Sony Xperia Z3 – Release date, news and rumours
Sony is making a big push at the top end of the smartphone market by releasing not one flagship each year but two. We had the Xperia Z2 back towards the beginning of 2014, so we’re expecting the Xperia Z3 before the end. But when exactly? And how will Sony improve on its last flagship? Read on for all the news and rumours so far.
Release date and price
Sony hasn’t confirmed a release date yet, or even confirmed the existence of the Xperia Z3, but we know that it’s coming and we’re pretty sure it will be here soon. Chinese site IT168 reckons it will launch as soon as August, however Twitter tipster DooMLoRD claims that it won’t be out until September, either way we may only have between one and three months to wait at time of writing.
September would be our guess too, as that’s when IFA is held and last year’s Xperia Z1 was announced at IFA 2013. The event happens between the 5th and 10th of September, so if we do see it there it will be closer to the beginning of the month than the end, though it may not hit stores till later in the month.
One thing we can say is that it’s unlikely to arrive later than September. So far there’s nothing to suggest it will and according to G4Games a competition being held by Vodafone Germany which runs until the end of September involves buying a Sony Xperia Z3. Vodafone may or may not have inside information, but that certainly suggests that it thinks we’ll see it before October.
There’s no word on what the Sony Xperia Z3 will cost, but we can take an educated guess, as it’s a flagship phone so it’s unlikely to launch at under £500.
It looks like Sony is going to stick with a 1080p screen for its new flagship, or at least that’s what all the rumours are currently suggesting. IT168 and DooMLoRD both said as much and more recently Xperia Blog has got hold of an image taken from a phone that’s supposedly an Xperia Z3 and it’s got a 1080p resolution.
On the one hand we’re not really convinced that anything above 1080p is that beneficial on a screen this size and it inevitably hits the battery, but on the other hand with the LG G3 going QHD and other flagships likely to follow it is a little disappointing.
Speaking of size, we don’t actually know exactly how big the Xperia Z3 will be as there haven’t been any size rumours yet. The Xperia Z2 is 5.2 inches and we’d be surprised if it was any smaller than that, but it’s very unlikely to be more than 5.5 inches or it enters phablet territory.
As well as revealing a possible release date, DooMLoRD also claimed that the Xperia Z3 will have a new design, with slim bezels and that it will come in at just 7mm thick.
IT168 meanwhile claims that it will have a metal frame but that unlike the Xperia Z2 it will have a PVD coating, which will apparently make it more resistant to scratches and corrosion, give it improved impact resistance and even make it more environmentally friendly.
Xperia Blog has even spied a snap (top) of the handset, or at least something which is supposedly the Z3. You can only see the front and from that it looks fairly similar to the Xperia Z2 as you might expect.
All of which match up with that first image we saw, showing a slim handset with a typically Xperia design and what appears to be a glass back.
As for the overall size, Xperia Blog has shown a photo of it side-by-side with what’s believed to be the original Galaxy Note (a handset with dimensions of 146.9 x 83mm) and the Z3 looks to be around the same length, though not as wide.
There’s some disagreement about what specs Sony’s upcoming flagship will have. Initial rumours from IT168 pointed to a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor and 3GB of RAM, along with a 1080p display.
However DooMLoRD claims that it won’t use a Snapdragon 805 chip, while Xperia Blog has heard that it will only have a Snapdragon 801 processor and a 1080p display. That would be a bit disappointing as the Xperia Z2 already has a Snapdragon 801 processor, a 1080p display and 3GB of RAM.
One incredibly minor improvement that we’re likely to see is the version of Android it runs, as Xperia Blog has got hold of a screenshot showing the ‘About Phone’ screen which lists it as running Android 4.4.4, while the Xperia Z2 runs Android 4.4.2.
In fact other rumours point to a 20.7 megapixel camera, which again is a match for the Xperia Z2, so if all that pans out then the only real changes that we’re hearing about so far are a slimmer build and a protective coating, which is hardly enough to justify an upgrade, so fingers crossed for some surprises.
Combined with how little seems to be changing on the display and power front the Sony Xperia Z3 really isn’t looking like much of an upgrade so far, so fingers crossed for some surprises.
Checkout our Sony Xperia Z2 review!
By Kevin Thomas on 22nd July, 2014
Tags: Sony Xperia Z3