[IFA 2014] Sony announces Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact

Photo Credit: The Verge

While most manufacturers have until recently stuck with a yearly release cycle, Sony isn’t content with it and has trimmed it down to 6 months. So, fast forward to September 4, and enter the Xperia Z3. Looking every bit iterative over the Xperia Z2, previous owners would not find much reason to upgrade. However, while they’ll be fighting a tough battle in the large device market, they’re simply going to steal the show with the smaller Z3 Compact. Read on to find out why.

Xperia Z3

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There really isn’t much of a difference of the Xperia Z3 over the Z2. It still has a 5.2 inch, 1080p IPS LCD display, 3 GB RAM, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, a 3100 mAh battery and a 20.7 MP camera. However, it’s not devoid of upgrades either. Its bezels have been slimmed down to 2mm and it’s now just 7.3mm thick. What’s more, the camera now has a wider angle at 25mm and an unprecedented ISO ceiling of 12800.

The Z3 still looks fantastic, bring over its metal and glass body, front-facing speakers and IP68 waterproofing ability. While I honestly cannot find a fault with the Z3, it is at the end of the day, a minor upgrade over the Z2. Two new colours are being introduced for the Z3, with a classy bronze and a weird but attractive silver-gray complementing the standard all-black option.

One of Sony’s hidden weapons here is the PS4 Remote Play, ensnaring you into their ecosystem. They’re rolling out this feature, currently available only on the PS Vita, to its Xperia devices starting with the Z3 family in November. That means that you’ll be able to play games running on your PS4 directly on the Z3, Z3 Compact, and Z3 Tablet Compact (whose size will be just right for gaming around the house).

The Xperia Z3 will launch globally later this autumn and is anticipated for an October release in the UK.

Xperia Z3 Compact

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What’s truly a marvel from Sony is the Z3 Compact. Sharing the same specifications as the Z3, it is much more smaller. While nomenclature is confusing (there was no Z Compact or a Z2 Compact), you cannot deny it’s one of the best device on the market right now. It retains the same dimensions as the Xperia Z1 compact, but the display sees a 0.3 inch bump to 4.6 inches in a chassis that’s 9% thinner and 6% lighter.

The Z3C also has seen its waterproofing certification rise to IP68 and its new translucent plastic frame is claimed to make the phone even tougher when dealing with sudden drops and bumps. Instead of just the standard black and white, you also get striking red and green flavours of the Z3C.

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The key factor about the Z3C, however, is the fact that it marries flagships specs with a compact frame – something that people yearn for, yet only Sony has addressed (thank you based Kunimasa Suzuki). It now has the same Snapdragon 801 as the Z3, and a larger 2600 mAh battery (the same as the HTC One). Many iOS users opted for the iPhone because it was small, but with the new iPhone 6 guaranteed to be at least 4.7 inches, the Z3C is looking like an extremely powerful Android alternative.

Sure, the Z3 Compact drops the 1080p display in favour of a 720p one, but you’re hardly going to be missing the extra pixels at that size. It also doesn’t have the aluminium band around the device, but it had to be done to maintain the tiny footprint of the device. It’s still a stellar IPS LCD panel, and the 20.7 MP camera images (with the same improvements as the Z3) look fantastic on it.

What do you think of the Z3 and it’s smaller brother? Will you be opting for Japanese, South Korean or American at the end of the year? Leave your thoughts below in the comments!

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