Sony announces the XZ3 at IFA 2018? another refresh? not quite.

Here in Berlin for IFA 2018, Sony today had their event, and as usual, they announced a new device. This time, It was the Sony Xperia XZ3, the successor to the XZ2, which barely feels 6 months old. Oh wait, that’s because it is! The XZ2 was announced in Barcelona this February at MWC, and here we are with its successor. Is it worth the upgrade?

Xperia XZ3 LAunch

The biggest change from the XZ2 to the XZ3 is the screen, Sony has finally gone to OLED (though I’m hearing rumours of it being an LG OLED, I’ll do some more digging) For their flagship device, it’s a notch-less 6″ display with a resolution of 2880×1440, a nice pixel-dense display for a flagship. Sony was also very proud to tell us about how this Display is HDR certified, and how good things like Netflix Originals look on this supposedly amazing screen, Something we can’t really test without a unit as the units on display was likely very cherry-picked so media saw the best versions, but I can say that I was very impressed by the screen, Sony did well here.

Xperia XZ3 LAunch

Next up, I want to talk about the Chassis, the Chassis hasn’t been drastically redesigned, but it has been tweaked and refined in order to make it more comfortable. The closest analogue I have in my mind is if someone took a Nokia 8 Sirocco edition, reduced weight by about 20% and stretched the display up to 18:9, oh, they also moved the fingerprint scanner so far down the back of the phone that it’s practically useless.

Xperia XZ3 Launch
seriously, that fingerprint scanner placement.

Otherwise, the specs are basically the same. Sony still has its insane vibration motor that feels like it’s taken the rumble pack from the Dual-Shock controller, It’s not quite tuned to the level of the taptic engine in the iPhone, but with a bit of tweaking, I think it could be close, and It’s nice to see a company actually caring about haptics. Sony has upgraded the front-facing camera on the XZ3 to be a 13MP snapper and once again, I cannot comment on the quality of something as complicated as a camera from a brief 5-10 minute hands-on, but cameras are something that Sony has historically struggled with on phones, so it should at the very least be interesting to see.

Xperia XZ3 Launch

Last but not least, Sony has decided to ship the XZ3 with the all-new Android 9 Pie release, and that is totally awesome. Sony’s skin atop Android is still not my favourite, and with the Material Design changes in Pie, the Sony skin is starting to look more and more dated, but hey, it’s got Pie, no other phone can say that they have Pie out of the box.

About Domenico Lamberti

Technology has been a big part of my life for years, whether it be ripping the family computer apart to see how it worked, playing with the new phones that Dad brought home from work. Senior Reviewer for MTT.

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