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Sony Xperia Z Ultra review

7.6/10 AVG.
RATING

  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra


7.6/10
Informr score
The Sony Xperia Z Ultra currently has an Informr score of 7.6 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 24 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Blazing performance
  • Pen and pencil compatibility
  • Ample battery life
  • Solid build quality

What's bad

  • No flash
  • 8-megapixel camera
  • Massive dimensions
  • Small viewing angles

As the lines between tablets and smartphones continue to blur, Sony is making an entry into the phablet market. With a 6.4-inch display, the Xperia Z Ultra is a mammoth phone. It features a Snapdragon 800 chipset at 2.2-GHz and expandable memory via microSD. Although Sony has attempted to minimize the heft of the device, it is not going to be fitting into your pocket any time soon. At only 6.5mm thick, the phone is quite comfortable to hold and use, though one-handed operation is probably out of the question for most users. TechRadar’s hands-on review states “It's a huge device, there's no doubt about that, but at 6.5mm thick it sits more comfortably in the hand than you might expect and the full HD screen really impresses too.”

Fortunately, Sony has introduced a few features to help with that and compete with the other big names in the phablet market. Most notably, the screen will respond to input from any standard pen or pencil. This means no expensive stylus replacements and the ability to find an input that is comfortable for your hands. Engadget tried the Xperia Z Ultra and said “In practice, it worked well, with Sony's own windowed mini-apps ensuring we had space to scribble regardless of which app we were running.” Mini-windows, a handwriting keyboard and other specialized features provide clear benefit to the large display. For those on the go, the phone is rated IP58 water resistant as well.

There are a few downsides to the device. Most noticeable is the lack of camera features. The rear-facing camera is a paltry 8-megapixels and lacks any form of flash. The result is grainy pictures and extremely poor low-light performance. The Triluminous display is beautiful at proper angles but tends to fade when viewing from the side as well. Gareth Beavis of TechRadar said, “Overall the screen doesn't live up to the hype bestowed upon it by Sony.” However, despite its shortcomings, it is obvious that the phone will be a contender in the fight to lead the phablet market for 2013.


Operating system
Android
Processor
2.2 GHz
Screen Size
6.44"
Camera
8+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


What Hi-Fi

If you want to push the boundaries between phone and tablet, then Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra has to be a serious contender.

- Kob Monney, What Hi-Fi
SlashGear

The Sony Z Ultra Google Play Edition carves out a rather unique place in the Google collection of devices. Here you've got an ideal middle-place between smartphone and tablet, edging a lot more in on the tablet side of things. In this device is the vision we had back at the dawn of small, transporta...

- Chris Burns, SlashGear
The Verge

The phone is just so absurdly large and expensive only the most dedicated big-screen aficionados are likely to even consider it. And most people looking for a big screen phone would probably be better off with the Galaxy Note 3. But if you are one of those “must have the biggest display at all...

- Dan Seifert, The Verge
Ars Technica

We miss Sony. A Google Play Edition device shows what the company is truly capable of when it comes to hardware, and the results are fantastic. Z Ultra feels like a premium device from an alternate dimension where Sony competes with Apple for the best build quality and most drool-worthy devices. The...

- Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica
Cnet

Initially I was very intrigued by Sony's decision to create a Google Play Edition of the Xperia Z Ultra, and by Google's choice to sell it. After analyzing the Z Ultra GPE, though, from many angles the device has sadly lost all its prospective appeal. Sure, this phone sports an excellent screen that...

- Brian Bennett, Cnet


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


Sony Xperia Z Ultra prices will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. Sony's suggested retail price is $649.99. You can compare Xperia Z Ultra prices from around the web here on The Informr.


We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Sony Xperia Z Ultra user manual here.


Sony backs up the Xperia Z Ultra with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your Xperia Z Ultra has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Sony support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Sony's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.




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Quick view

Screen Size
6.44"

The Sony Xperia Z Ultra's screen size is 6.44 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.2 GHz

There is a Qualcomm MSM8974 Quad core 2.2 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean (Update Available: 5.0 Lollipop) operating system (OS).

Camera
8+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 8+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 2+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
16 GB

Internal memory is 16 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 64 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
3050mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3050 mAh battery. Sony's performance ratings are 960 minutes, 323 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Xperia Z Ultra Specs

Overview
Release date July 31, 2013
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Networks
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
SIM card size
Micro-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 4.2 Jelly Bean (Update Available: 5.0 Lollipop)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm MSM8974 Quad core 2.2 GHz
Internal Storage 16 GB
RAM 2 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.015 W/kg
Body: 1.536 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 3050 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 450 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 323 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 960 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 34.2 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Black, White, Purple
Dimensions [H x W x D] 17.9 x 9.2 x 0.7 cm (7.1 x 3.6 x 0.3 in)
Weight 212 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design Yes
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 342 pixels
Size 6.44 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key Yes
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, Google Talk
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, aptX
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 64 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out HDMI
DLNA Support Yes
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
16x digital
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, ISO, Multi-shot, Panorama, HDR, Scene mode, Exposure value, Metering
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, XviD, AVI
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution
2+ megapixels
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, M4A, OGG, WAV
Radio Yes (FM/RDS)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, AVI, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, XviD
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock No
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types XLS, PPT, PPTX, DOC, DOCX, PDF
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed (NeoReader, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube)
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Sony C6833, Togari

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Sony Xperia Z Ultra Reviews
Where to buy Sony Xperia Z Ultra
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