Sony Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact Smartphones Are Built to Take on the iPhone

Daniel Howley
Technology Reporter
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With Apple’s much-hyped iPhone 6 on the way and Samsung’s powerhouse Galaxy Note 4 generating plenty of buzz, handset makers are pulling out all the stops to prove they have what it takes to hang with the big boys. Case in point: Sony’s new Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact smartphones, two devices set on taking on the best handsets in the land.

Xperia Z3

Unveiled at the IFA technology show in Berlin, the Xperia Z3, which runs on Google’s Android KitKat operating system, is Sony’s most impressive smartphone yet. Sporting the Xperia brand’s well-worn rectangular design, the Z3 measures just .29 inches thin, a hair thinner than the iPhone 5s, despite offering a larger 5.2-inch display.

Speaking of which, Sony says the Z3’s 1080p screen is rated the brightest among leading smartphones including the iPhone 5s, Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8. That’s great for using your phone in direct sunlight, but it’s also worth noting that brightness doesn’t necessarily equate to a good picture, and Sony’s previous smartphone screens tended to look washed out.

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Around back, the Xperia Z3 packs a 20.7-megapixel camera with a 25-millimeter lens that allows for wider photos. The camera also includes improved ISO sensitivity, which should help the Z3 capture more detailed images in low-light settings.

Since it’s a Sony product, the Xperia Z3 can also double as PlayStation 4 DualShock controller. There’s also PS4 Remote Play capability, which lets the Z3 act as a remote screen for your PlayStation.

And if the Xperia Z3 takes a spill, you won’t have to worry about it giving up the ghost, as it can survive in up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. What’s more, it can even take photos and videos while submerged.

Xperia Z3 Compact

The Z3’s Android-powered kid brother, the Z3 Compact takes much of what makes the Z3 a winner and shrinks it down to size. Rather than the Z3’s 5.2-inch 1080p display, the Z3 Compact gets a smaller 4.6-inch 720p screen. Though, the Compact’s display is just as bright as the Z3’s.

With a smaller surface area to cram components into, the Z3 Compact’s thickness grows to .34 inches. Still, like its larger sibling, the Z3 Compact is waterproof and can take pictures and video underwater.

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The Compact also gets the Z3’s 20.7-megapixel camera with all of the trimmings, not to mention the Z3’s ability to be used as a PlayStation 4 controller.

The Xperia Z3 is coming to the T-mobile this fall, though pricing for the handset has yet to be announced. Sony’s smartphones usually come America several months after they’ve been released in Europe, so it’s nice to see the tech giant’s mobile arm giving the U.S. some love.

On the flip side, Sony hasn’t said whether the Z3 Compact will be making it to our shores. But with its impressive capabilities, we certainly hope it does.

We’ll bring you a full review of the Xperia Z3 when it hits the U.S. in the coming months, so check back with us for more.

 Email Daniel at dhowley@yahoo-inc.com; follow him on Twitter at@DanielHowley or on Google+ here