These are my favorite comparisons – the old model versus the new model – the Sony Xperia Z2 goes up against the new Sony Xperia Z3…the only problem is there is usually more specification upgrades than there are in this case. For some reason, Sony felt the need to rush out the new Z3 only six months after the Z2, perhaps to do battle with with new phones from Samsung, LG and HTC – the only problem is they are already out and we will still be waiting for the Z3 months after the others are already selling.
This is the section where I usually list the few similarities between the two rivals, but in this case, they are almost identical – so be prepared! These two devices have identical displays – and I mean identical – both are 5.2-inches with a Full HD display, which means they have a 1920 x 1080 resolution and an identical 424 Pixels-Per-Inch (PPI). They both contain 3GB of RAM and come in 16GB models, although the Xperia Z3 does have 32GB model. They each also contain a microSD card slot to add up to an additional 128GB of internal storage. The Front-Facing Cameras (FFC) are an identical 2.2MP – used for video chatting and selfies. The main cameras are also about the same 20.7MP shooters…each with an LED Flash and Auto-Focus, however, the Xperia Z3's lens adds a 25mm wide angle to it, allowing you to capture more image in one picture.
The size of these two devices is also amazingly close – about 1mm difference in length and width and thickness…with the new Xperia Z3 being thinner at a mere 7.3mm. This, and the 10 grams of lighter weight, were most likely achieved by going with a slightly smaller (3200 vs 3100mAh) battery.
What few surprises are left will be down below as we look at each individual device. Please look over the detailed specification sheet shown below, and then we will try and pick, what will be a very difficult winner in this comparison.
Sony Xperia Z2
The Sony Xperia Z2 was announced at this year's CES back in January, but it took it forever to never reach the U.S. – we had leaks that Verizon was finally going to carry it in July/August, but that never came to fruition and Sony ended up selling it via online as unlocked device. Hence, the history and problems with why Sony smartphones – always liked by the critics – have never amounted to much in the smartphone world, at least in the U.S.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 800/801 MSM8974AB, is a quad-core model clocked at 2.3GHz. It is slightly less a processor than its Xperia Z3 counterpart – and I say slightly because Qualcomm was making very incremental improvements in their 800 model and the AB suffix means it is not a true 801, but a 'souped-up' 800…the AC suffix, like the Z3 carries is the true 801 processor.
We mentioned earlier that the cameras are identical except that the one in the Xperia Z3 added a 25mm wide-angle lens. The 3200mAh non-removable battery is actually a little larger than the Z3's 3100mAh battery. The Z2 does weigh in 11 grams more at 163 grams – this could be from the battery. The Z2 has an IP58 certification, which means that it has limited dust prevention and is able to be immersed in water up to 30 minutes. The Z2 has Android 4.4.2 KitKat while the Z3 has the most current 4.4.4 KitKat. It has been heavily discounted and can be purchased for around $580 versus its original price of $750.
Sony Xperia Z3
This will be a relatively short section since I most of what needed to be said in the Introduction and the Z2 details…but here goes. Sony rushed to get the Sony Xperia Z3 to market to compete with the other new devices, although we are still waiting for the actual device to go one sale, however, Sony and T-Mobile – its exclusive carrier – have promised that we would receive the Z3 when everybody else does…no extra waiting.
The Xperia Z3 has the true Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor clocked at 2.5GHz, so it is slightly faster and has better graphics than the Xperia Z2. The camera is the same 20.7MP on the main camera, but they made it a 25mm wide-angle – this will allow you to fit a few extra faces or a little more landscape in your pictures. The battery drops from 3200mAh to 3100mAh, which is probably why the Z3 is 0.9mm thinner, although I think trading less than 1mm in thickness for less battery is a poor trade-off.
Sony does make a PS4 controller that will allow you to snap the Xperia Z3 onto the controller and use it as your display. The Z3 is also IP68 certified so its dust and water resistance is bumped up a notch – dust tight and continuous immersion in water up to 3 meters. The Z3 will come with Android 4.4.4 KitKat with Xperia UI. It will be a T-Mobile exclusive with an expected no-contract price of about $885. Did I say this would be shorter?
…And the Winner is…
It is a TIE – Is the Xperia Z3 a nicer phone…yes, in the sense of looks, a slight improvement in the camera lens, slightly smaller and lighter, a slightly faster processor and the ability to use the Z3 as a controller for Sony's PS4…but the difference is so 'slight,' is it worth the extra $300? If you can get a good deal on T-Mobile, then go for the Z3, but if they take the approximate $800 and divide it by 12, you may be better off ordering the discounted Z2 and using it on T-Mobile (or AT&T).
With only six months between the two models, there is just not that much differentiation to recommend the Xperia Z3 over the Xperia Z2. The display is identical, the memory is identical, the processors are so close I doubt you will notice a difference. Even the cameras are the same except Sony is using a 25mm wider angle lens, allowing you to squeeze a little more in your picture frame.
If you are a diehard PS4 player, you can purchase a special controller, snap you Z3 in place and use it as a display, but if that option is of no importance, then for the money, the Z2 is a better bargain. Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know what you think about these two smartphones and which one you would pick…as always, we would love to hear from you.