For quite a while we were left wondering whether Sony would be bringing a successor to the Xperia Z3 onto the market. In fact, things became so desperate we were beginning to think Sony might have shelved the phone indefinitely, proving the Z3 to be the final Xperia flagship of all time.
However, Sony showed us its successor in May, revealing the Xperia Z3+ in low-key fashion. But with the new Sony smartphone finally here, is it really worth upgrading to? We’re about to find out with our Z3 vs Z3+ comparison.
Cut from the same Sony cloth
Much like two identical twins, the Z3 and Z3+ look pretty darn similar. However, there are some telling signs to help you differentiate between the two; you just need to look incredibly closely to pick them out.
You won’t need a microscope to spot this one, but the most notable change is the removal of the flappy cover for the micro USB slot. You’ll often remember these covers providing an incredibly frustrating experience when trying to put your Z3 on charge, so much so that we often ended up mere seconds away from dashing our old Sony handsets at the nearest wall/door/other miscellaneous hard surface.
This has now been removed for good, allowing for seamless plugging in and out of our battery charger. Plus, it does this whilst somehow keeping a hold of the IP68 certification, so kudos to Sony for that magical feat.
The only other difference we’ve spotted is that the Z3+ has lost a little bit of its figure, shrinking down to a fraction below 7” thick. This mightn’t sound too impressive, but we genuinely noticed that it’s easier to handle.
Of course, Sony is topping the Xperia Z3+ off with a selection of colours to choose from, so you can also expect something new here, although it won’t be opting for anything too outlandish we’d think.
Time for a power up
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With only a couple of minor changes in the looks department, Sony has gone a bit further afield when it comes down to the kit inside the Z3+.
Admittedly, the 5.2” display is exactly the same this time around, but most of the components beneath this have changed in some shape or form. The first big difference is with the processor, which is now faster and drinks less of the battery fluid than on the Z3.
The storage is much more people-centric as well, with Sony finally putting an end to the cramped 16GB hard drive in favour of a 32GB effort which, believe it or not, has twice as much room.
Other than this we also find a slightly smaller battery, but thanks to the more energy efficient components elsewhere you can still expect a full two-day lifespan from a single charge.
Sony’s love affair with smartphone cameras has been very well documented, although it hasn’t made too many changes since the Z1 reared its head several years back.
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Unfortunately for serial improvers out there, nothing has changed with the standard snapper, which once again rocks the 20.7 megapixel effort we’ve come to know and love. The new user interface is promising to make a couple of changes on the software front, but as always – you won’t see too many differences in practice.
There is a sizeable boost on the selfie side of things however, with the 2.2 megapixel front facing lens upping its game dramatically – to a full 5 megapixel effort. This means that all of your Snapchats and Instagram selfies should be coming through in a better light, although let’s be honest – it won’t be working miracles on your night out snaps.
Worth upgrading to the Xperia Z3+?
Sony won’t be flaunting a flashy new design in your face with the Z3+, and if you can’t spot the difference, you might not even notice that it’s anything new at all. However, there’s been enough change involved to warrant you making the step up in our opinion.
The improved speed of the phone is more than enough to keep the flagship contingent pleased, whilst the boosted selfie snapper is also a great addition if you’re of the vain persuasion. Overall, Sony has supplied us with a friendly boost, although it doesn’t quite evolve completely from the Z3.