SONY XPERIA XZ3
Time to see if that Bravia- engineered display is enough to return Sony Mobile to the smartphone big time
The XZ3 does not feature a 3.5mm headphone jack, but retains the series’ dedicated physical camera button, which is located on the lower right-hand side of the phone. Power and volume buttons, as well as a USB Type-C port, complete the package.
It’s hard to say the Sony Xperia XZ3 doesn’t look similar to the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, but it is still a step forward from the slightly dated one that was evident on the XZ2.
A screen like no other
Without doubt the highlight for the Sony Xperia XZ3 is its new six-inch, 18:9 QHD+ (1,440x2,880) HDR screen. This has been designed in conjunction with Sony’s Bravia engineering team, who design the screen for the firm’s top-end TV sets, and the results are absolutely stunning.
Brightness and colour depth is top-tier, going toe to toe with the premium panel on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, HTC U12+ and yes, even the new iPhone XS. Watching HDR content is jaw dropping.
Indeed, this XZ3’s screen exceeds almost all rivals in terms of peak vibrancy, and it was a pleasure to play mobile games such as Tekken, as well as streaming HDR movies from Netflix, which really popped.
This new OLED screen also features some very advanced tech, including X-Reality for Mobile, a Dynamic Contrast Enhancer and Triluminos Display for mobile. These really make the XZ3’s screen an absolute powerhouse in terms of visuals.
The XZ3 is equipped with a similar hardware package to the XZ2. You get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 CPU, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage space, and a 3,300mAh battery which, alas, returned very average real-worldusage longevity. This is a flagshiplevel, but it’s fair to say it’s outgunned by phones like the OnePlus 6 and Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
You also get the same 19MP rear camera on the XZ3 that was in the XZ2. It is capable of 4K HDR video recording (which is compatible with YouTube for sharing), and can capture super slow-motion footage (960fps) at 1080p, still a best-in-world feature.
One of the big new plays on the Xperia XZ3 is its new Side Sense functionality, which lets you make a series of tapping and swiping gestures on either side of the phone’s frame to actuate certain things like opening apps and taking pictures, in a similar manner to HTC’s Edge Sense.
Unfortunately, while Side Sense does work, it is far from bulletproof in terms of actuation and speed. Is it useful extra everyday functionality? Yes, but we doubt most users will use the full range of available inputs.
Lastly, the Sony Xperia XZ3 comes running Android 9.0 Pie out of the box, which is a major plus point for the phone. Pie is cleaner and faster than Oreo, and really helps make this heavily overhauled new Xperia feel modern and fresh.
The curved finish feels great in the hand, and we love the lush colour