It must be a great 2013 for Sony. Sony Xperia Z has been a success as the flagship phone for Sony, with an increasing number of people switching to the Xperia range with its sleek and clean cut design in the series. In addition, it has more or less managed to shake off the dirt that it has been carrying from the much criticised ‘X10′ range / Timescape UI under the Sony Ericsson range.
Riding on the success of the newly minted Xperia range, Sony is now ready to move into a new smartphone category that was first popularised by Samsung Galaxy Note, the Phablet.
A phablet (“phone-tablet”) is a smartphone for screen between 5.0 to 7 inches in size and was designed to combine or straddle the functionalities of a smartphone and tablet, eliminating the need for two devices. There has been an increasing demand for phablets with statistics shown that 25.6 million phablet devices were sold in 2012 and estimated that these figures would grow to 60.4 million in 2013, and 146 million by 2016. In addition, Reuters called 2013 the “Year of the Phablet”.
The Sony Xperia Z Ultra was first announced during June 2013?s Mobile Asia Expo and it boasts several “world firsts”:
- World’s slimmest full HD smartphone at 6.5mm
- World’s largest full HD smartphone display, that is, 6.44” Full HD TRILUMINOS™ Display for mobile powered by X-Reality™
- World’s fastest smartphone processor, which is Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 800 processor with 2.2 GHz quad-core CPUs and 4G LTE
- (Which I think is one of the most interesting feature) Waterproof (1.50 metre of freshwater for up to 30 minutes) and dust-resistant (IP55/IP58) durable design
The first thought from the specs would be, 6.44″ phone?! Isn’t it too big for a hand to hold it?!
That was our initial concern and question for the phone. However, after holding the phone, we realised that the thickness, or rather, thinness, of the phone helps to relief the potential strain of carrying such a huge phone. As you can see from the photo above, we’ve gotten an average size male and a petite size lady to hold the phone, and both were able to hold the phone comfortably in their palms. Of course, do take note when you are planning to get a phone casing as we realised that some phone casing might make it uncomfortable to hold it with 1 hands. In this case, blame the casing! 😛
We have not got down to try using the phone IN water yet, but there are always many others who are willing to do it! However, I have had the experience of using the phone IN the rain to the horror(!) of our my friends who thought I was crazy to damage the phone. Of course, we I have to reassure them that this is a Sony Xperia phone!
The Sony Xperia Ultra Z has been advertising heavily and informing you that it has an impressive rating of IP55 and IP58. So what do these 2 numbers even mean? The Ingress Protection Rating classifies and rates the degree of protection provided against the intrusion of solid objects (including body parts such as hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water in mechanical casings and with electrical enclosures. The first number is for solid objects while the second for liquid. Thus, the Ultra Z gotten a rating of 5 for dust resistance out of a maximum of 6, while having the highest rating of 8 for water proof. Cool right?! Of course, yo have to take note that all ports and covers are firmly closed and protected from pressured jets of water, and kept under 1.50 metre of freshwater for not more than 30 minutes.
With the improvement in technology, Sony has improved on the design where the 3.55mm headphone jack is waterproof itself, allowing you to completely submerge the product despite not having a cover. This was an improvement after feedback from users that it is a hassle to have a casing when we need to use our earpiece. This is one fine example how companies should listen and react to users’ feedback!
However, one of the complaints we have for the phone is the camera. The Xperia Z Ultra comes with a 8 megapixel camera and no flash, compared to Xperia Z’s 13 megapixel, which may compromise on the quality of photos taken.
The left photo were taken with Xperia Z while the one on the right, Xperia Z Ultra. It is evident that the colours are more natural and richer for those taken from Xperia Z while there seems to be a tint of blue-ness for Xperia Z Ultra’s photo. I guess that some features have to be compromised in order to cater for the thinness of the phone so the camera resolution and flash would have to be the first one to go.
Overall, the Sony Xperia Z Ultra is a great utility phone for work and leisure due to its huge screen and comfort of use on a palm, together with the sleek and clean design which gives a professional look and feel. On top of that, the screen is compatible with any pencil and selected stylus or pen (capacitive stylus or metal pen with tip diameter over 1mm) so you can write notes or sketches during calls so you’ll always be ready capture your ideas without delay, provided you do not have a screen protector. .
You can get the Xperia Z Ultra in any Sony stores, Sony centres, Xperia concept stores, authorised retail outlets as well as all telco operators from 05 September 2013 onwards(at a retail price of S$1,038 without contract).
To find out more, you can go to Sony Mobile Singapore Facebook page