Camera

Perhaps one of the biggest selling points of the Xperia range is the massive 20.7MP sensor that Sony has fitted to its devices. Wait a second the Sony Xperia Z Ultra is only fitted with an 8MP sensor? And where's the flash?

If you're in the market for a device that can double up as a compact camera replacement, the Xperia Z Ultra is not the device for you.

Sony Xperia Z1
Snap happy Xperias

Even with an 8MP sensor we're left wondering why Sony bothered to put a camera on the back of the Z Ultra if it can't take decent photos in anything less than perfect light.

Then again with its massive screen and lack of dedicated shutter button we'd strongly advise that hanging around and trying to snap pictures on a Z Ultra will make you look a tad ridiculous.

Sony has not only blessed the Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z1 Compact with a massive 20.7MP Exmor sensor, it has also taken a look at the camera app in order to make it more intuitive and lavish on even more features such as the ability to broadcast live on Social Media and take augmented reality photographs.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra vs Sony Xperia Z1 vs Sony Xperia Z1 Compact: Which one should you choose?
AR Modes are only available on the Z1 and Z1 Compact

All this attention does mean that the Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z1 Compact are more appropriate for those that need an impressive camera for work or play.

Both the Xperia Z1 and Z1 Compact come with a superior auto mode in order to try and take a lot of the stress out of creating perfect images, but professional snappers can toggle settings in a manual mode; a variety of scenes, white balances and exposures can all be set.

Image effects can also be laid over the top allowing for the creation of some really creative looking photos without the need for an Instagram account or photography degree.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra vs Sony Xperia Z1 vs Sony Xperia Z1 Compact: Which one should you choose?
The Z1 and Z1 Compact allow you to get creative

In all there is little about the camera on the Xperia Z Ultra that will make you want to leave your camera at home and little that will make you want to use it at all. If camera images are important then the abilities of the Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z1 Compact are far, far better.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra vs Sony Xperia Z1 vs Sony Xperia Z1 Compact: Which one should you choose?

Colour reproduction is a lot better on both the Xperia Z1 and Z1 Compact, with the Z Ultra giving the image a slightly blue hue. The missing 12MP also means that the edges of the beans don't seem as crisp.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra vs Sony Xperia Z1 vs Sony Xperia Z1 Compact: Which one should you choose?

Again, colour reproduction is better and more natural on the Xperia Z1 and Z1 Compact. A lot more detail has been captured in the background and on the water in the Z1 variants.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra vs Sony Xperia Z1 vs Sony Xperia Z1 Compact: Which one should you choose?

Images on the Z1 and Z1 Compact show detail in the brick work, as well as on the metal bridge. Colours are again reproduced more naturally.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra vs Sony Xperia Z1 vs Sony Xperia Z1 Compact: Which one should you choose?

The blue hue makes another appearance on the Z Ultra's camera. Colours on the Xperia Z1 Compact come out even more vivid than on the Z1 too.

Performance and Storage

One area that all three Xperia devices sit evenly is the with Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor. A quad-core CPU clocked at 2.2GHz graces each handset with 2GB RAM and an Adreno 330 GPU also present underneath the hood of Sony's flagship trio.

This means that all three handsets move between home screens at an identically quick speed, leaving no hint of slow down.

In benchmark testing though, the smaller screen resolution of the Xperia Z1 Compact scored higher with the GPU being put under less strain.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra vs Sony Xperia Z1 vs Sony Xperia Z1 Compact: Which one should you choose?

Interestingly though the Xperia Z Ultra loaded our test game, Sonic Dash, in the quickest time with the Xperia Z1 Compact taking the longest.

Another area where the Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Z1 and Z1 Compact all work out equally is internal storage, each device ships with 16GB of internal storage with the ability to further that with an extra 64GB of storage thanks to the inclusion of a microSD port.