After owning the excellent Sony Xperia Z for a while I thought I would give this monster a go. I have realised that I actually use my phone as a phone for less than 5% of the time, with email, browsing and media consumption being my primary usages these days. My reasoning is that rather than carry a phone and a tablet I would switch to this and also try the Sony Smartwatch (once released).
First lets deal with the elephant in the room....THIS IS HUGE. I mean really really huge, it makes the Galaxy Notes look small. While I knew this having read several reviews, it's only when you get your hands on it you really appreciate the vastness of this device. My advice, see it before you buy it!
Assuming you wear pants with large enough pockets and can deal with the size, this device is fabulous. The screen is a beauty to behold and its built to a premium Samsung can only dream of. This thing really is stunning, especially in Black.
Main Pro's -The screen - Wow just wow -Superfast, games look great and zero lag (I've tried) -You can actually write on the screen with a normal pencil - I find this much more natural than using a stylus -It's water resistant - great but would you use it in the bath....no way -Sony's UI is very impressive. I usually replace the standard UI with a third party launcher but I don't want to with this. -Battery is surprisingly good - Full day, no problem even with that huge screen -Impressive selection of accessories - I have also bought the magnetic charging dock which lets you charge without removing the phone from its case (if you use one). This is also essential, because otherwise you have to remove the flap covering the micro usb port to plug in everyday.
Not so good -No camera flash = rubbish low light photos and no flash-light - Why omit this Sony???? -No infra red = No universal remote - Would have been nice to have -Not running the latest version of Android. It only comes with 4.2.2 which is strange as many new devices are coming with 4.3.
I really like this phone/ tablet. It's replaced two devices and barring a couple of niggles it's a great buy.
Before I start my actual review, I need to mention that this is my first smartphone. I've been refusing to buy one for many years now, as I had no need of it. Contrary to that I've been using ASUS Android tablets for 2 years now. Before buying the xperia, I was looking for a device to replace my Asus TF300 Tablet and it was then that I stumbled upon the Z ultra.
The xperia Z ultra is for me both a tablet and a phone replacement. It works amazingly in both worlds. The size of the device is perfect. I can use for long hours without getting tired, it is very light and feels really good and firm in my grip. The screen is really good. I expected to be worse after having read a number of negative reviews on it related to its viewing angles, but its quality is excellent in my eyes.
I never thought that an android device can be so performant. Perhaps this is not the best comparison ever, but chrome on this device is faster than Chrome on my i7 macbook pro. This tells quite alot. Switching apps is seamless and for the 3 days that I am using this phone now, I never had a glitch. Battery performance although quite bad for a phone I'd say, it's still better than all tablets that I have played with.
I had read lots of complaints about the camera. Personally I didn't care much for it. All I need to do with the rear camera, is the occasional scan or use the front camera for call conference. And they both work fine. If you plan to use the phone as a camera phone, look somewhere else cause you will really be disappointed.
Being waterproof is really a strong feature of the phone. I've used in the bath and out in the rain with no problems, nor glitches in the touch interface which surprised me.
I highly recommend this device and I also recommend buying the dk30 charger-dockstation and the sbh52 handset along with it. They both complement this device very nicely.
Had this for over a year, has to be the best device around, even 2 years after it's release.
Pro's Display: Excellent, has very good viewing angles, made of glass, makes it even more premium.
Design/Looks: Looks the best even when switched off, just can't stop looking at it
Size: It's not as gigantic as some people have commented, yes it is large but it makes great for gaming, watching movies, browsing the internet, doing your work (using microsoft word, excel, powerpoint) using as a dedicated sat nav, you will get used to the size, for me now it doesn't look big at all;
Feel/Grip: This is so wonderful to grip, it feels premium as it feels so solid in the hands, I prefer to hold mine when going out as I just love the feel and grip.
Call quality: Very good, have no problems, very clear indeed;
Audio/speakers: Yet again have no problems, good when gaming, watching movies, listening to music, remember it's a phone not a hi-fi system or a car audio player;
S800 chipset: Very powerful cpu and gpu, no need to upgrade from this phone for a long time to come, I did a benchmark test which came up as 43017, which is still very good for a device which was released 2 years ago;
Camera: Seems fine to me, yes there is no flash but it's not a big drawback to me, maybe to others it will be but we all have our own opinions;
Battery life: Doesn't last long unless you use Stamina Mode, which helps it to last at least a day on charge. Personally I have no problem charging it twice a day as I am a heavy user.
Waterproof: I've placed this under con's as the experience I have had to date hasn't been good. Twice when i've washed it water has slightly leaked inside and that's with the flap firmly closed. I have read so many reviews on forums and other sites about water damage to this phone and other sony devices, just google it and you'll realise how not so waterproof these devcies are. My advice is please don't take it anywhere near water, best to be safe than sorry.
If you have any questions please get in touch, I am happy to answer any question you may have.
I did not buy my Z ultra at Amazon but am compelled to write a review on what you get for the price. You can use the phone even in the rain. Big screen size. Expandable memory. I paid less than a third brand new after 2 years from release date. The only thing missing is flash on camera but that is still ok.
Great device! Bought an Amazon warehouse version just to test and it's pretty much replaced my tablets. It's very fast and smooth (2.5ghz I believe) and just looks gorgeous. It's big and very flat so handling it is awkward, its more of a tablet than a phone, something you take with you to the sofa or on the plane to entertain your self.
The screen is fine, I have an LG G3 with the UHD screen so looking at the HD option on the Sony Z Ultra is a bit dull, but its not bad, its just not "wow".
Battery life is good, I game on this thing a lot and when I play a game like Blitz Brigade which also requires wifi connectivity I can game continuously for about 3 hours before I get the battery warning and the screen dims down. Other activities like watching movies, youtube videos and browsing take battery quickly too, around the 3 hour mark, but I have my phone on power save mode which saves the battery a little.
Speakers are lame but they work, not very loud but since I use this indoors I don't require loud sound, if I do I just connect to my bluetooth speakers.
Overall this is an entertainment device, I only pick it up to consume media and game. I wouldn't get it as a daily driver but hey, to each its own.
Forget all the comments that it is too large! This is why this phone is bought - the huge screen! Usual Sony quality, lightweight and fantastic screen. It is fast and responsive. If you are looking for a large screen device - this is the one. Beats Samsung any day! Delighted and would buy again!