The "1-Minute" Review
- 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.
What the Critics Are Saying...
Prices (Where to Buy)
Sony released the Xperia Z Ultra on July 31, 2013.
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.