Android Headliner: Is the Xperia Z Ultra a Step Too Far in Smartphone Size; Or is It an Ultra Compromise?

| July 7, 2013 | 6 Replies

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Sony recently took wraps off of the Xperia Z Ultra and what a phone it is. At 6.4-inches it’s easily the largest smartphone on the market right now, and while there are 7-inch tablets that feature voice-calling, Sony are marketing this as very much a smartphone. Now, a lot of you who know me from Google+ will realize that I honestly don’t like larger smartphones, it doesn’t mean I don’t see their place – they’re just not for me. When you think about it, that’s what makes Android so great, one size doesn’t fit us all. Our “Android Headliner” posts are about what us Editors think here at Android Headlines and while we’re not perfect, I think we know a thing or two when it comes to Android. The Xperia Z Ultra is one of those devices that will be ignored by many and revered by just as many, too. It’s a polarizing device thanks to its size but, has Sony introduced the best compromise thanks to the Smart Bluetooth accessory and the pen input here? Let’s see, shall we?


The first thing you see when looking at the Xperia Z Ultra is one hell of a display, at 1920 x 1080 it’s got a pretty decent resolution as well and at 6.4-inches it’s safe to say that you could leave the Nexus 7 at home while using this. For those that are always on the go or commuting long distances to and from work, the extra screen will be a real boon. For watching movies, reading, playing games and the like, more really is more but, if you’re looking for a device that’s easily managed and usable in one hand, the Z Ultra isn’t for you.

The display size is what’s pulling in a lot of you but, of course there are two other key features from the specs list that have captivated you as well. One of them is of course the blazingly fast Snapdragon 800 CPU with a clock-speed of 2.2 Ghz which is sure to deliver one of the fastest Android experiences in a smartphone to date. As well as the Snapdragon 800 there’s also a fairly sizable 3,000 battery as well, which should make for a longer-lasting battery life than most other smartphones. Both of those features could be enough to look past the size but, that would probably come down to your personal preference.

headphones (1)The Smart Bluetooth Clip is essentially a remote for your smartphone. Of course, it’s also a pretty advanced bit of kit from Sony, too. It’s got the requisite play, pause and kip buttons for music, a headphone port from music and it even has an earpiece to use as a mini phone for your big smartphone. Now, Sony announced the Xperia Z Ultra a while ago and so there’s been enough time for us to check the pulse of what people are thinking and one of the things you all seem to agree on is that Bluetooth Clip is a little bit gimmicky. There’s no denying that but, Sony have actually added some serious functionality and I wouldn’t mind using this to listen to music with or to take a phone call, especially if I was on the go and had the world’s largest smartphone to contend with in one hand.



Sony have also realized that size alone does not make a smartphone great. If you’re going to make a smartphone this big you had better bring some advanced functionality with it. Luckily Sony have done just that and the Z Ultra will allow you write on the screen with a pencil and the like to get handwriting on the device. This might not seem revolutionary but, at 6.4-inches this could quite easily replace a notebook and as someone who writes down a lot of things, this would be the key feature for me. When it comes to things like writing lists and quick notes while talking to someone, nothing beats the pen.

With all of these features and the Smart Bluetooth Clip, it’s hard to just dismiss the Xperia Z Ultra as another ridiculously massive smartphone but in the same vein it’s hard to see it as as just any other smartphone. Whether or not Sony has created the perfect compromise here is, we suppose, up to you. Take myself for example, I wouldn’t want a smartphone this big but, Sony seem to have done enough to make me think that I could live with it. For those that like a larger smartphone? Well, Sony just made them feel like royalty and you know what? That’s great. What do you think? Have Sony just released another massive smartphone or do they have the best compromise of size and usability with the Xperia Z Ultra and its accessories?


Category: Android News

About Tom Dawson ()

For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, I grew up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles and have been using Linux for years now. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I've loved every minute of it. As a big reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android and technology as a whole.
  • whitehawk66

    Like the author of this article, I have not seen, held or used the device. Try as I might, I don’t get a hard on reading about technical specifications but I do like the pictures and i think it’s a very attractive item.

    If it turns out that it’s $1000 as some sources have suggested, I can’t imagine that many, including me will be dashing out the doory with a woody to go buy one.

    If some company would like to give me a black one to keep, I will happily and gratefully accept it and then write a review about it.

    • Alexander Maxham

      Especially here in the US. Since Sony likes to only sell their devices unlocked. The Xperia ZL was around $750 up until a couple months ago when Sony dropped the price.

      • Marsg

        Lol at 750, its like buying a new mid range laptop or low end gaming pc every 2 years, its kinda bogus since these things don’t have 1/10 the performance of the cheapest gaming rig. I think the unlocked price is way too high considering most these device including the iPhone 5 only cost about 150-200 dollars to manufacture and sold at 3-4 x the price, Google proved it last year with the Nexus 4 using same hardware as the rest of them competition at half the price

        • Duh

          I love slipping my mid range laptop or low end gaming pc in my pocket when heading out. Making calls is a little tricky along with surfing.

          • Marsg

            So you are saying just because their portable it gives them the right to charge 3-4x the manufacturing cost?

  • Hendra Anggrian

    It’s funny knowing that when Intel uses the term “Ultra” as something thin, light, and portable, Sony is taking it differently.