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Sunday 4 December 2016

The Xperia Z3+ is Sony's latest release of its flagship phone series. It's been trimmed down a bit compared to its predecessor, the Z3, losing a bit of depth (now just 6.9mm) while retaining the same height and width. Sitting in the hand, it feels nice and light and easy to hold. Should you drop it though, it's still fully water and dustproofed.

Published 11/09/2015 | 07:00

The Xperia Z3+ is Sony's latest release of its flagship phone series. It's been trimmed down a bit compared to its predecessor, the Z3, losing a bit of depth (now just 6.9mm) while retaining the same height and width. Sitting in the hand, it feels nice and light and easy to hold. Should you drop it though, it's still fully water and dustproofed.

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Indeed, the Z3+ holds an IP68 certification, promising to be able to keep the water out for up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5m. It hasn't needed to have clumsy covers in place over the micro USB port to achieve that this time around though, which is a nice change.

It's got a 5.2" 1080p IPS screen, powered by the new octa-core Qualcomm 810 processor. Paired with this you'll find 3GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage, as well as the option to add more via micro-SD. The Z3+ runs Android Lollipop 5.0.2 out of the box, and using it I found it to be very slick and responsive.

The camera is a 20.7 megapixel affair; with a wider angle 25mm lens at the front for those all-important selfies. The phone has a dedicated shutter button on the body too so you can quickly launch the camera app, a nice touch if you're in a hurry to catch that perfect shot. Image quality was decent, with great detail. The camera works especially well in low light, thanks to a custom "Low Light" mode that makes the most of any light available.

The phone isn't too affected by bloatware, and Sony's custom Android overlay has always been fairly minimalist. It does have a nice bit of software on it though if you own a Playstation 4. The app is called PS4 Remote Play, and it allows you to stream games from the Playstation direct to the phone itself.

Gameplay is very good, with no noticeable lag, and you can even pair the phone with a Dualshock controller for ultimate ease of use. It's not perfect for every game of course, but it's a pretty sweet feature to have.

Power is provided by a 2930maH battery, a little down on its predecessor due to the reduced depth, but it doesn't really seem to affect the battery life. I found it lasted well throughout the day, with about 30pc charge left when I went to bed. I did find it ran a little hot at times, although looking online it seems Sony are aware of and working on the problem.

Overall the Z3+ is a solid update to the Z3. It's not revolutionary, but if you're looking for a new phone, and, especially if you own a Playstation 4, this comes well recommended.

- Mike Ross

Irish Independent

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