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New Z Ultra owner here - Impressions

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greyhulk
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Default New Z Ultra owner here - Impressions

I buy a lot of devices and I almost always find something I don't like about one and move on. I did all of my research and watched every video available and honestly thought I was prepared for the size of this thing. I have a Lumia 1520 and briefly had a Mega, so I'm no stranger to larger phones.

Size - When I first opened the box and saw how gigantic it was in person, I thought "I have made a terrible mistake". However, after taking it out of the box and using it for a few days, I couldn't be more wrong. I'm not sure if it's the thinness or the weight, but it just doesn't feel as cumbersome as I expected. I really enjoy the screen real estate and it actually feels nice in the hand, more so because the sides are squared off and not rounded. The Lumia 1520 never felt right in my hand.

Screen- I know it's probably just me, but the screen looks a little washed out. It gives me much the same impression that the Nexus 5 did before I sent it back. When I use it on its own for a while, it looks nice, and I'm sure it's color accurate, but there are times when it just doesn't look good to me. I think it's the AMOLED effect, coming from oversaturated screens like the Note 3, Moto X, and LG G2, but I guess I'm a sucker for saturation. I also find the brightness to be a little on the low side. Much like the LG G2, I feel like I have to have it at around 80% for it to look right to me. On a better note, I was expecting the shatterproof film to bother me, but it doesn't.

Camera - I was prepared for the disappointment that is the camera on this device. Just about every review panned it. I love the camera features, but the image quality does leave something to be desired, even in daylight. I have tried all kinds of manual settings and lighting conditions. It's still a passable camera, but I can't help but feel that I'm missing out on better photos when I use it. It's probably my one biggest gripe with this phone. I found a flash diode you can install in the headphone jack for low light shots, but since photos aren't that much better in daylight, I doubt it would make much difference. I wish they had at least included the 13mp camera from the Xperia Z.

Overall, despite the negatives (for me) listed above, I really like this device overall. I like it way more than I thought I would. I'm still fighting battery life a little and trying to figure out how to use Stamina mode to best benefit, but I don't regret my purchase at all. I'm pretty sure I'll be keeping it and my next project is to find a nice clear case that shows off the beautiful purple back.
 
LordManhattan
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Congrats and welcome!

Regarding the battery, it'll get better after a couple of cycles (typically around a week). Stamina helps a fair bit with the standby time, so be sure to not whitelist everything, or else there won't be any reason to use it. I'm on the GPe ROM now (Google Play Edition), but when I run the stock ROM, I only whitelist important stuff like Gmail, Pushbullet etc. You may want to whitelist your IM app of choice too, but keep in mind that they all use a lot of battery.



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Originally Posted by LordManhattan View Post
Congrats and welcome!

Regarding the battery, it'll get better after a couple of cycles (typically around a week). Stamina helps a fair bit with the standby time, so be sure to not whitelist everything, or else there won't be any reason to use it. I'm on the GPe ROM now (Google Play Edition), but when I run the stock ROM, I only whitelist important stuff like Gmail, Pushbullet etc. You may want to whitelist your IM app of choice too, but keep in mind that they all use a lot of battery.



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Thanks! Yeah, I only whitelisted a few (Gmail, Telegram, etc), but it still seems to be draining a bit much on standby. Exchange services seems to be partly to blame. I have 2 exchange accounts set up on push and I'm seeing around 8% drain from Exchange Services. While not much, it typically doesn't show up on the battery stats of any of my other phones, so I'm not sure if it's a bug or what.
 
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Thanks! Yeah, I only whitelisted a few (Gmail, Telegram, etc), but it still seems to be draining a bit much on standby. Exchange services seems to be partly to blame. I have 2 exchange accounts set up on push and I'm seeing around 8% drain from Exchange Services. While not much, it typically doesn't show up on the battery stats of any of my other phones, so I'm not sure if it's a bug or what.
Hmm, that might be something.. or not. It's a little early to tell. You should get fairly good battery life though, so keep an eye on it. You should get between 5 and 8 hours of screen time depending on usage, but your battery is brand new, so it'll get better in a few days.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by greyhulk View Post
I buy a lot of devices and I almost always find something I don't like about one and move on. I did all of my research and watched every video available and honestly thought I was prepared for the size of this thing. I have a Lumia 1520 and briefly had a Mega, so I'm no stranger to larger phones.

Size - When I first opened the box and saw how gigantic it was in person, I thought "I have made a terrible mistake". However, after taking it out of the box and using it for a few days, I couldn't be more wrong. I'm not sure if it's the thinness or the weight, but it just doesn't feel as cumbersome as I expected. I really enjoy the screen real estate and it actually feels nice in the hand, more so because the sides are squared off and not rounded. The Lumia 1520 never felt right in my hand.

Screen- I know it's probably just me, but the screen looks a little washed out. It gives me much the same impression that the Nexus 5 did before I sent it back. When I use it on its own for a while, it looks nice, and I'm sure it's color accurate, but there are times when it just doesn't look good to me. I think it's the AMOLED effect, coming from oversaturated screens like the Note 3, Moto X, and LG G2, but I guess I'm a sucker for saturation. I also find the brightness to be a little on the low side. Much like the LG G2, I feel like I have to have it at around 80% for it to look right to me. On a better note, I was expecting the shatterproof film to bother me, but it doesn't.

Camera - I was prepared for the disappointment that is the camera on this device. Just about every review panned it. I love the camera features, but the image quality does leave something to be desired, even in daylight. I have tried all kinds of manual settings and lighting conditions. It's still a passable camera, but I can't help but feel that I'm missing out on better photos when I use it. It's probably my one biggest gripe with this phone. I found a flash diode you can install in the headphone jack for low light shots, but since photos aren't that much better in daylight, I doubt it would make much difference. I wish they had at least included the 13mp camera from the Xperia Z.

Overall, despite the negatives (for me) listed above, I really like this device overall. I like it way more than I thought I would. I'm still fighting battery life a little and trying to figure out how to use Stamina mode to best benefit, but I don't regret my purchase at all. I'm pretty sure I'll be keeping it and my next project is to find a nice clear case that shows off the beautiful purple back.
Usually my target time is 2.5-3 hours of screen time when battery reaches 50%. That is without gaming.

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greyhulk
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Usually my target time is 2.5-3 hours of screen time when battery reaches 50%. That is without gaming.

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I think the office I work in is what kills my battery. Seems to be consistent throughout most of my devices. Might be a reception issue, even though I'm usually on Wifi. I also removed my Exchange accounts and now battery life seems to be better. I added one back to day and Exchange Services has yet to show back up in my battery stats.

I'm still really impressed with this device. I still really want a Z2, but this thing kicks way more ass than I thought it would and I'm really digging the size more than I expected.
 
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I think the office I work in is what kills my battery. Seems to be consistent throughout most of my devices. Might be a reception issue, even though I'm usually on Wifi. I also removed my Exchange accounts and now battery life seems to be better. I added one back to day and Exchange Services has yet to show back up in my battery stats.

I'm still really impressed with this device. I still really want a Z2, but this thing kicks way more ass than I thought it would and I'm really digging the size more than I expected.
You may want to try and kick it into 2G mode while you're at work? You're on WiFi at work, so you don't need 4G speeds, and 2G is basically everywhere - while 4G is not, so you'll probably get great reception. I don't know where you are located though, but i'm guessing some place within the US?
 
greyhulk
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You may want to try and kick it into 2G mode while you're at work? You're on WiFi at work, so you don't need 4G speeds, and 2G is basically everywhere - while 4G is not, so you'll probably get great reception. I don't know where you are located though, but i'm guessing some place within the US?
I'm in Texas. I actually get great reception here, but the building I work in seems to block the signal pretty bad. Almost every phone I have used here seems to struggle with a signal (slow download speed) inside the office. I was kind of hoping that the Stamina mode would help with that, since it doesn't allow the data connection when the screen is off.

Is there an easy way to bump it down to HSPA+, or is it a code in the phone menu?
 
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Go to Settings -> More... -> Mobile networks and see if there are any better options in there. Or I guess you'll have to quit your job. It's the only logic thing to do.

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Go to Settings -> More... -> Mobile networks and see if there are any better options in there. Or I guess you'll have to quit your job. It's the only logic thing to do.

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