BERLIN: Sony has unveiled its latest flagship Xperia Z3 smartphone, a mere six months after launching its predecessor the Xperia Z2.
Such an early release date might be frustrating for customers who have recently bought the Sony Xperia Z2 on 24-month contracts, but the quick release cycle reflects Sony's belief that frequently updating its flagship phone gives users access to the latest technology as soon as possible.
The Xperia Z3 boasts a 5.2in full HD LED display, the same as the Xperia Z2, but in a slimmer 7.3mm case, almost a full 1mm thinner than its 8.2mm thick predecessor. It also weighs 152g, which is 11g lighter than the Xperia Z2. Sony claims that the Xperia Z3 also has a more comfortable feel than the Xperia Z2 due to its glass panels, which are encased in a solid aluminium frame with more rounded edges.
Like the Xperia Z2, Xperia Z1, and Xperia Z before that, the Xperia Z3 can be dunked in water for up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5m, Sony claims, due to its dust-resistant and waterproof IP65 and IP68 certification, the highest-possible waterproof rating.
While the Xperia Z3 features the same 20.7MP camera seen on the Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z1, the Xperia Z3 boasts an "Exmor RS for mobile" image sensor, with a new 25mm "G Lens", making it what Sony claims is "the world's first smartphone with ISO 12,800 sensitivity for superior photos, even in low light."
Also announced along with the Xperia Z3 on Wednesday was the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, the update to Sony's previous Xperia Z1 Compact that was announced at CES in January.
The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is a scaled-down version of the company's flagship Xperia Z3 smartphone, but the firm has been keen to stuff it full of the same high-end specifications.
The handset arrives with a 4.6in Triluminos HD display as well as other high-end specifications. On the rear there's a 20.7MP Exmor RS camera, which is coupled with Sony's custom photography software and Augmented Reality features, like the Xperia Z3. There is also support for 4G and a 2,300mAh battery, and just like its high-end sibling, the handset is resistant to dust, scratches and water.
Sony's Xperia Transfer software is also included on both devices, which the firm claims makes it easy to switch from an iPhone.
The Xperia Z3 will be available in a dual-SIM variant in select markets so users can keep two accounts running on one sleek smartphone. Both the Xperia Z3 and the Xperia Z3 Compact will hit the UK market sometime this autumn.
At MWC in February, Sony Mobile president for Northwest Europe Pierre Perron explained in an interview that the firm believes in updating its flagship line twice a year as opposed to once, like its rivals, to offer the latest technology to consumers.
He also added that because Apple waits a year between smartphone upgrades, it's leaving its customers behind in terms of technology they are potentially open to buying.
Using the growing adoption of 4G connectivity across the UK as an example, Perron said: "We definitely don't want to miss out because the consumer is now getting access to 4G subscriptions more and more."
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