I came across the Sony Xperia Z3 at last year’s IFA in Berlin, where Sony showed it off as there latest flagship, the best Android in existence, and all that usual jazz. Now I might sound a sceptic, but it probably roots from the fact that while I used to be a Sony Ericsson man in the past, the Xperia series, starting from the X1 to their Android offerings just didn’t stand out. In fact, for a long time it seemed all they had to offer was the ability to take it in the shower, and as anybody who has tried that knows that touch screens and water do not mix very well. So when Vodafone offered to send me one, my instant reaction was ‘Oh alright then!’ .
The first thing you notice about the phone is that Sony are not using the standard brick styled phone case. Instead, they use a slimmer, flatter but a larger square box to present you the phone. The box highlights one aspect of the phone, and that is the camera, letting you know all about the 20.7MP on offer.
As someone who looks to his phone as a portable camera, it works. It is subtle, but attractive nonetheless.
Out of the box
The phone looks good, and does well in the ‘ooh shiny’ department. Thin, square edges with four curved corners define the rectangular shape.
Inserting the SIM
The SIM experience of the Xperia Z3 is actually not so simple. First of all, this takes a nano-SIM, which isn’t that uncommon, but isn’t very common either. At least not yet.
Secondly, the experience is not intuitive at all. You basically have to open the Micro-SD window, pry out the SIM tray with your nail, and put it in the ‘chip side’ up, and insert it in again. Since you should only be doing this once or a rare few times, it shouldn’t be a problem.
The Xperia Experience
What you get with the Sony Xperia phones is something very close to vanilla Android, but not quiet. Out of the box, you get lots of Sony widgets all over the desktop. I ended up deleting a lot of them, keeping a few, and then realising I don’t need them either and deleting them too.
- Dimensions: 146 x 72 x 7.3mm
- 152 grams
- Android KitKat 4.4
- 5.2″ screen
- 20.7MP Camera, with 4K recording as well as 120fps recording
- 2 day claim of battery life
- 2.5GHz Quad Core Processor
- 4G connectivity
Speaking of power, this is definitely one powerful beast, as the numbers above suggest. For me though, there is one test that proves performance. The Outlook app! It is slow, but gives just enough features for you to keep using it. It takes ages to load, but once open, it works well. I try it on any phone I am reviewing, and for once it works well on this one! Despite me running my full three personal email accounts with years of messages and all the folders synchronising.
The phone brings with it IP65/IP68 rating. No Sony Xperia advert these days comes without a smiling person taking photos or shooting videos under water. But, as I already mentioned above, touch screens and water do not mix. So, how does all that happen? Dedicated camera button!
The Sony Xperia Z3 has just jumped to my favourite Android ever. Great all around device!