Sony Xperia Z Ultra Review99+
Talking on the Xperia Z Ultra is actually not that uncomfortable if you have somewhat larger hands, as the phone is pretty thin and you can rest your index finger against the huge back for support. You'd be, however, looking rather dorky from the side with that giant slab against your ear, so might want to invest in a nice Bluetooth headset, like the small SBH52 companion Sony unveiled together with the Z Ultra.
Despite sealing the battery unit in a 6.5 mm profile, Sony still managed to equip the Xperia Z Ultra with a 3000 mAh juicer. That capacity is plenty for way above average talk times, at 14 hours cited in 3G mode, and 22 days of standby.
Music playback will run uninterrupted for 110 hours, says Sony, but when the huge screen lights up, the endurance numbers become about average. Video playback is listed as good for up to 7 hours by Sony, which can be expected with such a giant Full HD display.
Sony's first phablet leans farthest to the tablet side of that made-up word than any competitor out there. If you aren't worried about pocketability or one-handed operation, you won't be disappointed by the rest. The Xperia Z Ultra is an engineering marvel, with very thin and premium waterproof design, which is the only thing saving it from being called unwieldy. It is also incredibly fast at everything it does, so once you go past the huge size, interacting with the phone is a rather pleasant experience. Granted, you'd better be the type that uses hands-free kits and has baggy pants or a purse, else talking on the phablet and simply carrying it around will be a nuisance not many can accept as a daily driver.
Out of all phablets out there, the Xperia Z Ultra is undoubtedly the best-equipped to meet what the future holds. The Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 and the Huawei Ascend Mate 6.1 can be considered direct competitors in the 6+ category, but they aren't nearly as fast and premium as the Z Ultra, plus the Mega 6.3 is not that much cheaper to boot.
The Galaxy Note II has the advantage of a stylus silo, instead of looking around for a pen or pencil, but is not waterproof and overall its screen is inferior, while the diagonal now puts it in the light phablet category, compared to the 6”+ monsters this year. When the Note 3 comes out, it would be a better match. A closer to the 6” mark competition is the LG Optimus G Pro with its 5.5” Full HD display, which also has a fast processor and sports infrared sensor, but is nor waterproof, though it will be slightly easier on your pocket, literally and figuratively, than Sony's enormous slab.
The Z Ultra towers above all those phablets not only in screen size, but in specs and design, too, so if you've thrown out ergonomics and pocketability with the decision to get one anyway, you might as well do the full song and dance. If you can afford it, that is, as Sony's first phablet will run you more than most current flagship phones at launch.
Software version: 14.1.B.0.461
UPDATE: You can now read our Sony Xperia Z1 Review!