Sony's Xperia Z3v is a durable business phone with a big display, fast performance and handy software features. It's also one of the first Sony smartphones available in the United States for a reasonable price. While its last few phones could only be purchased off-contract at full price, the tech giant is finally partnering with U.S. carriers to offer flagship smartphones at subsidized prices. The standard Xperia Z3 smartphone will be available only through T-Mobile starting Oct. 29, but the Xperia Z3v is a Verizon-exclusive variant that's available for purchase now, for $200 with a two-year contract. The Android device has a slightly beefier build and slightly worse battery life than the standard Z3, but it gains a few handy features that the other version lacks.
The Xperia Z3v packs the same big 5.2-inch screen as the standard Z3, which gives you tons of room to work on. The big display makes it easier to work on screen-intensive tasks, like editing a spreadsheet, and makes everyday chores, like managing your email inbox, more comfortable. It's slightly bigger than other flagship Android phones, including the 5.1-inch Samsung Galaxy S5 and the 5-inch HTC One M8, but not as unwieldy as monster phablets like the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 4.
Other hardware highlights include a zippy Snapdragon 801 processor with 3GB of RAM, for snappy multitasking, as well as a generous 32GB of onboard storage and a micro SD card slot. Plus, the Z3v supports wireless Qi charging, which lets you set the device down on a wireless charging pad (sold separately) to refresh your battery. That's a feature the standard Z3 lacks.
Sony is one of the few smartphone makers currently selling smartphones with multi-window multitasking built in. The Xperia Z3v, like the standard Z3, supports Sony's Small Apps feature, which lets you run a second app in a persistent floating window over your main app. It's a niche feature, but business users will find it helpful when using the calculator or performing a quick Web search while viewing their email inbox, for example.
A durable work phone is a dependable work phone. Also like the standard Z3, the Z3v features a totally waterproof design: Sony says the device can be submerged for up to 30 minutes without it sustaining damage. That's good news for business users who depend on their smartphone to get them through the workday.