There’s no waterproofing on this model like some of the other Sony models, so don’t go in expect to be able to drown the phone, as that will just break things.
Also, it is a bit of a fingerprint magnet, so while it would have been nice to clean it with immersion in water, don’t because it will break, and it will be better for everyone (support included) if you just carry a cloth.
Inside this phone, though, you’ll find technology you’d expect out of a flagship, though not necessarily of the same ilk.
For instance, Sony has provided an eight-core processor, but it’s not the same eight-core processor we see in the Xperia Z5 series. And Sony has delivered WiFi, but it’s just your standard old 802.11 a/b/g/n, none of that new 802.11ac.
And that’s where you know that the C5 Ultra isn’t flagship, and isn’t really close: it’s mid-range with a big screen, offering what appears to be value for people who want that massive screen over, say, a tablet purchase.
There’s nothing wrong with this attempt, and the 2GB RAM accompanying the 16GB storage is a totally fine mid-range effort, even if it’s a little down on the memory, as Android tends to prefer 3GB for the sweet spot. That said we are happy Sony has kept a microSD slot available, allowing anyone to expand the storage considerably.
Likewise, Android 5.0 is here out of the box, and just like we’ve seen in other smartphones from Sony this year, it’s a pretty easy experience to adapt to, with a light skin on top of the Google design language of version 5.0 “Marshmallow”, complete with multiple homescreens, Google’s drop-down notification bar, and a way of uninstalling apps straight from the menu quickly and easily.
Even elements of the software are the same, offering Sony’s album for images, and the Xperia theming, and even Sony’s music player, though this lacks the high-res audio support of the other phones, which in the C5 Ultra will load FLAC files but won’t recognise them as HD audio.
Buttons are pretty much spot on, too, with the same reliance of on-screen buttons Android typically takes, and three physical buttons on the right edge, offering power, volume, and then a camera button.
Using the phone, you’ll find 4G performance is stellar, offering 4G LTE at speeds ranging from 20Mbps all the way up to 100Mbps, network dependent of course.
That’s not bad at all, and fairly par for the course, which will be great for people keen to use the C5 Ultra as a portable YouTube machine when they’re out and about.
At 6 inches, it’s totally conceivable that you might want to watch all the cat videos every day on the bus, but please do everyone a favour and bring some headphones.