Sony Xperia Z3+ review
Xperia at its best
This Sony Xperia Z3+ review uncovers a smartphone that is faster, smarter and sleeker than anything produced by Sony before. The Xperia Z3 was good but the Sony Xperia Z3 Plus is excellence personified!
By simply shaving a few millimetres off here and there, the Sony Xperia Z3+ looks absolutely cutting edge. The 6.9mm thick rounded aluminium frame, available in either copper, black, white or blue, holds a tempered glass front that looks as good as it is tough.
The 5.2” viewing platform uses IPS technology for readability from almost any angle. The resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels is crisp and sharp, while viewable even when under direct sunlight.
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Prepare to be blown away as TRILUMINOS and X-Reality screen technologies analyse each image to ensure vivid reds, natural greens and clear blues are displayed. Should the Xperia Z3+ get dirty, then it can be rinsed off under a tap. Dust and waterproof, the IP65/IP68 certification is further enhanced by the cap-less USB port that can be submerged to 1.5 metres for up to 30 minutes.
Inside the Sony Xperia Z3+, which weighs only144 grams, is a 2GHz Snapdragon 810 64-bit octa core processor with 3GB RAM. This is up from the quad core processor used by its predecessor, ensuring lag free video streaming and game play.
Phone Set Up
This Sony smartphone introduces the Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system and gives access to Google Play for downloading popular apps and music. There is a new section on Google Play for offline games, so no Wi-Fi is no problem.
Offline games will hit the memory hard, so the set up process may include inserting a microSD card, of up to 128GB, into the card slot to boost the existing 32GB internal memory. Other set up options includes rearranging or sorting apps into folders and adding widgets to the home screen for live information feeds on everything from the news to the weather, social network updates and more.
The internet is truly just a tap away with download speeds of up to 300Mbps over 4G. 50 percent faster speeds are also possible through Wi-Fi with MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) antenna technology built in.
Music is possibly at its very best across all smartphones on the Sony Xperia Z3+. Hi-Res Audio reduces distortion while S-Force and Clear Bass ensure maximum output. The Digital Sound Enhancement Engine restores heavily compressed MP3 and AAC files so any low-resolution song can be up-scaled to almost studio quality.
This Sony phone also boasts Chromecast and Miracast Screen Mirroring, GPS and PS4 Remote Play, which takes gaming into any room of the house with the DUALSHOCK4 controller, sold separately.
Camera & Video
The 20.7MP camera captures remarkable results and the f2.0 aperture is larger than before so it lets in more light to perform better in low light. In contrast the LG G4 lets in more light with its f1.8 aperture and the Samsung Galaxy S6 lets in more light with its f1.9 aperture. However, both of these camera phones only have a 16MP camera, so it’s a toss up between definition versus low light.
The camera experience is centred around giving the photography novice pro-like results. The Xperia Z3+ achieves this through Superior Auto that senses 52 different scene types though the main camera and 20 scene types thought the 5MP selfie camera.
The slightly quirky Gourmet Mode, for photographing your culinary results or a meal at a restaurant, is paired with more traditional camera apps. These include Style Portrait for enhancing the face’s natural features, AR Mask for placing a different face over your own and Sound Photo for capturing up to ten seconds of sound with animated photos.
The 25mm wide-angle lens enables group selfies while the main camera can shoot video at 4K quality with SteadyShot ensuring shake free results.
Two days of typical usage is delivered by a 2,930mAh battery that can also offer up to 91 hours of music playback or more than 9 hours of HD video playback. There are a variety of battery saving modes as well, including Battery STAMINA mode that prevents apps from draining the battery while quadrupling the standby time.
Sony Xperia Z3+ verdict: The Sony Xperia Z3 Plus is much more than just a minor update to the original Z3 and brings the premium Xperia Z range right up to date. Anyone who isn’t sure about committing to a new smartphone for the next 24-months, should find new confidence when picking the Xperia Z3+.
Written by: Michael Brown