After months of leaks and rumors Sony has unveiled its next flagship: the Xperia Z3. Despite all the speculation surrounding it there's not actually been as much buzz around the Z3 as there normally is with a high profile flagship, due in large part to the fact that rumors pointed to a device very similar to the Sony Xperia Z2.

As it turns out those rumors were right for the most part, but the Xperia Z3 is still an improvement in a handful of areas and even includes a few surprises. Here's everything you need to know.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The successor to the Sony Xperia Z2
  • When is it out? Autumn 2014
  • What will it cost? Probably around £549 / $650 / AU$870

Sony Xperia Z3 release date and price

This is still a bit of a mystery. Sony has announced that the Xperia Z3 will be launching globally from autumn 2014 and now given a UK release date of September 26, but we're still waiting to hear about the US and Australia.

The UK RRP is listed at £549, which is roughly what the Xperia Z2 cost. Sony hasn't yet confirmed prices for the US or Australia but expect it cost as much as any other recent flagship, so around $650 / AU$870 SIM-free.

Whatever it costs we can tell you that when it goes on sale you'll have a choice of black, white, copper and silver green colours.

Sony Xperia Z3 design

The overall look of the Sony Xperia Z3 is almost identical to the Z2, with an aluminium frame, a tempered glass back and a symmetrical design. A PVD coating was rumoured, but that appears to be AWOL.

The placement of ports and buttons is much the same as the Xperia Z2 as well, with power, volume and camera shutter buttons along one side, along with a covered microSD card slot, a headphone jack at the top and dual front-facing stereo speakers, while if you flip the phone over there's a camera and flash on the top left corner, just like on the Z2.

Xperia Z3

The main change is that the frame is now rounded and the corners have been given a hard nylon covering which is not only eye-catching but also helps keep them protected from falls.

Aside from that and a different selection of colours the only real physical changes are the dimensions and weight. The Sony Xperia Z3 is a super-slim 146 x 72 x 7.35mm and 152g, making it marginally smaller, slimmer and lighter than its predecessor.

The Sony Xperia Z3 is also ever so slightly more water and dust resistant than the Z2, with an IP65/68 rating, so you can feel even more confident about taking it swimming and then into a high pressure car wash, if that's really something that you want to do.

Sony Xperia Z3 display

It was rumored that the Sony Xperia Z3 would have an identical display to the Xperia Z2 and indeed it does, more or less, with a 5.2-inch 1080 x 1920 screen, for a pixel density of 424 pixels per inch.

That still puts it on a par with most flagship phones in terms of resolution and we didn't necessarily want it to be any bigger, but it pales in comparison to the QHD LG G3. Still, we were big fans of the Xperia Z2's screen and you can hardly expect enormous improvements just six months later.

However Sony is plugging it as having the brightest display of any leading smartphone, with 600 nits of brightness making it 50% brighter than its predecessor and that in turn should make it easier to use in bright sunlight.