Sony Xperia Z3
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Sony Xperia Z3 Review
?Released less than a year after its predecessor, Sony's Xperia Z3 is probably the electronics giant's best attempt at delivering a sleek competitor to flagship phones like the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy. Building on the Z2's success and ironing out most of its flaws, Sony's newest phone makes good on its promise to build a true all-in-one smart phone. Sony tweaked the Xperia Z3's design ever so slightly from the Z2. Gone are the uncomfortable sharp edges, and the newest iteration is a bit lighter and thinner than before.
The phone continues a recent trend smartphone manufacturers have been taking advantage of – ditching cheap plastic bodies for a sturdier, high-quality body that feels great in your hand. Much like other Sony devices, this phone is waterproof up to a depth of 1.5 meters for approximately half an hour, though use in salt water is discouraged. The phone's display is vivid and bright, much like the Z2. The screen makes use of several home screen animations similar to what you see on the PlayStation 4, reinforcing the theme that Sony wants this device to be a hub for all of your Sony products. Its 5.2-inch screen takes up nearly the entire face of the phone, much like its competitors, but sports the same 1920 x 1080 resolution as the Z2.
Preloaded software includes your typical bloatware, but also features standouts like Lifelog, Sony's health and activity monitor, and PlayStation, which syncs with, you guessed it, the PlayStation 4. By connecting a PS4 controller to your phone, you can play games remotely without needing to camp out in front of your TV. The phone operates on KitKat 4.4.4, unlike the Z2's 4.4.2, but the differences are marginal, besides some bug fixes. The phone's camera is almost identical to the 20.7-megapixel one built-in to its precursor. However, the new camera is improved with a wider lense slightly better image stability. Despite these small upgrades, the camera still produces pictures with an actual resolution of about 8 megapixels. Default picture tones seem slightly cold, but can be adjusted. The Xperia Z3 also features a nifty, physical shutter button, making picture-taking a snap. Call quality is great, especially with the phone's crisp, front-facing speakers.
But perhaps the phone's greatest asset is its massive battery capacity. It can easily last two days, and well over a whole day with frequent usage, including web surfing and some video streaming. With constant video-watching, the Z3 can still last over 12 hours. There's a lot to love about this phone, besides a few minor complaints. We wish the camera's autofocus was bit more accurate, but tapping the screen during camera mode can easily rectify the problem. Also, the user interface can sometimes look a bit clunky and old. The home screen icons are just too big for the screen's resolution and size. Lastly, the audio could be just a bit louder – despite its nice front-mounted speakers, loudness and clarity aren't on the same level as a phone like the HTC One.
Perhaps the biggest issue stopping you from buying the Xperia Z3 is the fact that it's just not that much different from the Z2. If you just bought a Z2, there is little incentive to shell out the cash for a slightly better phone already. However, if you're still using the Z1 or another older phone, the Z3 is a great, all-around choice, especially if you are prone to dropping your phone in the toilet, or use a PS4 extensively.