Eyebrows were raised when Sony announced the Xperia Z1 in the same year as the Xperia Z, and then quickly followed it with the Xperia Z2 five months later, but it remains determined to hit the two key product cycles in a year.
The Sony Xperia Z3 is more iteration than innovation, with Sony fine tuning the Z2 from earlier this year to create a leaner, meaner handset.
Sony's Omnibalance design persists on the Xperia Z3, but it's been slimmed down and rounded to a rather attractive 7.3mm (Xperia Z2 is 8.2mm) frame.
The Xperia Z3 isn't quite as wide or tall as its predecessor either, with the handset measuring 146 x 72mm. It still sports a 5.2-inch full HD display which means it's the bezels that have been reduced in size.
Something for your eyes
It's a little disappointing not to see a QHD resolution display, but while the screen may appear the same as the Z2 on paper, Sony has done a lot of work behind the scenes.
The screen on the Xperia Z3 boasts Sony's brightest Triluminos display, giving it much more punch over previous Z flagships and making it easier to see in direct sunlight.
Under the hood you'll find a powerful 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM and an Adreno 330 GPU, ensuring there's enough power to run even the most demanding apps and games.
Sony's 20.7MP camera remains on the rear of the Xperia Z3 with the ability to shoot 4K video, but it features a new 25mm wide-angle Sony G lens allowing you to fit more into each shot.
There are flaps covering the nanoSIM and microSD slots (which supports cards up to 128GB in size) on the side of the handset and that can mean only one thing - the Xperia Z3 is water and dust resistant with an IP68 certification.
Time to play
Another key feature on the Sony Xperia Z3 (and Z3 Compact) is support for PS4 Remote Play, allowing you to use your smartphone as a controller.
You can even stream your game to your smartphone if the TV is in use, and use a Dualshock 4 controller to play the game from your handset.
There's a separate mount available to buy to clip your smartphone to your Playstation controller to make the gaming experience easier.
In terms of a Sony Xperia Z3 release date the handset is due to hit stores in autumn 2014.
- Read more about the Sony Xperia Z3 in our hands on review
Article continues below