Sony Xperia XZ3 review
A delight to the senses
Our Sony Xperia XZ3 review uncovers a user experience that exceptional in every area, from the sounds that you hear to the things that you see. This stunning Sony phone is expected soon in the UK, so you won’t have to wait too long if you want one.
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Stunning HDR display
The Sony Xperia XZ3 has an amazing 6” HDR OLED display. With HDR and OLED technologies, blacks appear purer, colours are more vibrant and the contrast is heightened. What’s more, the phone will up-convert non HDR TV shows and movies to near HDR quality. This happens whenever you download or stream content.
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The display is borderless and curves over at the edges. There is QHD+ (1440 x 2880 pixels) resolution, which is extremely fine. Always on displays keep getting better and this is the case here with notifications, photos, music controls and clock information always at hand.
Great looks and durability
The Sony Xperia XZ3 is one of the best looking phones yet. It has smooth curves and comes in either White Silver, Black, Bordeaux Red or Forest Green. However, it isn’t particularly thin or light at 9.9mm and 193g.
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This Sony phone is built to stand the rigours of daily life with a durable Corning Gorilla Glass 5 front. It can withstand a splash or rain shower too, with IP 65/68 certification.
The Xperia XZ3 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with 4GB RAM. This is 30% faster than the previous generation of processors. The processor supports super fast downloads, where you can download a TV episode in 20 seconds. The phone can also open images and videos three times faster, with Universal Flash Storage.
Phone Set Up
There is no facial recognition but you can secure the phone with a fingerprint sensor, positioned on the back. This is natural and quick to use, so you really won’t miss the facial recognition gimmick.
If you have content on your old smartphone that you would like to move over, then there is plenty of space with a 64GB memory. When you start shooting 4K video or download HDR content, you may eventually find that you need more memory. The good news is that there is a memory card slot for up to 512GB cards.
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Google Android Pie
The Sony Xperia XZ3 comes with the new Android Pie operating system. This new OS has new subtle changes that are focused on offering a better experience, that is focused on your own preferences.
New features of Android Pie include:
App Actions - If you do things on a regular basis then App Actions will recognise this and work to make this quicker and easier to do. For example, if you plug in your earphones then the App Drawer will give you a link to continue to play the playlist you were listening to last. If you call someone at the same time each day, then expect to see a link to do this to appear.
Adaptive Brightness - If you adjust the brightness when using certain features or at different times of the day, then AI learns this and makes the adjustments automatically for you in the future.
Slices - If you search for an app such as Lyft, then you will see suggestions and information appear without even opening the app. You might be shown how far away the nearest car is or have the option to book a car, all without opening the app.
Wind Down Mode - The phone can be set to enter Do Not Disturb mode at a certain time and the screen will turn to gray-scale as near bedtime.
Sony introduces Side Sense with the Sony Xperia XZ3. Side Sense shows your favourite apps (learned by AI) whenever you double tap, anywhere on the side of the phone. This feature looks good as those apps appear on one side of the screen.
Sony’s loudest stereo speakers yet make an appearance and these have S-Force Front Surround. High-Resolution Audio and Clear Bass technologies work to amaze your ears and the phone uplifts compressed music files, so they sound closer to the original. If you want to fine tune the audio experience, then you can by using the equaliser.
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The Sony Xperia XZ3 also gets Sony’s Dynamic Vibration System. This causes the phone to vibrate in your hand, in sync with the audio of films or music files.
Camera & Video
AI Motion Eye camera
The 19MP Motion Eye camera uses AI to prepare for the shot you might want to take, ahead of your reactions. This makes tricky shots, such as mid-air action, easy to shoot. Predictive Capture detects movement and smiles, buffering images prior to you pressing the shutter button. You will get a choice four images to save, ensuring you never miss the action you wanted capture.
Video recording is also at its best with 4K HDR video recording or super slow motion video recording. Slow motion video is caught in Full HD and you can choose between 960fps or 120fps.
The 13MP selfie camera gives you the expected beauty effects and there is a portrait mode, which gives bokeh background de-focus options. In poor light, the display works as a flash to illuminate your face.
The camera app includes 3D Creator. 3D Creator lets you scan your own face or an object and then turn the result into a 3D avatar that you can share on social media.
The Sony Xperia XZ3 has a healthy 3,330mAh battery and with Smart Stamina the phone ensures that you always get to the end of the day. Smart Stamina works by comparing your power usage to that of your typical day. If you are running ahead of your typical battery usage, then STAMINA mode is activated at the right time, to ensure that you make it the end of the day.
Battery health is maintained over many months by Qnovo Adaptive Charging and Battery Care. While other batteries are losing performance over time, the battery in the Xperia XZ3 just keeps on giving great usage times.
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Written by: Michael Brown