The best Android phone we’ve used so far? The Sony Xperia Z3 review

Damage:

Between R9000 and R10 000 cash. Otherwise various contract deals at cellular networks available.

What you need to know:

  • Waterproof (IP65)
  • Dustproof (IP68)
  • 152 grams
  • 5.2″ Full HD Display (1920 x 1080 pixels)
  • 20.7 MP Rear Camera & 2.2 MP front facing camera
  • Runs on Android KitKat
  • Snapdragon 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Quad-core Processor
  • Comes in white, black, turquoise & copper
  • 3100 mAh battery that gives you roughly 16 hours of talk time

What we think you should know:

I’ll be honest, writing Android phone reviews are, for the most part, a bit boring. Most flagships offer up much of the same and other than a few tidbits about the design, the camera and the battery – it can be a bit difficult to come up with something new to say.

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And then I got tasked with writing a Sony Xperia Z3 Review.

Let’s start with what I didn’t like.. yes, there was one whole thing I wasn’t happy about. The shape of the phone. It’s rectangular and flat bragging dimensions of 146 x 72 x 7.3mm. It has a gorgeous flat glass back and a metallic casing with curved corners. While it looks the part, the slippery back and flat rectangular shape means that if you’re on the go a lot and tend to carry everything but the kitchen sink from home to car to office to car to home – it will find a way to slip out of your fingers at some point.

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And that’s it. The only fault I could find on the phone was that I was prone to dropping it. Despite this I can safely say I’ve still got a Z3 with a full screen in tact. You might not be so lucky.

From here on out this Sony Xperia Z3 review is going to read a bit like a drooling beauty blogger attempting to impress the PRs with hundreds of words about a lip gloss. Unlike its predecessor, the Z2, it’s not too big. In conducting a smartphone bum test it fits snuggly into the back pocket of my skinny jeans.

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It’s waterproof. Which is ideal if you’re prone to knocking wine over OR if you have a penchant for taking selfies in the bath (I’m not going to judge. Or at least I’ll try not to). Taking photos is where this phone shines. The camera is crisp, works in low light and has a nifty auto focus feature. Any photos you’ve seen on this blog from Mobile World Congress were taken with the Z3. All the MWC videos on our YouTube channel were shot on the Z3. The front facing 2.2 MP camera isn’t great but it is a far side better than a few other selfie cameras I’ve used.

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It worked relatively quickly and I didn’t find much lag in my day to day using. It comes with a lot of Sony extras which usually is a bugbear of mine though I rather enjoyed some of the Sony plugins included. The Movies app is fantastic to edit short mobile videos for YouTube and some of the picture editing software became rather handy too!

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If you had to ask me what the most important feature of a smartphone is I’d say battery life. I hate carting around mobile chargers, cables and constantly looking for ways to keep my phone going. The Z3 beats any other Android, scratch that, any other smartphone I’ve used. I spent an entire day at an international congress tweeting, taking photos, checking email and Whats Apping. By the end of the day (so 6am to 6pm) I was sitting on about 25% battery life. I use my phone far more than most on a usual day and I still arrive home with around 60% battery life. This is what I want from a phone.

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So rad

  • Almost everything, but the battery stands out

Makes us sad

  • You’ll need to get a cover to stop it slipping through your hands

Disclaimer: This is a review phone and was given to us for 2 weeks before being returned to the brand. 

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