Sony unveils the OLED-equipped Xperia XZ3 at IFA

A bigger, brighter and more vivid OLED screen is the main upgrade in Sony's new flagship smartphone.
Written by Charles McLellan, Senior Editor

The Sony Xperia XZ3.

Image: Sony Mobile

Sony's Xperia XZ range of high-end smartphones was redesigned earlier this year in the shape of the XZ2, XZ2 Premium and XZ2 Compact, with the 5.7-inch XZ2 receiving a muted welcome in ZDNet's review. Today, at the IFA show in Berlin, Sony announced the similar-looking 6.0-inch XZ3 which, among other improvements, features the first OLED display seen on an Xperia handset.

Here's a comparison of the new OLED-screen XZ3 and the XZ2:

Sony Xperia XZ3Sony Xperia XZ2
Display6.0-inch OLED, 18:9, 2880 x 1440, 537ppi, HDR5.7-inch IPS LCD, 18:9, 1080 x 2160, 424ppi, HDR
Dimensions158 x 73 x 9.9mm153 x 72 x 11.1mm
Screen/body ratio80.5%76.1%
IP ratingIP 65/68IP 65/68
ColoursForest Green, Black, Bordeaux RedLiquid Black, Liquid Silver, Deep Green/Blue
OSAndroid 9.0 (Pie)Android 8.0 (Oreo)
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 845Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Internal storage64GB64GB
MicroSD slotyesyes (shared with 2nd SIM slot)
Rear camera19MP, f/2.0, HDR photos, 960fps video (FHD, HD), 4K HDR video, 5-axis EIS19MP, f/2.0, HDR photos, 960fps video (FHD, HD), 4K HDR video, 5-axis EIS
Front camera13MP5MP
Speakersstereo (S-Force Front Surround)stereo (S-Force Front Surround)
3.5mm audio jacknono
FM radionono
Fingerprint readeryes (rear)yes (rear)
Face unlockyesyes
Battery capacity3,330mAh3,180mAh
Fast chargingQuick Charge 3.0Quick Charge 3.0
Wireless chargingQiQi
PriceTBA£699 / $799

Like its predecessor, the Xperia XZ3 emphasises entertainment features, with a 6-inch OLED HDR screen being the key upgrade. The 18:9 aspect ratio remains the same, but the resolution rises to 2,880 by 1,440 resulting in an impressive pixel density of 537ppi (the 6.4-inch Super AMOLED in the Samsung Note 9, by contrast, offers 516ppi). OLED screens generally offer brighter images with more vivid colours than the IPS LCDs Sony has used on previous Xperia handsets.

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The screen glass curves at the sides, giving a near-borderless display and a screen-to-body ratio of 80.5 percent compared to 76.1 percent for the XZ2. Despite the larger screen, Sony has managed to shave 1.2mm off the thickness and 5g off the weight, while a new Side Sense feature lets you double-tap on either side of the display to bring up an AI-generated menu of the apps you're likely to require next.

The rear is glass too, and houses a fingerprint reader and the 19MP main camera which, like the XZ2, is capable of shooting 4K HDR video and has a super slow-mo mode with a 960fps frame rate. The front camera is upgraded from 5MP in the XZ2 to 13MP for the new model. If you're shooting in challenging conditions, you can be reassured by the XZ3's IP68 rating for dust and water resistance.


The Xperia XZ3 comes in Forest Green and Bordeaux Red, as well as black.

Images: Sony Mobile

The smartphone platform is unchanged -- a Snapdragon 845 chipset with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, expandable via MicroSD card. However, the XZ3 comes with the latest Android 9.0 (Pie) operating system. The XZ3's battery is slightly larger than its predecessor's at 3,300mAh, but it does have to cope with a larger screen. It's also considerably less capacious than the 4,000mAh batteries in flagship handsets like the Samsung Note 9.

The Xperia XZ3 will be available in selected markets globally from the end of September. Official pricing has yet to be announced.


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