Sony Yuga (C6603) gets reviewed before it’s even announced, live images and full specs now out

The oft leaked, oft rumored Sony Yuga five-incher is real. As real as they come. Furthermore, it’s bound to be unveiled soon, if not at CES in January, then surely at MWC in February.

As is sometimes the case with unannounced, unreleased models, Mobile-review got a hold of a Yuga prototype and, after teasing us with a couple of pictures yesterday, wrote a (p)review of sorts, helping us understand everything there is to know about this phone’s hardware (except for the very few details that aren’t obvious at this point, such as its battery’s capacity).

First of all, it’s good to know that Yuga is just a codename, and Sony’s first ever phablet will retail under a different moniker, obviously including the well known Xperia brand.

The Sony Yuga has a 5-inch 1080p Full HD touchscreen, a quad-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor (APQ8064, the same one found in the HTC Droid DNA, LG Optimus G, and LG Nexus 4), a 12 MP rear camera with LED flash capable of HDR video recording, LTE support (apparently it will be the first ‘truly global’ LTE-capable smartphone, having all bands active), Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC, microSD slot, and a non-removable battery of unknown size. Right now it runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, yet an update to 4.2 should arrive around the time of the Yuga’s release or soon after that.

Some of the components in the Yuga, despite being pretty high-end, do have their flaws. The display comes with Mobile Bravia Engine, which makes the pre-optimized apps (Sony’s, obviously) look very good, but others not quite so. Also, viewing angles are small, and the backlighting is a bit too visible in dark areas.

Similarly, the Qualcomm chipset used does provide the maximum performance available today in a mobile device, but at the cost of severe overheating – which can lead to the camera refusing to start until the phone cools down. Keep in mind though that the reviewed unit was a prototype, and things may get fixed until the Yuga hits the streets. There’s only one solution to this problem that’s common to all APQ8064-running phones, and that’s thermal throttling, and it’s employed by LG in its Optimus G and Nexus 4. That doesn’t allow the chipset to overheat, because it throttles down the CPU and GPU before that can occur. What results is a drop in performance in some cases, but since this chipset has plenty of that to go around, it probably won’t be noticed in day to day activities.

Another issue with the chipset is its incredibly high battery consumption while doing things, both heavy such as gaming, but also light such as Web browsing. Thankfully, it’s supposed to idle a lot better. Then again, Sony may have just used a much too small battery in the Yuga – there’s no way of knowing the exact culprit here. Clearly, the APQ8064 is a lot more power hungry than, say, the dual-core MSM8960 in some circumstances, and the Full HD touchscreen is more hungry than a 720p unit might be, but those things can be mitigated by simply using bigger batteries (see Samsung’s monstrous 3,100 mAh unit in its Galaxy Note II, also a quad-core).

Author: Vlad Bobleanta

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