting general details would be that the SIM card of this phone is in Micro-SIM format ( for those with a pre-existing SIM card who just want the phone and not a new contract, it should be an interesting little detail ). The device was announced in June 2013 and released shortly after in July, so it’s pretty much up for grabs if you have the 500 and something dollars for it.
I mentioned earlier that the Sony Xperia Z Ultra is quite well protected. To be precise, it is IP58 certified to be dust and water proof and it has a water resistance of over 1 meter. That way, you can be sure that it won’t break down the first time you make the mistake of dropping it into a puddle. The exact dimensions for this device are: 179.4 x 92.2 x 6.5 mm ( or 7.06 x 3.63 x 0.26 in ) in size and 212 g ( or 7.48 oz ) in weight. All and all I Don’t find it all THAT big, but some people just have a problem coping with size in this world.
Unfortunately, I can’t exactly tell you WHAT kind of capacitive touchscreen it is, but I can tell you that it’s a good one. I mean, it has 6.4 inches in size and can handle a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, all while holding a pixel density of around 344 pixels per inch. The multitouch of this particular screen is also unique, it being able to hold up to 10 simultaneous fingers on it. Please don’t think that the previously mentioned protection means are the only ones that you can find on this phone. Atop the display there can be found a layer of shatter-proof and scratch-resistant glass that should do exactly what its name suggests. Also, regarding the display, it’s worth mentioning that it uses the X-Reality Engine and that it is a Triluminos display.
There’s nothing to be said about the sound output of this device. It’s about as stock as it gets, without any obvious hardware or software sound enhancements.
Some people may panic when they see that the Sony Xperia Z Ultra has only 16 GB of storage space, and that there is no 32 GB version or anything. However, fear not as this phone makes up for it with the card slot, thus allowing you to use MicroSD cards of up to 64 GB. Also, the phone doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the RAM, bringing 2 GB to the party for you to enjoy most, if not all, of your tasks without experiencing the tiniest bit of lag or slow-down.
It’s safe to say that this phone has both GPRS and EDGE ( with speeds of 107 KB/s and 296 KB/s, respectively ) as well as an NFC port. The exact speeds are as follows: HSDPA 42 MB/s, HSUPA 5.76 MB/s; LTE Cat 4 150 MB/s DL, 50 MB/s UL. The WLAN of the Sony Xperia Z Ultra is as follows: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with Dual-Band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA and Wi-Fi hotspot. Also, this phone has v4.0 Bluetooth with A2DP. The USB port, which is a MicroUSB v2.0 one with USB On-The-Go support, also has MHL, that way you can use it as an HDMI port ( with a USB cable, of course ).
The Sony Xperia Z Ultra has two cameras: an 8 MP main one that can record video in 1080p full HD at 30 frames per second, and a 2 MP secondary frontal one that can also record in the same manner. The features of the main camera include: Autofocus, Geo-Tagging, Touch Focus, Face Detection, Image Stabilizer, HDR ( for photos ), Sweep Panorama, Video Stabilization and Video HDR.
The battery of the Sony Xperia Z Ultra doesn’t fail to disappoint. Sure, I may have a problem with it being a non-removable one, but it’s a strong battery nontheless. This phone has a Li-Ion 3050 mAh battery that promises the following times: 790 hours stand-by in 2G and 820 in 3G, 14 hours talk-tim in 2G and 16 in 3G and 120 hours of music-play. While those numbers are surely exagerated a bit, I still think the battery is strong enough to sustain this phone.
The hardware for the Sony Xperia Z Ultra is damn powerful and it consists of: a Qualcomm MSM8274 or MSM8974 Snapdragon 800 chipset, a Quad-Core 2.2 GHz Krait 400 CPU and an Adreno 330 GPU. Taken as is, this hardware can handle all things available on the market for the next year and a half guaranteed.
Sadly, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra doesn’t have the latest version of the Android OS and it doesn’t show any signs of getting it any time soon. What it does have on it is Android OS v4.2 Jelly Bean. A disappointment, sure, but not one so large that would deter me from getting this phone.
The Sony Xperia Z Ultra is packed full of all sorts of wonderous things. First up, the sensors of this device are as following: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity and Compass. The messaging on this device is done via SMS ( with Threaded View ), MMS, E-Mail, IM and Push Mail. The Sony Xperia Z Ultra is also equipped with a Stereo FM radio with RSS and its browser uses HTML5 instead of Flash. The GPS of this device also has support for both A-GPS and GLONASS alike, and the phone itself has Java through MIDP emulation. The Sony Xperia Z Ultra is available for purchase in 3 colors: White, Black and Purple, out of which I believe the best looking would be the last two.
Here’s a brief list of what the Sony Xperia Z Ultra is capable of:
- ANT+ support
- SNS integration
- TV-out (via MHL A/V link)
- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
- DivX/Xvid/MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV player
- MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV/Flac player
- Document viewer
- Photo viewer/editor
- Voice memo/dial
- Predictive text input
This concludes our tiny review of the Sony Xperia Z Ultra. Hope you liked it and the phone and it maybe helped answer some of the questions you might have had about it.