Sony has always struggled to break into the mobile market, though not for lack of trying. Better known at this stage for their Playstation consoles, they have been attempting to crawl their way into the growing mobile industry for years.
While there have been attempts before, this might just be their breakthrough flagship attempt.
First came the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact. Both are high quality devices with good battery life, and a lot of features that connect it to their other line of services. Most notably the PS4 Remote Play, which allows users to sync their phone as a mobile remote.
The Z3 devices also allow you to use your phone as a camera and camcorder. What sets this apart from other brands is the 20.7 MP camera, with a 25mm “G Lens” and ISO 12800 sensitivity. They put a great deal of effort into the captured media for this series.
While there is no real guarantee with the battery, they claim that it can last up to two days. Which isn’t bad for any smartphone, but especially for one that is putting so much in PS4 compatibility and film making features.
For those who are clumsy, like me, it is also waterproof.
The processor on both is good, with a Snapdragon 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Quad-core. It has less power than today;s announced Samsung devices, but it should be enough to make the interface smooth, and easily stream media.
The compact only contains 2 GB RAM, which is standard these days. The full comes with a more impressive 3 GB. Sony appears to be showing off. Both have up to 16 GB flash memory, with microSD expansion up to 128 GB.
For display, you have a 5.2″ 1920 x 1080 resolution on the full size, and 4.6″ 1280 x 720 for the compact. Which means the compact device might not be quite as good for video capture as its brethren, but still not bad as far as quality is concerned.
The primary reasons to pick up the Xperia Z3 phones, either model, will come down to two features: the PS4 remote play, and the camera. If those two elements are important to you, you are going to be happy.
The tablet is pretty much the same thing, but a tablet. It sounds flippant, but as it is part of the same flagship series, they have put in pretty much the same features. But without the focus on the camera (it has an 8.1 MP and a 2.2 MP camera, one on each side), and obviously it isn’t made for making calls outside of optional apps.
You are mostly paying for the screen size, and whatever functions you prefer a tablet for. The 8″ display looks good, and it should operate just fine. It is better to compare it to other tablets, than to its smartphone cousins.
Mainly, you should take note of the size. It is ultra slim and very light, weighing only 270 grams. It is water and dust proof, and fits better in the hands than some other brands due to its slender design.
Running on Android 4.4 (KitKat), it has a 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processing chip, and 3 GB of RAM. Not quite as impressive as a smartphone holding those specs, but definitely not bad.
Again, it is the PS4 support that really sells this one. There are plenty of Playstation fanboys and fangirls who are going to be salivating at the chance to own a tablet that syncs up with their favorite console.
You could argue that it isn’t that amazing as a feature, in and of itself. But we’re talking about gamers, here…we bought the Power Glove and pay $99 for barely functional wireless headsets. We are easily satisfied sometimes.
The Final Verdict
Pretty cool. Sony is sticking to what they are good at, and those are their other, longer lasting services. High quality camera brought to a smartphone (in a much more subtle way than the laughable Samsung Zoom), and their ever popular video game console.
For consumers, this might not be a game changer. But they look like solid phones from a trusted brand, and one that might just connect to other services you enjoy and regularly use. This was one of the more exciting launches at IFA, so far.
But maybe wait a few months for the inevitable price drop before you decide to buy for yourself.