Sony claims the Z3 is the best cameraphone among leading smartphones, here's why


Sony's affinity for attaching a "Best" tag on its smartphones has a track record that now spans several generations. Indeed, whenever a new Sony device hits the market, there's at least one category in which the company sees it as best on the market, and it makes sure that you're well aware of that -- usually through PRs and its own website. Almost exactly a year ago, we detailed why it considered the Xperia Z1 to be the best cameraphone in the whole wide world, and now it's time to take a look at the new and hot Xperia Z3.

As in the past, Sony is again using the services of Strategy Analytics, so that the latter can back-up its claims in a transparent fashion. While documentation related to the tests is usually very well defined as to what exactly the scope of the various claims is, that very scope is very much worth pointing out. After all, how many of you went to Sony's dedicated Tests page to see what all those asterisks really mean? Exactly.


One of the first claims is that the Xperia Z3 has the highest ISO (at 12,800) available with any smartphone. From what we can tell, that's actually a legit claim, and we've seen examples of that high a sensitivity at work already (see pictures). Regardless, do keep in mind that scenarios that would require such a high ISO are very rare (you'll have to be shooting in the darkest of the dark environments), not to mention that simply because the Z3 can crank it up that high isn't necessarily a guarantee for great low light shots. The second claim is also true -- at 1/2.3'', the Exmor RS sensor inside the Z3 is one of the very largest among smartphones, though it's still smaller than the gigantic 1/1.5'' sensor of the Nokia Lumia 1020.

Moving forward, things get a little less clear, not least because the pages on Sony's site haven't been proofread. For example, the Xperia Z3 is apparently the "World's best camera and camcorder (+/- Waterproof / Android) in a smartphone3" [sic]. Obviously, this statement is more than a little bit foggy, but considering the devices the Xperia Z3 was compared with (Nexus 5, iPhone 5s, LG G3, Galaxy S5, and One M8), we'd venture a guess that Sony means the best camera and camcorder of any Android with or without waterproofing, though that still doesn't explain why the iPhone 5s is on the list. In any case, Sony cites the Z3's 4K UHD video capture capabilities that are actually nothing new at this point. The difference here is that the company claims that because its camera sensor has 20.7 million pixels (more than any of the others on the list), this makes it a better camcorder. That's obviously completely misleading, as the two have nothing to do with each other.


The same distinction isn't provided for stills, but the scope of the test makes it a little more obvious -- 201 UK consumers were surveyed on the "imaging and video experiences" delivered by the above-mentioned devices, and apparently enough of them agreed that the Z3 is the best for it to land on top (blind assessments, by the way). Further down, Sony says that the Z3 "gives you the Best Image Quality of the Leading Smartphones" [sic], as 59% of those very same 201 UK consumers preferred the quality of images captured by the Xperia Z3 to those of the listed devices above.

That's not all, though, for Sony specifically points at that the Z3's camcorder produces the best quality video of "Leading Smartphones" (top selling smartphones globally). Our UK team of consumers again (blindly) assessed video of the various leading devices, and found that, overall, the Z3 is the best. They also found that the Xperia Z3 gives you "the Most Stable Video Capture of the Leading Smartphones" [sic]. 

So what are you to make out of all this, and are we suggesting that the Xperia Z3 is not as good as described? Well, first and foremost, let us get this out of the way right now -- the Z3's 20.7-megapixel camera is awesome on the whole, just read the review and check out a few samples from it below. That said, and while we do obviously prefer flagship releases with less asterisks attached to their features, we do have to point out that these results are based on what consumers think, not a panel of experts or similar -- the reality of the matter may well be different, and, sure enough, you can count on us to investigate and pit the Xperia Z3 against its competitors. So do make sure that you keep all of that in mind the next time you come across one of those claims.


reference: SonyMobile

Related phones

Xperia Z3
  • Display 5.2" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 20.7 MP / 2.2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3100 mAh(14h talk time)

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71 Comments

1. JaroB

Posts: 112; Member since: Feb 13, 2013

6. sar44

Posts: 278; Member since: Apr 14, 2014

redness on phonearena photos? I thought its only in videohttp://forum.xda-developers.com/z3/general/white-balance-video-t2889760

21. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

It seems you don't understand about how the camera works, Did you know you can easily adjust the white balance to get the results that you want?

56. sar44

Posts: 278; Member since: Apr 14, 2014

I do not want to configure anything. They just spoil it. And i want good divece out of the box

64. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

Just like i said before you just some clueless little kid who have no idea how camera works. Even the most expensive camera is still hit and miss with auto setting, that's why all pro photographers prefer using manual setting than the auto. You need to stop spamming and learn little bit more about how camera works. And this for your entertainment. This crop is from GsmArena look at the GS5 color chart!https://app.box.com/s/agp8h3443ux2vvat9iiyhttps://app.box.com/s/d52scah7zlt8wxm9z8rlhttps://app.box.com/s/ti13rvfb6b5pnma61wcu

63. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Stop spamming with links.

2. x_maly_x

Posts: 72; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

King is only one...808 , next 1020 then rest....

11. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

i agree...........808 is champ. n8 proud.

13. hboy857

Posts: 367; Member since: Jun 03, 2013

When it comes to pure photography 808 is indeed the true King. A new king is coming and it's gonna destroy everything, yes, i'm talking about Panasonic CM1.

23. Gadgety

Posts: 173; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

Sure the CM1. I find it hilarious though, how people have complained about the bump on the 1020, and with the CM1 no such comments. The CM1 is a nice try, but it will date quickly. I'd like to see substitutable camera modules for the ARA.

3. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

A lot of people filter the (public) photos, anyways.

4. maherk

Posts: 6877; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Damn you on screen buttons!!! That ruined it for me

5. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

The best cameraphone in terms of quality? I do not think so, that title is still held by Lumia 1020/808. The best overall perfomance cameraphone that sounds much more likely.

8. mixedfish

Posts: 1555; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

"the best cameraphone among LEADING smartphones" Lumia doesn't even...

14. x_maly_x

Posts: 72; Member since: Jun 01, 2013

I gues - in your kiddy dream droid word... Z3 pictuers is not even close to 930,1520 no mention about 808 or 1020... and this sh*ty quality of sound in Z3...

25. bur60

Posts: 981; Member since: Jul 07, 2014

As a Sony fan, i have to admit that the Lumia is still the king. Im happy that the Sony phones come even close to the Lumia. Its saddening to see how ppl like samsungs oversaturated cams, while everybody should compare with Lumia. I wish Nokia would have android and waterproofness with the epic camera they have.. WM just kills it for me :(

26. maherk

Posts: 6877; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

That's why Nokia try to deceive us by claiming their commercial video was shot by the phone itself when they were actually using professional cameras. Anyways, the majority of people will go with android rather than the boring windows phone

43. SanteriAT

Posts: 11; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

That was actually only in the ad for 920 which really did have an amazing camera. They just failed the ad...

27. maherk

Posts: 6877; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

That's why Nokia try to deceive us by claiming their commercial video was shot by the phone itself when they were actually using professional cameras. Anyways, the majority of people will go with android rather than the boring windows phone

51. dexter_jdr

Posts: 1163; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

only stupid clueless people say that windows phone 8 is boring. oh wait, we get windows 10 update next year! Looooooooooooooooool

35. phantom_six_man

Posts: 82; Member since: Feb 12, 2014

it's only Sony who is proving us on what they are claming to be the best,it's only up to us on whos really the best

61. kent-gaga

Posts: 609; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

i'm sorry but the xperia z3 and the lumia 930 is kind of a draw actually

36. Gadgety

Posts: 173; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

Well, that's why Sony added the "leading." Could just as well have added a pre-fix, mis-. I I love Android and my Samsung Galaxy Note is awesome (leading), but camera wise the 1020, and the 808 before that are still ahead.

7. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

For me this year it's going to be the Sony Xperia Z3 or the Google Nexus 6 or X. That is what I am going for this YEAR... Next year it will be the Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

9. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

maybe you will get Z4 or Z5 next year too....lol

24. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Well I never say never. If the Z4 or the Z5 prove to be more compelling then YES I will purchase. Every year I buy the best available, kinda a treat to myself! +1

10. 21babydoll12 unregistered

808 is still one of the sharpest and best of all time. Really miss Nokia Sony's claim is almost spot on, but their interface is horrible. Wish it was more "alpha or NEX" I feel sooooooooooo limited with the software. Needs more "pro" like configuration to be considered elite camera and less andriod. Camera is good in 3200k and beyond lighting but software needs to be overhauled completely.

28. bur60

Posts: 981; Member since: Jul 07, 2014

True!! I used Z Z1 Z2 but I always used Camera FV-5 for beauty pictures. Only lame whatsapp pics etc (and ultralowlight) I used the standard camera app. I love the interface tho, I just hate how nothing is manual on screen (nothing manual at all tbh)

12. Odiin

Posts: 373; Member since: Apr 23, 2013

Really Sony? R you sure ;)? All flagship models produce good photos in these days. With some flaws here n there almost all performs well.

15. SIGPRO

Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Still 808 and 1020 are the kings! Even the N8 is still better than some newer phones!

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