Featuring a water resistant design, decent screen and offering great performance the Xperia Z3 is one of the best Android smartphones currently available
Slimmer and less boxy updated design, very powerful, vibrant HD screen, brilliant camera, waterproof
Internal storage could be bigger, reflective screen
Screen: 5.2in 1080x1920 resolution IPS LCD
Processor: quad-core 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801
GPU: Adreno 330
Storage: up to 16GB storage expandable with microSD card up to 128GB
Battery: non-removable, 3100mAh
Camera: 20.7MP rear-facing, 2.2 MP front-facing
Sony's mobile division unveiled another iteration of the Z smartphone, the Xperia Z3, at IFA in early September 2014.
This means that the arrival of the Xperia Z3 comes just six months after the firm launched its predecessor, the Xperia Z2, at Mobile World Congress in February.
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 quickly updating its flagship smartphone 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 chassis. At 7.3mm thick, it is almost a full 1mm thinner than its 8.2mm thick predecessor.
While these changes are subtle, they are the first noticeable things about the Xperia Z3, making it evident that Sony has managed to squeeze a number of updates into the Z device refresh, such as a chassis that's more comfortable to hold.
Still, the Xperia Z3 is very similar to the Xperia Z2, which in terms of design is no bad thing. We have always been fans of the boxy look, but with each Xperia Z flagship iteration the models get curvier and more sleek.
Sony has given the Xperia Z3 more rounded edges with a satin metal finish, which means the handset is easier to hold than its older sibling, despite packing the same 5.2in display.
Another great feature of the Xperia Z3's design is that, 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 owing to its dust-resistant and waterproof IP65 and IP68 certifications, the highest possible waterproof rating.
This feature could be considered a novelty, as it's not every day that you're going to worry that your phone will come in contact with water, unless you can't bear not showering with it, but it still offers some peace of mind.
Next: Screen, performance and software.