Sony is hoping to make a splash with its latest smartphones and tablet, but with plenty of competition on the way, it’s going to be a challenge.
Today, Sony unveiled the Xperia Z3 series at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin. The line includes the Xperia Z3 smartphone, Xperia Z3 Compact and Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. All three are expected to launch globally this fall, and so far, T-Mobile has committed to bringing the Xperia Z3 to the U.S.
The Xperia Z3 improves upon its predecessor, the Xperia Z2, in several ways. It includes a slightly faster 2.5GHz Snapdragon quad-core processor and promises up to two days of battery life with normal usage. The 20.7-megapixel camera also now features a wide-angle lens and advanced sensor that allows you to fit more into a shot and provides better low-light performance.
The screen size and resolution of the display remains the same at 5.2 inches and 1,920 by 1,080 pixels, but Sony stepped up the brightness to improve outdoor visibility. The Xperia Z3 also sports a rounder and thinner aluminum frame than before, but like the rest of the series, it is waterproof and dustproof.
For those who prefer a smaller device, Sony is offering the Xperia Z3 Compact with a 4.6-inch, 720p touchscreen. It has a slightly slower processor and 2 gigabytes of RAM versus 3GB, but otherwise, it’s the same as the Xperia Z3.
Meanwhile, the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is an eight-inch Android tablet that Sony is touting as the “world’s slimmest and lightest waterproof compact tablet.” It has a full HD touchscreen, an 8.1-megapixel rear camera and a front-facing 2.2-megapixel camera. The processor and RAM is the same as the Xperia Z3, and Sony estimates battery life at up to 13 hours of video playback.
In addition to the Xperia Z3 family, Sony also introduced the mid-range Xperia E3 smartphone and two new wearables. The Sony SmartBand Talk adds a 1.4-inch E-Ink display to the SmartBand, which I reviewed a couple of months ago, and the SmartWatch 3 is the company’s first wearable running on Google’s Android Wear platform. All three products are expected to ship in the fall, but no word on pricing yet.