Sony is hoping to make a splash in the U.S. with its latest mobile device. The Xperia Z3 will be available at T-Mobile via a zero-down pricing special starting October 29.
The Sony Xperia Z3 offers a 5.2-inch screen and promises up to two days of battery life thanks to a 3100mAh battery. The mobile device was built with streaming movies and music in mind and also allows you to create high-definition content with 4k video recording capabilities, a 20.7MP rear-facing camera with Sony’s Steadyshot technology, and a 25mm wide angle lens.
Sony’s latest effort on the mobile device front also offers its trademarked Triluminos display, which is powered by the company’s X-Reality picture engine. X-Reality is an advanced image processing engine that analyzes every image to optimize color and contrast.
The Distribution Challenge
We caught up with Avi Greengart, an analyst at Current Analysis, to get the answer to this question: Can the Xperia Z3 be a contender in a crowded smartphone market that’s dominated by Apple and Samsung devices? Although that remains to be seen, at least Sony has more of a fighting chance this time around.
“Sony has had a fairly strong smartphone portfolio but absolutely miserable distribution in the United States,” Greengart told us. “Basically, they’ve been able on occasion to get T-Mobile to pick up some of their phones. But typically it’s been months after the phones were available in other geographies, which has meant the phones have been outdated before they got to the U.S.”
This time, Sony’s latest device is available not only at T-Mobile but also at Verizon, though it’s called the Z3v at the leading carrier. The Z3 will arrive at these two U.S. carriers soon after it hits Europe, which is a major improvement on the distribution front.
“While Sony is still missing a presence at AT&T and Sprint, the device is available on at least two out of the four major national U.S. carriers and it looks like the devices are coming in at a much more timely fashion,” Greengart said. “That’s all well and good but if it’s not competitive you can legitimately [ask] ‘so what?'"
The Z3 Advantage(s)
Sony’s Z3 is competitive on at least a couple fronts. Success boils down, in part, to how much those fronts matter. For one thing, the device is waterproof. The Samsung Galaxy S5 is water-resistant, but the Z3 takes that a step deeper. According to Sony, it’s waterproof in fresh water for up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes.
“As long you close the flaps fully, you can take this literally underwater. I used the Sony Z2 in a hotel pool and took pictures underwater,” Greengart said. “You just can’t do that with competing phones, even phones from Samsung and Motorola that are water-resistant. The Z3 is fully waterproof.”
The Z3 is also one of the first smartphones with PS4 Remote Play. The PlayStation 4 has sold over 10 million units worldwide, what Greengart calls an extraordinary number for a next-generation console that was first launched last year.
“Sony has momentum going in the living room with their game consoles. Remote Play allows you to play away from the console,” Greengart said. “Sometimes you really need a physical controller, which will be an extra $40, but this is something that really nobody else is offering and it works well with Sony’s brand and with Sony’s latest products.”
At T-Mobile, the Sony Experia Z3 is $630. You can get it for zero down and pay $26.25 a month for 24 months on a payment plan.