After all my umming and aaahing about whether to get an iPhone 6, I eventually decided that I couldn’t live with iOs 8 as my everyday OS. I may have mentioned before that I like the Tiles interface of WP 8.1, but there was no way I was going to give myself the headache of the premium device with no apps.
It also turned out that I don’t really like the size of the Samsung Note scale devices. I do use my phone one handed, so that had a surprising part to play.
Having determined the above, it put me firmly in the running for another Android, but would it be Samsung, HTC, Motorola, LG or Sony that would get my vote (and my cash)? Sadly, the LG G3 has terrible battery life (even if the screen is glorious), I can’t stand TouchWiz (and I don’t have time to mod it), so that dumps Samsung into the garbage, the HTC One is okay, but not striking and I’ve not been a fan of Motorola smart phones, period. That leaves Sony. But that makes it sound like I got left with only one option. It’s more a case of “I tried all of the above and I loved the Sony Xperia Z3”.
The form factor is something pretty special, being thin and light. The screen is excellent. The camera is very good. And the battery life is spectacular. My only complaint would be the Launcher, however, I tend to run Launcher8 on my android phones, giving me the best of Windows Phone with the Android flexibility and universe.
The ergonomics of the device are good, although there is a slight issue with the glass picking up miniscule scratches, but there’s not a lot you can do about that other than a case. And that glass is quite slippery. Especially when you place it on a surface that you thought was flat! Again, the use of the case resolves this.
I’m also a big fan of the Smart Connect app that Sony provides, essentially giving you that old Nokia idea of Profiles.
Without going into the detail of what it can and can’t do, which umpteen reviews have already done, what’s more important to me is whether it works as a phone and mobile computer, and I’ll happily say it does both with aplomb. It’s also a great portable stereo (especially in regard to the stereo front facing speakers that are surprisingly loud).
In the two weeks of having it and using it I have been very pleasantly surprised. It feels like a premium smart phone and acts like one. And I am a buyer of the Ergonomics. It’s right on the edge of what I can one handed, but I’m finding it works well. I haven’t tested the waterproofing, but it’s certainly managing muck when cooking very well.
It also allows full Google Now with Ok Google from anywhere, and boy does this work well. I’ve discovered it with this handset and now it is my key reminder tool. It’s great that you can have a PA in your pocket who not only listens to you and understands but also reads your emails and asks you whether you want to turn something into an appointment. Okay, I get the privacy angle, but this is great.
The battery life is also amazing, and I’ve been hugely impressed with having it at work all day off charge and then taking it to a couple of gigs where I’ve taken photos, videos and live streams to Facebook and getting home with enough battery left ti still happily surf the web. It’s a very well designed device and the power management is excellent. I set it up to battery save below 20% where mobile data is controlled by me and not the phone and it does feel like it is lasting forever. And I haven’t got to Stamina mode yet.
All in all, I’m very impressed, and if Sony can keep this up, they should be able to sell far more smartphones. It’s a device that has turned out to do exactly what I wanted. It’s all the phone (MP3 Player, Video Player, Tablet, TV, Radio, Calendar, etc) I need.