eForum Community Champion Tim Jones, AKA TheSoupDragon, walks us through some of the Xperia Z3's more tucked away features. You won't believe what it can do out of the box...
Looking for a top of the line Android handset with beauty and brains to match? You might be interested in the stunning Sony Xperia Z3, which packs in a powerful quad-core processor, 20.7-Megapixel camera and more, all underneath a crystal clear 5.2-inch display.
Vodafone eForum Community Champion Tim Jones, AKA TheSoupDragon, has been spending some quality time with Sony’s latest flagship, and has uncovered a couple of neat hidden features…
‘Whoa, that’s cool!’
“Most device reviews centre around what the device can do under the hood,” says Tim. “But while the specs are important, I like to look for the little things – the ones that make a big difference to the everyday user.” And the thing that’s caught Tim’s eye? The ability to record what’s happening on the Z3’s screen:
“Within minutes of turning on the very stylish Sony Xepria Z3 I had found something that really sparked my interest: Screen Recording. This is something that’s normally only available to people who have gained Root access to their device [a hack which voids your warranty].
“Screen Recording is exactly what it sounds like: the ability to record everything you see on the screen, with audio.” And, as Tim explains, that’s really useful for a variety of situations: “Just think of the possibilities,” he says. “Say you’re trying to explain to a friend or family member how to do something on their new phone. You could simply record the screen as you’re doing that specific thing and give a voice-over explanation at the same time, before sending the resulting video to them, or uploading it straight to Facebook or YouTube.
“Or if you and your friends are keen gamers, you could record your digital exploits to share with the world. The possibilities here are limitless, and all of this can be done in Full HD. There’s no lag during screen recording and the audio quality is superb.”
Sounding good? Allow Tim to explain how to take advantage of the Xperia Z3’s party trick…
“The Screen Recording function is literally a fingertip away,” he says. “When you’re ready to record, just press and hold the power button. The Power Menu will pop up almost instantly, and all you need to do is tap on the Screen Record option. You’ll see a disclaimer pop up, but once you agree to that then a floating widget will appear on the screen.”
“Sony has made this so intuitive it barely needs explanation,” he adds, “but from left to right you have an ‘expand or minimise widget’ button, the record button, picture-in-picture, and settings.”
“Picture-in-picture mode is really great, because it lets you record the screen and have a floating selfie video on-screen too.” It’s a feature Tim kindly demonstrates in the shot below, adding: “I apologise for the crazy expressions I’m pulling while playing Real Racing 3!”
Keen to fiddle with the different video options? No worries: “The settings button gives you control over the recording resolution and also the choice of recording in landscape or portrait view,” Tim explains. “This is really important if you plan to watch the videos you create on a TV at some point in the future.”
And that leads us onto another of the Z3’s killer features…
Sending videos to your TV
“The Sony Z3 makes displaying your videos onto your TV an incredibly easy process,” says Tim. “If you have a Smart TV connected to your Home Wi-Fi Network, you can take advantage of Sony’s “Throw” feature. It uses DLNA to send Music, Pictures or Video to a compatible TV.
“Simply find the video you want to display on your TV in the Sony Album app, tap on the video to select it and then tap on the ‘Throw’ icon. The Sony Z3 will search for a compatible TV and, once it has found one, all you need to do is select your TV in the list. Then the video will immediately begin to play. It’s very impressive stuff!”
“And what’s more, if you have a TV that’s less than a year old and it’s made by one of the big manufacturers, chances are you have a feature called Miracast built into it. If you do, the Xperia Z3 has another little trick up its sleeve: you can stream the phone’s screen to the TV in real time. Just think: your phone can now become a game controller while you watch the game you’re playing live on your TV Screen.
“The Xperia Z3’s Screen Recording and sending features are ones that everyone can use and enjoy,” Says Tim in closing. “At the moment I believe Sony is the only company that actually builds this into their phones, but I think that it’s a standout feature. It’s a simple but massively enjoyable thing to use, and I could recommend the phone on these features alone!”
Keen? You can order your Sony Xperia Z3 or Z3 Compact right here.