The "1-Minute" Review
- Camera Auto mode is hit or miss
- Limited US Availability
- Sony bloatware and interface tweaks
- Speaker distortion at high levels
Hot on the heels of the Z2, Sony is taking another shot at the top of the flagship Android charts with the tweaked and optimized Z3. Reviews are starting to roll in and things are looking good for this one. How good? Let’s get into the details.
The design of the Z3 sticks to the Xperia aesthetic in most ways. Sharp lines, flat sides and flush buttons with little else. The Z3 adds the addition of nylon corners to help add a little resilience to the glass and aluminum design. Stuff magazine said the changes makes the Z3 “feel less like a big, heavy block of a tech and more like a standard premium flagship.”
Most reviews noted that the Z3 was more comfortable to hold than previous Xperia devices but edges were still very much noticeable in the hand. Forbes says, “expect the Z3 to be a touch more robust than the Z2.”
The phone is both IP65 and 68 certified for dustproofing and waterproofing to make sure its ready to go with you on your next adventure or survive the torture of little hands if you have children. Reviews that tested it said everything worked fine, just be sure to have the covers for the various ports firmly closed.
With a quad-core 2.5GHz processor, 3GB of RAM and a 5.2-inch 1080p display, the specs on the phone are certainly impressive. Forbes notes that this is “the very top end of the current specs for an Android smartphone.”
Stuff put the phone through its paces, including gaming and heavy multitasking and found that “As for performance, it's flawless.”
The powerful specs of the phone are paired with a 3,100-mAh battery which Sony claims will allow up to two days of use on a single charge. While reviews didn’t quite hit the two-day mark, most agreed that you should have no problem getting through the day. Stuff commented that phone features “the best battery life of any smartphone we've seen in a long time.”
For those constantly on the go, Sony has beefed up the screen brightness compared to other models. TechRadar points out, “the 5.2 display is brighter than ever before, perhaps more than anything on the market, with 600 nits of brightness.”
If you’re looking for a phone that will rival many point and shoot cameras, the 25mm lens and 20.7MP camera on the phone received rave reviews from most sources. However, to get the most from the camera, prepare to get comfortable with menus and settings as many reviews pointed out that the auto function, while effective, didn’t work well in fast action or low light conditions.
Other features include DCEE HX Audio--a feature that claims to breathe life into low-quality audio--and PS4 Remote Play functionality. Remote Play will allow PS4 owners to stream games to their phone via Wi-Fi and play using DualShock 4 controllers. While this sounds like heaven to gamers, the feature doesn’t officially roll out until late-2014 so reviews couldn’t assess how well it really works.
Overall, reviews are extremely positive despite the device being released so soon after the Z2. Forbes says there is “little to complain about in the package.” TechRadar applauds the device say its “the best phone that Sony's ever made... and it's better than I expected.”
Prices (Where to Buy)
Sony released the Xperia Z3 on September 25, 2014.
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Sony Xperia Z3 user manual here.
Sony backs up the Xperia Z3 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your Xperia Z3 has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Sony support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Sony's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.