Sony Xperia Z3+ Finally Makes it to U.S. Market
Sony’s smartphone strategy puzzles us. The company treats the U.S. market like an afterthought and then is worried because sales remain low against rivals. Sure, the uninterested U.S. market is hardly welcoming Sony with open arms, but still the company is not in the race to win it. Take the very good Xperia Z3+, a smartphone flagship that launched in June but is now only making its way to the United States.
Sony has catered for the discrepancy in launch time by slashing the price to $499.99, which is around $20 more than the Moto X Pure Edition with a wood or leather back. That means the Xperia Z3+ is entering a rather busy price point that is not short of enticing options. We are thinking of the likes of the OnePlus 2, Motorola Moto X Pure Edition, and several impressive Chinese smartphones. We could also throw the likes of the HTC One A9 into the mix and some of last year’s flagships like the LG G3 and HTC One M8. Of course, the Xperia Z3+ is last year’s flagship in a way, although it is an update of Sony’s 2014 driver.
You will get a well spec’d and ultra-smart looking device that oozes premium, although you will only be able to use it on AT&T and T-Mobile and not Sprint nor Verizon.
Of course, the Xperia Z3 was a very good smartphone, delivering plenty of quality with only a few caveats. Design is possibly one of the low points here, but we say that cautiously and it really does come down to taste. There is no doubt that the Xperia Z3+ (like its predecessor) oozes premium with its two glass panels sandwiching a metal frame and sides. It is a striking smartphone and we know plenty who think the Xperia Z3 is a design triumph, so those people will be happy to see the Xperia Z3+ arrive with no aesthetic changes. While we would be stupid to outright deride the design here, we do think that Sony's flagship range could do with a slight refresh as the move from Xperia Z to Z3+ or indeed Xperia Z4 has been minimal in terms of looks. It is worth noting that this device is thinner than the Xperia Z3, 6.9mm compared to 7.3mm.
As for specs, it's a mix of been there, done that and brand new. The Xperia Z3+ retains the 5.2-inch 1080p screen found on the Z3, it is the exact same panel meaning no Quad HD market pushing display. That is hardly a major gripe considering we still get plenty of joy from a good 1080p screen, which this is. Under the hood things are improved, with Qualcomm's troublesome Snapdragon 810 making its way to the Xperia Z3+ with 3GB of RAM, a 20.7 megapixel rear camera, and an improved 5 megapixel front facing lens also along for the ride.
Sony has also improved the waterproofing, with an IP68 rating meaning this can be submerged in water up to 3 meters (9 feet) deep. Considering the Xperia Z3 is being updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop, we imagine that the Xperia Z3+ will get Lollipop out of the box.
The Z3 had an amazing battery, with Sony squeezing every last drop out of the 3100 mAh juicer to ensure market leading battery performance (we mean market leading too). To make the Xperia Z3+ thinner, the Japanese company decided to reduce the pack to 2900 mAh, but apparently improvements in other areas will mean the Z3+ is equally impressive in terms of battery life. Sony says it will last for two days, obviously we will have to wait to get the device in hand to prove that, but the company has been spot on in this department before.