-Excellent software integration with various Sony services
-Playstation remote play
-Hi-Res Audio
-Expandable Storage
-IP Certification with exposed ports


-Heat from SD 810
-Glass back
-Extremely slippery

Bottom Line
Sony Xperia Z3+

The Sony Xperia Z3+ is a great smartphone in its own right, but unfortunately proves to be nothing more than an incremental update when compared to its predecessor, with the highlight being a change in the processing package to keep up with the times. That said, while the device is not without its issues, if you are invested in the Sony ecosystem, the Xperia Z3+ is still a great choice for you.

It’s no secret that Sony has a had a tough go of it in the smartphone market, even giving rise to rumors of Sony withdrawing from the smartphone game entirely. A categorical denial of this rumor was followed up by the launch of the company’s latest flagship, the Sony Xperia Z4, in Japan. The device saw its global launch with a change in designation in tow, while otherwise completely identical to the original.

Does Sony manage to step up with their latest flagship offering? We find out, in this Sony Xperia Z3+ review!



At first glance, you’d be hard pressed to find a whole lot different between this device and its predecessor, the Xperia Z3. It is slightly thinner and lighter than the latter, but the difference isn’t discernible easily. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as Sony devices do have some the best designs around, despite the way they tend to feel in the hand.


The phone’s exterior has everything you’d expect to find, with the buttons and ports in the usual places. Most of the buttons offer a nice, solid tactile feedback, apart from the standby button, which has a sense of looseness to it. Of note is the dedicated camera shutter button, which is always a much appreciated addition, and something we surprisingly don’t see enough of. Simply put, it changes the way you use the phone to take pictures, and what’s best, is that a half press can be used to focus, which is brilliant.

Related: Best Sony Xperia Z3 Plus cases


Sony’s signature design language and build quality returns with the Xperia Z3+, with its sharp and angular looks with slightly rounded corners and sides. Love it or hate it, this is a style that is very unique to Sony, and feels unlike much else. As far as the construction is concerned, the body contains a metal trim, but the retention of a glass back remains a questionable one. There’s no denying that the device looks great of course, but the use of glass means that there is a higher risk of damaging the device from accidental drops and bumps, further alleviated by the fact the glass makes for a very slippery device. You have to be very careful about the device slipping out of your hand, and even off of some flat surfaces.


Depending on what kind of device size you’re used to, the Xperia Z3+ can feel quite compact, with its angular design and thin profile lending to an awkward handling experience. The device falls within the realm of comfortable one-handed use as far as the size is concerned, but you then do have to be extra careful to avoid it slipping out of your hand. The other slight oddity comes with regards to the SIM card tray. Getting it out involves yanking it out using your fingernails, and if you tend to keep your nails trim, you may have a tough time with it, requiring you to depend on using a pin.



The Sony Xperia Z3+ retains the same display as its predecessor, featuring a 5.2-inch IPS LCD display with a 1080p resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 424 ppi. The panel covers 130% of the sRGB spectrum, according to Sony, courtesy of their Triluminos technology. The display also comes with the X-Reality engine, that analyzes the image and adds contrast, saturation, sharpness, and more. This can help enhance the display viewing experience, but I did find it to get a little heavy handed.


xperia-z3-plus-aa (2)

Under the hood, the Sony Xperia Z3+ packs an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, clocked at 2 GHz, and backed by the Adreno 430 GPU and 3 GB of RAM. As far as the performance is concerned, things remain as good as you’d expect from a current generation Android flagship. The device flies through the various elements of the UI, opening, closing, and switching between applications is smooth and snappy, multi-tasking is a breeze, and the device handles gaming incredibly well.

In my usage, the phone never skipped a bit, but unfortunately, there has been one standout issue as far as performance is concerned, and that is with regards to overheating. The overheating issues with the Snapdragon 810 are well documented, but it is disappointing to see that there isn’t a fix of some sort in place yet. Just browsing the net resulted in the device getting uncomfortably warm, but doing something strenuous results in very high temperatures of close to 70 degrees celsius.


xperia-z3-plus-aa (6)

The Xperia Z3+ comes with 32 GB of on-board storage, which is further expandable via microSD card by up to 128 GB. The device also comes with the standard suite of connectivity options, including 4G LTE support, but it is recommended to check for compatibility with your network carrier before picking up the phone.


Of course, one of the highlights of the Xperia flagship line is the protection level it affords users with its IP68 rating, which means that apart from being resistant to dust, the device is water resistant, and can be submerged in up to 1 meter of water for as long as 30 minutes, without a negative effect on performance.

Sony is one of the very few manufacturers who also pay attention to audio, which is also featured with the Xperia Z3+, with its support for high-res audio. Basically, this allows for support of high-resolution audio formats that are encoded and sampled at a higher rate. There are various audio enhancers such as Clear Audio+, surround sound effects, and a plugin to help compressed audio sound as good as hi-res audio. However, it is okay to stay away from these, as they do tend to change the sound stage a little too much. Besides the HTC One series, the Sony Xperia Z3+ is one of the best devices I’ve used for audio.

The Xperia Z3+ packs a large 2,930 mAh battery, but the battery doesn’t impress quite as much. With heavy use, the device struggles to last a full day, and allows for around 3 hours of screen-on time. With lighter use, the battery life can be pushed to a full day, and maybe even further. There are a few battery saving features baked in, but it does cut down on the smartphone experience quite a lot, and is only something you can rely on in an emergency.



Nowadays, we all tend to end up using our phones as our primary imaging device, and as such, smartphones with a great camera experience are usually the preferred choice for a lot of users. The Sony Xperia Z3+ retains the same camera hardware as previous generations, with its 20.7 MP rear shooter with an Exmor RS sensor. Technical details aside, taking photos with this device is a dream, courtesy of the dedicated camera shutter button with its half press to focus function.

xperia-z3-plus-aa (7)

Looking at the images though, the quality isn’t going to blow you out of the water. Photos look good in adequate light, but things fall apart completely in poor lighting conditions, or when you zoom in. However, the color reproduction is accurate, and there doesn’t seem to be too much post-processing going on. Detail is impressive in well-lit shots, and the camera doesn’t continuously hunt for focus.


The camera software is one of the better implementations I’ve used, and is light years ahead when compared to stock Android. There is a manual mode available for both images and videos which includes some, but not a whole lot, of controls for adjustment. There are a few novelty modes available like AR, Sound Photo, Timeshift video, and more, which are fun to use and easily accessible for those who want it. A software-based image stabilization is available, called Steady Shot, which also works really well.

The Xperia Z3+ is capable of recording video in 4K, which is a fantastic feature to have, but unfortunately doesn’t work very often, because of the overheating issues with the device. Recording in 4K recorded at most around 20 seconds before the camera shut down automatically to help the device cool down.


xperia-z3-plus-aa (1)

While everything the Sony Xperia Z3+ has to offer can be considered at par with the current crop of flagship smartphones, what makes Sony devices stand out in general is when it comes to the software experience. The best thing about using a phone from Sony is the integration across all of its services, which has been taken to a whole other level following the introduction of the PlayStation integration.

Custom applications like Music, Video, Social Life, and more, are all great, but one that I’m quite fond of is Lifelog. What this essentially does is catalogs and quantifies your day, and if you let it, it will give you data ranging from your calories and step count, to even how much time you’ve spent socializing, watching tv, and more. In typical Sony fashion though, the app doesn’t go as deep as it could, and there’s not a lot of information regarding how everything actually works.


If you have a PlayStation 4, you’ll definitely appreciate the inclusion of Remote Play, which allows you to use your phone to stream games. It works decently over a good Wi-Fi connection, even if playing first person shooters isn’t recommended. Making the experience even better is the ability to pair your DualShock controller with your phone, which is fantastic inclusion that is obviously unmatched by any other device.

All of this is wrapped in Sony’s minimalistic UI on top of Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, which makes for a very smooth and snappy software experience. Some features are available though, such as the gesture based Smart Call, that lets you answer a call by bringing it up to your ear, flip to silence, a theme engine, a customizable app drawer, and a lot more, which can prove to be very useful.


Display5.2 inch IPS LCD
Full HD, 424 ppi
Processor2.0 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810
Adreno 430 GPU
Storage32GB, expandable via microSD up to 128 GB
NetworksCat 6 (300Mbps DL, 50Mbps UL)
SoftwareAndroid 5.0.2 Lollipop
Camera20.7 MP rear camera with LED flash
5.1 MP front-facing camera
Battery2,930 mAh
Dimensions146 x 72 x 6.9 mm
144 grams


Pricing and final thoughts

The Xperia Z3+ is currently available in various markets around the world, and has recently made its way to the US, available on Amazon for around $710, even though that price does tend to fluctuate.

So there you have it for this in-depth look at the Sony Xperia Z3+! Nowadays, it takes quite a lot to push a high-end smartphone to another level without doing completely different. Unfortunately, Sony may not do as well as the other Android OEMs out there, and that is really a shame, since there are quite a few die-hard fans of Sony devices. Their products are fantastic, but they just don’t seem to appeal to the mass market. That is something they can capitalize on though by catering to the niche market, by focusing on features such as audio, and the IP certification. There are some issues with this device, but it is nothing that cannot be fixed by future software updates, so if you are invested in the Sony ecosystem, then this phone could be great for you.

  • Antoine Yordanov

    The Galaxy S6 has the same screen on time with less battery and 2k display,i expected at least the battery to be much better.All flagships except s6 are disappointing,i’m glad i made the right choice!

    • Marc Perrusquia

      That’s complete Bullshit the s6 has the worst battery on current flagships.

      • Antoine Yordanov

        On all battery teat s6 beats Htc one m9,iphone 6 and now the xperia z3+.I get 3 hours of screen on time with 4g and gaming.The only one with slightly better batery is the lg g4,still disappointing compared to note 4 or iphone 6 plus.

        • Alvin

          and don’t forget the goddess beast xperia z3

    • Svnjay

      The S6 has the worst battery of all highend 2015 phones and the Z3+ has the best according to GSM Arena and Phone Arena. Don’t shill on the internet.

      • Abhinav Tella

        Both are a step back from the previous generation… (Battery Life)

        • Svnjay

          Yes, that is disappointing.

      • Antoine Yordanov

        Hmm not truw,look at their reviews again.

        • Svnjay

          It is true.

      • Alvin

        all 2015 flagships are disaster to me. well not iphone’s and blackberry’s flagship.

    • Alvin

      really? you can get two-day battery life with 6-8 hours screen on time with your s6, like us (or at least, me), too? :)

  • joseph carmine nero

    if i did not have Z2 i might have bought this in a heart bit

  • nfs2010

    Any phone with shitty eight a57/a53 cores will reach 70C after few minutes of hard work. That also includes S6 – but the reviewer seemed to miss it here. Try recording 5 minutes of 4K on S6 & see how the temperature reaches 70C. ARM did a great job by shoving 8 shitty cores onto these SoCs as they charge royalties per core. The real idiots are the chip makers who fell for that crap & the biggest idiots are the phone makers who bought those chips.


    Also you need to mention that these 70Cish temp. are internal temperatures as read by the sensors on the SoC. You won’t feel it by hand.

    • Abhinav Tella


      In the above video they compare outside temp of Z3+/S6/M9

      The M9 and Z3+ were hotter. The Z3+ crashes camera app with the face overlay option or 4K option pretty quickly due to heat. The Exynos internal temps maybe similar but it maintains higher clocks and does not throttle as much as the S810.

      Hopefully with the S820 going back to single quad core and a more refined process the new phones will be much better to handle without as much heat and so much throttling.

      Don’t know if this is post throttling update or not as this video is pretty recent but I’m not sure…

      • nfs2010

        LOL – Your video is as useless as it can get

        Same starting temp on all phones? Nope.

        Was the whole thing recorded? Nope.

        So it’s just random babbling from another clueless clown.

        Outside temp with a thermometer ? LMAO That’s’ what a middle school kid will do. A hot engine under an ice cold hood is a huge problem. That’s why cars shows the inside temp on their dashboards.. It’s basic common sense – oh, well not for btekts & other experts.

        • Abhinav Tella

          The video was very crude yes, the video you showed was not any better, I get you are saying both are getting hot, point is the Z3 crashes/closes apps and the S6 does not under continuous load such as games, as in try a longer period than 5 minutes. The S810 just to maintain those temps has to throttle a lot more. In repeat tests the S6 maintains higher scores, not very real life but just saying. To be completely honest the S6/M8/Z3+ all seem to be a step backward with less battery life as well as the heat.

          The device surface temp is also important as its what the user feels regardless of the CPU in use.

          The S810 has been shown to reach higher temps under same load conditions than the previous model S800/1 and throttles much more. Are you denying all those reviewers for whom the camera app and other apps such as intensive games shutdown after overheat warning in some cases less than a minute? Most of them probably did a more through test than either of our “crude” videos. Most manufacturers have resorted to further downclocking the S810 to keep it in line. I believe Sony finally did the same.

          • nfs2010

            It’s all good & you’re quite upset about S6 getting hot – lol The video I linked is actually way better than crude one you posted. It actually recorded the whole thing with identical cold start on both phones. You can verify the result yourself before quoting more clowns from the web. I actually did before posting the video link. That’s something btekt & co will never show us.

            About S6,

            ” The phone does get hot under heavy gaming load, sometimes to the point where I had to put the phone down because of how uncomfortably hot it had become.”


            Bottom line is they all get hot. Also go easy with blankets. App(s) don’t close on Xperia phones when they get hot. Only the camera app closes when it reaches a certain temp. So on S6 you’ll always get 5 minutes of 4K. But on Z3+ (& all other Z1+ phones), you may get less than 5 minutes on hot days, but you’ll also get way more than 5 minutes in normal indoor cases. Both approaches have their own advantages.

            Oh, surface temp. is actually much less important when internal temps are ‘identical’ on both phones. Actually the one with hotter surface is better in those cases as it’s doing a better job on dissipating the heat.

          • Abhinav Tella

            I am disappointed in general with this generation of Android devices my M8 and Z3 I feel are better than these.

            On a bright note I don’t have the urge to upgrade lol.

          • nfs2010

            Me too. But trust me, this is just the start. It’s gonna get worse with more cores approved by the marketing dudes. At this point ARM cores are big jokes as they need 8 cores to keep up with dual core phones from other vendors.

          • Abhinav Tella

            Totally agree on that…. Sometimes I fell jealous of Apple with their more practical approach with chipsets.

          • nfs2010

            Yep, iPhones are literally ‘cool’ these days. Last year’s androids were awesome. My Z2 is probably a keeper just like your Z3 & M8 :)

          • Alvin

            2014 : “Year of Android”
            2015 : “Year of summer all year”

            by summer i mean summer in your pocket

          • Abhinav Tella

            Lol, good way to sum it up.

          • Alvin

            of course i’m good at this

          • Alvin

            dont forget a72, that thing will get you “a toaster in your pocket”

          • Alvin

            that’s why i skip z3+ over z3

          • Abhinav Tella

            I’m sure you will love the Z3, you aren’t missing much compared to the Z3+.

            I think the Sony Z5 and whatever HTC’s next One device is, will be a pretty big change. Those will probably be a worthwhile upgrade. I hope LG comes out with a dual speaker design as well, I loved the G2 but the G3/G4 seemed like a downgrade especially with battery.

          • Alvin

            but cortex a72 will also get you “summer in your pocket”, right?

          • Abhinav Tella

            Well, not if they balance peak and nominal clock rates and they are going back to single quad core cluster with the SD820 from what I read. If they hit 3Ghz as they are supposedly aiming at, it might lead to issues again, but it’s too early to say, we won’t know till it shows…

          • Alvin

            yeah i agree. but even when they make it like 1.5 ghz or something, if they didn’t do it right, it would still be catastrophic.

          • Svnjay

            The Z3+ doesn’t close apps when playing games.

          • Abhinav Tella

            I assume you mean it does not close the games themselves, did you get latest the update? That might be why its better for you, I believe they finally capped the A57 clocks to 1.5 Ghz like some other manufacturers also did.

    • Alvin

      i want to tell you ALL a story, but i don’t know if I’ll get banned from here or get reported with this comment sooner or later…..

      okay i’ll tell you this story.

      samsung paid them, tbh. i’m not sony’s fanboy or something like that and i also like the s6 for some reasons like its design and camera. i honestly seen honest reviewers reviewed z3+ and s6 with overheating tests and camera tests, in low light z3+ beats s6 by miles, and heating test, z3+ users aren’t the only one who had experience those extensive overheating going on with their phones. But reviewers here and out there just doesn’t want to be honest enough that they just want to brag about s6 and s6 edge where there are phones that is on par with those things but they didn’t mention them. it’s either they got paid or they’re just a fanboy fanatic freak.

      • Craig Roberts

        It’s probably true. Samsung isn’t a company that plays fair.

        • Alvin

          yup, i thought i was the only one who thought the same.

          it’s sucks because there are some products those are better than theirs but people still by their products just because they obsessed with it. i know their products have a bunch of features and their products are good,, but please just be fair, we know that, that is what you call “marketing” but still.

  • Vinícius Azzolin

    I understand the opinion of the reviewer, but I think he was a little bit to harsh. Sony didn’t do a complete transformation, but there were a lot under the hood modifications like on display. It is the first that you can use if it are wet and is a lot brighter and warmer than Z3. I have the Z2 and the glass back for me fells better than plastic or metal and it is not that slippery in my hands, I never dropped it either, at least because of that. The 810 was certainly a mistake.

    • Svnjay

      The display is actually the brightest of all highend phones but they won’t mention that.

    • 404

      Maybe they hoped you would be in the water so that it would cool down the phone.

  • nfs2010

    The ebay/Amazon price is around $600 for Z3+. Where the heck did you get the $700 price tag from? Don’t publish misleading numbers, please!

    • 404

      He said that the price fluctuates…

  • Adhito

    I did want to buy the Z3 but my friends say to wait for the Z4,but then ot was disappointing so should I go for the Z3+ or wait for Z5? Or Z3 instead?

    • Abhinav Tella

      Get the Z3. The Z3+ has worse battery life and speakers are a tiny bit worse than the Z3 according to some reviews. Contrast ratio of LCD is also better on the Z3 which has similar brightness though the Z3+ has a more accurate screen calibration. The main camera is the same on both.

      Sony’s own website shows the Z3 having better battery stats especially standby.

    • Alvin

      of course get that z3 now, or wait for z5. but if you’re asking me, just go for z3, you won’t regret that than you buy others.. and the best thing, you’ll not experience summer when it is spring, well at least in your pocket…. and also, you can get it for about 200$ cheaper

    • Jatin Sadana

      Just get a good phone. Iphone

      • Adhito

        Yea I did get the iPhone 6 I wasn’t attracted to its design but To its apple pay system which I don’t like carrying wallet when I got out

        Maybe I’ll just wait the Z5 when the PS5 came.out as my secondary phone or work phone since it should have bigger battery than the iPhone

  • FermentionIt

    It’s a good phone, but Sony needs shelf space in U.S. carrier stores in a bad way. I can’t even see this phone in local shops. With no presence in stores, Sony cannot make any large strides in market share. Multiple reasons to mention.

    Sony, please work with a carrier so I can see this phone and not the pseudo Z4v garbage at Verizon, which isn’t even available yet. And, where’s the compact version? It could easily wipe the floors if the next iteration has oleo-phobic coatings, USB-C, fingerprint scan, optical image stabilization, tweaked camera software, and sturdier construction. Don’t remove the microSD slot, and round off the edges and corners just a smidgeon. Make a titanium, “yes metal” version with the features I’ve mentioned and do it soon. Sony patience is running thin.

    • Alvin

      yeeahh.. make it from titanium material.. and when the phone weighs like tablet at 300 grams, don’t complain again, not just you, but other people too.

      the other points, i agree, except for USB-C because they are still testing for the waterproof version of it.

      • FermentionIt

        It won’t since it’s more than double the strength of aluminum. Meaning, they can use half the material, which could even mean improved dimensions. The only problem is that it’s harder to tool and not as readily available. A pipe dream, but my titanium flashlight is awesome.

        • Alvin

          You mean just like, for the frame?

  • Wudien

    Why does heat mater when this can be watercooled?! Hehe. I’ve been tempted since the z2 but I have never seen it in any store. Tempted further by the 4th but that 810 is just nasty. Unfortunately the mobile industry is so dependent on qualcomm. Which is why they are being investigated for anti competitive practices.

  • FermentionIt

    I do blame Qualcomm for heat issues since they provide cooling specs to phone mfgs. Until Qualcomm can shrink the die down to 14nm, or below, all thin phones will get hot. Multi-core processors with higher clock speeds, 64-bit processing, more powerful GPUs, and more sophisticated apps and capabilities can only equal heat. Let’s face it, Sony phones are more capable with higher res camera optics, high def audio, triluminus video processing, FM tuners, and remote playstation capability. Sony, as well as the other phone mfgs. will need more sophisticated cooling solutions going forward, or they will have to start utilizing all eight cores intelligently to share the processing burden. The real fight here is not between Samsung and Sony, it’s between Intel, Global Foundries and Arm. Until the battle is finally over, the phone mfgs. will have to figure out how to keep these beasts cool.

  • tasneem choudhury

    My brother went from the Xperia Z to the Z3+ and prefers the latter. It is pointless to have 4K recording capability when it debilitates the handset to useless and too hot to touch. I personally dislike glass on the back and anything bigger than 4 inch screens and I use a phone case (more for my oyster card than for my phone) So I could never really appreciate the Xperia line on handsets or the Samsung Galaxy S6.

  • Evangelos Aktoudianakis

    I do not believe you got paid by Samsung. But here is something to discuss. I’ve gone through over 10 handsets this year, all of the major flaghships – M9, S6, G4 and now the Z3+ which I am going to kick. All LCD panels had Light bleed, with G4 being the worst, M9 sitting in the middle and Z3+ having the least. However, and as far as Samsung S6 is concerned, the pink/green tint hue thing as well as the metal frames of the screen behind direct sunlight was unspeakable.

    I think you guys, being one of the more trustworthy sites, should report both issues. Here are the links, both of which are 100% true – to prove my point, if the S6 was the device they claimed it to be I’d have gone for an S6. Instead, and after exchanging 6, combinations of S6s and Edges, I took on a Z3+ . I am not in love with it, but I love how it’s built on its predecessors faults.

    Samsung should learn to perfect before they move on. Between this S6, and the S3 which was, admittedly, one of the greatest sets, the things that made the S3 great are all but gone.

    Here – For people to educate themselves, and in hopes that Samsung rectifies the fault in the Note 5/S7:






    Anyone who says there’s no tint at all on their S6, is more than probably lying. If not, and they wish to sell their S6, I am open to buy it at its original, or even more expensive price…Somehow, however, I doubt such a device exists :)

  • Craig Roberts

    I own a sony z3+ and am using it now. It is a great phone overall with great sound through speakers or headphones. The camera is pretty good but not perfect. It is fast when surfing the net or taking pictures. I only experienced slight overheating when taking photos for 5 minutes and then shooting video at 60 frames per minute. After that the temperature reached 42 c. I cooled the phone down by putting it in airplane mode for 5 to 10 minutes. In the end the temperature dropped to 37c after that time. Sincerely Craig R

  • paul

    Sorry, I have the z3+ right now in my hand and I have to call bullshit on all these reviewers saying theres an overheating problem that only lets you record 20 seconds of 4k video before it crashes…the minute I received it 4k recording is the first thing I checked bc of all the “horror” stories, first video was 4 mins and 23 seconds never crashed, hit stop, 10 seconds later another video of 2 mins and 39 seconds no crash i hit stop, 10 seconds another video 3 mins and 42 seconds…never crashed, yeah it got warm but not unbearably hot or to the extent these “reviewers” are saying it does.

  • advisor

    Be careful before purchasing this cell in its DUAL version. If you want to have your SIM card 1 with phone and data, your SIM card 2 will be condamned to use GSM networks. This can be a real problem if you travel. The reason is that a lot of network suppliers don’t maintain their GSM network anymore. They focus on 3G and 4G now. So don’t purchase this cell if you expect to use both cards when travelling abroad.

    I can’t tell you which other cell to purchase because unfortunately, I spent my money in this one. But don’t waste yours if you expect to be able to use both SIM cards on the most popular networks (3G or 4G), and not on the 20th century’s ones…

    Hope this helps or prevents from a mistake!

  • advisor

    I also confirm overheating that can bring you sometime to unwanted TURN OFF. Very embarrassing.
    I don’t if I can find a better cell, but for sure, my next one will not be a Sony.