• Our Sony Xperia Z3 review

    I donít know about you but it seems Sony is constantly putting out new flagships. Indeed, recently theyíve had a policy of releasing a new flagship every 6 months. The problem with this is that that newer versions often donít differ much from previous versions. The upside is that this helps to really put downward pressure on the prices of their older models which are almost as good as the newer ones.

    Of course, if you end up buying the latest model you might feel burned when rumors of its replacement start making the rounds a week later but I guess thatís part of the Sony Xperience.

    Hereís Sonyís latest, the Xperia Z3.
    What about the Xperia Z2?

    Right now, the Z2 can be found for $100 less at the Sony store or much cheaper if you look for a used one.

    Is the Z3 worth another $100? Iíll have to say a very definite maybe. For you extra money, you get a slight smaller phone with a brighter display and much better speakers. The performance is more or less identical as are the cameras.

    Actually, the best thing about the Z3 is that it really helps to clobber the Z2ís resalel values. Before the Z3 came out, the Z2 sold for $699 Canadian at the Sony store, now you can pick them up for around $400 Canadian. If you want a Sony thatís almost as good as the Z3 then just think about getting a Z2.

    What about the Xperia Z1?

    If follow the Ďjust get a Z2í reasoning, then what happens if you take it one step further and just get last yearís Z1?

    While the Z1 doesnít do anything better than the Z2 or Z3, used ones can be picked up for less than half what a brand new Z3 costs. So what do you give up? First off, the Z1 has much harder corners so itís not that comfortable to hold for long periods of time.

    The display has quite a bit of colour and contrast shift so thatís something else to think about.

    It has an older Snapdragon 800 SoC vs the 801 in the Z2 and Z3 but itís probably not something youíd notice.

    I checked out Kijiji and you can pick one up for around $300. Iíd say spend the money and just get the Z2.

    What about the Samsung Galaxy S5/S5 Active?

    While there are plenty of flagships, the only others which are water resistant are Samsungís GS5 and itís more durable brother, the GS5 Active.

    The Z3 has a slightly bigger display, an extra Gigabyte of RAM, larger battery, stereo speakers, plus its metal and glass body are a classier package.

    With the GS5, you get a removable battery, infrared blaster, a heart rate monitor on the back plus the regular version comes with a fingerprint reader. If you opt for the Active, you give up the fingerprint reader for some extra durability and an extra software button.

    As a GS5 owner, while I think the fingerprint reader is a genuinely nice thing to have, the rest of the Samsung features are just fluff. I never use the heart rate monitor, the infrared blaster is crippled with completely useless software.

    The Active on the other hand is a bit more competitive simply because thereís nothing else on the market that blends the Activeís toughness with itís high-end feature set.


    TELUS $80 contract
    TELUS $680 off contract
    Sony Store Canada $699.99 unlocked
    Rogers $179.99 contract
    Rogers $599.99 off contract
    Bell $179.99 contract
    Bell $699.99 off contract
    T-Mobile $630 total cost
    Sony Store US $629.99 unlocked

    For Canadians it looks like TELUS has the best deal on a Z3 on contract. Note that Rogersí off-contract pricing is $100 lower than the other members of the unholy trinity.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Our Sony Xperia Z3 review started by howard View original post
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. dragon2knight's Avatar
      dragon2knight -
      Nice review, Howard
      While I like reading about the flagships phones out now, it just seems to me like they are all pretty much the same with one thing or another to set them apart from each other. The same processors, nearly the same size, great screens, good batteries(they all need to be better here for the price, though some are getting it like this here Sony). Even the prices are pretty similar. It really comes down to brand loyalty, really, and for the prices you have to pay for these phones, it really isn't enough for me anymore. The days of one really innovating and standing apart are all but over unfortunately. Just my 2 cent's on this one
    1. acurrie's Avatar
      acurrie -
      Wondering if the Z3 has that factory-applied screen protector... According to Android Central Sony ditched it mid-production in the Z2.
    1. howard's Avatar
      howard -
      Quote Originally Posted by acurrie View Post
      Wondering if the Z3 has that factory-applied screen protector... According to Android Central Sony ditched it mid-production in the Z2.
      It doesn't have it.
    1. kwasnr's Avatar
      kwasnr -
      Bell website shows the Z3 as $79.95 on a two year contract...