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Sony Xperia Z3 Smartphone Review

Florian Wimmer, Tanja Hinum (translated by Martina Osztovits), 10/10/2014

A rapid update yet again. Apparently, Sony aims to attract attention with a new top smartphone every 6 months. The user can only benefit from it: Although the innovations are small, our test proves that the Xperia Z3 is still a top smartphone.

In review: Sony Xperia Z3. By courtesy of Sony Germany

For the original German review, see here.

Not even five months have passed since we reviewed the Sony Xperia Z2. Now, the successor is already waiting in the wings. Certainly, it is also completely water and dust resistant and even faster - but is it also even better? It almost looks like Sony would pursue the following strategy: "We launch a model at every major product launch of the competition". But what does the new model bring then? Is it possible to create a smartphone within five months, which actually deserves a new "version number", or is it probably the Xperia Z2.5, which we have under review? We will find out in our test.

Apart from the LG G3, the competitors in the Android universe have remained the same as the Xperia Z2's: The Samsung Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8 are top devices of their manufacturers. An update of the Google Nexus 5 is not available yet. Meanwhile, if you consider other operating systems, there are the Nokia Lumia 930, a top Windows phone, and the brand new iPhone 6 for iOS.

Case

Wie wir testen - Gehäuse

The outside became more elegant and ergonomic due to rounded edges.
The outside became more elegant and ergonomic due to rounded edges.
The inside resembles the predecessor (image: Xperia Blog).
The inside resembles the predecessor (image: Xperia Blog).

Probably only experts can distinguish the Xperia Z3 from the Xperia Z2: The high-gloss surface with Sony and Xperia label, the camera on the top left and the rounded corners look quite similar to the Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z1. But, some details are different: the frame is now completely rounded, while the Xperia Z2's had edges. It is interesting that the Xperia Z3 took the same step as Apple with the iPhone 6's rounded edges. Thanks to the rounder shape, it is actually more comfortable to hold the Xperia Z3 in the hand than the Xperia Z2.

With a height of 7.3 millimeter (~0.29 inches), it is one millimeter thinner than its predecessor. The other dimensions were also slightly reduced, but the screen size has remained the same. The weight was reduced by 10 grams (~0.02 lb). Thus, the Xperia Z3 is lighter than the HTC One M8 now, while the Samsung Galaxy S5 is still the lightest of the three. At 129 grams (~0.28 lb), the iPhone 6 is significantly lighter and also slightly slimmer than the Sony Xperia Z3.

The materials are still aluminum and mineral glass, which still look very high quality. The case is once again dust resistant and waterproof. But, the protection is better than that of its predecessor's: It is now dust resistant and waterproof according to IP 65/68, which means it is completely protected against dust and can also be used in 1.5 meters (~4.92 ft) deep water without any problems. However, you can only use it in fresh water. Thus, the Xperia Z3 has to stay on the beach while you are diving in the sea.

The back still does not have the same good grip as the Samsung Galaxy S5's and the high gloss back easily attracts fingerprints. Within our comparison group, only the Galaxy S5 and the LG G3 have a replaceable battery, while the Sony Xperia Z3's is fixed. On the Internet, you will find first pictures of a dismantled Xperia Z3. It seems the construction is very similar to its predecessor's. The website Mobile China said that the Z2 is pretty easy to open. Presumably, you will still need special tools to remove the fragile mineral glass back cover.

Overall, we liked the design of the Xperia Z3 better than the predecessor's: The mobile phone is slimmer, lighter, and easier to hold thanks to its rounded edges. The smartphone looks stylish and the new metallic colors "green" and "copper" are nice alternatives to conservative black or white.

146.36 mm / 5.76 inch 70.6 mm / 2.78 inch 9.35 mm / 0.3681 inch 160 g0.3527 lbs146.3 mm / 5.76 inch 74.6 mm / 2.94 inch 8.95 mm / 0.3524 inch 149 g0.3285 lbs146.8 mm / 5.78 inch 73.3 mm / 2.89 inch 8.2 mm / 0.3228 inch 163 g0.3594 lbs146.5 mm / 5.77 inch 72 mm / 2.83 inch 7.3 mm / 0.2874 inch 152 g0.3351 lbs142 mm / 5.59 inch 72.5 mm / 2.85 inch 8.1 mm / 0.3189 inch 145 g0.3197 lbs137 mm / 5.39 inch 71 mm / 2.8 inch 9.8 mm / 0.3858 inch 170 g0.3748 lbs137.84 mm / 5.43 inch 69.17 mm / 2.72 inch 8.59 mm / 0.3382 inch 130 g0.2866 lbs138.1 mm / 5.44 inch 67 mm / 2.64 inch 6.9 mm / 0.2717 inch 129 g0.2844 lbs

Connectivity

Wie wir testen - Gehäuse

A USB 3.0 port is not available on the Sony Xperia Z3, therefore photos and other files can only be transferred to a connected PC via USB 2.0. At least the USB port supports the MHL standard, which allows connecting external displays. The internal storage is only 16 GB, but the storage capacity can be expanded by up to 128 GB via microSDXC card.

The headset port is on the top side. The left side houses a docking port, which allows connecting the smartphone to a separately sold docking station

Left: USB 2.0 port behind flap, docking port
Left: USB 2.0 port behind flap, docking port
Right: Nano SIM port, micro-SD (behind flap), Standby button, volume rocker, camera button
Right: Nano SIM port, micro-SD (behind flap), Standby button, volume rocker, camera button
Bottom: no interfaces
Bottom: no interfaces
Top: Audio combo port
Top: Audio combo port
The software can be individually adjusted with "Xperia Themes".
The software can be individually adjusted with "Xperia Themes".

Software

Like its predecessor, the Z3 uses the Android 4.4, the latest version of the operating system. Although Sony adjusted the look of the UI and implemented its own apps and widgets, Android veterans will find their way around quickly. Inexperienced newcomers will need some time getting used to Android with its many buttons, anyway. Unlike the Galaxy S5, the Xperia Z3 does not have a simple mode with fewer buttons.

Typical Sony, the software design is clear, understated and stylish. Those owning a Playstation, will recognize the background. Certainly, Sony also added its brands like "Walkman" for music and "Playstation" for gaming: The apps are pre-installed and some contents are exclusively available to Xperia users. Those using the pre-installed video app, get a good video player, which integrates Sony's "Video Unlimited". Apple with iTunes or Google with "Google Play Video" are not different. The "Xperia Lounge" offers several advantages exclusively for Xperia users, e.g. sweepstakes. At the moment, the app does not really offer much. Furthermore, it seems rather like a promotional app from Sony than an app with real added value for the user.

The AVG AntiVirus Pro virus protection software is a free gift. Otherwise, it costs at least 11 Euros (~$13.95). The "Lifelog" app lets you look back on your life by recording locations, messages, appointments, etc. "TrackID TV" listens to the music from external sources via microphone and informs you about the title and artist. "Sketch" is a nicely made app for creating drawings and decorating photos. Finally, "Sony Select" is a shop app, pooling contents of the "Google Play Store". For example "Xperia Themes", which lets you individually adjust the look of the phone, is available there, but some of the themes are not free. The "What's new" app displays new contents (videos or music) available in the shop.

Overall, the software package from Sony is not as exclusive as Sony says in its marketing. Nevertheless, there are several highlights including the free virus protection software, the free navigation software from Navigon and good apps for video and music. "Xperia Themes" also is a nice gimmick, with which you adjust the look of the UI again and again. The latest firmware even allows installing apps on SD card.

Communication & GPS 

The communication quality of the Xperia Z2 has already been exemplary. The Xperia Z3 does not change this. It still supports all WLAN standards up to very fast 802.11 ac, quad band GSM, penta band UMTS and ten LTE bands. Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC are still available, too. The WLAN reception with a distance of 10 meters (~33 ft) and through three walls is even slightly better than the Xperia Z2's: The full signal is available in this scenario. When the distance was increased by a further two meters (~6.56 ft) and through an additional wall, we still had 3/4 of the signal.

Four GSM bands, five UMTS bands and ten LTE bands are available for radio-based connections to the mobile phone network. The Xperia Z2 supported the same number of bands and it is sufficient to connect to the telephone network in most countries. The maximum transfer rates for LTE are 150 Mbps downstream and 50 Mbps upstream. We usually had a good signal in the average German E-Plus network in urban areas, telephone calls were not interrupted during our test, and we did not face problems when switching between UMTS and GSM network.

The position is quickly and precisely located outdoors.
The position is quickly and precisely located outdoors.
Locating the position is not possible indoors.
Locating the position is not possible indoors.

Now, the GPS module also supports the Chinese BeiDou network as well as A-GPS and the Russian Glonass system. As with the Xperia Z2, locating the position indoors is not possible, or very inaccurate. It also takes a couple of seconds outdoors, but it is accurate down to a few meters.

We determined the accuracy of the GPS signal with a bicycle ride, which we recorded with Runtastic, and we also took the professional navigation device Garmin Edge 500 for a comparison. The Sony Xperia Z2 shows about 400 meters (~1312 feet) less than the professional device, and the sensor has some issues on the bridge. The track is also shifted in the forest. The Garmin Edge also is not absolutely accurate, but it performs significantly better than the Sony.

GPS Sony Xperia Z3: total
GPS Sony Xperia Z3: total
GPS Sony Xperia Z3: bridge
GPS Sony Xperia Z3: bridge
GPS Sony Xperia Z3: forest
GPS Sony Xperia Z3: forest
GPS Garmin Edge 500: total
GPS Garmin Edge 500: total
GPS Garmin Edge 500: bridge
GPS Garmin Edge 500: bridge
GPS Garmin Edge 500: forest
GPS Garmin Edge 500: forest

Telephone Functions and Voice Quality

The fourth generation of the Sony also uses an approved telephone app: the standard app from Google. The handling is intuitive and simple and the functionality is adequate with favorite contacts, groups and call lists. The answering machine is still available.

The voice quality of the Sony Xperia Z2 was excellent and it seems the Xperia Z3's is even better: The caller is very clear. In some tests people even thought their conversation partner was in a recording studio. Background noise is well filtered and the maximum volume is still very high.

The successor also brings the excellent voice quality and features for hearing-impaired individuals of the Xperia Z2: The voice of the conversation partner can be changed with the equalizer in three levels, although the effects were still very small. But, the automatic voice optimization actually improved the quality and the voice sounded richer. If you have problems with hearing or fast talking friends, you can also slow down the other person, so that they are easier to understand.

The differences with the predecessor are not big, but audible at this sound quality level. The voice quality of the Xperia Z2 has already been very high, and it has been slightly improved again. The great optional improvements and aids for hearing-impaired people are an extra advantage.

Cameras & Multimedia

Since the Xperia Z1, Sony have used their own 20.7 MP camera with Exmor RS sensor in their high-quality phones. The sensor has a diameter of approximately 7.7 millimeters (~0.3 inches) and is significantly larger than most other smartphone cameras. The Xperia Z3 uses exactly the same camera as its two predecessors. That is not a problem as the Xperia Z1 and Z2 featured one of the best cameras in the market. Maybe the competition has caught up in the meanwhile.

Among recently launched smartphones, the Nokia Lumia 930 is the only one, which can keep up nominally with its 20 megapixels camera and also a large sensor. The iPhone 6 "only" features an 8 megapixels camera and performs worse in terms of specs. Ultimately, it is the image quality and not the megapixels that is the deciding factor. The fourth generation of Sony's top smartphone is again absolutely convincing in the latter. All devices in our comparison group shoot photos with very high image quality. For example, the iPhone 6 makes up for its lower megapixels with a very good auto focus and precise colors. The Nokia Lumia 1020 convinces with an extremely high level of detail.

The winner in our photo comparison depends on the scene. But, the Xperia Z3 always performs well. We especially liked the very high detail level and the accurate colors in the photo of the bouquet. The photo of the arranged scene looks good overall, but the details are slightly blurry and colors are not absolutely accurate. We liked the pictures of the iPhone 6 and Nokia Lumia 1020 better here.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3

In low-light environments, the smartphone also takes good pictures without flash, but color noise is present (see shadows for example). In addition, the edges are frayed. In this respect, Nokia did a great job in the Lumia 930, but you will need a steady hand, since the exposure time is prolonged.

The automatic mode, which recognizes picture content and movements selects the optimum shooting mode, is great. In manual mode, you can adjust many settings including white balance and ISO value. However, it is not possible to select ISO 12800 manually, which Sony advertises on their website. The maximum is 3200. Higher ISO values are only selected by the automatic system in low-light conditions because of high noise. The maximum resolution can only be activated in manual mode. In automatic mode, the camera only takes pictures with a resolution of 8 megapixels.

You can still record 4K videos. The Xperia Z2 had a heat problem, which appears to be resolved now; it got very hot after three minutes when you record in 4K and the device even shut down after five minutes. The Xperia Z3 can record videos for a significantly longer time. The case did not even feel warm after six minutes. However, just under 400 MB are needed for one minute, which might be the limiting factor for the length of 4K videos now. Slow-motion videos are recorded with 120 frames per second. Good: The smartphone saves the original as well as the slow motion version.

Many other apps for the camera are preinstalled, including blur effect for the background, augmented reality gimmicks, or an app for live transmission to YouTube. Sony promises that they will continue adding new apps. This way, the camera can be enhanced more and more. Compared to the Xperia Z2, there are actually several more apps, but their functionality is not really crucial so far.

The Xperia Z3 takes excellent pictures in good lighting conditions. In low-light conditions, Nokia's smartphones perform better, but the quality of the Xperia Z3 is still sufficient. The camera app offers many features and they are continuously enhanced.

Accessories

As well as a microUSB cable and a USB charger, you get a headset. It is a standard model and not the headset with noise canceling technology, which Sony often mentions in advertisements. The latter generates a sound wave opposite to the ambient noise and should isolate the user better from the environment. It is available for 59 Euros (~$75) from Sony's online shop.

In addition, Sony offers a smartphone cover with transparent window for the Xperia Z3. As soon as the smartphone recognizes the cover, it displays all important information in window size. The price has not been fixed yet. The "Game Control Mount" is not priced yet either. Connecting the DualShock4 controller of the Playstation 4 to the smartphone gives a mini game console. The data connection is via Bluetooth. The mount is only used to hold the smartphone up. A docking station is available too, but it only works as a stand, which can be used to charge the device. The price is also not known yet.

The covers are available in four colors matching the smartphone.
The covers are available in four colors matching the smartphone.
Unfortunately, the dock can only be used for charging.
Unfortunately, the dock can only be used for charging.
The Game Control Mount allows connecting DualShock 4 and Smartphone.
The Game Control Mount allows connecting DualShock 4 and Smartphone.
This headset allows digital noise reduction.
This headset allows digital noise reduction.

Warranty

The warranty period is 24 months for Sony smartphones, while it is one year for accessories like battery and charger. In case of a repair, you should contact either the dealer or Sony.

Input Devices & Handling

The Xperia Z3's input devices are identical to its predecessor's: The capacitive touchscreen supports up to ten fingers simultaneously and works very precisely. It offers a very sensitive mode as well, where you can operate the smartphone with thin gloves. There are only virtual touch buttons on the display and they slightly reduce the available screen size. The physical keys are located on the right side of the case. You can find Sony's round power button, the volume rocker and a physical camera button with two pressure points for focus and shutter release. All buttons can be easily recognized by touch and have a clear pressure point.

Sony uses its own Xperia keyboard, which can be adjusted to your personal preferences: You can change the look, insert and remove special keys and activate input by swiping over the keyboard. In "one hand" mode, the keyboard is pushed together on the right side. In portrait mode, the keys can be enlarged by combining more letters on a single key. We really like that Sony offers that many settings, so everyone can build the keyboard that they like. Thanks to the big display, you can also write well in portrait mode. The keys are even bigger in landscape mode, but the keyboard also takes up a lot of space on the display here.

Display

Wie wir testen - Display

The display has the same specifications as the Xperia Z2's: Full HD resolution of 1920x1080 pixels and an IPS panel, which should ensure wide viewing angles. We found the display to be good in the predecessor, but blue tint and a quite a high black value were disturbing.

In one aspect the display got significantly better: the brightness. The display reaches a maximum of 702 cd/m² and 671.3 cd/m² on average. Apart from a few Blackberrys, we had not reviewed any smartphone with such a high brightness so far. The distribution of brightness is sufficiently smooth with 90%, but slight color differences are recognizable in large areas.

647
cd/m²
681
cd/m²
670
cd/m²
633
cd/m²
702
cd/m²
682
cd/m²
632
cd/m²
699
cd/m²
696
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 702 cd/m² Average: 671.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 90 %
Center on Battery: 702 cd/m²
Contrast: 975:1 (Black: 0.72 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 8.92 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 9.59 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
Gamma: 2.75
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Sony Xperia Z2
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
Screen
2%
-2%
-13%
5%
Brightness middle
702
460
-34%
358
-49%
417
-41%
474
-32%
Brightness
671
456
-32%
364
-46%
395
-41%
486
-28%
Brightness Distribution
90
95
6%
82
-9%
89
-1%
93
3%
Black Level *
0.72
0.7
3%
0.96
-33%
0.54
25%
Contrast
975
657
-33%
434
-55%
878
-10%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
8.92
4.43
50%
5.28
41%
5.67
36%
5.86
34%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
9.59
4.21
56%
4.65
52%
5.66
41%
5.2
46%
Gamma
2.75 80%
2.79 79%
2.48 89%
2.53 87%
2.29 96%
CCT
9408 69%
7122 91%
7690 85%
7741 84%
7218 90%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
59

* ... smaller is better

The black value of 0.72 cd/m² is quite high. Other top smartphones perform better in this aspect. Thanks to the high brightness, it still gives a good contrast of 975:1. Colors appear strong and bright. The image can even be too bright with maximum brightness, and large white areas can glare. Sony offers an app with which the white balance of a picture can be optimized.

In our precise color test with a colorimeter and the software CalMAN, we use the standard white balance and two different settings, which you can see in the image gallery. The obvious blue tint can be reduced, but not completely removed, this way. Thus, colors look a bit cooler than in nature. The settings selected by us also improved color accuracy. However, it does not get perfect. Green, yellow and red are too strong, while other colors including white are too bluish.

Color Management default
Color Management default
Color Management (White balance 2)
Color Management (White balance 2)
Color precision AdobeRGB Standard
Color precision AdobeRGB Standard
Color precision AdobeRGB (White balance 2)
Color precision AdobeRGB (White balance 2)
Color precision default
Color precision default
Color precision (White balance 2)
Color precision (White balance 2)
Gray level default
Gray level default
Gray level (White Balance 1)
Gray level (White Balance 1)
Gray levels (White Balance 2)
Gray levels (White Balance 2)
White Balance Setting 1
White Balance Setting 1
White Balance Setting 2
White Balance Setting 2
White Balance default
White Balance default

Thanks to the extremely high brightness, the display also remains legible outdoors, even when the sun is shining. It is difficult to read from the screen in direct sunlight. However, continued use of the smartphone in very bright environments is hard on the eyes because of the glossy display.

While the predecessor suffered from a gray film in acute angles, it is minimal in the Xperia Z3, if present at all. The image remains easily recognizable from all sides, even from very acute angles.

Outdoors
Outdoors
Viewing Angles
Viewing Angles

Performance

Wie wir testen - Leistung

Sony used a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC for a slight performance gain in Xperia Z3 compared to its predecessor. The SoC has a clock rate of 2.45 GHz, which is 90 MHz faster than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AB in the Xperia Z2. The features are the same. This is also true for the graphics chip, an Adreno 330 with 578 MHz.

Nevertheless, the Z3 performs notably better in the processor and system benchmarks than its predecessor. Overall, it is on par with the Samsung Galaxy S5. The Z3 is one of the fastest smartphones on the market and only the iPhone 6 is significantly faster. Already the Xperia Z2 was capable of all apps and multitasking without big restrictions. The Xperia delivers even more performance. But, hardly anybody will notice this in practice.

We ran the GFX Bench battery life test, which consecutively executes the T-Rex test thirty times and records the performance, in order to exclude throttling of processor or graphics solution caused by overheating. The performance of the Xperia Z3 remains constant and the full performance is also available after prolonged periods of full load.

Linpack Android / IOS
Multi Thread (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
700 MFLOPS ∼24%
Apple iPhone 6
1439.05 MFLOPS ∼49% +106%
Samsung Galaxy S5
678 MFLOPS ∼23% -3%
Sony Xperia Z2
570 MFLOPS ∼19% -19%
HTC One M8
575.654 MFLOPS ∼19% -18%
LG G3
608.905 MFLOPS ∼21% -13%
Nokia Lumia 930
930.16 MFLOPS ∼31% +33%
Google Nexus 5
273.81 MFLOPS ∼9% -61%
Single Thread (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
375 MFLOPS ∼37%
Apple iPhone 6
768.27 MFLOPS ∼75% +105%
Samsung Galaxy S5
355 MFLOPS ∼35% -5%
Sony Xperia Z2
261 MFLOPS ∼26% -30%
HTC One M8
337.474 MFLOPS ∼33% -10%
LG G3
281.32 MFLOPS ∼28% -25%
Nokia Lumia 930
232.54 MFLOPS ∼23% -38%
Google Nexus 5
95.049 MFLOPS ∼9% -75%
Smartbench 2012 - Productivity Index (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S5
9054 points ∼48%
Sony Xperia Z2
7250 points ∼39%
HTC One M8
5021 points ∼27%
LG G3
8377 points ∼44%
Google Nexus 5
4966 points ∼26%
AndEBench
Java (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
707 Iter./s ∼22%
Samsung Galaxy S5
705 Iter./s ∼22% 0%
Sony Xperia Z2
566 Iter./s ∼17% -20%
HTC One M8
505 Iter./s ∼16% -29%
LG G3
559 Iter./s ∼17% -21%
Google Nexus 5
407 Iter./s ∼13% -42%
Native (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
16322 Iter./s ∼54%
Samsung Galaxy S5
17584 Iter./s ∼58% +8%
Sony Xperia Z2
13619 Iter./s ∼45% -17%
HTC One M8
17104 Iter./s ∼56% +5%
LG G3
15827 Iter./s ∼52% -3%
Google Nexus 5
11344 Iter./s ∼37% -30%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
2708 Points ∼3%
Apple iPhone 6
2889 Points ∼4% +7%
Samsung Galaxy S5
2885 Points ∼4% +7%
Sony Xperia Z2
2619 Points ∼3% -3%
HTC One M8
2785 Points ∼3% +3%
LG G3
2323 Points ∼3% -14%
Google Nexus 5
2239 Points ∼3% -17%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
979 Points ∼20%
Apple iPhone 6
1619 Points ∼33% +65%
Samsung Galaxy S5
941 Points ∼19% -4%
Sony Xperia Z2
919 Points ∼19% -6%
HTC One M8
957 Points ∼20% -2%
LG G3
941 Points ∼19% -4%
Google Nexus 5
694 Points ∼14% -29%

Legend

 
Sony Xperia Z3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Apple iPhone 6 Apple A8, PowerVR GX6450, 128 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy S5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Sony Xperia Z2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AB, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
HTC One M8 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AB, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
LG G3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Nokia Lumia 930 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Google Nexus 5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB iNAND Flash

The Xperia Z3 features one of the fastest graphics chips, which are currently used in ARM SoCs with the Adreno 330 clocked at 578 MHz. However, the Xperia Z2 has already used the same graphics chip, just like all other devices in our comparison group except for the iPhone 6. Nevertheless, the performance is different, which is partly due to other processors and partly due to other software:

The iPhone 6 clearly took the lead, followed by the Xperia Z3, Xperia Z2, and Samsung Galaxy S5, which only differ minimally. Depending on the benchmark, the HTC One M8 and the LG G3 can keep up or fall behind. The Nokia Lumia 930 and the Google Nexus 5 are at the bottom. It does not pay off to upgrade from the predecessor to the Xperia Z3 because of graphics performance, since the difference is small. However, the Xperia Z3 processes graphics so fast that it currently does not have problems with any reviewed game from the Google Play Store.

Epic Citadel
Ultra High Quality (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
53.7 fps ∼87%
Samsung Galaxy S5
51.2 fps ∼83% -5%
Sony Xperia Z2
55.2 fps ∼90% +3%
HTC One M8
52.3 fps ∼85% -3%
LG G3
42.6 fps ∼69% -21%
Google Nexus 5
49 fps ∼80% -9%
High Performance (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
58 fps ∼95%
Samsung Galaxy S5
57.2 fps ∼94% -1%
Sony Xperia Z2
58.2 fps ∼96% 0%
HTC One M8
56.4 fps ∼93% -3%
LG G3
58.7 fps ∼97% +1%
Google Nexus 5
56.3 fps ∼93% -3%
3DMark
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
13674 Points ∼16%
Apple iPhone 6
9137 Points ∼11% -33%
Samsung Galaxy S5
15198 Points ∼18% +11%
Sony Xperia Z2
13155 Points ∼15% -4%
HTC One M8
9521 Points ∼11% -30%
LG G3
12939 Points ∼15% -5%
Google Nexus 5
9622 Points ∼11% -30%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
19606 Points ∼4%
Apple iPhone 6
22509 Points ∼4% +15%
Samsung Galaxy S5
19530 Points ∼4% 0%
Sony Xperia Z2
20239 Points ∼4% +3%
HTC One M8
15928 Points ∼3% -19%
LG G3
17029 Points ∼3% -13%
Google Nexus 5
15100 Points ∼3% -23%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
17882 Points ∼8%
Apple iPhone 6
16985 Points ∼7% -5%
Samsung Galaxy S5
18367 Points ∼8% +3%
Sony Xperia Z2
18076 Points ∼8% +1%
HTC One M8
13856 Points ∼6% -23%
LG G3
15911 Points ∼7% -11%
Google Nexus 5
13404 Points ∼6% -25%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
11.8 fps ∼2%
Apple iPhone 6
17.8 fps ∼3% +51%
Samsung Galaxy S5
11.8 fps ∼2% 0%
Sony Xperia Z2
11.6 fps ∼2% -2%
HTC One M8
10.5 fps ∼2% -11%
LG G3
11.3 fps ∼2% -4%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
12.6 fps ∼3%
Apple iPhone 6
29.8 fps ∼8% +137%
Samsung Galaxy S5
11.7 fps ∼3% -7%
Sony Xperia Z2
12.5 fps ∼3% -1%
HTC One M8
11.2 fps ∼3% -11%
LG G3
7.3 fps ∼2% -42%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
27.5 fps ∼0%
Apple iPhone 6
42.6 fps ∼0% +55%
Samsung Galaxy S5
27.7 fps ∼0% +1%
Sony Xperia Z2
27.3 fps ∼0% -1%
HTC One M8
28.1 fps ∼0% +2%
LG G3
26.7 fps ∼0% -3%
Nokia Lumia 930
15 fps ∼0% -45%
Google Nexus 5
21 fps ∼0% -24%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
29.4 fps ∼1%
Apple iPhone 6
51.9 fps ∼2% +77%
Samsung Galaxy S5
27.8 fps ∼1% -5%
Sony Xperia Z2
29.1 fps ∼1% -1%
HTC One M8
30.2 fps ∼1% +3%
LG G3
20.2 fps ∼1% -31%
Nokia Lumia 930
20 fps ∼1% -32%
Google Nexus 5
23 fps ∼1% -22%
Basemark X 1.1
High Quality (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
12603 Points ∼29%
Samsung Galaxy S5
11990 Points ∼27% -5%
Sony Xperia Z2
12632 Points ∼29% 0%
HTC One M8
10191 Points ∼23% -19%
LG G3
11499 Points ∼26% -9%
Google Nexus 5
9471 Points ∼21% -25%
Medium Quality (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
24637 Points ∼55%
Samsung Galaxy S5
23999 Points ∼53% -3%
Sony Xperia Z2
25166 Points ∼56% +2%
HTC One M8
17913 Points ∼40% -27%
LG G3
23234 Points ∼52% -6%
Nokia Lumia 930
19987 Points ∼44% -19%
Google Nexus 5
20368 Points ∼45% -17%

Web surfing is even faster with the Xperia Z3 than with the predecessor and the HTC One M8 and the Galaxy S5 competitors. In the majority of the benchmarks, the differences are noticeable. In practice, the other models also browsed the web very fast, so the differences are not that apparent here. Anyway, surfing the World Wide Web is very fast with the Sony Xperia Z3 and it does not even lag when running animations that are more demanding.

Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
811 Points ∼13%
Apple iPhone 6
2567 Points ∼41% +217%
Samsung Galaxy S5
712 Points ∼11% -12%
Sony Xperia Z2
855 Points ∼14% +5%
HTC One M8
1164 Points ∼19% +44%
LG G3
1097 Points ∼18% +35%
Nokia Lumia 930
526 Points ∼8% -35%
Google Nexus 5
835 Points ∼13% +3%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
5339 Points ∼10%
Apple iPhone 6
7478 Points ∼14% +40%
Samsung Galaxy S5
3875 Points ∼7% -27%
Sony Xperia Z2
4414 Points ∼8% -17%
HTC One M8
3131 Points ∼6% -41%
LG G3
4345 Points ∼8% -19%
LG G3
3892 Points ∼7% -27%
Nokia Lumia 930
2737 Points ∼5% -49%
Google Nexus 5
5416 Points ∼10% +1%
Google Nexus 5
4722 Points ∼9% -12%
WebXPRT 2013 - Overall Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
345 Points ∼15%
Apple iPhone 6
570 Points ∼25% +65%
Samsung Galaxy S5
237 Points ∼10% -31%
Sony Xperia Z2
302 Points ∼13% -12%
HTC One M8
271 Points ∼12% -21%
LG G3
314 Points ∼14% -9%
LG G3
313 Points ∼14% -9%
Nokia Lumia 930
300 Points ∼13% -13%
Google Nexus 5
302 Points ∼13% -12%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
6502 ms * ∼11%
Apple iPhone 6
4597.1 ms * ∼8% +29%
Samsung Galaxy S5
6302 ms * ∼11% +3%
Sony Xperia Z2
7739.2 ms * ∼13% -19%
HTC One M8
8990.4 ms * ∼15% -38%
LG G3
7279.7 ms * ∼12% -12%
LG G3
7163 ms * ∼12% -10%
Nokia Lumia 930
11108 ms * ∼19% -71%
Google Nexus 5
7852.3 ms * ∼13% -21%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
827.5 ms * ∼9%
Apple iPhone 6
340 ms * ∼4% +59%
Samsung Galaxy S5
408.7 ms * ∼4% +51%
Sony Xperia Z2
951.1 ms * ∼10% -15%
HTC One M8
594.2 ms * ∼7% +28%
LG G3
900 ms * ∼10% -9%
LG G3
629.3 ms * ∼7% +24%
Nokia Lumia 930
534 ms * ∼6% +35%
Google Nexus 5
1090 ms * ∼12% -32%
Google Nexus 5
716.3 ms * ∼8% +13%

* ... smaller is better

The internal storage of 16 GB is relatively limited, since only 12 GB can be used. On the other hand, it works very fast, and read and write rates are significantly faster than the predecessor or other devices from our comparison group. Only the LG G3 performs even better. This means that access to files and apps as well as copying data is very fast.

AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
2 MB/s ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy S5
1 MB/s ∼0% -50%
Sony Xperia Z2
1.42 MB/s ∼1% -29%
HTC One M8
0.88 MB/s ∼0% -56%
LG G3
1.44 MB/s ∼1% -28%
Google Nexus 5
0.84 MB/s ∼0% -58%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
15 MB/s ∼8%
Samsung Galaxy S5
8.5 MB/s ∼4% -43%
Sony Xperia Z2
10.98 MB/s ∼6% -27%
HTC One M8
10.53 MB/s ∼5% -30%
LG G3
20.98 MB/s ∼11% +40%
Google Nexus 5
9.88 MB/s ∼5% -34%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
18 MB/s ∼3%
Samsung Galaxy S5
19.05 MB/s ∼3% +6%
Sony Xperia Z2
18.03 MB/s ∼3% 0%
HTC One M8
19.51 MB/s ∼3% +8%
LG G3
23.83 MB/s ∼4% +32%
Google Nexus 5
15.52 MB/s ∼3% -14%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Sony Xperia Z3
149 MB/s ∼10%
Samsung Galaxy S5
83.53 MB/s ∼6% -44%
Sony Xperia Z2
62.09 MB/s ∼4% -58%
HTC One M8
88.41 MB/s ∼6% -41%
LG G3
167.46 MB/s ∼11% +12%
Google Nexus 5
74.9 MB/s ∼5% -50%

Games

Finally, we tested several of the currently most demanding games in the Google Play Store in order to check whether they really run on the Xperia Z3 without stuttering. Our test games are "Gangstar: Vegas", "Asphalt 8" and "Riptide GP2". All three run smoothly, and less demanding games like "Angry Birds: Star Wars 2" and similar games run without stuttering, too.

PS4-Remoteplay is a real highlight. According to Sony it is only available for Xperia devices. It allows streaming the game from the PS4 to the Xperia Z3 via WLAN and continues playing it with the DualShock4 controller. This is similar to the functionality of Nintendo's Wii U, where you can continue playing after you turned the TV off. A mount for the controller is available too. It is briefly described in the "accessories" section of this article.

The smartphone can handle demanding games like "Asphalt 8"...
The smartphone can handle demanding games like "Asphalt 8"...
... or "Gangstar: Vegas" without problems.
... or "Gangstar: Vegas" without problems.

Emissions

Wie wir testen - Emissionen

Temperature

While the Xperia Z1 got really hot, Sony had already fixed this problem quite well in the Xperia Z2. The Xperia Z3 also does not get too hot, but is slightly warmer than its predecessor. For example, the maximum temperature is 43.3 degrees Celsius (~110 °F) while the Xperia Z2's is 41.1 degrees Celsius (~106 °F). The difference is not big, but, contrary to the predecessor, the heat extends to a larger area. So, it is not surprising, that the average temperature under load is significantly higher.

You will hardly feel a difference while idling: The temperatures also increased, but to a lesser extent than under load. The Xperia Z3 is always comfortable to hold in the hand. In addition, the power adapter does not get too hot during charging. Sony has fixed the mentioned problem of the predecessor that the camera is deactivated due to safety reasons, because it is too hot.

Max. Load
 41.8 °C
107 F
38.8 °C
102 F
37.3 °C
99 F
 
 43.3 °C
110 F
39.9 °C
104 F
39.9 °C
104 F
 
 39.9 °C
104 F
39.9 °C
104 F
39.1 °C
102 F
 
Maximum: 43.3 °C = 110 F
Average: 40 °C = 104 F
36.3 °C
97 F
35.8 °C
96 F
37.9 °C
100 F
37.1 °C
99 F
37.4 °C
99 F
39.7 °C
103 F
35.8 °C
96 F
37.2 °C
99 F
38.2 °C
101 F
Maximum: 39.7 °C = 103 F
Average: 37.3 °C = 99 F
Power Supply (max.)  41.2 °C = 106 F | Room Temperature 23 °C = 73 F | Voltcraft IR-350
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 40 °C / 104 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 43.3 °C / 110 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 39.7 °C / 103 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 31.3 °C / 88 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speakers

Like Xperia Z2, the speakers are directed towards the user. Sony has slightly improved the sound, which was quite modest in the predecessor. To come straight to the point: The Xperia Z3 can still not reach the brilliant speakers of the HTC One M8. The speakers are sufficiently loud, but you should not expect the rich orchestral sound. The bass is too weak, but medium and high tones are well balanced. However, it does not always sound like "High-Definition", i.e. the sound is not highly differentiated.

This might sound rather negative, but actually the speakers are adequate; even for a high-end smartphone. The HTC One M8 is simply a very strong reference. The sound system is certainly sufficient for those occasionally watching YouTube videos and playing game sound. The Xperia Z3 also has a five-pin stereo jack, which means you can use high-quality headphones with full features, for example the headset from Sony sold separately with digital noise reduction.

Energy Management

Wie wir testen - Akkulaufzeit

Power Consumption

The Xperia Z3 is slightly more frugal than its predecessor. While the Sony Xperia Z2 did not waste energy, its idle battery life could have been longer compared to the Galaxy S5. Sony actually managed to decrease the power consumption in the Xperia Z3: First of all, the power consumption is actually 0.0 Watt while turned off now and dropped to 0.1 Watts during standby. The idle power consumption is 0.2 Watts lower, the maximum power consumption while idling even fell by 0.4 Watts. As the values are relatively low anyway, this is actually significant. However, the power consumption during load is significantly higher because of the powerful SoC and the very bright display. The average consumption under load increased by 1.8 Watts to 5.2 Watts compared to the predecessor.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.5 / 1.4 / 1.8 Watt
Load midlight 5.2 / 6.1 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

The battery capacity of 11.5 Wh is marginally smaller than the predecessor's. But, the battery life has changed notably compared to the Xperia Z2, because the power consumption is different. With above 20 hours, the idle battery life is significantly longer. But, the battery is empty in only 2:12 hours under full load while the Xperia Z2 lasted almost 3 hours.

We set the brightness to 150 cd/m² and deactivated all unnecessary communication modules for our WLAN and video test. The Xperia Z3 lasts above 11 hours while surfing via Wi-Fi and outperforms the iPhone 6, the HTC One M8, and the Galaxy S5. Only the Nokia Lumia 930 lasts significantly longer. It is also not a problem to watch videos during a long train ride: The battery lasts 11:22 hours in this scenario.

An energy saving mode and even an ultra energy-saving mode is also available. The first only deactivates background services and data connections in standby. The latter starts a separate menu, limits app support and is overall more restrictive than the energy-saving mode, but it also saves significantly more energy. Especially on the move when the battery is low, it is useful to activate energy-saving mode and remain reachable. It is slightly annoying that the smartphone has to be rebooted when switching back from Ultra Stamina mode.

Overall, the battery life is impressive and even longer than the predecessor's in really important scenarios. In addition, the battery life of the Xperia Z3 had already impressed us with its endurance in everyday use without energy saving mode. It can definitely last a workday and even a bit longer with mixed use.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
20h 03min
WiFi Surfing
11h 12min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
11h 22min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 12min
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Sony Xperia Z2
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy S5
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
Battery Runtime
5%
22%
-12%
-33%
H.264
682
598
-12%
556
-18%
273
-60%
385
-44%
WiFi
672
623
-7%
613
-9%
452
-33%
453
-33%
Load
132
178
35%
253
92%
207
57%
102
-23%

Verdict

Existing customers might take offense that Sony rapidly updates their products: They might just have bought the Xperia Z2 and the new model is already available, which is even better in several respects.

Sony actually satisfied many of our wishes, raised during our test of the Xperia Z2: better connection with Sony's own game force, the Playstation, a better, though still not perfect, display, longer battery life with high performance. The rounded edges of the case are comfortable. The elegant, yet slippery and fingerprint prone back side is still a double-edged sword.

Camera and software are still great. You can really enjoy phoning thanks to the excellent voice quality. In addition, the case is slim, light and now even better protected against water and dust. All things considered, the Xperia Z3 takes another step towards the perfect smartphone that we wished for in May. However, it is not absolutely perfect yet. It still lacks better speakers, a more stable case, a better GPS module and probably also a replaceable battery.

For the great software, which is highly configurable, many settings and free gifts like virus protection and navigation, it got an up valuation of 1% in total. In addition, many available accessories offered, and the possibility to stream games from the PS4 to the smartphone convinced us and had an influence here.

Users of the Xperia Z2 even have a reason to replace it with the Xperia Z3 since the latter is even better in many aspects. If you can choose between Sony's old model, which is now 100 Euros (~$126) cheaper than the Z3, and the Z3, you had better take the new generation. Sony significantly improved details. But, we want to see a real innovation next time, Sony. Will you also satisfy this wish?

In review: Sony Xperia Z3. Test model courtesy of Sony Germany.
In review: Sony Xperia Z3. Test model courtesy of Sony Germany.
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In Review: Sony Xperia Z3. Test model courtesy of Sony Germany.
In Review: Sony Xperia Z3. Test model courtesy of Sony Germany.

Specifications

Sony Xperia Z3 (Xperia Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
3072 MB 
Display
5.2 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel, IPS, TRILUMINOS display for mobile, X-Reality picture engine for mobile, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 12 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm audio combo port, Card Reader: microSDXC slot (up to 128GB), Sensors: motion sensor, light sensor, proximity sensor, compass, barometer, MHL 3.0, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.0, GSM quad band (850/900/1800/1900), UMTS penta band (850/900/1700/1900/2100), LTE deca band (700/700/800/850/900/1700/1800/1900/2100/2600)
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 7.3 x 146.5 x 72 ( = 0.29 x 5.77 x 2.83 in)
Battery
12 Wh Lithium-Ion, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 16 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 920 h
Operating System
Android 4.4 KitKat
Camera
Webcam: Rear: 20.7MP, AF, LED flash, Videos 2160p, Front: 2.2MP, Videos 1080p
Additional features
Speakers: foward facing stereo speakers, 3D Surround Sound Technology (VPT), Sony Clear Audio+, xLoud, DSEE HX, high-resolution audio quality, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, Headset, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
152 g ( = 5.36 oz / 0.34 pounds), Power Supply: 45 g ( = 1.59 oz / 0.1 pounds)
Price
700 Euro

 

Another new Xperia Z
Another new Xperia Z
The case has rounded edges now.
The case has rounded edges now.
This makes it more comfortable to hold.
This makes it more comfortable to hold.
The glass back side remained the same: stylish, yet slippery.
The glass back side remained the same: stylish, yet slippery.
The Xperia Z3 is still waterproof.
The Xperia Z3 is still waterproof.
It can dive even deeper.
It can dive even deeper.
The smartphone got even lighter.
The smartphone got even lighter.
It still has a round standby button...
It still has a round standby button...
...and a magnetic docking port.
...and a magnetic docking port.
The camera is still excellent.
The camera is still excellent.
The maximum resolution is 20.7 MP, but you can only use it in manual mode.
The maximum resolution is 20.7 MP, but you can only use it in manual mode.
In addition, Sony delivers many photo apps and promises to continue adding new ones.
In addition, Sony delivers many photo apps and promises to continue adding new ones.
The software is highly customizable, but already the default setting is very elegant.
The software is highly customizable, but already the default setting is very elegant.
The start screen is elegant, too.
The start screen is elegant, too.
"Xperia Themes" allows to adjust icons and background.
"Xperia Themes" allows to adjust icons and background.
With them, the start screen changes, too.
With them, the start screen changes, too.
Some themes are based on Sony videos.
Some themes are based on Sony videos.
The "smart backlight control" turns the display off if nobody is watching.
The "smart backlight control" turns the display off if nobody is watching.
This time, we did not face problems with heating when recording videos.
This time, we did not face problems with heating when recording videos.
This is how the "Extreme Stamina Mode" looks like: a energy saving mode with very limited functionality.
This is how the "Extreme Stamina Mode" looks like: a energy saving mode with very limited functionality.
This way, the battery life increases.
This way, the battery life increases.
There are many options.
There are many options.
For example you can adjust the white balance of the display and activate a high-sensitive mode.
For example you can adjust the white balance of the display and activate a high-sensitive mode.
It also includes free gifts: e.g. AVG Antivirus Pro
It also includes free gifts: e.g. AVG Antivirus Pro
Augmented Reality gimmicks are possible with the photo app.
Augmented Reality gimmicks are possible with the photo app.
For example a fairy tale forest growing out of the desk.
For example a fairy tale forest growing out of the desk.
The telephone app is standard, but the voice quality is excellent.
The telephone app is standard, but the voice quality is excellent.

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Links

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Pros

+nice materials
+stylish design with rounded corners
+dust and water protected
+great cameras
+very good connectivity
+very bright display
+very clear voice quality
+numerous accessories are available
+Remote Play with PlayStation 4
+very good battery life
+very powerful
+great software equipped with many options
 

Cons

-back side is a bit slippery
-prone to fingerprints
-bluish display
-battery is not replaceable
-low internal memory
-GPS is partly inaccurate
-speakers are only good average
-shorter battery life under load than predecessor

Shortcut

What we like

Sony improved many details from rounded edges to longer battery life. In addition, the voice quality is stunning.

What we would like to see

Sony should improve the speakers and the accuracy of the GPS.

What surprises us

Sony has enough technologies for great sound and good displays. Why does one of their top smartphones have a display with average color accuracy and speakers with modest sound?

The competition

LG G3, Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, Google Nexus 5, Nokia Lumia 930, iPhone 6, Sony Xperia Z2

Rating

Sony Xperia Z3 - 10/01/2014 v4(old)
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
93%
Keyboard
73 / 75 → 97%
Pointing Device
94%
Connectivity
56 / 60 → 93%
Weight
92%
Battery
91%
Display
84%
Games Performance
65 / 63 → 100%
Application Performance
49 / 70 → 70%
Temperature
86%
Noise
100%
Audio
79 / 91 → 87%
Camera
88%
Add Points
+1%
Average
75%
89%
Smartphone - Weighted Average
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Sony Xperia Z3 Smartphone Review
Florian Wimmer, 2014-10-10 (Update: 2018-05-15)