Smartphone market is an interesting space in the consumer electronics market. It is leading innovations across industries like automotive, manufacturing, etc. Of these, the ones running on Android OS are perhaps the most interesting variety. The variety in terms of features, device design, and device purpose in the Android smartphone space is mind-boggling. That’s one of the reasons why the topic of discussion today is the Sony Xperia XZ3. The other reason is that it is a Sony smartphone unlike any seen earlier. By the way, that’s nothing short of a compliment. What has the Xperia XZ3 done to earn such a compliment? Also, is it worth the users’ time?
|Specifications||Sony Xperia XZ3|
|Processor||2.7GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 with Adreno 630 GPU|
|Display||OLED, 6-inch, Quad HD+ (2880x1440p) resolution and 18:9 aspect ratio|
|Internal Storage||64GB (expandable up to 512GB with microSD card)|
|Operating System||Android 9.0 Pie|
|Battery||3330mAh with fast charging|
|Dimensions||158mm x 73mm x 9.9mm|
What’s new about the Sony Xperia XZ3?
Let’s start with the most important aspect of the Sony Xperia XZ3 – its design. What a design this phone has! If there is a most improved design award in existence, this phone is a strong contender for it. It is not a flat slab design that we smartphone users have come to know and accept. Most of the phone is made of glass held together by a metal chassis. Unlike previous Xperia smartphones, this one favours ergonomics and still manages to look good.
The rear panel is curved to fit the user’s hand better. On the right side of the phone sit the volume rocker, power button, and one of my favourite bits about this phone – the camera shutter button (button layout from top to bottom). The top and left sides of the phone are clean and the bottom edge gets a USB Type-C port. This brings a gripe about the phone’s design to focus – there is no 3.5mm headphone jack. Come on, Sony! That’s no way to play!
The Xperia XZ3 has (thankfully) not jumped on the notched display bandwagon. This has helped it retain a dual front-facing speaker system at the cost of a forehead and a chin. Also, the chin sports the Sony logo. The rear panel has a small indent at the bottom with an Xperia logo above it, a fingerprint reader further up, and a single rear camera lens. This brings two more gripes about the phone to focus. Firstly, there is too much gap between the fingerprint reader and rear camera. Perhaps they could have been brought closer. Secondly, why not make the fingerprint reader double up as the power button too? Puzzling decisions indeed. But these gripes are just me nitpicking what is otherwise a great and refreshing smartphone (design-wise) by Sony.
What is also great about the Sony Xperia XZ3 is its firepower. It is a flagship phone after all. It is powered by a 2.7GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip paired with Adreno 630 GPU. The phone gets 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. The internal storage can thankfully be expanded up to 512GB with a microSD card. The phone gets a 6.0-inch OLED display with Quad HD+ (2880x1440p) resolution, 18:9 aspect ratio, and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. The Xperia XZ3 runs on Android 9.0 Pie out of the box.
The Sony Xperia XZ3 gets a 19-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0aperture, predictive hybrid autofocus (PDAF and Laser Autofocus), gyroscope-based 5-axis EIS, and LED flash. The front camera gets a 13-megapixel lens with f/1.9 aperture and 5-axis gyro-based EIS. Connectivity options include GPS/A-GPS, USB 3.1, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, 4G, and dual-SIM. The phone has a 3330mAh battery onboard that gets fast charging, wireless charging (Qnovo standard), and battery-saving modes like Stamina and Smart Stamina. The phone comes in four colour options – Black, White Silver, Forest Green, and Bordeaux Red.
Is the Sony Xperia XZ3 worth consideration?
There is a lot to like about the Sony Xperia XZ3. The new design makes this perhaps the best-looking smartphone to date. It is also the first phone in memory to come with Android 9.0 Pie out of gate. That said, the 4GB RAM seems low but Sony utilizes a light skin on Android OS. A hands-on experience will tell just how smooth the multi-tasking experience will be on this phone.
Considering that Sony’s goal of staying in smartphone space is unique*, this phone is quite a revelation. One can fault it in bits and pieces and that’s fine. However, the Xperia XZ3 needs to be praised for what it represents – a huge step forward for Sony in terms of smartphone design. Next on their list should be to refine this design and give the Xperia XZ3 more RAM and internal storage. As it stands, it is worth consideration. Its India launch will tell if it is worth buying too or not.
Sony Xperia XZ3 – Synopsis
- Price yet to be announced
- Showcased at IFA 2018, market launch date not yet revealed
- Has a 2.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip with Adreno 630 GPU
- RAM – 4GB (6GB variant also exists); Internal storage – 64GB (expandable up to 512GB with microSD card)
- Has an OLED display measuring 6.0 inches across with Quad HD+ (2880x1440p) resolution and 18:9 aspect ratio
- Runs on Android 9.0 Pie out of the box
- Rear camera – 19-megapixel lens with hybrid autofocus and 5-axis EIS
- Front camera – 13-megapixel with 5-axis EIS
- Connectivity options – GPS/A-GPS, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, Wi-Fi, USB 3.1, 4G, and dual SIM
- Junks the 3.5mm headphone jack
- Powered by a 3330mAh battery with fast charging and wireless charging
- Colour options – Black, White Silver, Forest Green, and Bordeaux Red
*Thanks to The Guardian for a great story. Keep up the great work folks!