Sony Xperia Z3

Sony's latest high end phone is a bump, albeit minor, from the last one

IFA 2014

Sony just announced the anticipated Xperia Z3 at IFA 2014 in Berlin and we've had chance to catch a very quick first look at the new device. Sitting atop Sony's new flagship Z3 line, the Xperia Z3 is the very best of what Sony is putting into its smartphones right now. If you're thinking it looks a bit like a Z2, you'd be on the money, because the Z3 is a bump, an iteration from the Z2 rather than a complete redesign.

Hardware wise the Z3 is packing a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of onboard storage and a 5.2-inch 1080p display. Sound familiar? Aside from a slight increase in clock speed, inside is essentially the same as its predecessor. It comes with a big 3100 mAh – yes, slightly down on the size of the battery in Z2 – battery in the back of the Z3 and boasting 2 days of battery life.

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So, too, is the camera. Kind of. Once again Sony has opted for its 20.7MP sensor on the back, but for the Z3 it gets a new, 25mm wide angle lens. In addition Sony has added support for ISO 12800 to the camera and enhanced SteadyShot technology.

Sony Xperia Z3

So, the hardware is largely the same but the design has been tweaked a little. Sony went for aluminum and tempered glass for the Z3 but this time out that frame has rounded edges, so it's not quite the flat slab that the Z2 – and indeed the previous Z phones – was before it. It's a subtle change but it makes all the difference when you're holding it. It's still not a small phone – top and bottom bezels are to thank for that – but rounding off the edges makes it so much more comfortable in the hand.

On the software front we're looking at Android 4.4.4 with Sony's own user interface on top. It's the same basic look and feel as the Xperia Z2, which isn't horrible, but there's also no real sign of overall progression, either. There are some new camera features, such as a multi angle mode, and of course the big news that the Z3 line of devices will be able to remote play PS4 games, too.

All in all the Xperia Z3 is a nice phone, but compared to some recent releases from rival manufacturers it doesn't feel like Sony is really pushing the boat out. We're still looking forward to getting one in for review, but for now check out a quick hands-on video below.