Sony has announced the Xperia Z3 at the IFA technology trade show in Berlin - and while it’s thinner and lighter than its Z2 predecessor, you may struggle to tell much of a difference between the two.
Indeed, you may even struggle to tell the Z3 apart from the Z1 which Sony announced at last year’s IFA - the Xperia Z range has so far been an exercise in refinement with each update, rather than major change.
Here are the vital statistic at a glance, with bold under to indicate when the Z3 or Z2 is superior.
As you can see, the Z3 has a slightly faster processor, better waterproofing, improved battery life (albeit with a smaller capacity) and a body which is thinner and lighter, with less height and width.
The Z3 also makes use of metal-coloured nylon caps to save its aluminium edges from being scratches and dented when dropped - but otherwise there is very little to tell these two handsets apart. Although tipped to pack a Quad-HD resolution like the LG G3, the Z3’s screen is the same as the Z2’s - although Sony claims it has worked to improve colours and brightness - and the software running on each phone is identical.
Read More: Sony Xperia Z2 Review
Inside, the processor is marginally faster on the Z3 but we doubt you’d ever really notice the difference here. Around the back Sony has used the same 20.7-megapixel sensor as found on the Z2 and the Z1 before it, but it now offers a high ISO sensitivity to help combat grainy images when used in low-light.
Waterproofing has been improved to keep the Z3’s innard dry for up to 30 minutes in 1.5 meters of water - but this is only up 30 centimeters from the Z2.
Storage remains unchanged as 16GB - while both have micro SD card slot to increase this by up to 128GB - and RAM is also stationary at 3GB, although to give Sony its credit, this is higher than most rivals.
Should I upgrade?
If you are a Sony fan who is due a contract upgrade in the coming months, then yes sure, the Z3 is a brilliant phone. But if you own a Z2 (which was only announced in February), or a year-old Z1 then the appeal of the Z3 wanes. Sony has made improvements, but they are small and there is no single stand-out feature on offer here over what is already available.
We’ve only spent a short time with the Z3 so far, so stay tuned for our full review before making up your own mind - and the Z3 won’t be on sale until the autumn anyway - but so far it looks as if Sony is continuing to iterate slowly every six months rather majorly once a year. Will that tactic work? We’ll let you, and the sales figures, be the judge of that.