Yes, we have seen our share of phones at Kunzum, but when it comes to being travel-friendly, nothing really has come in the league of the latest Sony flagship, the Xperia Z3. And no, we are not saying this on a mere whim. Here is our carefully thought-out seven-pointed rationale for placing the Xperia Z3 on top of the travelling phone heap.
1. Immunity to dust and water
The Xperia Z3, like its predecessor, is dust and water resistant, just like its predecessors in the Z series. And it is made of a mix of glass and metal that will take the odd bump and survive easily. You can even dive into the water and take pictures with it. Just remember to keep those port flaps shut tightly. So the next time it rains on your travels, get an umbrella for yourself. The Z3 will cope easily enough.
2. Top of the line hardware and software
A super fast quad core processor? A full HD display? 3 GB RAM? 16 GB memory, which can be expanded? All the connectivity options that you can think of, including 4G? The Xperia Z3 has them all, and is pretty much the equal of any smartphone out there in terms of hardware. When it comes to software, it runs the latest version of Android (KitKat), and runs it brilliantly as well. With hardware and software like that, there is pretty much nothing that this phone cannot handle. You want to edit video? You can. You want to sit and write a story? Be our guest. You want to play high-definition games? Go right ahead. This thing has enough muscle to be a console, a computer and a camera…and also makes calls pretty well too. Just what every traveller would like in their pockets.
3. Brilliant camera
Half the fun of travelling is taking pictures. And while most of the hard core travel crowd have pretty good cameras for the purpose, a phone with a good camera is always a huge bonus as it is always easier to take out to capture a fleeting moment. The Z series has always had good cameras but the Z3 is a notch above anything we have seen, and comes with an ISO count of 12500, which is pretty much unmatched when it comes to phones. You can also shoot slow motion and 4K video. We know some hard core photography fans will get mad at our even suggesting it, but we think that the 20-megapixel shooter on the Xperia Z3 is good enough to make you consider leaving your camera behind on some occasions. And ah, please refer to point 1: when it rains, you can take the Z3 out and do some pretty decent photography, without worrying about what will happen to your (general expensive) camera equipment.
4. Terrific display
Most touchscreens devices live and die by the quality of their displays and in that department, Sony has pulled a rabbit out of its hat – the Xperia Z3 has one of the best and brightest displays we have seen on a phone. And that makes watching videos, playing games and surfing the Web an absolute joy. Colours are well represented (none of the oversaturation that marks AMOLED displays) and fonts look clean and sharp. So yes, whether you want to just find your way around town using GPS or want to watch a film over coffee, you can be assured of a great visual experience.
5. Ease of use
We are going to be painfully blunt: all the best hardware and software of the world is going to be of little use if the device is difficult to use. And this is where we were very pleasantly surprised by the Xperia Z3. With a display size of 5.2 inches, we expected a device that would be difficult to handle. However, Sony has done a very good job with the design, shaving off the bezels of the sides to the extent that one can do a number of tasks with one hand, although you will need both hands to get the most out of it. And we cannot praise enough for its relatively simple Android interface, which makes using the phone a whole lot easier than some of the competitions: there are no complicated gestures or taps to remember, this is simple tap and swipe Android at its best.
6. Battery life
Right, we have no idea how they managed it, but the folks at Sony have managed to work some magic in the battery life of the Xperia Z3. The phone actually has a smaller battery than its predecessor, the Xperia Z2, but its battery life is surprisingly good. We comfortably saw off a day of heavy use on a single charge and well, if we were really careful, it easily carried well into the second day. In an era where “a charge a day” is the maxim for most phones with large displays, this is a refreshing exception.
Do looks of a gadget matter to a traveller, you ask? They absolutely do, we say. For the last thing you want to be seen with on your travels is a phone that looks as if it has been to the wars and only just survived. Unfortunately, there is this belief that traveller-friendly phones have to be bulky and less than elegant – the Xperia Z3 is neither. It is super sleek (just 7.3 mm thick, or thin), and its front and back glass panelled exterior will turn heads, especially if you happen to get the copper edition. And well, no traveller will mind the turned head, believe you us!