Sony Xperia Z3 Review
The Best Xperia Yet?
Continuing Sony’s trend of stylish Xperia Z phones is the Z3, but can it really be much of an improvement over the already stellar Z2 handset released just six months before?
We take a look at everything from the design, down to the specs of this latest Sony flagship to tell you if it’s worth your time or not.
For more information and to register your interest in the Xperia Z3, you can check out our dedicated handset page:
Sony has one of the most seasoned pasts in technology compared to many other smartphone manufacturers, and it shows on the Xperia line-up, which has put yet another feather to its cap with the Z3. With a beautifully sleek design and stunning glass panel design, you can rest assured knowing that if you pick up the Z3, you’ll be getting an astonishing handset.
It doesn’t differ massively from the Z2, but it never had to given that the Z2 was such a good looking handset itself. Noticeable improvements have come in the size and weight of the chassis though, slimming down and losing a few grams for good measure.
The corners have lost that bulky and sometimes clunky squared off feel to them, being replaced by a far smoother and more pocket friendly rounded style. The bezels have also been drastically slimmed down as well, helping the Z3 look fantastic.
The edge of the handset still sports the smooth and incredibly cool metallic trim, which acts partly as a stylistic feature, but also adds a form of protection from those inevitable bumps and scrapes. Furthermore, the 5.2” Triluminos HD display is also crafted with shatter-proof glass, meaning a drop from a suitable height is less likely to result in a call to your insurance provider.
The glass panel design is as beautiful as ever, and continues to give the Z3 one of the most professional looks of any smartphone going, something which continues when you look under the hood.
Up to 32GB storage can be found in the handset depending on which option you go for, but this can always be expanded upon by using a MicroSD Card. 3GB RAM is also found here, and is more than enough to keep any tech fan happy.
A Snapdragon 801 chipset transfers right over from the Z2, whilst a marginally improved 2.5GHz quad-core processor has things running faster than ever behind the screen. Finally, with an IP68 rating, Sony promises to keep the Z3 dry and dust free internally under certain restrictions.
Phone Set Up
Getting started with the Z3 is a simple task for even the least tech savvy user, with the Android 4.4.4 KitKat making setting up emails, contacts and apps an easy process. Sony has even included an array of apps built-in with the Z3, meaning you won’t be forced to struggle without the essentials until you have the time to download all the apps you need.
The Z3’s user interface is easy to get used to, especially if you’re already familiar with Android, and is incredibly smooth and responsive. Part of this does come down to the specs, but the general ease of use of the Z3’s software is a notable achievement for Sony and something that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Features are always a key part of any smartphone, whether they be practical, entertainment or sheer novelty. Luckily the Z3 has an ideal mixture of all of these types of feature to make for a great all-round experience.
For the gamers amongst you, you can link your Xperia Z3 with your Playstation 4 to take the gaming far beyond your living room. By connecting your games console’s controller to your handset, games can be played anywhere as long as you have the Wi-Fi connection that is shared with your console.
One touch connectivity makes another appearance from the Z2, and makes your smartphone more useful than ever before. Sharing music, films, pictures and data has never been so easy. It all works by NFC, so you needn’t worry about cables tying you down anytime soon either.
But, if you prefer your audio coming through your headphones, then you can use the digital noise cancellation software to handle your tunes. So, if you’re struggling cutting out that background noise or just want a more immersive experience with your music, the Z3 should be music to your ears.
Camera & Video
There aren’t many manufacturers that can match Sony on the camera front, mainly thanks to the Japanese company’s previous track record on the camera market. It’s this experience that’s give the Xperia line-up arguably the best smartphone camera amongst the leading flagship smartphone competition.
Nothing’s changed when it comes down to hardware for the Z3, using almost exactly the same kit as its predecessor, but that shouldn’t be classed as a problem by any means. Sony has improved upon the older handset by tweaking the software behind the 20.7 megapixel rear-based lens, making for even better pictures than before.
The introduction of ISO 3200, which is a first for any smartphone means that low-light performance is better than ever. 4K video is another great feature based on the Z3, which was also available on the Z2, but is no less than impressive, especially when looking at the results you get.
Three new camera apps also help the Z3 push on from the massively popular Z2, the first being Face In, which works like a dual-camera mode seen on other devices. It takes the picture using the rear camera as normal, but then snaps your reaction as well, overlaying it on top of the main picture in unique ways.
AR fun is an expansion of the AR effect tool from previous Sony phones, and lets users physically draw on top of the picture in your viewfinder. It makes for some interesting shots to say the least, and proves quite a good feature for the more creative amongst us.
The final feature is Movie Creator, which links together videos from specific locations or dates and links them together into an easy to share ‘story’. If you fancy yourself as a movie director of sorts, this feature should reach out to you, and gives your vines and Snapchat videos somewhere to go!
Boasting a 3100mAh battery, the Z3 is more than capable of lasting you over a day without charge, something that can’t always be said of every flagship smartphone out there. In fact, Sony promises to bring users a full two days’ worth of regular use with the Z3, something we haven’t seen since the days of the Nokia 3210!
So, if you’re heading out knowing you don’t have a charger, you needn’t worry about rushing back to the house to keep your Z3 running.