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Sony Xperia XZ3 announced: Same design but with an OLED display and Android Pie

Here comes the Sony Xperia XZ3 and it's already running Android 9 Pie!

Published onAugust 30, 2018

Sony Xperia XZ3 Front & Back Black
Sony Xperia XZ3 Front & Back Black

Sony just announced the Xperia XZ3 live from IFA 2018 in Berlin. While the phone isn’t visually much different than last year’s Xperia XZ2, it did get some refinements and upgrades to make the entire experience of using the phone more enjoyable. 

It doesn’t look much different than the Xperia Xz2

When Sony unveiled the Xperia XZ2 and the Xz2 Compact, the company officially cut ties with the blocky and squared off design that it had been using for years. With those two phones, Sony introduced its own sleek and curved design that is closer (some might say a little too close) in design to other flagships from companies like Samsung and HTC.

With the Xperia XZ3, Sony isn’t departing from its new design language. The handset still features the sleeker look, but now with more curves. As you can see from the image above, the display’s glass flows over the edge to create a more natural look and feel. Additionally, Sony has curved the corners of the display, shrunk the top and bottom bezels down slightly while still leaving enough room for the dual front-facing speakers, and did not introduce a notch.

Read next: Sony in 2018: time for a change

As far as build materials are concerned, Sony is using a combination of Gorilla 3D Glass 5 on the front and back of the phone and a 7000-series aluminum alloy for the device’s frame. The company claims that the Gorilla Glass allows the phone Xperia XZ3 to be durable but also allow for wireless charging and strong cellular reception. The aluminum frame is also meant to keep the device from taking too much damage when dropped but also keeping the phone as lightweight as possible. 

The specs are what you’d expect, but it does come with Android Pie

Sony Xperia XZ3 Group

Inside the Xperia XZ3 are the specs you have come to expect from any flagship smartphone in 2018. That means a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of built-in storage with an option to expand that with a microSD card that’s up to 512GB in size. Additionally, the handset has a larger 3,330mAh battery, a rear-facing fingerprint sensor, no headphone jack, is rated at IP68, has larger S-Force front-facing stereo speakers, and has support for PS4 Remote Play. 

Why the time is right for a Sony PlayStation Phone
Sony Xperia PS4 logo PlayStation Phone

The handset is getting a new one-handed feature called Side-Sense which can be triggered by double tapping on the side of the device. It isn’t clear if this feature is similar to the Active Edge found on the Google Pixel 2. It will shrink the UI to make it easier for users to reach various parts of the screen. 

But one of the best parts about purchasing the Xperia XZ3 is that it will be running Android 9 Pie out of the box. This is fantastic news as Sony recently announced that its older devices aren’t scheduled to get upgraded from Oreo until early 2019

Sony’s OLED TV tech is coming to mobile

One of the most significant changes Sony is making with the Xperia XZ3 has to do with its display. In addition to being bumped up to a 6-inch screen, Sony is bringing its Bravia OLED technology to the handset. By using a Triluminos Display and an X-Reality imagine processor, the company claims to be able to produce more natural looking colors, hues, and overall enhancements to photos and videos by making them sharper, reducing noise, fine-tuning saturation, and offering pure blacks. 

Additionally, the phone’s 18:9 aspect ratio display is getting increased from an FHD+ panel to one that offers QHD+ and HDR. With these changes, the Xperia XZ3 provides 11 percent more viewing area when compared to the Xperia XZ2 while only being five percent larger physically.

The cameras do see some improvements

After Sony unveiled the Xperia XZ2 Premium just a month ago with dual rear-facing camera, you might have excepted the company to bring those to the Xperia XZ3. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. But when compared to last year’s Xperia XZ2, this handset’s cameras did receive some improvements.

Related content: Your next flagship might have a 48MP Sony camera sensor

Around back, the Xperia XZ3 features a 19MP sensor that is capable of capturing 960fps slow-motion video in FHD, as well as 4K HDR video. Around front, the selfie camera has been upgraded to a 13MP sensor with an f/1.9 lens. Sony’s camera app has been updated to allow users to capture selfies while using beauty mode and portrait mode at the same time. 

And lastly, Sony is bringing its Google Lens integration to the Xperia XZ3 that was added to some of its other handsets earlier this year. 

The phone will ship in October

If you’re interested in picking up the Xperia XZ3, you’ll have to wait just a little bit longer. The handset officially goes on sale on October 17 and can be bought directly from Amazon and Best Buy for $899.99. Amazon will be running an exclusive deal starting on September 24 where customers who pre-order the phone will get a free pair of Xperia Ear Duo headphones. 

You can learn more about the handset on Sony’s website by clicking on the button below.