26th Jun 2015
With Sony finally announcing its Xperia Z3+ in India, it seems like there will be quite a few who may have been waiting for a Sony smartphone with the right specifications.
While last year’s Xperia Z3 was prone to heating problems, this year’s Xperia Z3+ does the same as well. However, during our initial hands-on with the device, it did not heat up as much as we thought it would; at least not as hot as we thought the news around the web was portraying it to be.
So yes, it does have that hot-headed 64-bit, Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset, but the new Xperia Z3+ does come with some new upgrades that will make it worth your money.
Slimmer and Lighter
Beginning with the body, the Z3+ has grown lighter and slimmer compared to last year’s Xperia Z3. The body is now just 6.9 mm thin and this remains the same overall as the camera no longer protrudes (even by a millimetre) on the back of the device (more on this later).
Sony has included a corner cap (like a bumper) that is made of plastic (but coated with paint on some models) to protect the structure of the device from drops. While the Copper and Black version came with a proper finish, the White and Aqua Green came with a translucent bits (at least on the pre-production units) that did make the phone look a bit cheap. We were told that these would come with a proper painted finish.
Capless USB Port
As for the annoying custom of unplugging that cap over the USB cover every time you needed to charge it; well, its now done away with. Sony has utilized a cap less USB architecture that delivers and stands up to its IP65 and IP68 waterproof and dust tight ratings. This is possible due to the presence of the doubt mount O ring that keeps the internals water and dust-free, while providing easy access to the USB port.
Sony claimed that its display this year is a lot brighter than last year’s (700 cd). More importantly, it comes with Sony’s proprietary memory display tech that reduces the need for the RAM to keep refreshing still images by literally saving the still image to the display’s pixels. Reduced RAM usage simply translates into increased battery life.
Another interesting bit about the display is that it is adaptive (similar to what Xiaomi showed off with its Mi 4i). While it is nothing new, (Nokia introduced it with the Lumia 1520) it is a useful feature in bright lighting conditions.
Lastly, the driver for its Triluminos display has been updated as well, allowing for more accurate touch sensitivity both under water and when used with water accumulated on the display.
While the camera unit has not seen drastic upgrades, it has become flatter. Flat enough to sit flush into that slim 6.9 mm thin frame. This according to Sony also reduces the damage to the camera module according to their research and testing and will keep the camera unit safe in the long run.
Sony claims a 90% faster autofocus speed although we could not notice that speed bump during our hands-on with the device.
Superior Auto mode now also comes to the front camera along with Sony’s proprietary Steady Shot tech (which still sticks to digital and not optical).
While not much has changed with the battery, Sony will be offering the new Qualcomm-friendly, Quick Charge 2.0-compatible charger in the box.
As mentioned in the original launch article, the Sony Xperia Z3+ also supports LDAC Bluetooth audio streaming at 980 kbps for richer wireless audio quality that did make an impression during our initial hands on.
Should you buy it?
The Sony Xperia Z3+ is priced a bit too steep at Rs 55,990, but keeping in mind the above enhancements, they will appeal to new buyers but not the current owners of the Xperia Z3.
If a metal and glass body appeals to you, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is available at a much better price (Rs 39,499), with a better, Quad HD Super AMOLED display and in a more hand-friendly (smaller) package.
Then there are the LG siblings with LG G Flex 2 (Snapdragon 810) at Rs 45,949 and the recently announced LG G4 (Snapdragon 808) at Rs 46,745; both made of plastic. There is also the massive HTC One M9+ that comes with a MediaTek chipset inside at Rs 48,999.
For those looking for anything else in the glass and metal category in Android, the Sony Xperia Z3+ offers water and dust proof everything; with some high quality audio chops and the performance to match.
Is The Sony Xperia Z3+ A Worthy Upgrade?
A lot has changed under the hood.
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