Sony Z Ultra (Google Play Edition): Unboxing & Overview

by birtanpublished on May 27, 2021

Hey guys Mike here D Detroit board with a look at the new Google Play edition of the Sony Z ultra notice they removed Xperia from this name because this is running stock Android so Google kind of quietly launched this along with a Google Play edition of the LG G pad 8.3 so this now joins the GS 4 as well as the HTC One in the Google Play Store in these Google Play editions basically these are versions of these devices running stock Android and therefore are more updated more quickly than their om counterparts so of course you can still buy the Xperia Z ultra with all the Sony software but if you want the stock

Experience with an unlocked bootloader that gets the latest version of Android this is definitely something to take a look at because you get the same hardware you just get the software that some of you may prefer now like all Google Play edition devices these are sold off contracts so you do pay full price for them so this is 649 this is $5.99 this is also 649 so fairly hefty prices but of course they are unlocked and you're paying nothing on contract so you can select your carrier of course you do have to have a cure that supports these devices and that usually excludes

Verizon in the US now the Z ultra is one of the largest smartphones on the market right now with a six point four inch 1080p display this is that Sony triluminos display LCD we also have a 2.2 gigahertz Snapdragon 800 processor two gigs of RAM 16 gigs of internal storage an 8 megapixel rear flying camera with a waterproof design alright so let's go ahead and crack this open and take a look alright so I'm just going to cut these little tabs here alright just peel it apart here there it is our very large black phone this is only available in black the Xperia

Version is sold in white or purple all right so let's just lift it out yes it's very very large kind of nice it does fit my very large hands but it is definitely large for a phone now some people call these phablets like I'm I'm a little reluctant to call anything less than 7 inches a phablet to me this is still a just a large phone alright let's set that aside take a look at the contents I don't think there's much in here alright so we have our start up guy just shows us some of the ports and buttons as well as the flaps that house the micro SD card slot as well as your SIM tray this

Has a micro SIM not a nano sym we're going to explore of course all of that when we look at the device important information nothing interesting there and in different languages us safety guidelines SAR information and that's about it we also have our hardware accessories so we do have a micro USB cable for charging and syncing your device we also have a wall wart so we have Sony's branded wall wart you can see it's kind of a nice design it's got plastic surrounding it let's go ahead and peel it off so there we go glossy sony wall wart with that matte

Finish along the side one USB connector alright so let's get back to the phone in its plastic envelope we're just going to pull this out alright so we have lots of plastic covering our device so we have one big one covering that huge black slab on the front now the plastic wrap on the back points us to some of the hidden ports which are hidden behind flaps including the microUSB port for charging it recommends a 30 minute charge before use I suppose we also have our flap covering the micro SD card slot as well as the SIM tray alright so let's go ahead and peel this off and there we

Go if basically what looks like one piece of glass the first thing that jumped out to me with this phone is just how thin and lightweight it is it makes this very large phone a lot more manageable than I was imagining so definitely feels pretty nice in the hand but of course it is very large so for example if I'm holding it comfortably you can see that my fingers barely wrap around the front of the device so of course when you're handling either have to use two hands or if you're one handing it you kind of have to have a very light grip on it so it

Makes a little procuress to handle now taking a close look at the design of the Z ultra with that edge to edge front glass panel toward the bottom you actually see the mouthpiece which is nicely integrated into the bezel now the bezel itself here is plastic as opposed to glass or clear plastic as we've seen with others ultra products or you know the Xperia Pro X we also have our speaker down here which is flanked on the corner here with a lanyard port so you can connect the lanyard if you like along the other side will find our accessory port for connecting so many

Accessories such as charging docks that sort of thing those are proprietary of course we also have a door up here hiding the kuroh USB charging port so if you look inside you'll see this little rubber gasket that seals up the microUSB port which keeps it watertight and dust resistant along the top you'll find your earpiece which mirrors the mouthpiece at the bottom you can see our Sony branding with our 2 megapixel front frying camera that's good for 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second and if you look really closely to the left of that you get that

Bull shadow indicating the presence of your ambient light sensor now along the top you'll find one of the microphones which also picks up on the design of the speaker on the bottom of the phone the right-hand side of the device has a lot more going on so for example you have your power on and off button you can see it's mounted toward the middle of the right side which is a more comfortable position you also have your volume rocker which is mounted just below that I really like Sony's power on and off but it feels really tactile you can also feel it

Pretty easily you also have that door for your micro SD card slot as well as your sim and just above that is the headphone jack which is also water-resistant even though it's open so we can go ahead and pop this off and there behind it is the Micro SIM tray as well as the SD card slot along the back you'll just find this one piece of glass with our Sony branding NFC technology so you can see this is the area where you'll find the NFC you also have a camera with a megapixel autofocus ena and 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second but what you're missing here is

An LED flash this does not come with one which was a bit of a surprise to me at first I thought it was might be hidden behind the glass but indeed it does not have an LED flash that's kind of strange to me because even tablets have LED flashes I guess this one chooses to go without because photos are usually best without them anyway all right so I'm just going to power this on for the first time so again we have a full 1080p screen over 6.4 inches that gets us a pixel density of 334 so that's not as pixel rich as something like the 1080p display on a 4.7 inch screen or a 5 inch

Screen which usually put it over 400 alright so i've logged into my Google Calendar all set so this is going to be the stock experience for you this is what you would get when you first activate your device now the launcher is different than the Nexus 5 Nexus 5 has a unique launcher which is not carry over to the other Nexus devices or to the Google Play devices so for example we can't swipe all the way over to get to the Google now feature you do have to swipe up here from the home button to get to it now the great thing with the Sony Xperia Z unlike the HTC

One or dig' is for is that we do have off screen Android controls which mean they operate the same as any of the Nexus devices so again you can swipe up to get to Google now tap the home button to get back home you have your recent apps which allows you to cycle through them and of course you do not have clothes law which tends to be a feature that skins add but you can quickly launch an app just like that or you can swipe them out of the way to close them we also have the back button which works the same and that's about all so you can't tap and hold on any of

These buttons for other features except for Google now now the Nexus 5 has a few other exclusive features such as the ability to say ok Google to wake up Google now and speak to it it also has transparency surrounding these Android controls as opposed to the black bar they also have a different homescreen editors when you tap and hold the home screen here you get the traditional editor where you get a full editor on the Nexus 5 now they have enabled landscape orientation with this device which is unique this is kind of similar to the Nexus 7 in many ways unlike the

Other phone so the Nexus 5 the GS 4 and the HTC One Play editions do not do this only this phone now from the lockscreen you can swipe up to get to Google now again a familiar experience to any Nexus device we also have the camera which you can quickly toggle through ice either swiping to the right now have a little icon here which allows you to swipe to the right now we have the standard array of Google apps in the app drawer the only thing I've added here is Geekbench 3 so we have hangouts which is now our messaging app so in fact if you go to the home screen you'll see that hangouts

Is now integrated as your standard app which now integrate to SMS that's all of Android 4.4 feature we have Google keep Maps news and weather the people app the new phone dialer so if you go to the phone dial you can see just how big the phone dialer is it's not scaled in any way for the size of the phone should basically blown up here you also have photos which replaces gallery as well as Google Plus photos it's just one app now that integrates everything we also have Google play's or the new Play newsstand which integrates all of your Google Play magazine content we also have Quick

Office so we have a full off sweet for editing and viewing Word documents Excel and PowerPoint and also you can see our new Settings icon again all 4.4 stuff we have YouTube we have Google Wallet and we do have NFC so we do have that feature here and we have voice search so again pretty standard stuff while this is mostly a stock device there are a few features which Sony has added so if we go the settings we'll find two of them so if we go to sound will find sound effects Sounders sound effects we have clear Audio plus which you can toggle on basically that

Automatically optimizes sound settings for listening to music we also have dynamic normalizer which minimizes volume differences between songs or video we also have this sound enhancement panel so we have our equalizer which we can adjust manually you can also change your base here we also have settings so we have even more controls here for clear stereo clear phase and X low so lots of Sony controls here of course that is their important feature set now for the most part we pretty much have the same control panel that any Nexus device has so if we go to

About foam will find our Android version Android 4.4 so you can see our little Easter Egg so if you tap and hold on that we can Android KitKat now going back to our lockscreen again fairly stock so we have our drop-down shade so we can get to our notifications or jump to our settings or quick toggles now if you're not familiar with Android you can also do you can get access to your settings or quick toggles by using a two finger gesture to swipe down as opposed to a single gesture now it's not like a tablet so for example you can't swipe down on the right to get to your quick

Settings toggles like you can with larger devices now the Z ultra has a really nice display the first thing I noticed when I was using it was just how bright and vivid the colors are the Nexus 5 can be accused of being a little washed down but I really like the display the Nexus 7 tends to be really bright and blue it's a really nice display as well tends to be a little cleaner looking but the colors aren't as vivid the Z ultra has really bright vivid colors so it's got a much higher color gamut than something like these other devices more natural look to it so

By itself I really like the Z ultra light I prefer it to the other devices but when you compare them side-by-side it does look more yellow alright so lets going to take a look at the camera app really quickly there's one feature obviously missing here and that's the flash feature which of course it does not have one but the camera feature again is very standard next stuff so we have our options here including panorama mode we also have our photosphere mode which allows you to take a photo sphere I'm not going to go into all of those we have our still

Camera as well as our video camera so we can go ahead and record a video and we're going to stop it so if you tap anywhere on the scene or anywhere on the screen you can get to your settings so we can go up to settings we can switch the camera to the front camera and we can change our white balance as you can see drills down into your menus so you can change it to incandescent fluorescent auto daylight or cloudy and you can swipe down to get back to your lower level go back to settings release it takes you to your settings you can see you can change your video quality

Your store location as well as whether you want time-lapse active or not you can tap here to get to settings as well as little circle icon so when you're recording you can see it does go away and switch to our front camera we can tap the focus as you can see a little focus ring indicating that's focusing for you and you also tap anywhere on the scene to bring up your settings so you can enable HDR you can also go up here to settings and it drills down to more settings such as geolocation you can turn on and off as you can see your icons down here do adjust for that so

You can take a photo you can pinch in and out to zoom you get a little zoom indicator here of course that's just digital zoom and there you go it's a pretty nice camera now in terms of benchmarking using Geekbench 3 we can see that the nexus 5 and the Z ultra score very similarly so they both have the same stamp dragon 800 processor same two gigs of ram so they score very close 920 versus 912 and 27:53 versus 2687 so slightly faster on the nexus 5 which is clocked a little higher so if we look down here you can see 2.27 gigahertz versus 2.15 now in terms of speed and

Performance is actually a pretty slick device here but that's to be expected with most stock devices usually the bottleneck isn't the hardware it's just the software and Nexus devices are really highly optimized so they work pretty well you may have noticed some stuttering here and there throughout the filming of this video I did notice it as well mostly with a drop-down shade but otherwise it moves pretty quickly so for example we can go to the verge we can quickly scroll through the entire website does a pretty good job alright so let's go ahead and do the size

Comparison so here we have the iPhone 5s which is absolutely dwarfed here that 4-inch Green we also have our Galaxy Note 3 which is quite a large device but again too warped by the Z ultra then we have the Nexus 5 which we already looked at again dwarfed this has a four point nine inch screen I think this has a 4.7 inch HTC One and then we have a 5 inch GS 4 and then we have the very large galaxy mega which I thought was large until I saw the Z ultra this even Dwarfs at now this is a 6.3 inch screen this is a six point four inch screen but it looks

Considerably bigger than the Galaxy mega and I think that's because we have larger bezels at either end on the top and bottom of the Z ultra now generally speaking I actually find the ergonomics of the galaxy mega preferable to the Z ultra and that's because it has a smaller bezel down here than the Z ultra as you can see it's a much thicker bezel but it also has rounded corners so reduces the distance from your palm to the display so as you can see rest comfortably in your palm as the pose to what the Z ultra does because it has such a long bezel it very much goes past

Your palm so it's not a really comfortable grip in this case and as you can see once in your palm its kind of digs into your palm and again as a little more distance between you and the display so it's a small difference but I do notice it when hailing such a square device but again it's much thinner than something like the mega so if we look at site on you can see that although the mega is still thin it's definitely not as thin as the Z ultra now generally speaking the Z Ultra is geared toward enthusiasts we have the stock Android experience which is geared toward

Android fans and we have this very large form factor which most people will not prefer day to day just because it's more cumbersome to use even if you have large hands so for me I really like this device but it is a little cumbersome to use does ask to be dropped because it is so slick doesn't have a really organic design with those sharp corners but it's got a nice beautiful display it kind of retains the tablet form factor while still remaining pocketable so you can still slip this into your pocket maybe not comfortably it may take up too much space in your pocket but it does get

Around pretty easily this is better than something like the Nexus 7 which is of course much bulkier but if you like the stock experience if you prefer the large form factor there are really no other phones that can compete right now than the C ultra so this is going to do for me in this video thanks guys and I'll see you again in the next one

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