Review: Sony Xperia Z3

z3 foneReview: Sony Xperia Z3

Classy Smartphone with Great Battery Life

Flagship smartphones are all pretty mighty these days. The Sony Z3 is as fast as you can expect from a high-end smartphone without scrutinizing microsecond load times and absurdly high pixel densities.

Sony puts the extra efficiency down to two things in its newly launched Z3 – the Snapdragon 801 processor, with clocked at 2.5GHz and a new display technology that it developed which retains the memory of whatever is on the screen, meaning less reloading and more efficiency. Although it doesn’t have a catchy name like Sony’s other screen technologies.

The aluminum and tempered glass Omni-Balance design now has rounded sides and, it’s enough to make it much more comfortable. Sony wants OmniBalance to be iconic the way a BMW or Mercedes design is, even at the expense of comfort but this time it’s a compromise that allows for the contours of human hands while keeping the year-and-a-bit old Xperia aesthetic.

It also helps massively that the Xperia Z3 weighs just 152g – that’s 11g less than the Z2 and is skinnier too at a 7.3mm. Throw in the fact that that it’s ever so slightly smaller in height and width terms and you have a phone that feels less like a big, heavy block of a tech and more like a standard premium flagship.

Some improvements have been made in the camera department, and the body is lighter. The best news is that all of the things that made the Z2 so great, such as the superb screen, lengthy battery life and super-fast performance have all remained. As you’d expect of a flagship, this is the best Sony phone yet and, despite the small improvements.


The design of the Sony Xperia Z3 is something surprising. The phone has a dimensions of 146 x 72 x 7.3 mm, which compared to the Sony Xperia Z2 (146.8 x 73.3 x 8.2 mm) doesn’t seem all that different. One thing those two phones lack, however, is the Z3’s resistance to dust and water. Sony has moved up to a higher IP68 certification, which means as long as the latches covering the charging port and nano SIM card slot are closed. Those latches guarding the micro USB charging port, nano SIM and micro SD card slot feel more robust than the ones on previous Xperia Z handsets and should hopefully do a better job of keeping those vital internals protected.


The screen is really the best thing about the Z3, — the IPS panel is bright and colors are definitely vivid. However, the one thing that irks is Sony’s failure to capitalize on the screen size and resolution — you’re limited to just five rows of four huge icons.

Sony hasn’t budged from the 5.2-inch IPS LCD screen from the Z2. That means 424 pixels per inch (ppi) and it is still one of the sharpest, most pleasing phone screens around. It’s also a big screen. Some might be disappointed it’s not a 2K display, but this still a fantastic screen.

It’s not all entirely the same in terms of performance, either. One thing you instantly notice is how much brighter it is.


The Sony Xperia Z3 comes with the same 20.7-megapixel camera found on the Z1 and Z2, and like the Z2, but with a few improvements — ISO sensitivity now hits 12,800 and it has a wider lens as well as better image stability. Like the Z2, it’s also able of capturing 4K video.

Now, the Z3’s camera seems pretty decent, but with a few caveats. Despite it having 20.7 megapixels, Sony uses pixel-binning for most of its modes, and produces a picture of around 8 megapixels.

CMOS image sensor, Autofocus, Touch to focus, Digital image stabilization, Face detection, Smile detection, Exposure compensation, ISO control, White balance presets, Burst mode, Digital zoom, Geo tagging, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR), Panorama, Effects and Self-timer.

Software Features:

Z3 comes with Android KitKat, but 4.4.4 instead of 4.4.2. The difference between the two versions are just some bug fixes, so software-wise, the features found on the Z3 are pretty much the same.

You have built-in themes, floating apps, Sony’s own take on the image gallery called Albums, a music app called Walkman and a Movie app that lets you rent films.

There is new stuff, however, and this includes Lifelog, a health tracker; Sony Select, an app curator; and PlayStation, which lets you play PlayStation 4 games on your phone anywhere at home. You’ll essentially be able to use your Xperia Z3 as a remote screen for your PS4, using the PS4’s DualShock 4 controller to stay in the game.

Sony saved potentially the best to last it’s a genuinely exciting feature borrowed, of all places. It allows Z3 series smartphones and tablets to play real PS4 games over Wi-Fi when your PS4 console is turned on or on standby. You play using a DualShock 4 controller, which can be used with a mount, or alternatively you can prop up the Xperia Z3 compact to see the screen.

Performing and BenchMarking:

Two comprehensive tools were used to check the performance of SONY Z3 and its standout position amongst its competitors. With the Z3 packing a quad-core Snapdragon 801 2.5GHz processor, the phone was quick and snappy. While it’s not the latest Snapdragon 805 processor found in newer devices, you’ll have no performance issues with this phone, that’s for sure.

Vellamo Bench Marking:






Vellamo Browser:

Vellamo HTML5 Chapter is a set of system-level web browsing tests. This test placed Sony Z3 at 3rd place by giving it 2773 points.








Vellamo Metal is a set of discrete lower-level benchmarks around the CPU. This series of tests evaluates capabilities such as: CPU performance on integer and floating point operations, memory read/write and peak bandwidth performance, and memory branching speed.








Antutu Bench Marking:

Antutu is compound benchmarking application. It includes various comprehensive tests such as “Memory Performance”, “CPU Integer Performance”, “CPU Floating Point Performance”, “2D 3D Graphics Performance”, “SD card read-write speed”, “Database IO” performance testing. Xperia Z3 did pretty well on this test as well.



[table id=3 /]


  • Active noise cancellation with a secondary microphone.
  • 2.2 MP front-facing camera with 1080 pixels video recording.



  • Non user-replaceable battery.
  • Slightly larger than most direct rivals.

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