Sony has taken the wraps off their latest entry into the high-end flagship level smartphone market with the launch of the Sony Xperia XZ3. From a hardware standpoint the Xperia XZ3 is competitive with other flagship phones on the market and depending on what one thinks of Sony specific technology, like their OLED screens, may even give the device a slight edge. One potential downside though for buyers may be the fact that Sony has fallen behind current design trends that minimize bezels, although they have made some good strides compared to previous models.
As far as the primary hardware, the headline surely has to be the 6-inch HDR OLED display that uses Sony’s Bravia technology. This is the first phone that uses Bravia – the same tech used in Sony TVs – and should yield a wonderful display experience. Although small bezels are present at top and bottom, the side edges now get a bit of a curve effect to help stretch the 18:9 screen out some.
Since top and bottom bezels are still present, Sony has put them to good use by locating stereo front-facing speakers there. Sony says the speakers and sound system support Hi-Res Audio. The speakers themselves are about 20% louder than previous efforts for those who like to use their phone for audio purposes. Sony also employees a Dynamic Vibration System that provides vibrations in conjunction with sounds being generated.
Hardware on the inside includes a Snapdragon 845 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of onboard storage and support for microSD cards up to 512GB. The Xperia XZ3 has a 3,300 mAh battery and supports Quick Charge 3. Sony says they use Smart Stamina technology to help extend the useful life of the phone. The camera also gets IP68 certification for resistance against water and dust.
The camera equipment in the Xperia XZ3 carries over from the Xperia XZ2 and includes a 19MP rear-facing camera and a 13MP front-facing camera. One new touch Sony added is a feature where the camera will automatically launch if you bring the camera up in a horizontal orientation. This is intended to help users not miss a shot while waiting for their phone or the camera app to load up.
For software, the Xperia XZ3 will ship with Android 9.0 Pie loaded. This will once again make Sony one of the first non-Pixel branded manufacturers to get a device to market with the latest Android version on it. Sony also added something called Side Sense. By double-tapping on either side of the phone, a “tray” will slide up and out loaded up with favorite apps, which Sony says will be learned by their AI to enhance usefulness. This should put access to frequently used apps within reach of a thumb tap, a useful feature for a device with a big screen.
The Xperia XZ3 will go on sale starting in late September and some markets should see pre-order options start to appear on August 31st. Pricing is slated to be £699 ($905 USD) in the UK with pricing pending for other locations. Color options will include Black, White Silver, Forest Green and Bordeaux Red.
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