Sony Xperia 3 – Review (Should you go for it?)

he Sony Xperia Z3 an upgraded version of the Z2, is not a completely overhauled version of the Z2, but rather an evolved one with some hardware and software tweaks here and there. It will initially be launched with Vodafone in the UK and later in Asia. In the US, the Z3 will be available with T-Mobile. The pricing has not been disclosed as yet.

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Some of the features of the Sony Xperia Z3 are listed below.

The Screen

The Sony Xperia Z3 comes with a Full HD 5.2-inch screen with a (Z2 similar) resolution of 1,920×1,080 pixels. Unlike its competitors, Sony has not upped the resolution to 2K. It may however be noted that a display resolution of 2K on such a small screen will not exactly be beneficial. Also, if you compare a Full HD smartphone with a 2K resolution phone, such as the LG G3, you can hardly see any distinction in clarity, even when held close up.

A 2K resolution also consumes more battery power. Sony has stated that the processor changes on the Z3 along with the Full HD screen can help it get an average use of nearly 2 days. As compared to the battery capacity of the Z2, this is definitely a considerable improvement. It is also better than the battery power given by most smartphones of today. The battery power of the Sony Xperia Z3 can however be fully tested and verified after its launch. At the moment, it seems that Sony did well by not going for a 2K display on the Z3.

The Design

The basic design of the Z3 is the same as the minimalist Z2. It comes with a glass back and front enclosed in an aluminum rim bordering the sides. The protruding power-button and the camera are still in the original position.

When held in the hand, the Sony Xperia Z3has a luxurious feel. The stunning device will be available in novel mint green and copper colors, in addition to the common white and black ones. The new hues are cheerful, and yet do not distort the mature, chic, and aesthetic appeal of the device.

Some subtle points of differentiation between the Z2 and Z3 design include a narrower and slimmer 5.2-inch screen. This look has been achieved by thinning the bezel, which was quite wide and ungainly on the Z2. The edges have been given a rounded design and nylon caps have replaced the corners. According to Sony, the latter will guard the phone breakage due to drop from a height.

Just like the Z2, the Z3 is also fully waterproof and can remain submerged in 4.9 feet of water for nearly 30 minutes. This means that your phone will not only be protected from accidental spillage at a club or a pub, but you can also enjoy its unique uses such as taking photos underwater or watching movies while taking a shower! It may be noted that the screen stops working when wet, but users can keep snapping away underwater via use of the dedicated camera shutter button.

The Camera

The primary camera on the Sony Xperia Z3 is the same as the Z2, i.e., a mammoth 20.7 MP beauty. The camera on the Z3 has however been enhanced with better functions such as a 25mm focal length. This means that the camera has a wider angle for shots; you thus need not squeeze in with your friends while capturing a group shot.

The Z3 may also be one of the first phones with a camera that comes with ISO speeds of up to 12,800. A higher ISO speed means that the image sensor comes with increased sensitivity, which in turn allows the camera to intake additional amounts of light. An ISO speed that is as high as 12,800 should allow users to take brighter photos even in low-light conditions. It may however be noted that higher ISO speeds can result in elevated image noise, especially in cameras with smaller sensors like the ones seen in phones. However, it is possible to verify the quality of pictures taken in dim-light situations only post launch of the Z3.

Just like the Z2, the Z3 will allow video shooting in 4K resolution. Other options include an augmented reality mode, varied scene modes, and creative effects, etc. The Z3 also comes with new modes like one which allows taking a picture of your face with the front camera while simultaneously taking a photo with the back camera and then superimposing your face in the back camera scene, and another one which permits pairing of a photo with a recorded audio burst.

Performance, Software, and other options

The Sony Xperia Z3 is powered by a 2.5GHz quad-core processor, an improvement from the one on the Z2. As stated above, the battery has also been enhanced. Other hardware features are not that different from the Z2.

The Sony Xperia Z3 will have the latest KitKat version 4.4.4 Android operating system with Sony’s own UI integrated into it. It may thus offer an experience different from the usual Android platform. Users will come across normal app tray and typical multiple home screens. However, there is a useful menu on the left side of apps that allows easy customization of the order. Sony has also added its own set of video and image galleries. People who have been using the older Xperias will not face any difficulties adapting to the UI as it remains the same as the older ones.

One of the unique features of the Z3 is its ability to act as a screen for a PS4. This means that if the television is occupied then you can continue playing your games on your PS4 and use the Z3 as the display. The processing of the games is still done by the console, but the video will get streamed to the phone via Wi-Fi. Gamers do not have to use the difficult on-screen buttons, but can opt for a PS4 controller to play the games. This ‘display’ option will definitely be a hit in homes with a single TV, or with gamers who want to keep playing when in the bathroom.

Price

Sony Xperia Z3 is being shipped in India at a high price tag of Rs. 51,000 though there is a fair chance that the price may come done in future.  Z2 which was at the same price tag six months ago, is now at Rs. 39,000 and there is not much difference between the two when it comes to features.

The price tag in the UK is reportedly between £520 and £549. Though the price has not been announced for the US, it should be above $900. The price of Xperia Z3 in Australia could be above $1000. In any case, flagship models from premium brands are releasing at prices at this level.

Sony, whose product features match the very best of Apple and Samsung (and can even beat them in areas like sound), could adopt for a slightly lesser price tag to get competitive advantage

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