Sony hasn’t sat on its laurels when it comes to its smartphone sector. The business releases new phones at a rate that rivals the frequency with which some people get hot meals. The Xperia XZ3 is Sony’s next flagship smartphone, after the Xperia XZ2 and the Xperia 1. Sony’s Xperia XZ3 smartphone, which debuted at MWC, demonstrates how far the company’s design philosophy has advanced. Sony’s new flagship boasts a magnificent new OLED display, a more contemporary appearance, and top-of-the-line specs.
Even though Xperia XZ3 isn’t ready to unseat the market leader just yet, this is an essential step in the right direction, even if it lacks excitement. With its acute angles and sharp edges, Sony has relied on its OmniBalance design language up until the beginning of this year. A decade in IT is equivalent to living for over 100 years. To understand how rapidly tastes change, look at an iPhone 5 next to anything you see now.
Despite its slightly thicker top and bottom bezels, the Xperia XZ3’s more excellent screen-to-body ratio contributes to its contemporary appearance. The Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium is still slimline, a significant plus compared to its bulky size. Gorilla Glass 5 covers the phone’s front and back, and an aluminium bezel holds it all together. It’s well built, but the amount of glass makes it slick to hold.
When I turn the Xperia XZ3 around, I see one of my major pet peeves. The fingerprint scanner is located in an inconvenient position at the back, right in the middle. When most users pick up the phone for the first time, they’ll automatically believe the camera is the fingerprint scanner. Because the scanner is located so low, holding the phone in an uncomfortable position is necessitated.
In my opinion, the scanner is positioned in an odd position since it’s level with the power button on the right. Because all of the Xperia XZ3’s buttons are on the right side, it seems cluttered and uneven. The volume rocker is on the top half, the power button is in the centre, and the camera shutter button is at the bottom. Because it’s a camera, the shutter button has excellent tactility for taking pictures and may be used for focusing while half-pressed. However, the button’s physical similarity to the power button was a disappointment.
Sony has once again included their Dynamic Vibration System in Xperia XZ3, which I find to be extremely pleasant. It’s gimmicky but also kind of fun. It ramps up the haptic vibration in line with the audio you are playing for additional sensory feedback. It’s a shame the feature only works with the screen on. I can imagine it would be battery-wasting fun to have it in your pocket while you listen to music, almost like the trance vibrator packs for anyone who remembers the video game Rez.
If you’re going to do something as gimmicky as this, Sony, you may as well go all in. The screen is flanked by stereo speakers integrated into the bezel, producing a decent volume. A small amount of Dynamic Vibration does assist in smoothing out the low-end while viewing films. Fortunately, you have control over the amount of Dynamic Vibration; nevertheless, if you use it excessively, you may get distracted.
Because of the switch from LCD to OLED, the Sony Xperia XZ3’s display has gone far from past Sony flagships. The OLED display’s 6-inch QHD+ (1440 x 2880) resolution is stunning. This is a significant improvement over earlier Sony attempts in terms of both black levels and colour saturation.
The X Reality Pro engine from Sony’s Bravia TVs is said to have been employed, and the results are promising. Because the display supports HDR, material that looks well in this mode will seem much better. The screen’s brightness levels are excellent, making it easy to see outside, and its viewing angles are generally good.
A notification and time-showing mode is available for when you pick up the phone or double-tap the screen. The ambient display also has an excellent picture playback option for displaying some of your images. The display’s edge is now slightly curved around the sides. You can get shortcuts to programs, settings, and alerts when you double-tap the screen’s left or right edge.
In the future, I can see myself making use of this capability.” However, getting it to function was a pain and required a precise technique of holding the gadget. Multiple portions of your hand contacting the screen simultaneously are nearly challenging to prevent, and I’m not convinced it can take that.
It’s a pity since many phones’ notification shade is tough to reach with only one hand. I’m accustomed to swiping down on the fingerprint sensor on other phones – like Huawei and OnePlus – but that’s not an option here. Instead, the Side Sense menu has a notification shortcut. Swiping down from the top of the screen to the bottom serves as a “Back” shortcut, but I kept accidentally activating it. After a week of experimenting with Side Sense, I finally gave up and turned it off.
The Sony Xperia XZ3 has all the specs you’d expect from a high-end smartphone in 2018. Samsung Galaxy S9 (depending on area), LG G7, and Sony’s Xperia XZ2 from early 2018 all use Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 as its system-on-chip. Even so, it’s still a potent processor.
There are just 4GB of RAM, which isn’t as much as the OnePlus6, but the Galaxy S9 also has 4GB of RAM. Day-to-to-day performance will not be impacted. The usual storage capacity of 64GB may be increased through a microSD card, a nice touch.
With Android 9 Pie out of the box, the Xperia XZ3 improves over the Xperia XZ2. However, some of Pie’s Android upgrades are missing, such as those for Google’s Pixel 2 smartphone. For example, the new gesture controls are nowhere to be seen.
The ongoing frustration with pre-installed software persists with inclusions like Booking.com, Kobo, AVG anti-virus, and Amazon apps. There are also several Sony apps in Xperia XZ3, most of which you won’t use. AR Effect and 3D Creator are gimmicks, as is Xperia Lounge, which appears to serve you only Sony-related advertisements. Please take note that you may only be able to disable these apps rather than uninstall them.
However, not all is gloom and doom in the software world. The Glove mode option, provided by Sony, will come in useful when the weather becomes more relaxed and you want to poke about on the touchscreen with your fingers.
Then there’s the Ambient Photo Playback option. To demonstrate when the phone is on standby, you may use photographs from your camera roll that have been geolocated so that you only see photos taken in the current area. There were images of our animals at home, and the face of Trusted mobiles editor Max Parker and pictures of my meal were on display at work.
Side Sense is also present, although it isn’t particularly effective due to the limitations described above. There’s just one camera on the Xperia XZ3, which is unfortunate since the XZ2 Premium has a dual-camera configuration. With its 19-megapixel sensor and f/2.0 aperture lens, it’s a serious camera. Additionally, two lenses on the Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium have greater apertures than the single lens on this device.
The camera on the Xperia XZ3 is fine, but it never really wows me. It tends to over-contrast photos, resulting in images that appear unrealistic and overly saturated. It also tends to overexpose photos in difficult lighting conditions, such as when the sun is low in the sky. However, it falls short of the Google Pixel 2 and Samsung Galaxy S9 in this regard.
Additionally, the camera has an artificial bowed effect where it uses software to simulate a shallow depth of field, but this can go wrong. That’s where the addition of a second camera sensor would have helped with the depth estimation. Auto-focus hunts and struggles to lock as quickly as I’d like in the camera app. Otherwise, Sony’s Xperia XZ3 generally takes good pictures most of the time. They don’t have anything noteworthy about them.