Sony’s tendency to release a flagship at both the beginning and the end of the year is about to prove itself, as the company shows off its Z3 range, pricing them locally and even hoping to tempt you with the possibility of a gaming console.
Can you believe it’s near the end of the year?
With just six months until Mobile World Congress 2015 is on — yes, we’re thinking about it already — you can bet that it’s six months until Sony releases a new phone, or two, or three, which is sort of what the company is doing now, ending the year with some new gadgets and revealing a path that shows a more united Sony than ever before.
Already, in the past year or two, we’ve seen Sony bring its Bravia TV division, Alpha camera section, and audio smarts to new phones, and in the new generation of Sony smartphones, there’s a little more that Sony is finding in its company to craft a new product. Or three.
Those three gadgets include the Z3 and Z3 Compact smartphones, and a similar product that lacks the mobile phone goodness and is a tablet only.
We’ve gone through this before, but we’ll do it again because we now have prices and availability, as well as information about the wearables Sony will be bringing to Australia shortly.
First, there’s the Z3 and Z3 Compact, similar smartphones due to the similar specs inside, with the same quad-core Snapdragon 801 clocked at 2.5GHz, between 2GB and 3GB RAM, WiFi 802.11ac, Category 4 LTE, 16 or 32GB, microSD slot, and a 20.7 megapixel camera capable of shooting 4K video.
Really, the only prominent and obvious differences are the screens and battery supplies, with the Z3 holding a 5.2 inch Full HD display with a 3100mAh battery underneath, and the Z3 Compact showing a smaller and more hand-ready 4.6 inch 720p HD display with a 2600mAh battery.
Outside of those differences, and a few things in the design, these are mostly the same units, with Sony’s naming convention of a “compact” model finally matching up to what a compact variant would be: a smaller version of the model it’s named after, something few companies seem to get right.
In fact, they both have the same level of water-resistance, with IP68 certification making it ideal for a dunk in water over one metre in depth, and roughly down to three metres.
Pricing will be different, that said, with the Sony Xperia Z3 netting an $849 RRP outright, and with plans available on Telstra, Optus, Virgin, and Vodafone, while the Xperia Z3 Compact will see a $699 price outright, with plans from Telstra and Optus.
Unfortunately, availability dates isn’t something Sony is willing to say just yet, only telling GadgetGuy that “timings will be confirmed soon.”
We did hear chatter at the launch this week to suggest neither would be in the hands of consumers until November, but have also heard dates of the middle of the month are also likely, so if you’re keen, you should expect it within the next few weeks. Maybe.
One positive, however, comes from how Sony is trying to tempt pre-orders, offering 400 pre-ordering customers a PlayStation 4, thanks to the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact supporting Remote Play on the PS4, which will let you play your PS4 games on your phone using your home’s WiFi network. This is something you won’t see on the Xperia Z2 or Z2 Tablet, Sony has previously confirmed to us, even though the Z2 devices have similar specifications.
That will also be possible on the Z3 Tablet Compact, Sony’s 8 inch Full HD tablet measuring 6.4mm thin and running near identical technology under the hood as the other models, albeit with a difference in cameras.
Pricing for this one hasn’t been announced yet, and neither has pricing or availability on the Game Control Mount (GCM10), which will connect a tablet or phone to a PS4 controller, making gameplay possible, or easier, anyway.
Also on the way are some wearables, with an updated price for Sony’s SmartBand (now at $99), the new SmartBand Talk with an electronic ink display (no price yet, sorry), and a new SmartWatch with Android Wear (sorry, no price yet either).