The proper Xperia Z3 makes its way to the U.S.
Today, the Sony Xperia Z3 is finally available in stores in the United States. Not some half Z2/Z3 deal. The proper Xperia Z3. And that's important because we've already done a complete review of the Z3, and that's pretty much what you'll find should you wander into a T-Mobile store. (Or, yes, if you'd preordered and had it shipped already, you lucky duck, you.)
This is the T-Mobile Z3.
Let's take a look.
Here's pretty much all you need to know about the T-Mobile version of the Xperia Z3: It's the Xperia Z3 with T-Mobile software on it. That is, it's got the same external curves and features that we've seen in the Euro model, with the same software customizations you'll expect on the inside. That's a 5.2-inch 1080p "TRILUMINOUS" display — and, again, the Z3 display and not the Z2 display (though I was fine with both) — on the front, with w 2MP front-facing camera. That's a big glass back with a (nearly) 21-megapixel shooter 'round back.
It's still a big slab, but there's a lot to like in the Xperia Z3.
The biggest physical difference between this and Verizon's Xperia Z3v are the thickness — T-Mobile's is 0.05 inches thinner, which is definitely noticeable, but then again so is the lack of wireless charging — and the sides of the phone, which are (mostly) smooth and continuous, just as the proper Z3 is. The same waterproofing is here, with the microUSB port under a gasketed door, as are the SIM card and microSD card. (They've got just a single door this time, though.) Sony's charging dock also makes it back into this model, which makes up slightly for that lack of wireless charging. Of course you'll have to buy the charging dock if you don't already have one.
And, well, that's pretty much it. The power button and volume rocker are where you expect them, on the side. The front-facing stereo speakers are back to being relatively small holes on the front of the phone. They're still pretty impressive at full volume, but definitely lacking the depth of HTC's BoomSound.
Software-wise, it's still Android 4.4.4 (with a promised upgrade to Android 5.0 Lollipop coming at some point), with Sony's custom UI and suite of apps. T-Mobile's usual apps are on board as well. No surprises here at all, really. (And as usual, kudos to T-Mobile to being up-front about its on-board analytics software.) We've got about 26GB free at first boot on this 32GB model.
For you PlayStation fans, the Remote Play app is now available, and that's a big selling point of the Z3. (We'll be taking a look at that end of things soon.)
A quick swing through the camera found that things work as we've experienced on the other version of the Z3. It's an above-average shooter that can crank things up to the full 21-megapixels in 4:3 aspect ratio but does 15MP at 16:9 by default. It's still lacking in OIS but does reasonably well in low light. And it's got a wealth of options — be sure to get out of Superior Auto mode every now and then and check out the manual features.