Print 15 comment(s) - last by euclidean.. on Jul 29 at 8:51 AM

New phone shares design elements with past Xperia models, plus design cues from Apple and Nokia Devices

In the last two weeks a number of images have trickled out of an upcoming Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) smartphone with what appears to be a 5.2-inch screen.  The Z2 has been on the market for mere months so it's a bit surprising to see a potential successor this soon.  Some have suggested this could be a larger refresh of the Xperia Z Ultra or the rumored Xperia Z3 Compact.  But the leaks come from multiple sources (@evleaks, Digi-Wo), so there's cause to believe they're authentic.  And those sources are suggesting that it's a Z3.
Like its predecessor, the Z2, the Z3 appears to feature an all-metal and glass body with a flat back-face.  The back face isn't quite as shiny as the glass back face of the last edition...

Xperia Z2
The Sony Xperia Z2

Xperia Z3
Rumored Sony Xperia Z3 [Image Source: @evleaks] it's possible it's gone all metal, like HTC Corp.'s (TPE:2498) 2014 HTC One M8. The large camera hole in the back suggests the same 20-megapixel EXMOR sensor -- or perhaps a slightly improved model -- is probably on board.
The side still carries the physical camera button of the previous generation, a feature few Android phones have (although you can of course set your camera to use the volume flipper as a camera physical button).  The sides have dropped the partial curve of the Xperia Z2, which was flattened on the side...

Xperia Z2
Xperia Z2's flattened side face and camera button [Image Source: Phone Arena]

...instead they embrace a fully curved design like the Lumia 925 from Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Nokia Devices.

Xperia Z3

Xperia Z3
The rumored Xperia Z3 [Image Sources: @evleaks (top) / Digi-Wo (bottom)]

People are a bit perplexed by the hole on the bottom side (opposite the camera button), but it's likely just a strap hole like in the last generation model.  Recalling from last generation, the button above the camera button is the volume rocker, next is the power button, and then comes the microSD card.

Xperia Z2
The button layout appears almost identical to the Xperia Z2. [Image Source: Sony]

Above the strap hole, there's what appears to be a dock charger connector (with the two dots), then the dual microSIM and microUSB cover.  The covers are necessary given the device's waterproofing, as with the predecessor.

Xperia Z2 buttons
The Xperia Z2 button layout, continued [Image Source: Sony]

Note there's the same NFC square on the back of the device as in the last model.  Some publications appear a bit confused by the speaker layout, with some mistaking the strap hole for a speaker hole.  It appears that one small design shift is the movement of the surround sound speakers from the triple hole in the top and bottom of the last generation...
Xperia Z2
Xperia Z2's bottom stereo speaker holes... a slender slot style speaker on the top and bottom of the front face, similar to Apple's: 

Xperia Z3

Xperia Z3 front
The Xperia Z3 appears to now have front-facing speaker slots. [Image Source: Digi-Wo]

Lastly, some are comparing the Z3 leak to the leaked shots of Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) upcoming iPhone 6.  It's true they're a bit alike in some ways, but the differences are also numerous.  

Sources indicate the device may be launched at the 2014 IFA trade show Sept. 5-10 in Berlin, Germany.

Sources: Digi-Wo, EV Leaks, Phandroid

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By flyingpants1 on 7/25/2014 6:04:25 PM , Rating: 1
So they messed up the power button placement, again?

RE: So
By piroroadkill on 7/26/2014 9:26:43 AM , Rating: 5
Huh? I had a RAZR MAXX HD and the power button is on the side. I feel it's much nicer to squeeze the thing than try to reach around the top to the longest edge on these large phones.

Side is right, in my opinion.

RE: So
By frostyfiredude on 7/26/2014 3:50:54 PM , Rating: 2
Especially on the phones these days where they're 5"+, it's far more natural

RE: So
By LRonaldHubbs on 7/26/2014 11:04:25 AM , Rating: 2
What's wrong with having it on the right side? You can easily press it with your right hand thumb or your left hand index finger. Or is your concern that it's too easy to bump it?

Awesome, another Sony
By stevessvt on 7/26/2014 11:43:57 AM , Rating: 2
Flagship device to not be sold in the US.

RE: Awesome, another Sony
By ritualm on 7/26/2014 5:52:17 PM , Rating: 2
The US smartphone market only has three real competitors: Apple, Samsung, LG. If you're not one of them, your market share is too small to be profitable.

"another Sony flagship device to not be sold in the US"

Funny, because I don't have access to any Google Edition phones in Canada, only Nexus stuff, all because I live barely north of the 49th Parallel.

RE: Awesome, another Sony
By retrospooty on 7/27/2014 8:29:29 AM , Rating: 2
"The US smartphone market only has three real competitors: Apple, Samsung, LG. If you're not one of them, your market share is too small to be profitable."

That is kind of true as far as which ones are profitable (and LG is barely), but its not that it cant change. The up front costs on a new smartphone line are the R&D and production setup... That is already done at the point of release. Releasing it in another region costs very little comparatively. Not really sure why Sony hasn't pushed more in the US.

RE: Awesome, another Sony
By euclidean on 7/29/2014 8:51:03 AM , Rating: 2
Conspiracy...Apple & Samsung sent letters to Sony stating if they brought their most awesome Smartphone into the US, they would be hit hard with lawsuits from both for no other reason than to cost them millions just trying to get in for sale.


It's really the only thing I can think of...T-Mobile I believe offered the original...if Nexus can release their device on most carriers, and Samsung/Apple can release on all, why can't they come in with theirs? It's really just the available internal antenna that prevents them from not working across carriers. Unless, Sony is wanting an 'exclusive' contract deal and none of the carriers are willing to bite?

Sad really, looks like a great phone and a competitor to other flagships..

Give it Windows Phone 8.1
By BigEdMan on 7/25/14, Rating: 0
RE: Give it Windows Phone 8.1
By BigEdMan on 7/25/2014 9:19:59 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Give it Windows Phone 8.1
By EasyC on 7/25/14, Rating: 0
By frostyfiredude on 7/26/2014 3:57:04 PM , Rating: 2
To each his own aye, I'm with him in preferring WP to Android after having used both.

RE: Give it Windows Phone 8.1
By inighthawki on 7/27/2014 2:53:57 PM , Rating: 2
Then you weren't running WP 8.1...

Camera Button
By LRonaldHubbs on 7/26/2014 11:10:27 AM , Rating: 3
The side still carries the physical camera button of the previous generation, a feature few Android phones have (although you can of course set your camera to use the volume flipper as a camera physical button).

For anyone wondering, Sony actually uses a two-stage button on their phones, just like on a normal camera. So while you could use the volume button to control the camera on other phones, it won't deliver the same functionality as the camera button that Sony has included.

Again no replaceable battery
By jmunjr on 7/27/2014 4:44:58 PM , Rating: 2
I love the Z phones but the ability to swap batteries is critical for me and most business users. I almost never have to worry about my phone dying because I have extra batteries and chargers to charge the dead ones while I continue operating.

Thankfully Samsung and once again LG with the G3 continue to have a clue. If the G3 can have a replaceable battery then the argument that sealed batteries make phones lighter and more portable is BS.

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