The Sony Xperia Z3 comes with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 chipset, with a quad-core 2.5GHz Krait 400 processor and Adreno 330 GPU. That’s topped off with a hefty 3 GB of RAM. This chipset works wonderfully with Android 4.4.4 (KitKat), which itself is largely unburdened with Sony’s uncomplicated Xperia UI. All of this combines to make using the Xperia Z3 a smooth experience the vast majority of the time.
With synthetic benchmarks, this device sits near the top its class. With a 40.398 score on AnTuTu 5, it matches similar devices like the LG G3 and is only shade below the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One (M8). The Xperia Z3 does manage to outperform its rivals in other synthetic testing, but really we’ve hit a point where almost all of these phones bring supreme levels of power.
Thus, it should come as no surprise to hear that just about everything here is fluid in everyday use. Virtually no stutters or lags were visible in our testing, even when we performed demanding tasks or ran many applications at once. Gaming is a breeze, and media loaded and ran briskly.
Finally, we’ll note that the Xperia Z3 comes with either 16 or 32 GB of memory storage. The former is relatively tiny for today’s market, but thankfully both models are expandable with microSD cards.
As has been the case for a good while now, Sony’s Xperia UI includes only slight modifications to Android. These mostly boil down to adding widgets to the home and lock screens, though Sony’s Small Apps are the biggest leap from stock Android. There are nine of these mini apps in total, including Gmail or the stock browser, and they can lay over the display as separate windows. Small Apps can be downloaded from the Play Store, and widgets can be ‘turned’ into Small Apps.
PlayStation 4 owners will particularly like the option of playing their games on the phone’s display with Sony’s cloud-based Remote Play app. What’s more, gamers can hook a dedicated DualShock 4 controller up to the phone and essentially turn it into a makeshift microconsole.
The Xperia Z3’s powerful chip, unique display technology, and unobtrusive user interface combine to give it exceptional battery performance. To be precise, it comes with large 3100 mAh pack that can still retain about 30 percent of its juice after a day of heavy usage. With average use and Sony’s Power Saving Mode on, the phone can last about two days on a single charge. That’s enough to immediately sit the Z3 amongst the longest-lasting Android phones currently available.
For the most part, Sony has installed the same sensor into the Xperia Z3 that was in its original Xperia Z1.That’s mostly a good thing. It has a maximum resolution of 20.7 megapixels on manual mode, or 8 megapixels when the Superior Auto option is used. The advancement here is that this sensor now enables up to 12.800 ISO sensitivity, making shots much more acceptable in low-light conditions. The lens is a bit wider and 4K video capture is now supported as well.
The camera app itself has been updated quite a bit. Various sets of this interface can be downloaded, which is rather handy, revealing new and different shooting modes. Sony doesn’t take the minimalist route with its software, though, and various settings like white balance and exposure can be tinkered with manually. The top-notch ISO can only be used in Superior Auto mode, however.
In general, the photo quality here is still very high. It matches the consistency of Nokia’s flagship models, for instance, though it’s a tad poorer than devices like the newest iPhones when it comes to color interpretation and exposure. It also is a little bit slower than Apple’s phones in autofocusing, but that can be resolved easily enough with a tap on the screen. Overall, though, shots are exceptionally sharp and filled with detail, with only scant bits of noise coming in poorly-lit conditions. Our only objections come with the generally oversaturated colors and overexposed shots or videos.