As Sony does twice a year, it has updated its flagship Android phone, and the result is the Xperia XZ3. The hallmark features are what you'd expect from a purely iterative update, which comes six months after the overhauled design of the XZ2 line.
The star of the show is the new 6-inch OLED panel, which supports HDR and has a 2880x1440 resolution. The Gorilla Glass 5 curves Samsung-style to meet the new Series 7 aluminum body, and the bezels above and below the display are thinner than on the XZ2. Sony says the phone is just 5% bigger than the Xperia XZ2 but its screen provides 11% more viewing area.
Elsewhere, the design is largely unchanged from its predecessor, hewing closely to the organic, curved "Ambient Flow" language that has been divisive among Sony's loyal followers. Internally, a larger 3330mAh battery is among the few spec improvements in the XZ3, which features the same 19MP MotionEye camera and 4K HDR capture as before. There is a new 13MP front-facing camera with a wider f/1.9 lens, if that interests you.
Sony's improved the already-great S-Force front speakers on the XZ3, amping bass and treble response and increasing the overall volume by 20%. Expect a Snapdragon 845 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, along with Sony standards like IP68 water and dust resistance, plenty of audio codecs (and no headphone jack), the quirky Dynamic Vibration System, and Qi wireless charging.
Perhaps more interesting is that when the phone arrives on October 17 for $900, it will come with Android 9 Pie standard, along with a touch-sensitive side panel that facilitates a new quick settings menu called Side Sense. The Xperia XZ2 cost $800 when it debuted, but can be had for $700 today.
The Xperia XZ3 will be available for pre-order starting September 24, and will be sold at Amazon and Best Buy in the U.S. Pre-orders ship with a free pair of Sony's unique Xperia Ear Duo headphones.