These days every entertainment corporation knows that they have to be in the mobile phone market, since there is huge opportunities of profit in this market. The high end market is especially brutal, yearly Iphone and Galaxy S mobiles are released. Sony decided that they wish to join the fray, and released the Xperia Z series one and a half year ago.
Half a year later after Z2, Sony released Z3, and Z3 Compact (smaller but not weaker), and the 8 inch Z3 Tablet Compact. Since the “upgrade” was done in six months, we cannot really talk about generational leaps, it’s more like the Japanese giant wished to go back to the drawing board and “remake” and add to the Z2 model. Which in my opinion was a success.
The phone arrived in a nice thin box, which when opened does not contain too much. The phone, a usb cable, a charger, and the MH750 headset.
The phone oozes premium when in the user’s hand. Naturally this series also is water and dust proof. According to the manual it is able to withstand 30 minutes under 1.5 meter water pressure. Although I would hesitate to put such a great phone in water, but at least I don’t have to be afraid if it rains.
The Z3 is also lighter and thinner than the previous model, and the side frame is now made out of metal (finally)
The phone’s specifications are 146 x 72 x 7,2 and weighs 152 gramms. It has a 5,2 inch Full HD IPS-LCD screen, which was great in the previous iterations, but they developed some, and fixed the viewing angle, brightness. I really liked the back and the cover glass’ quality. There are no buttons on the cover, the Android buttons are under the screen. There’s also a stereo speaker, a 2.2 megapixel cover camera, and a notification LED, which … notifies us if we missed something.
On the side we find the usual thing: microUSB port, nanoSim, and microSD card plugins, volume control, power on button, and camera button. What I especially liked is that if we have a media slice, we can charge our phone in vertical position, allowing us a more comfortable use while charging. On the top we have the jack plugin, plus a microphone.
On the back there’s a 20,7 megapixel Exmor RS kamera, G lense, to provide us with a perfect photo.
I don’t want to bother everyone with the miniscule detail of the specification, let’s just say it has a four core 2,5 Ghz processor, a 3 GB system memory, and a Adreno 330 graphic card. The internal harddrive is 16GB, which can be upgraded up to 128GB. During the test phase all of the applications and games I tried ran perfectly. I did not notice the usual andriod type of lag or hiccup. What did annoy me was that when using the phone abit more actively (games, camera) it got a bit hot. Something should be done to fix this…
Naturally the phone has the advanced features that are expected from such high end phones: lightning fast mobile net, wifi (with hotspot and DLNA functions), GPS and NFC chip.
3100 Miliamper battery seems smaller than the previous series, but they did promise a longer usage time. This is correct, as a two and a half day usage is guaranteed, but playing games, and taking pictures did drain the battery pretty quickly. There are battery friendly functions that help you if you need a taxi after a night of partying.
The device comes with the 4.4.4 version Andriod system (Kitkat). There will be support for the 5.0 system upgrade once released. There’s not a lot of new things here, for those who know what’s in an Android type phone. Every manufacturer includes their own apps, and it’s no different with Sony. I don’t want to get into too much details, but they’re above average and good apps.
We can use the Wifi to send footage, use DLNA for multimedia purposes, sending files via the Throw app. What’s the best thing however is: you can associate your PS3 and PS4 controller with the phone and control the games. Basically a remote play which was used on the PS Vita. You do need a really good internet to use this feature, but it works so well.
The browser (Google Chrome) works great: every file is downloaded quickly, without any issues.
I previously detailed that the camera is 20,7 megapixel. While this sounds great, it’s not supported 100% on the software end. As in, most of the apps will only support up to 8 megapixels. I don’t really understand why this was done. The most problematic issue is the overheating. You can record video in 4K, however this in a summer time will result in a quick set of sweaty hardware. Regardless the automatic mode is good, even if it’s just 8 megapixel. It finds ideal setups for taking a picture. It also has a slow-mo function and 60FPS video capture feature.
Basically, the camera functions good.
Playing music was the part where Sony always shined, and it’s not different this time around. Walkman app is really fast, even with 30GB of music. Seriously: I used a lot of phones to play music, but none of them were so good. Sounds great, fast, easy to use, and the design is great.
There is even an FM radio. I know this sounds funny to highlight, but these days a bunch of high end mobiles are missing this feature.
It played videos (Even FULL HD MKV’s) without a hitch
All in all I can recommend this phone. The design, the quality of the phone, the apps, and the custom features will guarantee that you will not be disappointed. It was 2014 best phone for me.
+ Perfect design
+ Awesome screen
+ Charge time
– Getting hot easily
– Lack of software for camera