Hands-on review: Updated: Sony Xperia Z3

Page 1 of 4Introduction and design

Sony's only gone and done it again. Made a phone, let the paint dry, sold it to the masses, then make another one. The Z was followed instantly by the Z1, which was shadowed by the Xperia Z2 a few months later at MWC... and now, in what feels like three sleeps later, the Z3 is here.

But, apart from the fact it's going to confuse consumers and annoy those that finally decided to make the jump to the Z2, only to find it's been usurped as the best Sony phone around, the Xperia Z3 is actually pretty darned impressive.

Don't take that to mean it's amazing. It doesn't feel special, but that's because it is, once again, an iterative update on a phone I've seen three times already.

Sony Xperia Z3 review

But it's not just a 'bit' better than the Z2 - it feels like this time Sony has made a phone that it can be really proud of.

The design of the phone is unquestionably familiar - it looks the same as the previous devices at first glance, thanks to the chunky bezel above and below the screen, which Sony is inexplicably hell bent on using every time.

The now ubiquitous circular power button can be found on the Z3's right-hand side just over halfway down. Meaning it's within easy reach of either your thumb or index finger depending on which hand you're using.

Sony Xperia Z3 review

But the bezel on the sides is virtually gone, meaning the phone is a lot slimmer and sleeker in the hand, despite maintaining the same 5.2-inch screen.

The overall design compared to the Xperia Z2 is really impressive, as it's now shed the sharp glass edges in favour of the (still glass) rounded frame. That glass frame (front and back) will, however, become smeared with fingerprints within 30 seconds of lifting it out of the box.

The edges are a dull metal, and the corners covered in a hard nylon covering which, according to Sony, is due to the fact users will tend to drop their phone that way and dent the metal. It's not an ill-advised attitude by Sony either, given that glass isn't the most grippable smartphone surface ever employed.

Sony Xperia Z3 review

The effect is more pronounced than you'd think, especially when held side by side with the Z2. The 10g of weight shaved off is noticeable, and the rounded edges are pleasant to feel.

The ports, which keep the phone waterproof, are also more snug - but this does mean they're hard to push back in, so you'll need to watch that when you're messing about watching videos in the shower.

The Sony Xperia Z3 is IP65/68 rated, making it more waterproof than ever before. Why this is important is beyond me, apart from a marketing gimmick, as in reality all we need from our phones is the ability to survive spills, rain and the like. But it makes users feel safer, so it's probably warranted.

Sony Xperia Z3 review

The Sony Xperia Z3 will come in four colours at launch: black, white, copper brown and a silver/green shade (thankfully, I've not had the lurid marketing names shoved at me yet. Let's stick with the above, shall we?)

Page 1 of 4Introduction and design

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