The Z3 and Z3+ are Basically the Same Phone

By Gary Cutlack on at

Sony's announced a new phone today, with its Xperia Z3+ on the way to the UK this June. But don't get your hopes up, it's not much more than an Xperia Z3 that's been vigorously polished on someone's jumper and had the dust blown out of its holes.

The screen is...

The same. The Xperia Z3 and Z3+ both come with 5.2-inch displays that run at 1920x1080 resolution, so there's nothing new there to boast about having for the next 24 months should you wangle an upgrade.

The processor is...

Here's where there's a win for power users. The Z3+ runs on the brand new 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, which is as posh as they come in 2015. The Z3 has the extremely 2014 Snapdragon 801 chipset. The average user probably won't notice his or her Twitter reloading any quicker as a result of the upgrade, but for the man who likes to discuss mobile phone internals with his peers, the Z3+ is a must-have upgrade.

Both come with 3GB of RAM, so no change there.

The battery is...

Smaller. A bad thing, on the surface of it. The Z3+ has a 2930mAh unit, while the Z3 it replaces had a 3100mAh capacity battery. However, the Z3+ is rated for 17 hours of talktime, whereas the Z3 was down for "up to 16" hours of talktime. So presumably Sony believes the internals of the Z3+ are slightly more efficient, allowing it to shave off a bit of battery to make the case [SPOILER] a bit thinner.

The case is...

A bit thinner, which must be a good thing. The Z3+ is just 6.9mm thick, making it more slimline than the Z3 and its 7.3mm girth. There's not much change in terms of width and height, though, with the Z3+ measuring 146.3 x 71.9mm – a teeny tiny tweak compared to the 146x72mm of the Z3. A 0.01mm reduction in width is not really headline news.

The cameras are...

The same and better. The main rear sensor is still rated at 20.7MP as in the Z3, although Sony says users should notice an "improved Superior Auto" mode for taking shots. The front-facing camera packs more punch in the Z3+ too, now capturing images at 5MP rather than the Z3's old 2MP.

What's better? 

The Z3+ has had its 4G connectivity upgraded to LTE Cat 6, beating the Cat 4 speeds of the Z3. This means your new phone could have a theoretically higher maximum data download speed for you to get angry about never getting anywhere achieving.

Also, the weight is a slight improvement. The Z3+ weighs 144g, less than the 152g of the older Z3. Sadly, that means we'll probably say it "feels cheap" now or something in the review, so Sony can't win. [Sony]