The Sony Xperia Z3 has a 5.2" IPS LCD of 1080p resolution so on paper the screen doesn't seem to bring any improvements. However the company has actually used a brand new panel, which brings a few key improvements.
The color temperature has been adjusted, but more importantly the battery draw has been reduced, which has allowed Sony to push the maximum brightness here.
The secret behind these improvements lies in the Live Color LEDs that Sony has incorporated into the TRILUMINOS display technology found in previous Xperia mobiles. Live Color LED combines red and green phosphor with blue LEDs to produce brighter and more uniform light without consuming extra power.
Here's how the display looks under our digital microscope:
The Sony Xperia Z3 posted great scores in our display test. Its brightness was among the highest we have seen, while the blacks were deep enough to secure great contrast.
|Display test||50% brightness||100% brightness|
|Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2||Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2|
|Sony Xperia Z3||-||-||-||0.65||866||1333|
|Sony Xperia Z2||-||-||-||0.41||488||1195|
|Nokia Lumia 930||0||149||∞||0||347||∞|
|Oppo Find 7||0.22||248||1135||0.40||448||1123|
|Samsung Galaxy S5||0||274||∞||0||529||∞|
|Samsung Galaxy S4||0||201||∞||0||404||∞|
|HTC One (M8)||0.20||245||1219||0.46||577||1256|
|Apple iPhone 5||0.13||200||1490||0.48||640||1320|
The brightness also helped the smartphone in the outdoor visibility test, where it posted a very respectable score. We have seen phone do better, but the Xperia Z3 is easily good enough to be usable outdoors and that's what matters the most.
Overall the Sony Xperia Z3 screen is a solid performer, delivering excellent sharpness and image quality. The company decided not to jump on the QHD bandwagon with the smartphone, which might be seen as its only weakness.
At this size the benefits of QHD resolution would have certainly been small (and only visible by people with perfect eyesight) so we can't say we are too mad about it. On the other even minimal advantages and the bragging rights that come with them are important to quite a few people shopping in this rather expensive market bracket, so it might cost the company a few upgraders.
The Sony Xperia Z3 saw a comes with an ample 3,100mAh battery, but compared to its predecessor's 3,200 mAh juice pack that is actually a downgrade. Yet Sony is adamant that it has improved the power accuracy enough so the Xperia Z3 can match the power autonomy of the Xperia Z2.
As our dedicated battery tests completed we found that was exactly the case. The Sony Xperia Z3 came out with an excellent 85h endurance rating, but that was just short of the Xperia Z2's 89h. For purposes practical these two scores are identical and mean that you will be getting three and a half days of battery life if you use the smartphone for an hour of web browsing, calling and video watching per day.
Naturally, power users, which are be the main target of the Xperia Z3 will be getting far less time between charges, but they should still only need to charge every other day.
And if you absolutely must extract the longest endurance out of your new Sony smartphone, you should check out the Stamina mode. It helps extend your battery life by toggling things like Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth screen brightness, auto sync and background data on and off automatically when the battery charge falls below a certain user-defined threshold. You can also turn off the Wi-Fi receiver if there is no saved Wi-Fi network in range or turn off mobile data when the screen is off, among other things.
Our proprietary score also includes a standby battery draw test, which is not featured in our battery test scorecard but is calculated in the total endurance rating. Our battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you want to learn more about it.
Check out our detailed battery life test for the Sony Xperia Z3 here.
The Sony Xperia Z3 comes in both single SIM and dual SIM versions only and both of those have quad-band GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 and penta-band 3G support. LTE is available too with its bands depending on the region.
The rest of the connectivity features include dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac and Wi-Fi Direct. There is also support for Bluetooth 4.0 with apt-X, GPS and GLONASS, plus an FM radio with RDS. There is also NFC connectivity with support for Android Beam for sending files to other Android devices.
The ultra-low power ANT+ connectivity protocol handles connections to various sports accessories such as heart rate monitors or bicycle speed & cadence meters.
There is a microUSB 2.0 port for charging and data connections. Media transfer mode is supported for accessing the phone's built-in memory and microSD card over USB.
The microUSB 2.0 port can also be used in USB On-the-go mode for connecting USB peripherals such as pen drives, keyboards or real USB hard drives. There is also MHL support for tethering the Xperia Z3 to your TV, and if you own a compatible HDTV, you can output your phone's screen wirelessly via the Miracast protocol.