Sony Mobile made a big design shift in 2018, giving the Xperia XZ2 a new "Loop Design" and washing away the square design language it utilised over the last few years.
The Xperia XZ2 Premium was then announced a month later, casting something of a shadow over the new flagship with its dual camera setup.
But now the Sony Xperia XZ3 is back to cast a few more shadows. It might not have a dual camera but it does have a fantastic design. Here's everything you need to know about Sony's new hero.
Sony Xperia XZ3 design
- 158 x 73 x 9.9mm, 193g
- 18:9 display
- Four colour options
The Sony Xperia XZ2 introduced something called Loop Design, which offered a curved glass back and a move away from the OmniBalance design Xperia devices have previously been associated with.
The Xperia XZ3 keeps elements of this design but it has evolved it quite significantly. The back of the device is no longer the only element that is curved, with the edges becoming smoother and the screen now also offering curved edges.
The footprint of the XZ3 has altered slightly compared to the XZ2, with the new device a little taller, slimmer and heavier but the borderless display looks great.
The fingerprint sensor and a singular camera are positioned in a central line on the back, as they were on the Xperia XZ2 and the new device is IP65/68 water and dust resistant as flagship Sony devices have been for several years.
The Xperia XZ3 comes in black, white/silver, Forest Green and Bordeaux Red.
Sony Xperia XZ3 display
- 18:9 aspect, 6-inch OLED curved display
- 2960 x 1440 pixels, 568ppi
- X-Reality and HDR
There was every reason to believe that the display on the Sony Xperia XZ3 would be the same as the display on the Xperia XZ2 and that wouldn't have been a bad thing because it was a very good display.
Sony changed things up for the XZ3 though. The Xperia XZ3 comes with a 6-inch screen offering an 18:9 aspect ratio but Sony has opted for an OLED panel on the new flagship, moving away from LCD.
The screen is also curved at the edges, allowing for a new feature called Side Sense - more on that a little further down - and Sony also finally jumped on board the Quad HD+ train. The Xperia XZ3 has a resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels, resulting in a pixel density of 568ppi.
You'll also find support for mobile HDR on the XZ3, as there was on the Xperia XZ2. Sony doesn't just support HDR-compatible content though, it also upscales content to near HDR thanks to the X-Reality technology.
Sony Xperia XZ3 hardware and specs
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- 4GB RAM, 64GB + microSD
- 3330mAh battery, USB C with Quick Charge 3.0
- No 3.5mm headphone jack
On the hardware front there perhaps aren't too many surprises. With the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 generally performing well in flagship phones and not due for replacement until 2019, we're not surprised to find it in the Xperia XZ3.
Despite rumours suggesting there would be an increase to 6GB in RAM, the Xperia XZ3 sticks with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage with microSD support for cards up to 512GB.
There is an increase in battery capacity though, with the Xperia XZ3 offering a 3330mAh cell inside. Quick Charging 3.0 is supported, along with Qi wireless charging and of course, USB Type-C.
There is no headphone jack on the XZ3, with Sony ditching the 3.5mm port for the XZ2. You will find support for hi-res audio, as has been the case in Sony flagship phones for a while now and you'll also find the Dynamic Vibration System and stereo speakers with S-Force Surround.
Sony Xperia XZ3 cameras
- Rear 19MP f/2.0 Motion Eye
- Single lens
- 13MP front camera
The Xperia XZ3 has a single rear Motion Eye camera, which is the same as what you'll find in the Xperia XZ2. That's Sony's 19-megapixel sensor, offering an f/2.0 aperture lens.
Like the XZ2, the XZ3's rear camera is capable of 960fps slow-motion at 1080p and HDR video capture.
The front camera has been upgraded on the Xperia XZ3 to a 13-megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/1.9 aperture. It has Sony's 3D creator on board but there is no iris scanning or facial recognition.
Sony Xperia XZ3 software
- Android Pie
- Side Sense
The Sony Xperia XZ3 will launch on Android Pie with Sony's software skin over the top.
Sony's skin has been refined over the last few years, with a lot less duplication on top of raw Android, making for a good experience.
There are a couple of extra features on the XZ3 including Side Sense, which we briefly mentioned previously. Double tapping the side of the curved display will pull up the user's most used apps and the device will learn what apps are important to the user at what time. For example, YouTube on the morning commute or WhatsApp at lunch time.
On top of common apps, there is also a "More Apps" option for users to see all apps downloaded on their device using the Side Sense feature, as well as settings.
User's will also be able to double tap the side of the display when they are in the camera app to take a picture.
Sony Xperia XZ3 release date and price
- Announced 30 August
- Release date 5 October
Sony announced the Xperia XZ3 at IFA, the annual technology show in Berlin. The device will go on sale on 5 October and it will cost £699.