Price (RRP): $829
The tablet-sized phones commonly called “phablets” sure can be big, but Sony may have pushed the envelope too far with the Xperia Z Ultra, a top of the line handset boasting big features in one of the biggest handsets we’ve ever seen.
Big phones are popular as ever lately, and Sony appears interested to get in on a slice of the action.
The Xperia Z Ultra is the first phablet from Sony, and takes on much of the technology and design used in the recent Z1 handset, but applies it to a bigger screen, jumping from a 5 inch display to one that truly sits at the big table, measuring 6.4 inches diagonally.
The resolution in this display hasn’t changed, with Sony still relying on a Full HD 1920×1080 screen, which on the 6.4 inch display shows 344 pixels per inch, a few higher than what Apple uses in its Retina class displays of the iPhone 5S and 5C.
Multitouch is, of course, supported, though Sony has gone one step better and made it possible for sharp pointed accessories to also be used here, with common pens and pencils being substituted for a stylus on this handset.
The screen is also protected by mineral strengthened glass which is resistant to scratches.
Under the big screen is all of the useful technology we rely on from a smartphone handset, and here in the Xperia Z Ultra, there’s that in spades.
In fact, it’s all very similar fare to what we saw in the Xperia Z1 last year, including a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.2GHz, Adreno 330 graphics chip, 2GB RAM, and 16GB storage with expansion possible via the microSD slot.
Android is the operating system of choice here, with Sony equipping the Xperia Z Ultra with 4.2 “Jelly Bean” out of the box, though an upgrade to 4.4 “KitKat” should be coming along soon. Sony’s PlayStation inspired Android overlay runs on the handset.
Connection options are spot on identical to the Z1, with 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, as well as support for the newer 802.11ac WiFi technology, Bluetooth 4.0, Near-Field Communication (NFC), wired microUSB, and some of that Category 4 4G LTE technology (with support for Cat3, too).
Two cameras are in this smartphone, and include an 8 megapixel camera on the back, as well as a 2 megapixel camera up front for video conferencing. Both can capture video at 1080p, though neither have flashes.
And like the Sony Xperia Z1, there’s also a neat trick of water and dust resistance, meaning it can be taken in the water with you, or survive a dip in the pool or a heavy burst of rain.