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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Sony Xperia Z3 review: This flagship upgrade has got it right

It might not be all that innovative compared to the Z2, but it is definitely a worthy successor.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi |
Updated: May 22, 2017 5:35:18 pm
The Sony Xperia Z3 looks different from the Z2 The Sony Xperia Z3 looks different from the Z2

Sony has been really fast in refreshing its flagship this year, with the Xperia Z3 being announced within months of the Xperia Z2. I had spent a rather long time reviewing the Z2 and was really excited to try out the successor. The Z2 was really a top notch phone when it came to specs and it would be really hard to better that. Also, were we going to see big ticket improvements?

Specs: 5.2-inch (1920×1080 pixels) Full HD TRILUMINOS display | Snapdragon 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Quad-core processor with 3GB RAM | 16 GB storage with 128 GB external | 20.7MP rear camera, 2.1MP front | 3G, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA, NFC, GLONASS | Nano sim | Sony Xperia Z3 full specs


Design: The Z3 has Xperia written all over it as far as the design goes. But it is still very different from the earlier phones in the Z series. For one, it has curved edges and corners that are very unique and also very functional. The phone is easy to grip and feels good in your hand. Even the flaps on the phase curved, merging well with the design. The hinge that holds them in place look stronger than before. They are crucial for the Z3, for this phone too is water and dust proof. Everything else is pretty much, what you saw in the Z2.

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Display: This is one of the better features of the phone, though almost the same as in the last version. The Full HD Triluminous does full justice to the 4K video you will shoot on this phone. Also, it works pretty well in sunlight and has good viewing angles. For anyone who has seen a new Sony TV, the display might feel like a smaller version. Afterall it is using the same technologies.

Performance: It is hard to find faults in the performance of this phone. It is among the most powerful phones you can buy at the moment and the performance reminds you of that almost every moment. You will not encounter any lag while using the phone and Sony sees to have fixed the heating issues. 4K video is a very resource intensive process and the Z3 seems to be able to do it well and without glitches. The camera all keeps showing that it might need to shut down if the camera heats up, but it does not need to take this drastic step like with the Z2. I can’t help but give maximum marks in performance.

Software: There is hardly any difference in software in comparison to the Z2, though there are some welcome tweaks. For instance, along with a screen shot you can also record the screen. Issues with the contacts app on the Z2 seems to have been solved. Like with its predecessor, the home screen gives quick access to music, videos and camera apps.

A stunner from the Juhu beach in Mumbai, shot with the Sony Xperia Z3. (Source: Nandagopal Rajan) A stunner from the Juhu beach in Mumbai, shot with the Sony Xperia Z3. (Source: Nandagopal Rajan)

Camera: A lot of people will be buying this phone for the camera. But while it is debatable whether this phone has the best Android smartphone camera, I am almost certain that this has the best video camera in town. In fact, with the 4K video on, this one came take on any camcorder. While the results are brilliant song, the app is smooth and does not jerk link in other 4K cameras.

Close up shots have great detail Close up shots have great detail

The 20MP rear camera is great too, though it could have certainly done better. I found the camera a bit wanting with some kinds of low light, especially when there is a backlight. However, I got some stunners shooting a sunset in Mumbai. The camera apps are very handy and easy to switch over too. You can also add more apps in a jiffy. However, the AF could have been faster to make this camera really stand out.

Indoor shots prove the camera's versatility. Indoor shots prove the camera’s versatility.

Storage: The phone comes with 16GB internal memory out of which about 11GB is free. Users get to use about 9Gb of this. Better invest in a really large SD card if you plan to shoot 4K video.


Battery: This is the real hero of this story. The Z3 battery can last goer 36 hours with average use and not many phones can boast that. As I write this the review unit is showing 25 per cent after having been used for tweeting and chatting for two days along with four hours of use as a Wi-Fi hotspot. How many flagships can vouch for that?

Verdict: If you want to spend money on a classy top-end smartphone, the Sony Xperia Z3 should be right there among the top choices. There is no doubt that this phone is better than the Z2, but I would ask myself if Sony could have done a lot more with this phone.

Price: Rs 51,990

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First published on: 25-09-2014 at 02:55:31 pm

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