Unlike most smartphone manufacturers Sony is currently on a bi-annual release cycle with its top of the range smartphone and at the company’s IFA press conference the new Sony Xperia Z3 was unveiled along with a new version of the diminutive top-of-the-range Sony Xperia Z3 Compact. The pair of smartphones are running the latest version of Android 4.4 and are aimed at the premium segment of the market.

Sony Xperia Z3

On the larger end of the display spectrum the Xperia Z3 offers a slightly improved set of specs over the Xperia Z2 that it replaces as well as having gone on a slight diet. While the Xperia Z3 still weights in at a substantial, but not heavy, 163 grams it has managed to cut down on its thickness from 8.2mm down to just 7.3mm. The reduction in size will also come with a reduction in the size of the SIM card being used in the Xperia Z3 as yet another smartphone joins the nano SIM brigade started by the iPhone 5.

The other changes are an upgrade of the processor to a slightly faster version of the quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor which now has a 2.5GHz clock speed as opposed to the 2.3GHz unit in the Xperia Z2 as well as a slight decrease in battery capacity from 3 200mAh down to 3 100mAh. The final change comes in the form of better dust proofing as the IP rating increases to IP65 and IP68 meaning that the Xperia Z3 is now completely dust tight and can be submerged in up to 1.5m of water for up to 30 minutes.

What stays the same is the full HD 5.2 inch Triluminous display as the Xperia Z2 has returns along with the 3GB of RAM and the brilliant 20.7 megapixel camera that we’ve enjoyed ever since we first used it in the Xperia Z1 last year. All in all it’s an evolution of the smartphone that we saw from Sony earlier in the year making an already great smartphone slimmer and shoring up on some extra features to round out the specs.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Unlike the full sized Xperia Z3 it’s been about a year since the Xperia Z3 Compact’s predecessor was launched and the update to the Xperia Z1 Compact brings a set of specs from 2014, along with a jump in model numbers, to the table. The same Qualcomm Snapdragon processor as found in the Xperia Z3 is paired with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage.

The display is up from 4.3 inches to 4.6 inches but retains the same 720p resolution dropping the pixel density from 342 pixels per inch (ppi) to 319ppi which is the only potential blemish on the new Xperia Z3 Compact as we were hoping for a bump in resolution to a full 1080p. That would have resulted in a 489ppi which is well within the limits of current display manufacturing technology.

The body of the Xperia Z3 compact has also been trimmed by 0.9mm in thickness but that larger display has only resulted in a minimal bump to the width of the phone with smaller bezels helping it out. The Xperia Z3 is also IP65 & IP68 certified and will have the same slots covering the SIM card, now also a nano SIM, as the Xperia Z3 has.

The battery has been given a significant bump from 2 300mAh to 2 600mAh which should result in even better battery performance from what was already very good longevity in the XPeria Z1 Compact. Rounding out the specs is that 20.7 megapixel camera and the requisite wireless standards.

UPDATE: Sony’s local representatives have indicated that the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact will be on sale in South Africa from Q4, 2014.

[Source and Image – Sony Mobile]