Whip it out in a bar and all your friends are certain to go: “Oooh...”
"... you tosser"
Two years after Samsung opened the Very Large Phone (VLP™) Pandora’s Box with the original Galaxy Note, Sony has thrown its hat into the ring with the Xperia Z Ultra: a device boasting a 6.4-inch screen and a 2.2GHz quad-core processor. Now I have a pretty wild imagination, especially after a few pints and an injudicious late- …
I think you'd be OK, up to the point you tried to use it as a phone. I suppose a bluetooth headset could reduce the embarrassment. Heh, maybe someone will combine a bluetooth headset & stylus - maybe standing in a bar talking to a pencil would look less ridiculous. Then again.
> Heh, maybe someone will combine a bluetooth headset & stylus
I won't dig through my past posts, but I've written down that idea before (I think when Samsung first announced the Galaxy Note)... I'm no visionary, it's just a sensible idea, especially if the pen/headset also has media playback controls. Infact, Sony could draw upon the style of their early 'Network Walkmans' (they didn't do MP3, FFS!) players which were cylindrical with jog controls.
It could live in a breast pocket, and a little RGB LED pixel would alert the user to notifications etc.
What are you on about? many of these slab phones are cheaper than smaller ones.
Of course, now we know what the hat was in the Fifth Element. It was a guy who just had his phone on his head.
It's funny how 5" screens used to be outrageous. The same negative comments were around when the Dell Streak was new, instead, it was ahead of it's time and the doubters had to catch up. Maybe the negative comments are just Apple users without an option.
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if it survives putting it in the rear pocket and sitting on a chair. El Reg should introduce such test for future VLP reviews. Also what about the heat generation? I could imagine it gets quite warm, seen how tightly it is sealed. Otherwise quite an impressive piece of hardware. As trade off for the waterproofing I can even even forgive the glued in battery.
I've been wary of Sony in the past (proprietary formats, silliness with CDs, sometimes pricey), but always liked them for trying crazy stuff from time to time (Remind yourself here of why Samsung aren't the new Sony: http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/29/4783132/the-amazing-products-of-weird-sony )
Also, my current phone, a Sony 2012 model) has been upgraded from Gingerbread to ICS and then to Jellybean, so I feel fairly well looked after.
Companies can change over time, though if you feel bitten then I can't blame you for feeling shy.
I think the reason phones are becoming increasingly larger is to usher in a new era in biometric security. What with the failure of Apples fingerprint system I believe these new large screens will eventually incorporate a cutting edge device access system called SID - 'Starfish Identification Device'.
Simply pop it down the crack of your Y-fronts, snap a pic of the sheriff's badge and you're in.
Sadly it isn't 2009 any more, Sony have been pretty good with updates since they took over from SE. My Z is regularly updated with new features and performance enhancements, and 4.3 is on the way soon. And of course if you want to take matters into your own hands, many custom ROM's are available, all endorsed by Sony who will quite happily unlock the bootloader for you, and contribute to AOSP and are XDA's most developer friendly manufacturer.
Quote "experience I had with the Arc S".
Nothing wrong with the Arc S - Sony has contributed everything you need to run a decent Android on it to Cyanogen and since this summer you have reasonably fresh (4.x - equivalent) nightlies to run on it. They also give you the unlock code straight away.
1. The Cyanogen sony load has some Wifi Problems. If you get them, enable WPA Enterprise on your AP (you need a radius server for that).
2. You need to use fastboot to flash the kernel every time. The normal update does not flush it
I also have to add that my S & T regularly get their updates. (my T is unbranded, my partners S is O2).
They have customised their version of Jellybean, but it's not that far from vanilla and seems to work well and look good on all the xperia 'form factors'.
Personally, I think the S and the T take really good pictures - the latest camera software updates have been really useful.
I also like the fact that the music player is Walkman software, so i can say "I'm listening to this on my Walkman" and not have to use the dreaded 'i' word, which some now use to indicate a music player.
Sony have their own design 'dress' which I find appealing and, in terms of smartphone design, have a set of products that really stand out.
They have also done a lot of good work on getting the NFC tagging to work well.
In terms of "i'm on the slab", Sony do their own bluetooth phone handset 'companion' and i have seen a man-from-UNCLE type bluetooth handset/slab stylus on the net, from china, which I might get. "open channel Z"
(I also have my supply of mini-disc player/recorders plus discs. 2xplay for 2 CDs on a disc and 4xplay for talking books/radio 4 drama. The latter I used to time-shift onto MD on my (sony) music centre and listen to on the train or in the car. if only they'd popularised it with a USB version...)
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Seems a bit silly really. What it should be compared to is the Z1, since as far as I can tell the hardware is identical. The Ultra is just a Z1 with a big screen and a shit camera.
Also, it's not entirely true to say it has an IP58 rating. As with the Z1, it has an IP 55/58 rating. That means it's good for long-term immersion in still water, but unlike the S4 Active it can't take the high pressure jets that an IPx6 rating can.
Is a Range Rover really a car? Like cars, device manufacturers are creating devices for different segments and creating sub-brands like "Note" for Samsung. The Z Ultra is really like a Personal size Filofax and the idea is that it is a smaller tablet as opposed to a bigger phone. It may fill a niche or may create a small market like the Note 1, 2 & 3.
If thicker two advantages:
Can have strong Chassis so it won't bend and crack LCD so easily.
Decent Battery Life.
If screen is on at full brightness my Sony Xperia eats 79% for screen and lasts about 14 minutes. May be longer if just charged.
I did a huge amount of testing and survey in 1988 for a "pocket notepad" information product. It was found that no advantage below 12mm. Fatter quickly objectionable. Paper back book sized approx was found to be too large, typical traditional 110 mm x 180 mm x 15 mm (W x H x D). We went for 90 mm x 140mm x 13mm approximately. Fits most suit and many coat pockets as well as hand bags. Old hardback books designed for pocket are often 98 x 146 x 13 mm. There are some paper backs in about 85 mm x 150 mm format. I think that in 11mm to 14mm thick would be a maximum phone size. As you make it thicker from 6mm thick and 90mm wide you likely need to reduce width so 14 mm thick you want 80mm wide, or if you keep the 90mm wide, round the top side edges a bit and the bottom side edges more. A 1.85:1 screen fits well. (wider than TV 16:9 which is 1.78:1, but common Cinema format).
If I read the spec correctly the Sony is approximately 92 x 180 x 6.5 mm, so by my previous testing it's about 2mm approximately too wide (call it 1/8" too wide) and about 40mm too tall (about 1.5") and half the thickness it could be.
As the width is most critical for the hand or pocket and it's only a little excessive, the only major issue is thus the thickness. Too thin. We can ignore the extra 1.5" / 40mm height. But if it was 12mm to 14mm, then it would be likely 87 to 90 mm wide. You can experiment with blocks of wood, sanded and sprayed with a slightly inset graphic stuck on after laminating to represent the screen.
Actually the product I was developing used a large pen shaped handset which could work as phone handset, stylus for the "notepad" or a mouse for PC (on any reasonable surface) using a 2mm optically sensed ball in the tip.
This unrelated patent quotes my earlier 1989 - 1990 patent,
I was hyping myself up for the Z Ultra for months, but it just felt a bit too bulky, and the shit camera and no Flash is such a major turn off.
I have been hyping myself up for the Galaxy Note 3 instead, and in fact will probably get one on saturday.
But... Man. I really, really want to have a reason to get this phone. But the camera is poor, there's no flash, THAT BEZEL, it's too thin for such a large device, and the Note 3 has more RAM.
I'm also a bit annoyed that phone shops don't have any Note 3's or Z Ultras anywhere where you can have a play about with them. Here, the one with the advantage is the Note 3, because you can just fuck about with the Note 2 and extrapolate from there.
"I'm also a bit annoyed that phone shops don't have any Note 3's or Z Ultras anywhere where you can have a play about with them. Here, the one with the advantage is the Note 3, because you can just fuck about with the Note 2 and extrapolate from there."
You cannot extrapolate from Note 2. I had a Note 2, sold it and bought a Note 3. In 30 mins I returned it to the online shop. Simply the build quality is worse than Note 2 and it is unpleasant to hold in the hand due to the rubberized backplate which made my hands feel dirty. The rim looks bad, feels sharp and is also unpleasant to hold. Try before you buy even if you have to wait a few more weeks.
That 1GB of RAM is more like a buffer to absorb the bloat of TouchWiz and stylus software, don't count on it.
But the real advantage of Xperia Z Ultra is the superb screen, which is the best ever. Go into a shop and find a Triluminos TV, there is no comparison with any other TV.
"Two years after Samsung opened the Very Large Phone (VLP™) Pandora’s Box with the original Galaxy Note..."
How short some people's memories are. It was Dell, with the Streak 5, who were first into the market. Here's the review:
...that's what you're after. For us, mobile productivity folks - and most likely for people hooked on continuous media consumption as well - it's a pretty well-rounded package: awesome for RDP/remote sessions, you can edit large docs, use a pen or pencil and write on it, take ti to the pool side or even into the water when you are at the hotel during a conference... no need for a tablet.
Downside? It's big but since it's thin and rather tall than wide - it matches the width of your passport - it slips into coats and jackets just fine - though the larger screen surface means it's also a lot more susceptible of scratches...
The implicit tightness is already implied, what with ducks liking swimming.....
...anyway, I love my Note, but can only just hold it comfortably to make calls. The idea of going any bigger I think will meet with usability difficulties.
The phone does look really nice. What would be REALLY great is if it folded in the middle! (2014 maybe? and then all the idiots with Dom Jolly phones [me] will look like, er, idiots!).
Nice review on the Z Ultra. This is actually coming to Canada on Bell around October 15th along with the Z1. $799 and $699 CDN for the Z Ultra and Z1 respectively I believe. Talked to a Sony sales person at the Eaton Centre Sony Store in Toronto and he tells me Sony Canada will have the unlocked Z Ultra @ $750 thereabouts. We'll see.
For the next review might I suggest the Nexus 7 2013 LTE. No true "telephony" per se but with VoIP does it really matter? Will fail the lager test for sure though.
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