We have the pick of the bunch with phones here at Clove. We see the good the bad and the ugly when it comes to smartphones, so you may be interested to know which handsets we use and why.
So in no particular order, here is a list of what some of us currently use and why in each users own words..
Josh – Sony Xperia Z Ultra (Hutchinson 3 Contract Offer)
Until recently I had been using Nexus devices (4 & 5) for some time and enjoyed the customisability of the OS. Seeing a number of phones come and go in the office though, I had been drawn to the build quality of the Sony Z range, a stark contrast to the somewhat rushed construction of the Nexus handsets.
With the end of a contract looming, I checked operators for the best deal on Sony devices. 3′s One Plan (true unlimited data / tethering) was perfect for me and the recent Sony handsets were available at the usual monthly subsidy on top of contract charges. Doing the maths I wasn’t being swindled so I went for a contracted handset over a full price SIM free device / SIM only contract combination.
It was a toss up between the Z1 & the Z Ultra. I chose the larger handset as a) I am not particularly interested in taking pictures and b) I test a fair number of mobile games and use my phone to read a lot of news articles and web videos, making the huge screen all the more important to me. Pulling content off the home media server over DLNA is also fairly simple.
Screen size, quality & resolution are undoubtedly the best bits of the Z Ultra, although if you use your phone outside a lot (which I don’t) the screen glare is pretty unbearable. I also find Sony’s Android customisation to be the least intrusive of the major manufacturers and my perception of their attitude towards consumers to be better.
The size is undoubtedly a turn off for many in terms of portability, although the Z Ultra isn’t actually that weighty in the hand. I’m used to wearing baggy jeans & jackets with big pockets so carrying such a large handset doesn’t bother me, however it’s something to take into consideration.
The screen takes its toll on the battery too. Sony include a relatively big cell and STAMINA mode is great at extending the life during the day, but the level ticks down almost visibly with that massive screen on. I have found the (quite expensive) CP -12 extended battery case and stylus to be a practical necessity if I’m away from power for an extended time, although this does add considerable bulk to an already large phone.
The Z Ultra is the very definition of a niche device. It does exactly what it sets out to do and, for me, I couldn’t really want it to do more.