Sony's latest flagship handsets, the Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact, are nearly here. We've caught up with Sony to find out why they set the bar higher than ever...

sony xperia z3

Missed the news? Sony has lifted the lid on the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact, two impressive new flagships, both of which are coming to Vodafone UK very soon. They’re each stuffed full of standout features that draw from Sony’s long line of display, camera, audio and gaming knowhow, but how do you bring that together into one package?

 

z3 main thumbXperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact: Specs
Sony’s next generation of flagship handsets are here. Find out why the Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact are each an Android force to be reckoned with…
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To find out how the range came to be, and what sets the phones apart from the rest of the Android pack, we’ve been speaking to the man in the know – Sony Mobile’s Warren Saunders.

Refined design

“From a hardware perspective,” Warren says, “the Z3 is a real refinement. It refines the overall design from the Xperia Z2 and gives it a more premium feel. It’s all only clean lines and premium materials, with a tempered glass panel. The Z range has become known for its Omnibalance design language and its waterproofing, and we’re continuing that here.

“Long gone are the days when having a rugged handset meant having something big and chunky. The Z3 is only 152g and only 7.3mm thick, but it’s still completely waterproof*. Other manufacturers are offering water and dust resistant devices – and there is a defined customer need for that – but we’ve really pioneered around this feature, and have driven it forwards.”

xperia z3 dust

With the same camera, waterproofing, and similar internal specs, the Z3 and Z3 Compact both offer a great experience, but offer a choice when it comes to screen size. It’s rare to find two variants that are so close in terms of spec, so we wanted to know what the thinking was behind making the Z3 Compact just as powerful as its bigger brother.

“It’s a choice thing,” Warren explains. “Historically, other manufacturers have produced ‘mini’ handsets that are cut-down versions of their flagship handsets in every way. But some people don’t want a big screened phone; some people want the power of a high end phone in a smaller package. The Z3 Compact has a real premium feel to it and has the same camera and specs, same functionality and everything else you would expect – just in a smaller form factor.”

‘One cohesive package’

While the hardware and design of the Z3 and Z3 Compact has certainly been streamlined and tweaked, Warren tells us that he believes innovation in that side of phone design is slowing down: “I think that hardware-wise, the market has plateaued a bit,” he reveals.

The answer? To innovate more with software: “It’s all about how we can offer a much more in-depth and immersive level of service.”

“In terms of software, we wanted to bring all of the Sony hallmarks together in one cohesive package. There’s the camera, which leverages knowhow from our digital imaging lenses that are used across the world. There’s the Sony display panel technology with the TRILUMINOS screen. We have hi-res audio, too…”

z3 range 2

On top of all that, the Xperia Z3 range will work with Sony’s new line up of smart wearables:

“We announced the Sony SmartBand back at CES this year – which is an accessory designed to track your health and daily activity – but we’re taking that to the next level now with the SmartWatch 3 and SmartBand Talk. The choice here is simple – some people want a full SmartWatch experience, and some people want a smart wearable, but have a normal fashion watch that they really like too. So with the SmartBand Talk you can still receive notifications and chat using the band, but it’s designed to be worn alongside another watch.”

And there’s one other big headline feature in the Xperia Z3 range’s arsenal – one that has the potential to transform how we use our smartphones…

“With the Z3 family we’ve taken gaming to a new level…”

“We want to demonstrate the true power of the Sony ecosystem,” Warren says, “so with the Z3 family we’ve taken gaming to a new level. There’s still app based gaming from the Google Play Store, which is great and that everyone enjoys, but we’re adding to that with a proper Playstation 4 gaming experience.

“Remote Play is exclusive to the Xperia Z3 range, and it allows you to connect to your Playstation 4 over Wi-Fi and stream games to your phone. You can attach a Playstation DualShock 4 controller to your Z3 or Z3 Compact, and that allows you to have an immersive Playstation 4 gaming experience away from your TV – it’s the full Playstation 4 experience on your phone, and it’s revolutionary in mobile gaming.”

Warren tells us that Playstation 4 Remote Play gaming will launch by Christmas in the UK. The Sony Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact will both be landing at Vodafone UK very soon, so stay tuned for more information soon.

All the details… For the full lowdown on the new Xperia Z3 range from Sony, click here. Which one will you be choosing? Let us know in the comments section below!

*In compliance with IP65 and IP68, the Xperia Z3/Z3 Compact is protected against the ingress of dust and is waterproof. Provided that all ports and covers are firmly closed, the phone is (i) dust tight and (ii) protected against low-pressure jets of water from all practicable directions in compliance with IP65; and/or (iii) can be kept under 1.5 m of fresh water for up to 30 minutes in compliance with IP68.