gadget / mobile / reviews / 15/01/2014

Bullet Review: Sony Xperia Z Ultra

xperia-z-ultra-smlThe Sony Xperia Z Ultra is a 6.4″ high-end phablet that came out last year.

It’s part of the same family as the Xperia Z1 (reviewed here) and Tablet Z (reviewed here). Since I’ve done full reviews of these devices, which is very similar, I will do a bullet review for the Xperia Z Ultra.

What I like about these devices is the design. It’s slim and flat all over, with no bulges so it slips neatly into a pocket.

With Xperia Z Ultra, the most noticeable thing about is its size. The 6.4″ screen is way too big for me. The phablet is intended for anyone who specifically wants one, but if you have a smartphone that’s above 4″ or a tablet that is at least 7″, this device is not for you. You will end up neglecting one of them.

  • The same uniform design as the Xperia Z family, down to it being waterproof, shatter proof and scratch resistant. If you’re accident prone, this is a no-brainer.
  • When I hold the 6.4″ device in my hand, my fingers just about grasp it, making it impossible to use with one hand. I’d look very out of place if I had to make phone calls in public. Best to get the accompanying headset.
  • The full 1080p HD screen has great viewing angles, and is ideal for watching TV series or movies on. It’s also the right size for reading magazines if you make use of Zinio or MySubs.
  • It’s powered by a 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage with option to expand via a microSD card. I think it deserves at least 32GB of storage.
  • I found browsing and switching between apps fairly good, there was no lag. I didn’t have any apps crash on me.
  • The camera is 8-megapixels and is okay; it’s not its strongest point – and there’s no flash. I found taking pics to be not as snappy as some of the other handsets I’ve used. There is a noticeable few second lag when pressing the shutter button continuously.xperia-z-ultra
  • The handset runs Android Jelly Bean 2.2 and has Sony’s custom interface that’s familiar if you’ve used a PlayStation 3. I like the elegant look about it.
  • When you go into the app drawer, and swipe from the left edge to the right, it brings up another little screen of menus that lets you search apps, uninstall, sort apps alphabetically or by most used. It also has quick links to the Play Store and Sony Store.
  • The apps that come preinstalled are great – everything you’d need to get going from cloud services, social media, word processing, WhatsApp, YouTube, Zinio.
  • I prefer Google’s apps to Sony’s own preinstalled ones. Personally, I haven’t been a fan of any manufacturers own apps on their devices. I have my favourites and stick to it.
  • A unique feature is that the phablet lets you take notes using a normal pen or pencil. So you don’t need a stylus specifically, just grab what you have and you’re good for note taking.
  • Battery life is a whopping 3 050mAh – so you definitely won’t have issues running out of battery by the end of the day.

The Xperia Z Ultra is aimed at people who are looking solely for a phablet. The distinguishing 6.4″ feature of this device, unfortunately for me, is what makes it uncomfortable to use because it’s that large. That said, I cannot wait to get my hands on the Xperia Z1 Compact!

If you know this is the type of device you want, then it’s an excellent device. I don’t recommend it to anyone looking for a large phone or a ‘mini’ tablet; it’s not a mainstream device.



Nafisa Akabor
Always online... except when I'm offline.




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