India’s biggest phone, the Sony Xperia C5 Ultra, is now available in India at a price of Rs 29,999 with select retailers.
UPDATE: The phone is now available on eBay at Rs 28,500 without Sony India warranty.
The phone is likely to become more widely available towards the end of the month, and the price is also expected to fall to the Rs 28,000 range by then.
The C5 Ultra is bigger than all other recently launched phones out there, including the Samsung Galaxy A8 (similar price, 5.7 inch) and the OnePlus Two (price Rs 23,000, 5.5 inch).
The C5 Ultra comes with a 1.7 GHz Octa-core MediaTek MTK6752 processor with LTE, 2 GB RAM and 16 GB of Internal memory. It also supports up to 200 GB of MicroSD card memory.
Display resolution is FHD, while battery capacity is 2.93 Ah, which should give average battery life. In other words, it should be enough for about 4-4.5 hours of screen-on usage.
One of the specialties of the phone is the 13 MP front camera. Most phones in this price range offer a 5 MP shooter on the front.
The Xperia C5 Ultra features a ‘bezel-less’ design. The size bezels of the C5 Ultra are less than 1 mm thick (0.8 mm), making them look as if they are not there. Bezel less designs are a major design challenge that companies have been trying to solve for years.
“We made it bigger without getting bigger,” said Sony on the official announcement of the C5 Ultra.
“With Xperia C5 Ultra, we’ve managed some smartphone magic. We’ve managed to maximise the display without adding bulk to your phone. With a wafer-thin bezel, Xperia C5 Ultra is almost all screen. Together with a cool aluminium frame and an ever so slightly curved back, it’s a smartphone that feels as good as it looks.”
Another phone that will be launched by Sony in India over the next two weeks is the Xperia M5, a kind of affordable flagship. At Rs 52,500, Sony’s current flagship model, the Xperia Z3+, is arguably the worst phone in India to purchase from a value for money perspective.
Despite being among the most expensive phones in India, the Xperia Z3+ does not even come with a quad-HD display.
Not surprisingly, Sony’s not exactly rocking the charts at the top-end of the market.
The Xperia M5 will seek to do amends as it offers largely similar specifications at a more palatable price of around 32,000 or thereabouts. These specifications include 3 GB of RAM and a powerful Helio X10 processor.
See the M5 introduction video from Sony below
Of course, it must be kept in mind that Sony’s launch prices are usually very different from the on-the-ground prices.
For example, the price Xperia M4 fell to Rs 21,700 from Rs 25,000 in about a month after launch. Similarly, the Xperia C4 fell to Rs 25,000 in two weeks after it was launched at Rs 29,500.
As a result, the sticker price of the M5 will be around Rs 33,000 and that of the C5 Ultra at about Rs 30,000.
The C4 Ultra and the M5, like the Samsung Galaxy A8 and A7, are attempts by these ‘premium’ brands to hold on to declining markets shares in the price-sensitive mid-market.
UPDATE: Meizu’s MX5 — a 5.5-inch all-metal flagship — will go on sale on Snapdeal on Wednesday (Aug 26) at a price that is much lower than that of the C5.
Samsung has been largely successful in regaining its share in the upper-mid range with its A5 and A7, and looks set to repeat the performance with its A8.
However, Sony’s C4 and M4 have not been the kind of success that Samsung’s A5 and A7 have been, in terms of sales.
However, with the C5 Ultra, Sony’s likely to find more going in its favor. The company’s previous 6-inch phone — T2 Ultra — is still selling, about a year-and-a-half after it was launched.
The T2 Ultra was launched at a price of Rs 26,000 and even today, it is retailing at Rs 18,500.
Part of the reason is that no other MNC vendor focuses on the 6-inch market.
Secondly, Sony has a reputation for excellent build quality and refinement, which becomes crucial at this size point.