Sony Xperia Z3 Review: Waterproof and dust tight

Reviews Smartphone
Sony Xperia Z3

Sony’s New Xperia Z3 Smart Phone – $571.99 – 630.00 USD

Sony’s latest waterproof Xperia Z-series phone, the Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact are now swimming around in underwater utopias. The Xperia Z2 was just announced in March of 2014, and so far, the 3rd generation Xperia Z was announced in September. However, the new Z3 has lots going for it. It has a semi-stylish case, a 20.7 megapixel camera, and beautiful 5.2 inch FullHD display, a dust proof plus water resistant body, and a newly found relationship with the Playstation 4. Lets dive right in and find how this smart phone is different than the others.

Sony Xperia Z3 versus the Sony Xperia Z2

Xperia Z3 VS Xperia Z2There are only minor differences between the Xperia Z3 and it’s predecessor, Sony Xperia Z2. Sony has decided to slim down the new Z3 by shaving a few millimeters off the back of the device by sporting a smaller 3100 mAh battery, compared to the 3200 mAh battery of the Z2. While this change may not be much of a difference, it does make the Z3 12 grams lighter. The Xperia Z3 has a slightly faster processor. It is the same Qualcolm snapdragon 801 of the Z2, but with a clock speed of 2.5 GHz compared to the 2.3 GHz of the Z2. While processor speeds of the Z2 were sufficient enough for the casual everyday user, those who game on android will definitely enjoy the extra 0.2 GHz boost in speed while play graphic intensive games. Furthermore, the Xperia Z3 is IP68 certified, compared to the IP58 certification of the Z2.

Waterproof and Dust Tight

waterproof evidenceIP68 certification ensures that the phone is dust tight and waterproof. How dust proof, and waterproof? According to Wikipedia, an IP68 certificated device has complete dust protection. No dust particles can even enter the internals of the device. More intriguing is that the device can be immersed in water beyond 1 meter for around 30 minutes.  Sony states that the Xperia Z3 can be kept under 1.5 meters of  fresh water for 30 minutes assuming all their waterproof flaps are closed. However, these numbers are quite subjective, and there is no exact water depth numbers posted on Sony’s Website. The good news is, there is anecdotal evidence that the Sony Z3 is quite waterproof. On the XDA developers forums, someone posted a few photos while they were snorkeling 5 to 10 feet (1.5 to 3 meters) under saltwater using the z3. (Since the the Z3 did suffer some corrosion after the first day, we don’t recommend you to immerse your smartphone into saltwater.) This is a great example of Xperia Z3’s waterproofing capabilities. On the other hand, just beware that if you immerse the Z3 in water, and your device receives water damage, it’ll be hard to prove that you closed the flaps properly. Unfortunately, there are many sad cases where Sony did not repair phones that were subject to water damage. You should also consider Sony’s arbitrary waterproof guidelines on what is considered in warranty.

PlayStation 4 integration

remote play app ps4If you are not a water sport fan, but a casual PlayStation gamer, Sony Xperia Z3’s biggest selling point is newly added integrated PlayStation 4 remote play support. If you have a PlayStation 4 and decide to purchase the new Xperia Z3, then you are in luck. The Z3 supports the newly created Sony remote play app. Supported Remote play PlayStation 4 games can be played directly onto your Xperia Z3 smartphone. While this functionality is also coming to all previous Xperia Z series smartphones, the Z3’s upgraded 2.5ghz snapdragon processor will give your games a bit of a boost in performance. This Remote Play App is an exclusive to the Xperia Z series; however, since it’s running Android, there has been some success in running the Remote play App on a rooted android device.

Playing games on such a small device can be a challenge especially with the touch controls covering parts of the screen when playing first person shooters. In order to get the best gaming experience on such a small device, we recommend using a PS4 Dual shock controller with a Sony Game Control Mount. This will ensure you make the most out of your Xperia Z3.

Xperia Z3 Compact

Xperia Z3 CompactThe Xperia Z3 Compact is a more compact version of the Xperia Z3 Product line. It has all the features of the original Xperia Z3 except for a few dimensional differences:

Dimensions Weight Screen
Xperia Z3 Compact 127.3 x 64.9 x 8.6 mm (5.01 x 2.56 x 0.34 inches) 129g (4.55 oz) 4.6 inch 720p
Xperia Z3 146 x 72 x 7.3 mm (5.75 x 2.83 x 0.29 in) 152g (5.36 oz) 5.2 inch 1080p


The Xperia Z3 is a smart phone that plays on two unique paradigms, gaming, and durability, both on a large 1080p high definition 5.2″ screen.  While the Xperia Z2 is a bit too large for our pockets, we liked it’s cool waterproof abilities. Initially, we had a feeling that the slimmer form factor of the Xperia Z3 would allow us to enjoy the device more, but during our daily-use test scenarios, we found it a huge burden to carry around, just like many other large 5 inch phablets out there. As a result, we are recommending the Xperia Z3 Compact. It is an attractive option. A 4.6 inch screen with 720p resolution is very portable. While you do not get the full high definition screen, you do get the same processor speeds of the original Xperia Z3. Games will run more smoother on a lower resolution display; thus, giving you an edge in more competitive game play. The smaller screen size will ensure it isn’t a burden while you are traveling, and adventuring into underwater worlds. Also, typing on the Xperia Z3 Compact is much more easier especially with one hand.

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Steve is a co-founder of DeviceCritique. He is a technology expert who takes a unique perspective by blending humanity, technology, and business. He visions that there are many untapped technology products that have yet to emerge, and plans to explore those ideas with you in his articles. Steve is currently working toward his Bachelor of Commerce while simultaneously juggling work and his passion in writing.
  • tunnel diode

    waterproof and dust tight Z3 is just too big for that performance