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First Impression: Xperia Z3 is premium and powerful

Sony's UI gels nicely with Android 4.4.4, ensuring that the phone works smoothly

Nitin Sreedhar  |  New Delhi 

Managing Director of Sony India Kenichiro Hibi along with actress model Manpreet Wahi displaying the premium Sony Xperia Z3 phone at its launch in New Delhi

Just when you thought there won’t be any more big-bang launches in the smartphone market, along comes Sony with the Xperia Z3. The Z3 promises a lot in terms of entertainment and performance. Let’s see if it does justice to the previous two Xperia flagships.

* Zippy — lively and exciting

The first thing you will notice the moment you unbox the Z3 is its incredible design. The device sports a 5.2-inch screen surrounded by a 7.3-millimetre super-slim rounded aluminium frame. Despite a big screen, the Z3 is not bulky and weighs in at just 152g. A sleek design — complete with the same back glass back — gives the device a nice feel and look. But a word of caution on that back panel — a wee bit slippery; so, you will be better off with a nice back cover. That will not only protect the panel from smudges, but also give you a solid grip on the phone. In addition to the traditional black and white colours, the Z3 will also come in a copper variant. You will need a nanoSIM and be really careful when you take out that SIM tray.

* Zest — enjoyment and entertainment

The Z3 comes with a bunch of pre-loaded apps that will make sure the entertainment package is never short of fuel. If you manage to get hold of a Sony Smartband, then you will easily be able to track your daily activities using the Lifelog app.

Love your music? Then Sony’s classic Walkman app and Z3’s dual stereo speakers will keep you moving and grooving all the time.

Other entertainment apps such as Sony Music, Sony LIV and LIV Sports will keep you glued to the Z3’s screen. And that screen — with a full high-definition display (1,920X1,080 pixels) and Triluminos display for mobile — has a very rich output. We first put it to test with some of the pre-loaded trailers on the phone, and then ventured on to YouTube. If you are one of those who like to carry their movies and music around, then the Z3 fits the bill perfectly.

Capturing moments with your Z3 will not be a problem, for the device comes with a 20.7MP CMOS sensor rear camera with a 25-mm wide-angle lens and a front-facing 2.2MP camera. The rear one captured some very nice pictures and that, too, in varied conditions. Each picture had rich detail. The front camera, however, appears a bit grainy, especially indoors or in low-light conditions.

And, while we are at it, a big personal thank you to Sony for being one of the very few companies that understand the importance of a separate camera button. Located on the bottom right, you can wake up the device with a long press that takes you straight to the camera app.

* Zeal — great energy and powerf

In terms of performance, the Z3 is strong and blazing fast. Just imagine the amount of power the Z3 yields when you have — take a deep breath — a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor, 3GB RAM, an Adreno 330 graphics processing unit, Android 4.4.4, a smooth user interface that goes hand in hand with the operating system and a 3,100-mAh battery. Also, keep your eye on that battery capacity — it should easily last you for a day, even two, after moderate usage. Users should not face any storage issues either with 16GB onboard memory, which is expandable up to 128GB. And for all those who tend to use their phones in extreme conditions, the Z3 has an IP65/68 rating, making it immune to dust or water.

* Worth the three Zs?

Available for Rs 51,990, this high-end offering from Sony should not have any problems attracting the usual suspects. But the Z3 is going to have some stiff competition in the coming months with a host of other devices expected to enter the Indian market. And, looking at the price, people will say that’s a ‘lot’, but then the Xperia Z3 offers a ‘lot’ as well.

Price: Rs 51,990
Camera: Rear: 20.7MP, Front: 2.2MP
Display: 5.2-inch
Battery: 3,100 mAh
OS: Google Android 4.4 (KitKat)
Processor: Snapdragon 2.5GHz Qualcomm quadcore
Storage: Inbuilt 16GB (expandable up to 128GB)
Weight: 152g

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First Published: Sun, September 28 2014. 22:20 IST