Sony Xperia Z Ultra review

Is it a tablet? Is it a phone? Really... do you care?

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The battery life is quoted by Sony as having 16 hours max talktime, 820 hours of standby, 110 hours of music and seven hours of video playback. Of course, in the official documentation, that's all followed by a load of asterixes to warn you that was all achieved in laboratory conditions.

And unless you're a scientist, you won't be using yours in a lab, which makes the whole thing pointless.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra

There is no general rule with a device like this because we all use them differently. It's not as easy as just talking about a phone these days. The way to approach it is this: if the device is hammered, then the battery won't last. If you take some care in your use, you'll do well in the course of a day.

We found that it actually managed to last quite well. At 3050mAH, it's smaller than the Galaxy Note 3 and has a bigger screen to power. And yet, we found it performed as well as the Samsung device, if not better.

We took our Xperia Ultra Z off charge at 7am. We did that very modern thing of checking Facebook, Instagram and Twitter while the kettle boiled and read a few emails that had come in overnight.

We then left it an hour or so and when we picked it up, the Xperia Ultra Z was still showing 100%. This was with Gmail and MS Exchange pushing emails through all the while.

At about 8:30, we fired up TuneIn Radio and connected it to the car via Bluetooth and drove around with Google Maps navigating us for about 20 minutes. The screen was on the whole time, but we still had 89% remaining when we got back.

Sony Xperia Z Ultra

Over the course of the next few hours, we had a good intensive play. Downloading apps, playing with the camera. We took about 12 photos, shot a couple of small videos, watched a whole episode of Doctor Who on the screen, 'threw' a few photos to the telly, spent an hour or so browsing the web and made one 14 minute-long phone call.

By the time we went to bed at 10pm, the battery still had 32% remaining. It's worth noting that a good chunk of the day was spent travelling on the train where signal goes up and down like a crazy yo-yo so the Xperia Ultra Z would have had to work extra hard.

We were actually really impressed with that. We'd consider ourselves fairly heavy users and if you were to curtail your usage, you'd easily squeeze out two, maybe two and a half days out of that battery. It's worth also pointing out that that was without Sony's Stamina mode enabled.

That acts as a smart throttle of data services to keep the battery as high as possible. Expect even greater things if you enable it.

Here's where we would normally bemoan the lack of a removable battery. But we won't here. The fact that this seems to cope so well makes it less of an issue. If only other manufacturers would follow suit.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported64 GB
Built-in Memory16 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
SAR Value0.34 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyXperia Z Ultra
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1700, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, LTE 800, LTE 850, LTE 900, LTE 1700, LTE 1800, LTE 1900, LTE 2100, LTE 2600
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD, microSD Extended Capacity (microSDXC)
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSony Mobile
Battery Talk Time16 Hour
Screen Size16.3 cm (6.4")
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)212 g
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.2 Jelly Bean
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density344 ppi
Front Camera Resolution2 Megapixel
Height179.4 mm
Width92.2 mm
Depth6.5 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time820 Hour
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product NameXperia Z Ultra Smartphone
Processor Speed2.20 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon 800
Product LineXperia Z Ultra
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part Number1276-0434
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing InformationThe world's largest Full HD smartphone display

The first Android smartphone with a 6.4" Full HD Display - and the first one ever to incorporate a TRILUMINOS™ Display with X-Reality for mobile - Xperia Z Ultra is the smartphone that takes you beyond your wildest dreams. The result? An on-the-go viewing experience that maximises everything.

The world's slimmest Full HD smartphone

With its 6.5 mm body, reflective glass surface and at 212 grams, this premium big screen phone is impressively slim, light and slick.