Sony today launched the Xperia Z Ultra in India targeting the growing popularity of smartphones with humongous displays. Sony aims to compete with Samsung’s Galaxy Note and LG’s Optimus G Pro series of phablets while maintaining the unique Sony premium design and build quality. We spent some time with the device today and here are our first impressions. Also Read - Sony Xperia Z Ultra photo leaked before official launch
At a glance, the Xperia Z Ultra looks like a blown up variant of the Xperia Z, which isn’t a bad thing. The build quality is phenomenal and it feels good to hold with a tempered back glass panel. At just 6.5mm thin it feels incredibly slim while somehow managing to feel sturdy too.
With a 6.4-inch display, the Xperia Z Ultra sits between the Xperia Z and the Xperia Z Tablet, giving buyers an option if they don’t want to go for both a smartphone and a tablet. But that also raises an important usability question – the Xperia Z Ultra is a very tall device and isn’t really comfortable to use as a phone. We compared it with the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 and it was much taller albeit narrower than Samsung’s phablet.
The Xperia Z is also the first device with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 chipset to be available in India and it shows in the slick performance. As always, we will look into the real performance and battery implications in our detailed review.
Thankfully, Sony seems to have heard our pleas and has finally got the display right with the Xperia Z Ultra with brilliant color reproduction and great viewing angles unlike the Xperia Z, where the display looked washed out and had poor viewing angles.
The only area of concern for us is the camera, which is not accompanied with any LED flash. While we were informed that the software wasn’t final, the performance left much to be desired. We have reasonable doubts about its low light and indoor performance.
While we are not big fans of using smartphones that are bigger than our faces, the premium build quality of the Xperia Z Ultra combined with the Snapdragon 800 chipset are reasons enough to make it one of the top contenders in the phablet space. But whether it actually lives up to our expectations is something we will find out in our review. Watch this space.