Sony Xperia Z3 vs Xperia Z2

Sony has updated its flagship line up once again, so what's new?

Surprise surprise, Sony has announced the much-rumoured Xperia Z3 handset, replacing the already impressive Xperia Z2. Of course a lot of talk will revolve around whether or not Sony needs to replace its flagship so regularly. But perhaps Sony should be commended for its desire to ensure its customers are always offered the best specs available from the mobile world.

Here's our look at what Sony has done to ensure its latest flagship can successfully build upon the work done by the already impressive Xperia Z2.

Design

As with every current Sony Xperia handset, the Xperia Z3 follows on with the omnibalance design. Laying the Xperia Z2 and Z3 side by side will leave you wondering whether you've got a new handset, but closer inspection does highlight a few differences.

Some may see this as disappointing, but Sony has been consistent since the original Xperia Z, and deserves kudos for keeping to its design principles.

The Xperia Z3 has been on a diet, coming in with a slightly smaller footprint. Vital statistics read 146.5 x 72.4 x 7.5mm and it weighs 154g. This makes it almost identical to the Xperia Z2, although the Z3 manages to be 0.7mm thinner and 9g lighter.

Sony has also kept in the IP55 and IP58 water and dust proofing that has become a highlight of its flagships, something that we've become particularly fond of.

Screen

Anybody thinking that the Xperia Z3 would come with a QHD screen will be left sorely disappointed. Sony has opted to stick with the same 5.2-inch Triluminous 1,080p screen (with the same X-Reality engine) as the Xperia Z2.

This shouldn't be too much of a surprise though, the jury is still out on whether 2K or even 4K resolutions are necessary on such a small screen. Given that the majority of the competition still sports 1,080p screens (the LG G3 being the most notable exception), this certainly won't damage the Z3's chances.

The biggest disappointment for many will be that the screen doesn't appear to have taken an upgrade from the Xperia Z2. However, a closer look does throw up something that will perhaps prove a little more useful than a few more pixels.

Where the Z2's brightness manages to hit brightness levels of 460 nits, the Xperia Z3 can reach 600 nits. Consequently the Xperia Z3 should prove a lot easier to see in direct sunlight, something that we've all been craving since the very first touchscreen.

Camera

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Sony has chosen to leave the 20.7MP camera that adorns the Xperia Z2 well alone on the Xperia Z3. Given that the Japanese firm already had the most powerful camera, at least in terms of resolution, this is perhaps one area that didn't need a lot of attention.

Even the flash has remained the same, with Sony sticking by its single LED.

In our in depth Xperia Z2 review, John McCann commented that the Z2's camera "performs better than both the HTC One M8 and Samsung Galaxy S5 in low light conditions" as well as having "a fantastic macro mode, allowing you to get really close up to an object and capture it in all its glory" so we can hardly describe the Xperia Z3's camera as lacking.

CPU / RAM

When a flagship phone line has been updated one of the first things that we take a look at is how much more power has been squeezed under the hood. While we know that this is a poor indication of the overall performance, we can't help but get a little excited by bigger numbers.

Let's start with the RAM on offer. Sony hasn't upped the RAM in the Xperia Z3, although as the Xperia Z2 already offered a whopping 3GB of RAM that is unmatched by the Galaxy S5 or the HTC One M8.