Sony Xperia XZ3 in the test: My conclusion in 10 bullet points

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The Sony Xperia XZ3 is the next flagship candidate for the 2018 Christmas business . So Sony is back this year again.

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There, as in recent years, the second top model was presented at the IFA in Berlin. The Sony Xperia XZ3 replaces the Xperia XZ2 from spring, but there is no new Compact model. And not (yet) a premium model. So it remains (for now) in the normal XZ3.

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The Sony Xperia XZ3 has now been available for just under a month, but the MSRP of 799 euros has already dropped over 100 euros. With a good offer (or the right shop) you pay no more than 700 euros.

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Sony Xperia XZ3: The specifications

Manufacturer: Sony
Model name: Xperia XZ3
Price: 799 euros
Available: 5 October 2018
Size: 158 x 73 x 9.9 mm
Weight: 193 g
Operating System: Android 9 Pie
Battery: 3300 mAh
Display: 6 inch POLED (2880 x 1440 pixels)
Camera: 19 megapixels
Memory: 64 GB
CPU: Snapdragon 845
RAM: 4 GB
These are not all specifications of the Xperia XZ3, but the most important ones. On the website of Sony, you get more information about the device.

Sony Xperia XZ3: The bullet points

The design of the Sony Xperia XZ3 has not changed massively, but it has changed. The back is basically the same, but on the front, the edge has become slightly thinner, it is now always black and the display is slightly rounded at the sides. Sony remains largely faithful to its design, but optically reminds the front of the Google Pixel 2 XL from last year. In the hand, the XZ3 is still very slippery, but on the table thanks to a slightly raised ring around the camera not as much as the XZ2.
The display has grown to 6 inches and it is now a (P) OLED panel. The quality of the display is great, it has good viewing angles, bright colors and is sufficiently bright. For me, an improvement compared to the Xperia XZ2. The curved sides disturb me less here than other models, it is very subtly bent. What I noticed positively: The good white value for an OLED panel.
In terms of performance, the XZ3 is convincing, even though nothing really has changed since spring. After all, the SD 845 and 4 GB of RAM are still left. Since you would like to now choose 6 GB of RAM, but there are only in Asia.
The software is an almost pure Android, which I like very much. Sony came in third after Google and OnePlus at my favorite Android manufacturers, on par with Nokia. It has also proved a solid update policy so far and the security patch is up to date. There is nothing to complain about from my side. One tries to incidentally also here at the establishment massively bloatware unterzujubeln, but you can quickly remove the hook and decide against it. Only Facebook and Netflix are preinstalled.
The camera remains one of the biggest criticisms for me. In good light, it makes solid pictures, but it often rushes to me personally too strong and photos are overexposed again and again. Sony still builds the sensors for the industry, but in my opinion, cannot keep up with the current competition with the software. The dynamic range in good light is great. I would classify the camera as “okay”. Which is not very good for me in a flagship. What I like but still good: There is a camera key.

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The battery has hardly grown in comparison to the XZ2 and with 3300 mAh compared to the competition very small. Nevertheless, Sony continues to get a lot out of the battery. Considering, however, the size and weight of the device, then an even larger battery would be desirable because it could be the XZ3 to a Dauerläufer (the Mate 20 Pro has the same size, for example, 900 mAh more). Qi is here again and now seems to be standard on Sony – great.
The fingerprint sensor is personally in a completely wrong position and way too deep for me. Again, I have constantly caught the camera, because this is also round and feels almost identical. The camera over the flash and sensor in place of the camera, that would be optimal. And unfortunately, there is still no face recognition as an alternative to this bad sensor.
The stereo speakers have a great sound, but …
… I deactivated the dynamic vibration directly again. Here I would want a much better vibration motor because so the vibration is too strong and uncomfortable.
On the list of must-have features, I miss nothing, there is also an IP68 certification, with which everything would be ticked off.

Sony Xperia XZ3: The conclusion

I like the design of the Xperia better and better from model to model. It does not rely on a modern design with a very little edge and notch, but you remain relatively faithful and that pleases some synonymous. It is one of the few flagships without a notch. For me no advantage, I would rather have a little less edge, but at least there are good stereo speakers front.

The display is great, the performance and software also and with currently just under 650-700 euros it is not overpriced. I would like to have a more modern design in the long term, but apart from that I still find the Xperia XZ3 suboptimal in two respects. Item 1: The fingerprint sensor.

Fans of this position are welcome to flood the comments again, but for me personally, this position is simply an absurdity. And in everyday life that is not unimportant, because you unlock your device several times a day.

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The sensor is far too deep for me personally. There is no alternative, I would also like to see a face unlock in 2018.

The second point would be the camera, which has not convinced me as much as the Pixel 3, Mate 20 Pro or iPhone XR. Although Sony builds the sensors for the competition, but the tinker the better software. Pictures were often too noisy and overexposed. Especially in auto mode.

That’s a pity, because the sensor from Sony has the potential for more and you have to say that the competition has become very strong here.


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However, the Sony Xperia XZ3 is not a bad smartphone and if you like the design, the position of the fingerprint sensor appeals and the rather mediocre camera does not bother, also worth a look.

Incidentally, I deactivated the “side sensor” directly. With this you can double-tap the page, for example, to launch a menu for apps. But in the test, I found this feature rather annoying than helpful. Because of the fact that I sometimes activated it accidentally or did not start it when I wanted to use it. It had a bit of beta on me.

In short, there are models that I liked better this year. But the Sony Xperia XZ3 is therefore not a bad smartphone, on the contrary. I think you can see the progress of the Xperia smartphones, even if they are not yet “at the top” for me. My favorite would not be this year, but I like the Xperia XZ3 better than other Sony models in the last 2 years.

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