First Impressions: Sony Xperia Z Ultra
Sony Philippines just launched their beast of a phablet, the Xperia Z Ultra, last week and we got the chance to play with it for a short while. This should be a direct taunt to Samsung and its upcoming Galaxy Note III and Sony becomes the first company to market a device that sports Qualcomm’s latest and fastest Snapdragon 800 chip.
The Sony Xperia Z Ultra is for those looking for a tablet and phone in one. Its size is a cross between the Galaxy Note II and the 7-inch tablets out there. Fairly big but the 6.5mm thickness and the 212g weight makes this device comfortable to hold even with one hand, that is if you don’t mind having your prints on the screen and on the back which are protected by scratch-resistant tempered glass. Despite its thin and light frame, the Xperia Z Ultra feels pretty solid unlike the Galaxy Mega 6.3 which has the same weight but has a plastic chassis.
Knowing Sony’s penchant for water-proofing their high-end devices, the Xperia Z ultra was not spared. In fact, it has a higher rating than their previous devices. Its IP58 rating is the highest level you can get against liquids and this is achieved even if the 3.5mm audio port is left exposed (rest of the ports have flaps).
The 6.4-inch screen has a Full HD resolution giving it a 344ppi pixel density which is still impressive for a screen its size. Sony also put all their TV display technology on this phablet. The Triluminos display gives it a wider gamut of colors compared to regular LCDs which you can easily notice. It also has their X-Reality image processor that automatically and smartly enhances saturation, contrast, and reduces noise so that your video will look good on the Full HD resolution. There’s also the OptiContrast design which makes the display more readable in direct sunlight by reducing optical flare.
Powering the Xperia Z Ultra is the best Qualcomm has to offer, its Snapdragon 800 which features four Krait 400 CPU cores each clocked at 2.2GHz. The Antutu test I did on it got me a score of over 32,000 (forgot to take a photo sorry) which is the highest I’ve seen, much higher than the Galaxy S4 in fact. This goes well with the 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage plus an option for microSD. The chip supports HD voice which works well with Sony’s ClearAudio+ mode and Xloud sound enhancement.
There’s an 8-megapixel camera at the back and a 2-megapixel up front with both capable of recording Full HD videos @ 30 fps. And being a Sony product, it has the Exmor RS technology (for mobile) which is based on the same technology they use on their Cybershot cameras. There’s also a dedicated camera button on the side so you can continue to take photos or videos underwater. What’s odd here is that there’s no LED flash at the back.
Now if you think that the Galaxy Note has an edge because it has its own stylus, the Xperia Z Ultra can make use of any pen or pencil nearby as its own stylus (or any capacitive stylus or metal pen with tip diameter of over 1mm). Tried scrawling on the screen with a pencil and it works smoothly as long as you don’t let the side of your palm touch the screen (hoping for a software update to fix that one). Of course, we can’t discount the additional functions Samsung’s S-Pen have with the Galaxy Note.
Sony also has some nifty accessories for the Xperia Z Ultra. One of which is the magnetic charging dock (DK30) which also doubles as a stand if you want to watch a movie on it. There’s also the NFC companion handset (SBH52) which you can use to confound people around you because you’ll be using a mini stick as your phone while the Xperia Z Ultra is inside your bag.
During my short time with this beautiful phablet, I was really impressed on how it handles. It felt good in my hands even with its size and the its display is really stunning. It’s quite powerful and loaded with features you would expect from a premium device.
At Php33,490 (0% interest for 6 months), it’s something that you should really think hard before purchasing. However, once you go for it you will definitely enjoy the Xperia Ultra Z. It’s also available for Php31,790 if you’re paying cash and if you get it before Sep. 30, 2013, you’ll also get a free Muvit Slim Folio case.
One more thing, current official Xperia Ultra Zs in the market don’t support LTE. If you can hold on until October for the LTE version, do so, but I still won’t blame you if you can’t wait that long and get the HSPA+ version instead.
|Sony Xperia Z Ultra Specs:|
|6.4-inch Full HD 1080 x 1920 resolution (344 ppi)|
|TRILUMINOS display with X-Reality for mobile|
|Shatter proof and scratch-resistant glass|
|Dust-resistant, waterproof up to 1.5 meter (IP58-certified)|
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.2 GHz quad-core processor|
|Adreno 330 GPU|
|2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, microSD up to 64GB|
|8-megapixel rear camera with Sony Exmor RS for mobile|
|2-megapixel front camera|
|Android 4.2 Jelly Bean|
|HDPA, 42 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.8 Mbps; LTE|
|Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA|
|Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, MHL|
|Non-removable Li-Ion 3050 mAh battery|
|179.4 x 92.2 x 6.5 mm|
|Colors: Black, White, Purple|
|SRP: Php33,490 (HSPA), Php35,990 (LTE)|