News by Luke Jones on Monday October 13, 2014.
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Sony and Verizon launched a new device last week in the form the Xperia Z3v, which as the name suggests is a variant of Sony's latest Xperia Z3 flagship. However, after taking a close look at the Z3v and spending some time with the handset we have found that Sony and Verizon have been a bit crafty. Check out our in-depth look at the Xperia Z3v and fine out why we think Sony is being cute with the name of this device (the clue being this is not a Z3 at all).Looks When the Xperia Z3v landed last week we wrote that the device paid a passing resemblance to the older Z2 and had a few differences compared to the Z3 proper. The Z3v gets aluminium strips and edgy corners that evoke the X2, while the normal Z3 is more rounded and has nylon edges. Although this handset is actually heavier than both of the Xperia devices that we are comparing it to here. There are other Z2 hallmarks too, but the result here is still another very nice piece of Sony kit, and typically for the company?s smartphone output everything feels high end and premium. Xperia Z2: 163g, 146.8 x 73.3 x 8.2 mm Xperia Z3: 152g, 146 x 72 x 7.3mm Xperia Z3v: 170.6g, 148.5 x 73.4 x 8.9mm Screen You can probably see where we are going with this by now, but the screen on the Xperia Z3v does not seem to be the same panel from the Z3 proper, but instead matches the Z2. The Verizon exclusive Xperia Z3v has the same screen as the Z2 and the normal Z3, a 5.2-inch 1080p TRILUMINOS LED display with Sony?s X-Reality engine. However, it is thought to lack the feature on the Xperia Z3 proper that allows the screen to have its own RAM, making it brighter. Sony has not confirmed if the Z3v has this, but it is unlikely as it is not mentioned in the company's white paper for the device. That means that the Z3v and the Z2 share the same screen tech, while the Xperia Z3 has the screen with its own RAM, allowing it to have better brightness and vastly superior power efficiency. Battery The Xperia Z3 arrived last month with a smaller battery than the Xperia Z2 (3100mAh on the Z3, 3200mAh) and the Z3v matches the Z2. Smaller maybe, but the Z3 has the better juicer with Sony rating it for 2 days of use, while the Z2/Z3v is good for 1.4 days of use. Reviews of the Z3 suggest it has probably the best smartphone battery out there, but Sony has decided to opt for the older Z2 power pack for the new Verizon variant. Camera On the spec sheet the rear snapper on the Xperia Z3 and Z3v may seem the same reading off the paper, 1/2.3" 20.7MP with an F/2.0 aperture to be precise. However, the Z3 comes with a bunch of new features that the Z3v and the indeed the Xperia Z2 do not. The Xperia Z3 has a G Lens with 25mm field view and ISO levels of 12,800. The Xperia Z3v gets the same module as the Xperia Z2, one that comes with an ISO level of 6400. Waterproofing A big thing of Sony smartphones these days is waterproofing, the company was the first major player to take this aspect seriously and is still the standout name if you want to dunk your smartphone in the pool. Both the Xperia Z3 and Z3v come with an IP65/68 rating, which is the very latest in water and dustproofing technology. The Xperia Z2 comes with an older rating of IP55/58. Software While it is becoming clear that the Xperia Z3v is actually an Xperia Z2 retooled, but the new Verizon does actually get the new Sony software from the Xperia Z3. While the interface is much the same, the newer UI comes with PS4 Remote Share feature, DSEE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) and support for Hi-res USB audio. Wireless Charging The Sony/Verizon Xperia Z3v actually gets something that neither the Xperia Z2 nor Z3 have. The new device has Qi wireless charging. Summary As you can probably tell, the Sony Xperia Z3v is actually a Z2 and not a Z3 variant at all. That's sad in a way because Sony and Verizon as giving this the Z3 name based of the same software, waterproofing, and added wireless charging. However, in terms of screen, performance, battery, camera, and even design this "Z3" smartphone is actually a Z2. This is a bit of a trick by Sony as consumers waited for months for the company to launch the Z2 in the US and the company promised that it was coming soon. It seems as though Sony and Verizon held off launching the device so they could repackage it under the Z3 banner, it's a shame because the Z3v like the Z2 is a very good device, but just don't confuse it with being an Xperia Z3 variant. Spec wise, there is nothing new here, with the Z3v getting a 5.2-inch 1080p display, a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 with 3GB of RAM. source: SonyMobile
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at degree level before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news, as well as overseeing the site's content and direction.