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first off this phone is huge, it dwarfs my galaxy note 3 but that's why I bought it. I hate trying to use the Internet on a tiny screen well problem solved with this phone. The build quality from Sony is as always top notch it's lighter than it looks and very thin. The screen is bright and vibrant and even though it's a year old could still hold up well against newer devices. The camera is a bit of a let down in low light conditions because it lacks a flash. Basically if you want a huge phablet with decent spec's then I'd get this one, sure there's other offerings out there with slightly better specs but none will have the build quality and class this phone has.
It is gorgeous, only Sony knows how to make something like this, before Apple glossy products came along, Sony was already there, I had not brought a Sony product since the Sony UX micro PC back in 2008, and boy had they got their mojo back, new CEO, handsome guy he is. If not for this purchase busting my pockets, I would have also brought the Sony Vaio Tap 11.
It is solidly well made, very clean, minimal design and very thin like chocolate McVities equally delicious.
The size, I'm very sure you are thinking about buying this because of its sheer monster size, and you want to carry one less item in your bag. The size of the screen is the perfect sweet spot, not too unwieldy, watching videos, it doesn't feel small, compared to my previous phone the Galaxy note. The brightness isn't as good as a OLED screen but I reckon the colour are more natural, great for reading.
Performance is excellent, it is simply very slick to use, the MHL HDMI output work well.
The speaker is loud, it is oddly louder when place on a flat surface.
The pencil input thing is a bit gimmicky, if you haven't fallen for Galaxy note pen, will not feel short changed.
Comes with a free bluetooth headset, so you don't have to look like you're using a Dom Joly phone.
Bad points, the bloody 8MP camera is really bloody awful, why not have Z1 camera? Where's the bloody flash? It doesn't even do as well as the 2 year old galaxy note, minus 1 star that's for sure. A LED flash is great of taking table length photo in dim settings, it is not asking to much... Awful, that's twice awful.
I'm a big fan of large phones/ phablets so this thing fits the bill just fine. I've had a few problems with it in the first couple of weeks of owning it, however these have mostly been fixed by firmware updates. (I'm still not sure about the optimized backlight problem where turning the feature off leads to continuous rebooting; I've just left it on to be safe).
Pros: Amazing 1080p 6.4 inch screen with great viewing angles and colour reproduction. Best built phone I have ever owned (last one was Galaxy Note 2). Battery life is pretty good. (It ran out a bit too quickly when I first got it but after a few charges it's lasting me about a day now). Super fast and smooth because of the new CPU and GPU. Feels nice and light in the hand because of the 'omni-balance' design (or something like that :P). I really like Sony's take on Android compared to Touchwiz in the Samsung I had before. Included Bluetooth headset is really good. Although the earphones went quite in one side the actual detachable bluetooth part is fine.
Cons: Camera is lacking a little. I can forgive it though because it's obviously not designed to be a camera phone (and the rest of the phone is awesome). A few glitches and niggles, I think the firmware needs fine tuning. (looking forward to 4.4 kitkat). Sharp corners can be uncomfortable when holding for a long time.
Overall because of the differences in UI and build quality;going back to the Note 2 feels like playing with a toy, whereas the Sony feels like a premium gadget.
*I'd like to say one last thing that got my last comment removed. I bought the white Xperia Z Ultra about 2 weeks ago for £570. The black one is now £460 and falling all the time. I am clearly but-hurt about this and wanted to vent my rage and left a one-star review. That wasn't reflective of the actual phone and so I was wrong to do it. I am annoyed it got removed though because it was my opinion (free speech and all that) and, in a way, Amazon has cheated the overall score back to 5 stars.*
So because of Amazon's disappointing reaction to my previous review and the price problem, I'm going to give a 5 star phone 4 stars.
ALSO FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WAIT FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS BEFORE YOU BUY IT! That way you'll save yourself a nice amount of money.