Sony Xperia Z3 is now official, but is it worth the upgrade?

By Alexandra Burlacu | Sep 05, 2014 07:30 AM EDT

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Sony has officially unveiled its new Xperia Z3 flagship smartphone at the IFA 2014 trade show, but the new iteration doesn't boast such impressive improvements over its predecessor.

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The Sony Xperia Z2 is not really an old device, especially since it only made it to the U.S. this summer. Nevertheless, the company has now introduced its successor, which now comes in the form of the new Xperia Z3.

The new-generation Xperia flagship smartphone arrives just a little more than six months after its predecessor and offers a widely similar spec sheet, with just some slight improvements, according to Sony's announcement. The new iteration, for instance, sports better IP65/68 dust and water resistance rating, as well as a few changes in terms of appearance. The design language remains the same, but the Xperia Z3 has thinner bezels and is slimmer than the Z2.

Overall, no big changes grace the hardware front. The new Xperia Z3 sports a 5.15-inch 1080p display, packs a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor clocked at 2.4GHz, paired with an Adreno 330 graphics processing unit (GPU) and 3GB of RAM.

Other specs include a 20.7-megapixel rear camera with 4K video capture capabilities and SteadyShot image stabilization, a 2.1-megapixel front shooter, 16GB of internal storage capacity, and 4G LTE support. On the software side, the handset comes with Android 4.4.4 KitKat out of the box.

In other words, the Xperia Z3 delivers a 100MHz increase in processing speed, but the same CPU, GPU, RAM, and storage options as its predecessor. Improvements are present in the display department, as the new iteration sports greater brightness for enhanced outdoor visibility. Sony also claims that the Xperia Z3 is the first smartphone to pack a camera with ISO 12800 sensitivity, which should matter significantly in low-light conditions. Moreover, some software optimization improvements should reportedly allow the battery to last for two days on a single charge.

The new Sony Xperia Z3 will be available in white, black, copper, and green color options, and will make its commercial debut in the fall. This time there will be no delays for the U.S. market, but T-Mobile will have exclusivity at least at first. It remains to be seen, however, whether consumers will find the improvements significant enough as to warrant an upgrade. Pricing will surely have a big say in this, but Sony has yet to provide details in this regards.


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