With the Xperia Z Ultra, Sony is finally turning its attention towards a market segment it has avoided so far. The market headstart of their flagship Xperia Z along with the subsequent releases in the upper midrange has set quite a serious foundation for Sony's mobile phone business creating an excellent possibility for experimenting in a niche that has been invented and so far dominated by Samsung's Note series.
Of course, a 6.4" phablet stands little chance of matching the sales of a proper flagship such as the Xperia Z, but it's all about sending a message. And the message is loud and clear: "Be my guest, Galaxy Note III". There's more to it of course - it's about the company's level of confidence to venture into unknown territories. Indeed, it's not every day that we see a device that not only dwarfs the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3, but is getting ready to challenge the Note III. It takes courage to stand up to the standard-setter but, at least on paper, the Xperia Z Ultra has the looks and the powerful hardware to pull it off.
Before we proceed any further, here's the cheat sheet for this review.
The Sony Xperia Z Ultra is one beast of a smartphone (although at this size it already steps on tablet territory). The Snapdragon 800 chipset brings a meaningful performance improvement over an already very snappy Snapdragon 600, while the screen packs all the latest technology Sony has its hands on. The Triluminos display of 1080p resolution promises to solve the long-standing viewing angle issues in Sony's lineup, while the X-Reality enhancements means punchy colors and impressive contrast.
With the screen and chipset bagging two industry firsts for the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, you'll forgive us for being overly enthusiastic at the start of this review. There's quite a lot to test still and we are itching to see Sony's latest brave our review routine. We start with the design and build right after the break, followed by a closer look at the display before we treat you to a lengthy tour of the UI.