In terms of the Sony Xperia Z3 release date, it was first announced at the IFA 2014 and later made available to consumers near the end of September 2014. The phone started at 799.99 USD but the Xperia Z3 price has been seen as low as 619.99 USD. This of course depends on the carrier or provider, and you can get it on a deal as well. It is available worldwide so the price will differ depending on your country.
Design and build quality
In 2013, Sony first presented its trademarked Omnibalance design on the Xperia Z, which has been the design standard for all Xperia smartphones since. Sony has continued the tradition for the Xperia Z3, incorporating premium materials, like aluminium and glass, into the device body. Since its first phone in this series, Sony has smoothed out any inconsistencies and proudly presented us with the Xperia Z3.
The front and back sides made of glass have hardly changed since the first Xperia Z, but other changes have been made to the frame. Sony clearly listened to user feedback and the handset is far more pleasant to hold than the last generations, with the edges being rounded for comfort. (Though the effect isn’t quite like the HTC One (M8)’s smooth unibody).
Speaking of borders, Sony also incorporated rubberized bumpers for the four outer corners to ensure that there is less pressure on the display if it is dropped, reducing the chances of a cracked screen. These stand out from the aluminium frame, but don’t tarnish the pristine look of the unibody design, all the while protecting your device. That being said, we don’t recommend dropping your Xperia Z3.
Regarding the Sony Xperia Z3 features, it's water and dustproof with certification IP65 and IP68. This means that when the protective flaps are covered, the Z3 is completely protected from dust and pressurized jets of water from all directions. It can also be dunked under water to 1.5 meters for a maximum of 30 minutes, but only in freshwater (in other words, don't jump into the ocean with it). It’s also worth mentioning that the dual front-facing speakers sound is far superior to that of the Z2.
Despite the arms race in which many other manufacturers are now participating in to incorporate the highest resolutions into their devices, the latest of which is a 2K display on the likes of the Note 4 and the LG G3, Sony stuck with Full HD resolution (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) for its 5.2 inch display.
Thanks to the TRILUMINOS and ‘’X-Reality for mobile’’ technologies, the display looks fantastically bright and has good visibility in direct sunlight. The viewing angles are also excellent: photos and videos are natural, restrained and certainly not oversaturated. Compared to the Xperia Z2, the Z3's has a more "radiant" appearance, and is definitely the superior.
Sony has yet again incorporated a well-rounded software package into the Z3, making its latest flagship a real multimedia champ. In the music area, it's included a DSEE HX (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) and Hi-Res Audio which improves the sound quality of MP3s with lower bitrates.
The sound is improved on whole, but the DSEE HX feature is only found in the Walkman app; other apps from the Play Store don’t come with this feature. Some other sound effects include an EQ and virtual surround sound.
For gamers, the Xperia Z3 has a new PS4 function called Remote Play which allows you to play PlayStation 4 games on the Z3 by docking it on the PS4 controller. This way you can start a game on your TV; and continue it in a different room with the phone. It's an interesting feature, but doesn't provide a huge reason to invest in a Z3.
Yet another new feature that Sony has added is an Ultra Power Saving Mode. When activated, the Z3 turns into a "basic" phone with no internet connection, a reduced home screen, and access only to the contacts, SMS/MMS, camera, album, calendar, alarm clock, clock, calculator, UKW radio, and settings apps.
When using this mode, the Xperia Z3 will last for 3 to 5 days without having to be plugged in to charge. This mode is especially useful if you are going on long backpacking tours or anywhere where you don’t have electricity, or no need for internet.
The Sony Xperia Z2 didn’t disappoint in this area, and though the Xperia Z3 specs are almost the same, the overall performance of the latter is significantly better. To compare, we’ve done an AnTuTu Benchmark test to show the Z3 with an average of 43,000 points as opposed to the Z2 which just missed the 40,000 cut-off.
Additionally, the Z3 is able to capture up to 10 minutes of 4K video without overheating, as opposed to the Z2 which only lasted about 5 minutes. But it’s still a pain: the Z3 camera simply shut down even though the phone was hardly warm. At least Sony slightly improved the issue, but this really shouldn’t happen for a smartphone of this caliber and price.
The rear camera shoots photos at 20.7 MP, with an Exmor RS sensor of ½.3 inches - the same as the Z2. This time around, though, Sony increased the max ISO from 3,200 on the Z2, to 12,800 for the Z3. What this means is that pictures taken in low light situations are far stronger on the Z3, but it's a minor camera improvement overall.
The battery capacity of the Z3 is just 100 mAh more than the Z2, and in reality both have similarly excellent battery life. In our test, we had the automatic brightness on, while syncing 3 different accounts, we listened to about 1 hour of music, surfed the internet for 2 hours (internet, Twitter and Feedly), played games for 15 minutes, and took pictures. After 13 hours, it was still at 50%. Two day battery life with moderate use is no problem for the Xperia Z3, it has one of the strongest batteries of any 2014 flagship.
The Sony Xperia Z3 is beautifully designed, with a fantastic hi-resolution camera and great battery life; it's a really difficult device to find fault with. You might not be a fan of Sony's Xperia user-interface, or the fiddly SD-Card/charge port flaps, but the minor flaws pale into comparison when looked at against the myriad of positives. For us, it's one of the best Android phones in the world.