Sony Xperia XZ3 hands on review

    A surprising show can change your complete expertise with a smartphone, and for the newest flagship from Sony the corporate has determined to concentrate on delivering among the finest screens available on the market.

    Alongside another much less necessary upgrades, the important thing spotlight of the brand new Sony Xperia XZ3 is actually its new OLED show that replaces the drained IPS LCD tech we have seen on Sony units for the previous few years.

    Paired with a brand new digicam expertise, upgraded front-facing shooter and different minor enhancements, the Xperia XZ3 seems to be to be an attention-grabbing improve from Sony. Listed below are our first impressions of the brand new telephone…

    Watch our Sony Xperia XZ3 hands-on video under:

    Sony Xperia XZ3 value and launch date

    If you wish to purchase the Sony Xperia XZ3, you’ll have the ability to from October 5 within the UK. We don’t at present have a launch date for the US or Australia, however because the Sony Xperia XZ2 got here to these markets we’d anticipate this can as effectively, and fairly speedily.

    We’ll make sure to replace this text with extra launch particulars as quickly as we have now them. 

    You may pre-order the telephone now within the UK and in the event you do, you’ll get free entry to the beta of Call of Duty Black Ops 4. You’ll even get a free copy of the sport when it’s launched too. Whether or not that deal will probably be obtainable world wide is unclear, however it’s actually set for these within the UK.

    Within the UK, the Sony Xperia XZ3 value is about at £699. We would anticipate comparable pricing within the US to the Xperia XZ2 that was $799 (round AU$1,000). Sony might determine to vary the value barely, so it could possibly be barely kind of than that.


    The display on the Xperia XZ3 is the core improve, and you may anticipate to see Sony begin pushing this tech as being among the many finest available on the market.

    First off, the 18:9 facet ratio and no notch design seen on the Xperia XZ2 is again right here, however that is all the corporate has introduced ahead from the final era telephone with regards to the display.

    There is a 6-inch display squeezed in right here, and Sony is embracing a brand new tech for the primary time on its telephone vary.

    Particularly, the Xperia XZ3 consists of OLED tech for the primary time – often Sony makes use of IPS LCD panels – and it comes from the corporate’s BRAVIA tech division too. It is a comparable tech to what the corporate makes use of for its Sony A1 TV vary.

    This display tech makes video and pictures look vivid, vivid and placing as quickly as you lock eyes with the telephone. It made a real affect, and its QHD+ decision is greater than sufficient to make video look nice.

    The easiest way we’ll have the ability to talk that is in our palms on video overview, however that is nonetheless not as arresting because the show is in actual life.

    The show tech will upscale content material to various levels relying on the standard you’re watching. When you’re watching a Full HD video on YouTube, the telephone ought to have the ability to upscale it virtually to QHD decision.

    We are able to’t totally decide the display tech till we’ve used it in a traditional setting, however it was comparable in brightness, high quality and colours to the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. That telephone simply obtained an A+ ranking from screen experts DisplayMate, which bodes effectively for Sony’s new tech.

    Not like most different flagship telephones in 2018, the Xperia XZ3 doesn’t function a notch regardless that it has an 18:9 facet ratio. As a substitute the corporate has opted to maintain thicker bezels alongside the highest and backside of the show to accommodate the audio system and front-facing digicam tech.

    For many who don’t like notches, chances are you’ll be excited by this prospect, however even in the event you don’t thoughts a notch you doubtless received’t be disillusioned right here because the bezels alongside the highest and backside are nonetheless pretty skinny contemplating every homes a speaker and extra.

    The perimeters of the show are curved in the same solution to what we’ve seen on the Samsung Galaxy vary of merchandise from the Galaxy S6 Edge onwards. You may also faucet on the edges of the show for some further options.

    Picture 1 of two

    Side Sense menu on the Sony Xperia XZ3

    Aspect Sense menu on the Sony Xperia XZ3

    Picture 2 of two

    Side Sense menu on the Sony Xperia XZ3

    Aspect Sense menu on the Sony Xperia XZ3

    This capability is named Aspect Sense and it provides you a fast solution to open up apps in your telephone. Double faucet on the aspect of the show and it’ll open up a fast launch menu with your whole favourite apps listed in a single place.

    Need to return a step inside an app? Simply slide your finger down the aspect of the display for a bit and it’ll step again. It’s going to even let you take images by tapping the show edge inside the digicam app.

    A brand new tech contained in the telephone additionally remembers the apps you utilize at completely different occasions of day. Meaning in the event you’re typically utilizing the app Pocket in your morning commute for instance, it should keep in mind that and put it to the highest of the app record at the moment of day.


    When you’ve seen the Xpeira XZ2, you’ll know plenty of the design language right here. There is a 3mm aluminum body across the outdoors of the telephone, with glass that protrudes from that making it a lot thicker. It is really fairly thick as a complete at 9.9mm, however we did not notably discover that when holding it within the hand.

    There’s curved glass on the rear of the telephone too, which most likely helps it really feel thinner. Each the back and front are protected by Gorilla Glass 5, and it is available in a choice of 4 completely different colours: black, white silver, forest inexperienced and Bordeaux purple.

    Black and white look good, however we notably preferred the purple and inexperienced variants as they give the impression of being completely different to plenty of different units available on the market. The darker shades assist it look premium, however we discovered the again of the telephone to be a little bit of a fingerprint magnet regardless that we solely used the telephone for an hour or so.

    The underside fringe of the Xperia XZ3 includes a USB-C port, however there’s no three.5mm headphone jack on this telephone so that you’ll have to make use of Bluetooth headsets or an adaptor so as to have the ability to hearken to audio privately on the transfer.

    The spectacular stereo audio system Sony focuses on are again right here although, ideally suited in the event you’re at residence – or anyplace else you may play sound out of your telephone with out annoying folks. The telephone additionally retains the function the place it vibrates to the sound it makes.

    The Sony Xperia XZ3 can also be IP68 waterproof, so that you’ll have the ability to wash this telephone or drop it within the bathtub with out worrying about frying all the inner tech.

    On the rear of the telephone there is a single digicam lens – extra about that additional down the web page – and the fingerprint sensor. We’ve discovered the fingerprint sensor to be in a clumsy to succeed in place, very like the earlier vary of Sony units.

    It’s sat within the heart of the telephone, and the digicam lens is similar dimension sitting above it, so we frequently discover ourselves tapping on that and mistaking it for the fingerprint sensor. 

    However we’ve spoken to some folks with smaller palms which have as an alternative stated it’s a very good placement as it is not an excessive amount of of a stretch to succeed in, in order that’s one thing to keep in mind when fascinated about choosing up this telephone.

    OS and specs

    The Sony Xperia XZ3 comes sporting the Android 9 Pie working system straight out of the field, so this will probably be one of many quickest methods you may get the newest Android OS. 

    Sony’s UI sits excessive, however it’s a fundamental one and it is the closest we have ever seen its interface come to the inventory Android you get on the Google Pixel vary.

    It nonetheless comes with all of the Sony apps you’d anticipate although, plus Netflix is pre-loaded too so you may watch HDR content material straight away.

    Contained in the Xperia XZ3 there’s the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset paired with 4GB of RAM. These are the identical specs because the Xperia XZ2, however that telephone runs effectively and we additionally discovered the mixture to be speedy on this newest handset in our restricted testing.

    There’s just one storage variant, particularly 64GB of onboard storage, however you might have microSD help for as much as 512GB playing cards, so in the event you’re not proud of that quantity you may at all times add on some extra.

    Battery and digicam

    For battery there’s a three,330mAh cell inside. We’re unsure how effectively that can carry out because it sounds a little bit small to be powering this large OLED display for a complete day. We’ll make sure to put that battery by its paces for our full overview.

    You’ll doubtless largely be utilizing the USB-C slot to cost up your telephone, however you will additionally have the ability to use wi-fi charging.

    The rear digicam on the Xperia XZ3 is remarkably just like the one on the again of the Xperia XZ2. Sony says it did not embrace the dual-sensor tech of the Xperia XZ2 Premium because it’s too thick to slot in this telephone, so as an alternative you will get a single 19MP sensor doing all of the heavy lifting.

    It is an f/ aperture digicam sensor and comes with all of the top-end options you’d anticipate corresponding to tremendous gradual movement – a specific spotlight of Sony telephones – and the power to movie in 4K HDR, one thing no different non-Sony telephone provides.

    The front-camera is the place the extra attention-grabbing upgrades have are available in, with a 13MP f/1.9 entrance digicam that ought to have the ability to shoot you in all of your glory to your selfies.

    It comes with a bokeh mode in addition to a choice of face enhancement options, corresponding to modes that slim down your face, make your eyes bigger and even make your pores and skin brighter.

    We have not had a lot time to check the snappers out, so we’ll give our verdict on each cameras throughout our full overview, alongside a judgment on Sony’s new less complicated to make use of UI for each cameras.

    Early verdict

    Sony’s new show tech seems to be to be a serious step ahead for the model’s telephones.

    Having the ability to rival the top-end units from Samsung and Google with a model new OLED display is spectacular, and we will not wait to get our palms on this once more to dive into HDR movies.

    Whether or not the whole lot else on the telephone will add as much as the total bundle stays to be seen, however to this point this is among the most enjoyable Sony telephones we have seen over the past 5 or so years.

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