Sony comments on Xperia Z3+ overheating issues

by: NiraveJune 15, 2015
1.6K

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Comments around the thermal management have been plaguing Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 810 chipset ever since it was announced and these issues have passed through to handsets running the next-generation processor. The metal-clad HTC One M9 ran hot on intensive tasks and the Sony Xperia Z4 and Xperia Z3+ have also suffered from overheating with the processor.

Qualcomm has previously come out and called reports of the overheating issues ‘rubbish’ while Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has put advisory warnings on handsets running the processor. HTC has released an update for the One M9 and Sony has now finally responded to the heating issues that are plaguing its newest flagships.

Dutch website GSMinfo.nl found that their Xperia Z3+ sample would overheat frequently and apps such as the camera and other games would automatically close due to overheating. Responding to these issues, a statement from Sony read:

“The Xperia Z3+ is a high-performance 64-bit octa-core device with advanced camera technology, in some cases, additional heat can cause functions to stop. Enabling applications can also be felt by the user through the glass on the back. This is normal for the unit and should cause no concern.”

Sony then went on to confirm that, like HTC, it would be releasing a software update later this summer to address the thermal issue but there are worries that Sony will throttle the processor in order to keep the heating issues to a minimum. Until the update rolls out, Sony says that customers who are unhappy with the handset’s thermal management can contact its service centre in their country to discuss their options.

HTC's One M9 is powered by the Snapdragon 810

HTC’s One M9 is powered by the Snapdragon 810

The Xperia Z3+ is essentially the same handset as the Xperia Z4 but sold under the Xperia Z3 Plus name in markets outside of Japan. The reason for the name change is that the modest upgrades offered by the Xperia Z4 – which include the advanced 64-bit octa-core processor, higher LTE speeds and a lighter, thinner build – are enough to be worthy of a new model number in Japan but not so in other markets.

The overheating issues in the Snapdragon 810 chipset may have resulted in Samsung switching to the Exynos 7420 in its Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge flagships this year but others have still stuck by Qualcomm. LG worked closely with Qualcomm to optimise the Snapdragon 808 for its G4 flagship while Google is working with Qualcomm on a Snapdragon 810-powered Project Tango smartphone.

Snapdragon flagships:

The jury’s out however on whether Qualcomm and its OEM partners can fix the thermal issues without impacting on the performance and with its Snapdragon 820 chipset not far away, Qualcomm will be hoping to rid itself of the very-public 810 thermal issues.

  • Vesta12

    No Sony, this isn’t normal. The phone overheats because of the SD810. The public isn’t as dumb as you think.

    • RG

      Yeah, ‘normal’ is an efficient, thermally cool chip that doesn’t drain battery life more than it should – or throttle power, which is the purpose of having a powerful chip.

      It’s anything but normal. It’s a ludicrous statement that Sony have made.

      • Guest123

        They have no choice, admitting it means they’ll have to compensate people and also risk backlash.

        • RG

          I hear you but Qualcomm are very, very lucky that so many OEM’s have to cover Qualcomm’s ass over the SD810 for their own sales-sake and reputation.

          I was a bit gutted when it was announced that the Nexus 6 I was going to buy ‘only’ had the SD805 and not the forthcoming 810.. I’m so glad now!

          • Jose Romero

            The 805 is probably the best Snapdragon processor there is right now. 808 has worse GPU, unbelievably.

    • Jesus

      Actually, yes, the public is as dumb as they think.

      Sony will still have its fans, who will still continue to buy and defend Sony products.

  • Jack Parker

    What Sony are saying is ” there are no issues with it but we will be ADRESSING the over heating issues ”

    Shooting yourself in the foot a little bit there

    • Pez Nospam

      I don’t think that they can if the camera stopped working due to the excessive heat. ;-)

    • Sony has never been willing to admit to serious problems with any of the other Xperia phones, but eventually had no choice but to acknowledge them but play them down in a rather patronising way – with the latest releases for the Z2/Z3 having the thermometer symbol that appears when using the camera (sometimes not even taking photos, just letting the view finder analyse the scenes in auto mode). I was really let down last summer when wanting to take pics of my son, and the camera just shutting down. Just because the phone now warns me it’s probably going to stop me taking photos doesn’t make it acceptable!

      While the glass back of the Xperia phones makes it harder to get rid of heat, it’s not as if there weren’t other devices with similar problems, like the LG G3. When hot, the brightness goes to about 5% (making it near impossible to see outdoors) and the camera won’t even start.

      Seems there’s a common theme; Snapdragon 801 – and throttling (thus ruining the performance entirely) always the answer. That’s NOT the answer is it Sony (or LG, and anyone else that used a recent SD SoC that gets roasting hot). Now we have the same problems, possibly worse, with SD810. Sheesh!

      Qualcomm is of course remaining very quiet on the issue. As said above, it relies on the fact that manufacturers can’t admit the problem is down to the chipset or people will all say ‘Ah, okay, but then I’d like my money back and something with another chipset’ and what does the likes of Sony do then? It doesn’t have an alternative.

      Suffice to say, Sony will just increase the throttling and the phone will cool down to a more acceptable level (just as HTC had to do) and 90% of consumers won’t have a clue.

      But we will!

  • highlander

    How many company’s made same mistake using Qualcomm 810 how many will do?????? On the one hand mistake is coming from vendors buying problematic 810 and definitely damaging there name but another hand Qualcomm as leading chepmacker company should stop saling that really rubbish 810.

    • Richard S

      ah, the problems with rushing a product to match everyone else’s newest releases. I agree that HTC and Sony could have avoided a lot of problems if they’d just taken their time.

      At least HTC has had the guts to admit a problem and released a fix for it rather quickly.

  • Hans Pedersen

    …and Samsung’s laughing all the way to the bank. :D

    • Lindle

      Not in China, sales are declining

      • Jesus

        ..China. Do you think we care about what happens in China?

        • If you ignore the chinese smartphone market in 2015, you are truly stupid. Probably the fastest growing market for smartphones the world’s ever seen.

          • Jesus

            Yeah you’re right about the growth, it’s undeniable.

            …but who cares? We aren’t getting them. Thus, irrelevant.

            Don’t call me stupid, name calling is stupid.

        • China’s economy is influencing the world more than you think.

      • S.Yu

        In China all sales of foreign phones are declining as this Xi figure is encouraging nationalist behavior.

    • Jesus

      Sony still has its loyal stubborn fans. They will still defend and buy Sony products.

  • Pez Nospam

    It’s normal for “functions to stop”. Hahahahaha :-P

  • Vertigo X

    Ouch. Kind of related: I’m hoping other OEMS (including for upcoming Windows 10 phones) stop using the 810. Maybe, like LG, the 808 is a better choice?

  • Richard S

    Oh sure, so HTC acknowledges the problem months ago, releases a software fix within a week of the Tweakers report on overheating, and the HTC One M9 still gets beat on for it.

    Sony releases a product with the same processor, denies the issue, and is only now thinking of releasing an update to stop a problem that was so bad it caused the product to stop working?

    Yet HTC will still be plagued by poorly researched articles claiming they suffer from overheating, and Sony will likely just sweep this all under the rug never to be heard of again…the power of advertising.

    • S.Yu

      The biggest question is, with HTC’s failure up front, why does Sony not solve this before the release of the phone, it’s not like they didn’t take their time with it, taking a year to release yet providing almost no advances at all compared to the last generation except for the chipset.

      • Akshay Patil

        Well, maybe the guys at Sony are just too lazy to provide an update for it.
        Or maybe they just realized that no matter how much they tweak the software, they awful design of the phone which has a glass back is so bad that they cannot do anything about it than just reducing the cost of the device and sell as off ASAP!
        Here in India, it started off at a price of 40k which has now gone down to 23k.
        The design is flawed because you need a good conductor of heat to dissipate it out of the phone. What we have on Z3+ is glass. at both front and back. The aluminium casing on the edges is miles apart from the processor which lies a little above the central point of the device and since the camera is placed near the processor, Sony was intelligent enough to put a heat sensor inside that stops the camera from melting away!
        Or maybe Sony did it on purpose because this was the only latest chip-set available at that time and it had to overclock it so that it looks good on the paper.
        The entire thing just proves that how much research does Sony ACTUALLY do their mobiles. Its not just about getting the latest parts from the market and fitting them together to see of it makes a miracle. But it was their responsibility to check if all the parts work in harmony when put in together.
        I have been forced to not buy Sony for my next device because Sony did not believe it was a good idea to launch Z5 Compact in India(even though all the other compact models like Z1 Compact and Z3 Compact are sold out) and because there is nothing that Sony will do about this heating issue of Z3+.

    • Erika Young

      When you search product reviews, the top three smartphones on the market come from Apple, Samsung, and HTC. They are the top rated smartphone brands. Sony hasn’t been getting as much attention because they aren’t held to as high of a standard as the three previously mentioned. The fact that HTC was able to release a software fix in such short notice goes to show how responsive they are to their valued customers – and they hit on all three aspects under most criticism. This is an act that should be praised upon, but unfortunately, people are stuck up on the past.

  • diper07

    Qualcomm has fucked whole generation of android phones. It should be remembered as great fail in human history.

  • Frying eggs on your phone? Normal.

  • Islam

    Why not use snapdragon 815 instead or 805?
    This is not good. LG flex 2 suffers and HTC one m9 suffers now it’s Sony xperia z3 to suffer why all 3 brands make the same mistake?
    HTC one m9 should have learned a lesson from LG.
    And Sony should have learned a lesson from HTC.
    But all 3 LG, HTC and Sony made the same mistake.
    Samsung was clever not to fall in the trap of Satan.

  • Islam

    Why not use snapdragon 815 instead or 805?
    This is not good. LG flex 2 suffers and HTC one m9 suffers now it’s Sony xperia z4 turn to suffer why all 3 brands make the same mistake why?
    HTC one m9 should have learned a lesson from LG.
    And Sony should have learned a lesson from HTC.
    But all 3 LG, HTC and Sony made the same mistake.
    Samsung was clever not to fall in the trap of Shaytan.

    • 815 doesn’t exist, bro. The next chip will be the Snapdragon 820, but that’s not ready for production yet.

  • N1TeSH1FT

    My XPERIA Z3+ DUAL is a great phone, but nearly unusable all the time. It’s not the temperature that bothers me, but the results of it: throttling down till it reacts only every 2-5 seconds. As soon as it gets cold, it works for about 1-2 minutes. If I have only stock apps on it and 5 or so additional it’s ok. But hey, I don’t like to buy a 740 EUR SmartPhone to use 10 Apps. Then I could have bought a 150 EUR one.