Sony Xperia Z3v Review

Call Quality

Phone calls are problematic for this smartphone.Phone calls are still problematic for this smartphone.

The Z3v exhibits awkward and unrealistic voices through its earpiece. Essentially, voices have a suppressed tone, and despite jamming it very closely to our ear, voices come off somewhat weak in tone. And the same can be said about the speakerphone’s overall volume output.

Battery

It still pulls in better-than-average battery life, but fails to achieve the same long lasting marks of the Z2 and Z3.

In our battery benchmark test, the Xperia Z3v pulls out a time of 7 hours, 36 minutes from its fully charged 3200 mAh battery. Honestly, the mark is pretty darn good, but it fails to reach the same levels achieved by the Z2 and Z3 before it. Nevertheless, it’s able to power us through a solid one-day of normal usage. Exclusive to this, Verizon’s variant benefits from having built-in wireless charging, which uses the Qi wireless charging standard. Naturally, this amenity causes the phone to sport a slightly larger profile than its siblings.

Conclusion


The idea of recycling phones isn’t a new concept in the business, as many companies have seemingly come out with newer phones that look, feel, and even have similar specs to previous phones. The Sony Xperia Z3v is absolutely one of those phones, since its name implies that it’s a variant of the Z3. However, after checking out the phone in great detail, we can certainly agree that it also has a lot in common with the Xperia Z2. It sports the same design as the Z2, but that's not a bad thing, as it is still a premium glass phone with a waterproof body, although it definitely isn't the most compact one out there. Its screen is also similar to the one of the Z2 instead of the Z3, but that's not necessary a bad thing, as it is more accurate, although not as bright. The processor and the camera are the updated ones that the Z3 offers, so it really is a mix between the Z2 and the Z3. Needless to say, Verizon customers should be pleased to know that a high-end Sony phone is going to be a part of the carrier's lineup – where it’ll sport a 2-year on-contract price of $199.99.

Software version of the review unit:
Android Version: 4.4.4
Baseband Version: 8974-AAAAANAZQ-00074-00
Kernel Version: 3.4.0-perf-g285fd61




Pros

  • Premium made smartphone that’s water resistant
  • Wireless charging is included
  • Support for Sony’s PS4 Remote Play feature
  • Versatile camera that offers a ton of fun modes

Cons

  • Earpiece is a nightmare to use with phone calls
  • It’s slightly thicker, longer, and heavier than the Z3 and Z2
  • Mediocre maximum brightness of approximately 400 nits

PhoneArena Rating:

8.5

User Rating:

9.2
8 Reviews

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42 Comments

1. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

165 score on SunSpider seems really sketchy.

4. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

This is by far the BIGGEST disappointment of 2014. This SHOULD have been the true Sony Xperia Z3 not this busted Z3v in Z2 body. Verizon & Sony should BOTH be ashamed at themselves for bringing this atrocity to the US. Anyone that has a T-Mobile Sony Xperia Z3 please make fun of whoever buys this bull$hit device called the Sony Xperia Z3v. Way to drop the ball Verizon & Sony... I hope you guys NEVER pull this $hit again! Do you guys really think we are all stupid! Gezz! This is probably the most negative post I have ever posted on PhoneArena.com. I just don't understand how anyone high up on Verizon's or Sony's ladder thought that this would be a good idea?

7. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Imo it's a bigger disappointment than the Z3 was. Leave it to Sony to screw up once again.

11. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I have a feeling Verizon has more to do with this than Sony does. Why make this phone look like the Z2 & call it the Z3v? I am sure Sony would want to have the newer Z3 design representing the Z3v, not the Z2 design. I don't know, this is super fishy & it smells SUPER rotten! I think Verizon dropped the ball. They were going to release the Z2 but opted not to because the Z3 was right around the corner. So they came up with this bull$hit solution to call it the Z3v...

2. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Japan gets the best shi*, US gets the worst shi*, Europe gets shi*.

5. fouadqr

Posts: 326; Member since: Nov 21, 2012

At least everyone gets SHI*..

13. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Well, in Africa most don't even get shi*, which is too bad.

29. SiyabongaMoss

Posts: 12; Member since: Jul 24, 2012

Ehem no sir , I'm in SA ,we'll be getting the regular (intl) Z3 , the Note 4 is already here, our carriers dont add ish to our phones....in fact my last 2 phones(note 2 and S4) were the 32gb variants

30. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Well yeah but if you think of the whole Africa not just South Arica which is probably one of the richest African country, maybe less than 20 percent can afford a smartphone

31. DanteTheGreat

Posts: 67; Member since: Jul 31, 2014

That's an ignorant statement. I'm a Nigerian, and as far as phones are concerned, we get some of the best s**t as well. Unlocked, with no nonsense bloatware, and relatively cheaper to buy here than say the United Kingdom due to significantly lower prices, there's no popular brand phone you can't get here, be it Samsung, Sony, HTC, Blackberry, Nokia etc. Sony just launched the Z3 here, and the Z3 dual. We even get the Exynos Note 4.

35. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

But as I said, most of the population can't afford them.

41. mqmorasch

Posts: 12; Member since: Nov 18, 2013

just give up, you are digging yourself into a deeper hole.

6. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

T-Mobile gets the TRUE Z3, so your comment really isn't that valid.

10. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

But it will probably have a T-Mobile logo on it lol. Not a big deal though. But still a tiny tiny super tiny minus :)

37. Odiin

Posts: 373; Member since: Apr 23, 2013

+1, ha ha ha!

3. Noonting

Posts: 135; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

I hate verizon logo

19. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

It makes anybody to not want the phone because it just ruins the design

28. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Does anyone remember the abomination that was the logo on Verizon's Note 2? Printed into the Home button, yuck.

8. Xenaz

Posts: 144; Member since: Apr 28, 2013

Both Z2 and Z3 are better than this, the Z3v apperance is simply ruined by Verizon

9. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

It's a Z3 in a Z2 body, so I fail to see how it's worse other than the giant poster board ad placed by Verizon with their logo.

12. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Yes except it doesn't have the Z3 screen though. It has the worse Z2 screen. Not as bright as the true Z3.

15. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

This screen is even dimmer than the Z2.

22. buccob

Posts: 2979; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

and it is also a bit bigger than both the Z3 and Z2...

14. vintage

Posts: 15; Member since: Feb 12, 2014

The Verizon logo at the top needs to go. Does anyone know why Verizon cant get the actual z3 it would be dumb to buy this one

16. Jason2k13

Posts: 1469; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

i feel sorry for americans, having the stupid company logo stuck on their phones for everyone to see. Makes the phone look ugly.

27. Omarc07

Posts: 574; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

Actually its only a verizon thing .. Att phones usually have a very small logo that u cant even see it . My att lg g3 has the att logo in the back and its so SMALL that im serious u cant EVEN see it and good thing its on the back the front of the phone is clean it only has thE LG logo in the bttm ..so dont feel bad for all americans u should feel bad for the people that have verizon.. Cuz us americans that have other carriers dont have to put up with stupid company logos all over our phones..

17. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

stupid move from sony or verizon. sony deserves financial failure for allowing something this stupid.

18. Flippyphone

Posts: 67; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

I don't care what the rationale is, labeling this Z3anything is bogus. When they announced this (and before I realized it was repackaged s**te), I immediately decided I was getting it . And then the hands-on vids came out, and I felt a great big "F' verizon" well up inside me. They have the Moto X, and the Turbo is coming out, and they mix in this weak, recycled crap? In what world does that make sense? I guess they are banking on the non-geeks who don't do any research before they buy who won't know that this really isn't the current version. This really is one of the shadier moves I have seen in awhile.

20. anleoflippy

Posts: 596; Member since: Jan 03, 2013

Worse than the Z2 and the Z3 imho.

21. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

this deserves a lower score
Xperia Z3v
  • Display 5.2" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 20.7 MP / 2.2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3200 mAh(21h talk time)

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