Sony Xperia XZ3 hands-on review

Sony has come out with a lot of phones this year and the latest we've got on our hands on is the Xperia XZ3, it's quite a bit different from the experience we've come to know, so let's check it out.
Sony Xperia XZ3

Unlike the large bulky Xperia XZ2 premium the Xperia XZ3 has an elegant and modern looking design, Sony has moved away from the traditional angular look this year introducing a lot of curves into their phones and the Xperia XZ3 is even curvier. The glass back tapers in sharply to the frame it's thinner and stronger thanks to being 7000 series aluminum, the sharp edge has some grip and makes the phone feel quite slicm, the curved back is balanced by the curvature of the OLED screen for the first time from Sony we have an OLED screen and is curved around the sides it's more like what you'd expect from a Samsung Galaxy.

This HD are capable screen is 6 inches with a QHD resolution and it has a tall 18 by 9 aspect ratio, content spills around the curved edges and looks awesome with those deep OLED blacks. Sony really caught us by surprise with this one.

There's even an always-on display which is customizable with plenty of options. The stereo speakers are even louder now and there's still the unique dynamic vibration system when enabled the phone will vibrate along to the sounds, sadly the headphone jack is gone for good, so you'll have to plug your headset into the USB-C port with the dongle.

I do have one gripe with the build and that's the awkward placement of the fingerprint reader, it's really easy to mistakenly smudge your lens.

Under the hood is a high-end snapdragon 845 chipset and four gigs of ram as expected performance feels great and there are no hiccups so far, but where this phone is pushing things a bit further is in the way of software.

The Xperia XZ3 runs Sony's Xperia launcher over the latest Android 9 Pi one new feature is the side Sense interface which takes advantage of the curved screen, double tapping on the curved edge will pull up a menu with recent and recommended apps, you can also slide down on the edge to go back in any app. A double tap on the edge and the camera interface will snap a photo sue. Another debut feature is smart launch just take your phone out of your pocket a name and a preview will appear, touch the circle and the camera app will launch to take a quick shot. Sony says not to worry about this constantly turning on it doesn't consume much power plus AI is able to reduce accidental activation by 90%. The camera UI itself has been simplified too, it's much easier to get into the different camera modes which are all held within a single menu and now thanks to one of androids new features you can pin a shortcut to specific camera modes directly to the home screen.

There are a lot of upgrades to the cameras processing the single main camera is 19 megapixels and it now has AI enhanced exposure control to help with difficult contrast, see scenes such as foliage and cloudy skies.

There's also a bouquet mode with a defocus background created only through software, low-light processing is also helped out by advancements in Sony's buy-ins algorithms they claim much better color rendition and lowlights will have to dive deeper into this in our full review.

The selfie cam is 13 megapixels and f 1.9 there are a few new beautification options available as well as a selfie bouquet mode, like before there is support for 4k HDR video recording which grants wider dynamic range and better color expression in contrast sea scenes if played back on the supported screen.

There's also a super slow-mo 960 FPS video recording at up to 1080p resolution which made his debut on the Xperia XZ2 no advancements in this department for now.

We are curious of how the battery life will hold up when powering this big screen and all these features, with the 3300 milliamp hour battery the Xperia XZ3 should do alright, but we'll have to do some further testing. Your support for fast charging but this time is USB power delivery and there's wireless charging just like on the Xperia XZ2.

Overall the Xperia XZ3 took us by surprise in a good way, Sony did a complete overhaul of the design and the software and the result is an awesome modern flagship phone. What do you guys think? Let's know down in the comments and we'll try to answer any questions you have in our full review coming soon.

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