Sony Mobile recently announced a successor to the Xperia Z3 which will be the forthcoming Sony Xperia Z3+.
The company released its pioneer top-end device, the Xperia Z, back in January 2013 and since then it’s been the only company to put out two flagships a year, one in the spring and another in the fall. That strategy has proven two-fold.
That brings to us the Sony Xperia Z3+, and as the name suggests, it’s only sort of an update to the previous model, even by the company’s own standards. So much so, that it didn’t deserve a bump in the numeral and only got a “plus”.
That “plus” has brought us the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset with faster Cat. 6 LTE and 32GB storage capacity as the only option, as opposed to the 16GB/32GB of the previous-gen. A 5.1MP front camera means the new model won’t be out of touch with current selfie trends, a battery capacity decrease has brought the 3,100mAh to 2,930mAh. The phone compensates for that with less weight and an ever so slightly thinner profile. The otherwise the same looking screen should come even brighter now.
- 5.2″ IPS LCD, 1080 x 1920 pixels, 424ppi
- Android 5.0 Lollipop with Xperia UI on top
- IP68 certified – dust and water proof up to 1.5 meter and 30 minutes
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset with dual quad-core processor: 2 GHz quad-core Cortex-A57 plus 1.5 GHz quad-core Cortex-A53 processor, Adreno 430 GPU, 3GB of RAM
- 20.7MP camera, LED flash, 2160p video recording, dedicated hardware shutter key
- 5.1MP front-facing camera with 1080p video recording (along with Superior Auto and Video stabilization)
- 32GB of built-in storage, expandable via the microSD card slot
- Cat. 6 LTE (up to 300Mbps); Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac; Wi-Fi Direct; Bluetooth 4.1 with apt-X and Sony LDAC wireless HighRes Audio codec, GPS/GLONASS/Beidou receiver, Stereo FM with RDS; USB On-The-Go
- Active noise cancellation with a secondary microphone
- Digital noise cancellation available with certain Sony headsets
- Front-facing stereo speakers
- 2,930mAh battery; STAMINA Power Saving Mode
- Stylish dual glass-panel design
- Qualcomm Quick charge certified
- Non user-replaceable battery
- No wireless charging
- Qualcomm Quick charger not included in the retail package
- Screen has the same specs third generation in a row, when rivals have mostly moved to 1440p
- Battery downgrade hardly justified
- Expected retail pricing is too steep
Even though on the outside the Xperia Z3+ hasn’t changed significantly, the update still managed to excite us enough to take the device for a spin.
Design and Look
The Sony Xperia Z3+ measures 146 x 72 x 6.9 mm, which is exactly the same footprint as the Xperia Z3. Fractions of a millimeter have been trimmed off the thickness, 0.4mm to be precise. Sony is really proud it has achieved that without resulting in a protruding camera lens and indeed that’s something. Both the iPhone 6 (6.9mm) and the Galaxy S6 (6.8mm) have one.
The difference in thickness between the Z3 and the Z3+ however is not readily noticeable in real life but we’re sure it’s there for the marketing department to peruse.
What is more tangible in practice is the decrease in weight. At 144g the new handset truly feels lighter than the Z3, more so than the 8g of difference would suggest.
The Sony Xperia Z3+ is equipped with a 5.2-inch 1080p IPS display, which has the same specs as the one used in the Z3 but it’s reportedly brighter. We’ll leave detailed testing for later, but its sounds impressive on paper as the display in the Xperia Z3 already had excellent brightness and contrast scores.
The Sony Xperia Z3+ boots Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box. Sony typically adds little customizations to Google’s OS, and that’s the case on the Xperia Z3+ as well. The interface is consistent with previous generations and models across the company’s lineup which provides simple transition when upgrading or switching devices.
Processor, RAM & ROM
The Sony Xperia Z3+ is powered by the Snapdragon 810 chipset with an octa-core processor, Adreno 430 GPU and 3GB of RAM.
The Sony Xperia Z3+ comes with the same 20.7MP camera, that’s become synonymous with the Z-series flagship. The lens has an f2.0 aperture and ISO can be pumped all the way up to 12800. It shoots at a maximum resolution of 5248 x 3936 pixels (20.7MP) in manual mode, or 3264 x 2448 (8MP) in Superior Auto. An LED flash is present to help you with some low-light photos.