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Review: Sony Xperia Z3v

Design & Build Quality
Display
Performance
Battery Life
Camera
Audio & Call Quality
Software

The specs on the Xperia Z3v looks somewhat similar to the Xperia Z3 but we feel that it is much more similar to the Z2 due to its design. The slightly larger battery and wireless charging on the Verizon variant is definitely a welcome. All in all, it is still a great device. Just don't expect it to be similar to the Z3 in terms of design.

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The Sony Xperia Z3v is the Verizon variant of the Xperia Z3. However, after taking a closer look at the Z3v and spending some time with it, we found that this variant to be a little different compared to the Z3. Before we proceed on to our review, let’s take a look at the specs again for the Sony Xperia Z3v.

Specs:-

  • Processor: 2.5 GHz Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801
  • Display: 5.2″ Full HD TRILUMINOS display, with 1920 x 1080 resolution at 424 ppi
  • Memory: 3 GB of RAM
  • Storage: 32 GB with microSD, up to 128 GB
  • Camera: 20.7 MP rear-facing camera, 2.2 MP wide-angle front-facing camera
  • Battery: 3,200 mAh battery
  • OS: Android 4.4 Kit Kat

Review

Hardware

Design & Build Quality

The first thing we noticed about the Xperia Z3v is it features more of the Xperia Z2’s design than the Xperia Z3. Even the port placements are a little different compared to the Z3. Along the left edge is the nano SIM card slot and a micro USB port for charging and syncing while on the other side is the micro SD card slot, power button, volume button and dedicated camera shutter button. The 3.5 mm headphone jack remains at the top edge of the device. We noticed that on the Verizon variant, the dock connector is missing, which can be found on the left side of the Xperia Z3.

We mentioned in our Z3 review that we did not like placement of the power button as it can be difficult to reach for users with larger hands. It just feels out of place, having to adjust the hand position to turn the device on. But luckily, like the Z3, the Z3v has the double tap to wake feature, very much like the LG’s KnockOn feature.

Display

Like the Z3, the Xperia Z3v boasts a 5.2″ full HD Triluminos display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 at 424ppi.

We do not have the Z3 to do a side-by-side comparison, but it seems to us that the Z3v is not as bright as the Z3. However, rest assured that the color reproduction, the sharpness and noise reduction is still brilliant.

Performance

Internally, the Sony Xperia Z3v is identical to the Sony Xperia Z3. Both the devices are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset with Adreno 330 GPU, 3GB of RAM and a 128GB capacity microSD slot for the users who like to have more storage capacity.

Benchmarking with AnTuTu, the device scored a rating of just over 40,000, a little lower than the Z3. However, we did not notice any difference in oerformance. Resource-intensive games such as ShadowGun were still buttery smooth without any noticeable lags at all.

Battery Life

This is where the Xperia Z3v is superior to the Z3. The Z3v comes with a slightly larger battery than the Xperia Z3 and it also has Qi technology for wireless charging.

Running our usual battery test, in which we run continuous video on 1/2 brightness display setting while the device is connected to LTE and Wi-Fi with GPS and Bluetooth turned on, we were able to get almost 16 hours out of it, which is really about the same as the Z3.

Camera

The specs for the rear camera looks the same on paper for both the Z3 and Z3v, 20.7 MP with f/2.0. However, that is not the case. The Z3 has a G Lens with a 25mm focal length and ISO levels of 12,800 while the Xperia Z3v gets a G Lens with a 27mm focal length and an ISO level of 6,400, like the Z2, except the Z2 has an ISO level of 3,200. Though an average user might not notice the difference, it seems that the Z3v is using the same lens as the Z2

Audio & Call Quality

Since’s it’s the Verizon variant of the Z3, we had no trouble connecting to Verizon’s network on the Xperia Z3v. The same goes for making or receiving calls on the device.

The Sony Xperia Z3v also features a dual front-facing speakers and the Digital Sound Enhancement Engine, much like the Z3. The volume output is high, and the audio quality is great. With the ClearAudio+ mode, the Xperia Z3v automatically optimize the balance of frequencies with just a single touch, eliminating the need for tedious fine-tuning.

Software

The user interface is pretty much the same as the Z3. Apart from the entire Google Play Services apps, Sony has included their own apps so users will be able to fully utilize the device, such as the PS4 Remote Share feature, DSEE (Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) and support for Hi-res USB audio. Check out our Xperia Z3 review for more in-depth look at the software.

Final Thoughts

While this is the Xperia Z3v, it feels as if we’re using an Xperia Z2 due to its thicker design. The Z3 definitely feels sleeker when compared to the Z3v. Performance wise, the Verizon variant still has the same performance as the Z3 under its hood with the IP65/68 certification. The larger battery with Qi technology is definitely a nice addition.

About Allistair Lee

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Pocket Insider. Allistair has been a tech enthusiast since he was at the age of 15. His current interest includes Android smartphones and tablets, among many other devices.

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