Sony's new flagship is the company's best business phone yet, even if it's not much different from last year's model. The modestly named Xperia Z3+ is the follow-up to the original Xperia Z3, which launched last year; Sony apparently didn't feel that the phone was different enough from its predecessor to warrant calling it the Z4.
But while the phone looks just like its predecessor, that doesn't mean there aren't some nice new features for business users. While we wait to get our hands on the phone before it launches in June, here's a quick rundown of the features that might make the Z3+ a worthwhile work phone.
The Xperia Z3+ has a lot in common with the original Z3, with just one notable change in the design department: The new handset is 0.4 millimeters thinner and weighs 8 grams lighter than last year's model. That represents a small change, for sure, but business users should appreciate a bit of added portability.
But there's a downside to that slimmer size: Sony actually shrunk down the battery a bit to achieve a thinner overall profile. That's no guarantee that the phone will have shorter battery life than its predecessor, though, since the Z3+ runs on a more efficient processor. We'll have to wait to get our hands on the device to fully test its longevity.
Dimensions aside, the Z3+ has the same sleek metal frame as the standard Z3. It comes in three understated colors — white, black or copper — any of which should look at home in a business meeting.
You don't necessarily need the fastest smartphone around for daily business tasks, but a faster processor does mean smoother performance and snappier multitasking. It looks like the Z3+ has what it takes to go toe to toe with other flagship phones in terms of raw performance. With the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB of RAM, it should be of the fastest smartphones on the market.
Durability is a nice quality in a phone you depend on to do your job. That's why the waterproof design of the Z3+ is so noteworthy. The original Z3 was waterproof, too, but Sony has made one improvement over last year's model: the Z3+ resists water damage without an annoying flap over the micro-USB charging port.
A smartphone's front-facing camera isn't just for snapping selfies. It's also useful for meeting remotely with clients and colleagues via video-chat apps like Skype. That's why business users might appreciate the Z3+'s new 5MP front shooter, an upgrade over the 2MP camera on the original Z3. That potentially means sharper, clearer videoconferencing sessions.
Sony didn't change a thing from the original Z3's 5.2-inch display, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. The Z3+'s 1080p screen can't match the pixel density of competing Android phones like the Galaxy S6, but it's plenty sharp enough for a smartphone this size. And while it doesn't offer as much screen space as larger devices like the 5.5-inch LG G4, it's big enough for screen-intensive productivity tasks like editing a spreadsheet on the go.