Development secrets behind the Xperia Z3+/Z4

by XB on 9th July 2015

in Featured Content, Xperia Z4 and Z3+ series

Xperia Z3 Plus Overview_10During the Xperia Z3+/Z4 launch across various regions, Sony’s development and design teams hit the road giving some insight into how the phone was built. We have amalgamated a number of pictures below that show the handset deconstructed and key specs for the device with a particular focus on the camera and audio experience.

Facts shown off in the pictures include that the Xperia Z3+ display is 16% brighter than the Xperia Z3 and that the 5MP front camera uses a 1/5-inch Exmor R sensor with F2.4. They also confirm that headset compensation is supported for all wired headsets in the Xperia Z3+, unlike the Xperia Z3. The Xperia Z3+ also supports the LDAC audio codec versus the Z3. Check out the full details below.

Xperia Z3 Plus Overview_1

Xperia Z3 Plus Overview_2

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Via ePrice, Marco Kao Blog and Xperia-Freaks.

  • Sweggity

    Xperia Z2 was the last good Z series

  • Vuyo Ncube

    A relatively small evolution but the changes are decent at least. The only improvements needed are better camera autofocus, stronger ISPs and stereo speakers and a better designed chipset.

  • ????? ????????

    Z3 was the best latest Sony smartphone!

  • Still overheating like crazy and can’t use the camera if the phone is hot.

  • Michelangelo Ceferino

    This is a good information because it’s different to Z3 and Z3+Z4 or probably the next Z5 flagship, everything can change ?

  • ShinOrochiX

    This probably makes Z3 users feel like shit, I would definitely feel crap if I owned a Z3, because little things like these matter even if they are not visible changes.

  • Ryan Kumar-jassi

    I love how they havent shown the xperia z in the thickness photo its thinner than the z3 lol

  • Tjaldid

    Please Sony put a new curved sensor with OIS and a new type of Flash/laser and I will buy your next phone that is not to much to ask for

    it’s not like I’m asking for a 5000mah battery

  • Arturo Pastrana

    well that’s you will feel, LOL, I have a Z1, and they are good “things” to have but I doubt (for the moment) I would use the LDAC for example, cause I dont have a GOOD bluetooth headset… the thickness its not a big deal, maybe the screen?, but as I already say I have a Z1 and I never turn it up to 100% to bright for me…

  • Prateek Bhanushali

    Even Display here. Yes I know it has improved a lot, but just as Camera it isn’t upto the competition. I remember how accurate the displays were with Sony ericsson Saga and with the Sony taking over, they just doesn’t have enough fund to lend to its Software departments !!!

  • Prateek Bhanushali

    Sony did a mistake adapting 810 SoC !!!

  • Clarence Alvarado

    Yeah, me too. Lowest brightness setting on my Z1 is already okay. It’s super bright!

  • Clarence Alvarado

    Sony knows better engineering design and already perfected everything on its Omnibalance thing. But the thing is, we wanted a new one. A new look, incorporating these developments to a new fitting. Hopes up for Xperia Z5 with next level development of imagery.

    Don’t care if you go back with Z1’s thickness and weight of 170+ grams and 8.6 mm, just give us the IMX230 1/2.4″ 21 MP Exmor RS sensor rear cam with 3-axis OIS, IMX208 1/3″ 8 MP front cam and 3,500 mAh battery.

  • Sreekanth Namboothiri

    And this all hard work gets spoiled by using a battery eating hot pot like CPU Snapdragon 810 :/

  • nfs2010

    Has anyone redeemed free movies & TV episodes they are giving away to Z3+ owners?

  • Billy de Fretes

    but not with superior auto for main camera… but considering audio output for z3+, i might replace my old Z with this…

  • smartuser8

    Feel NOTHING. Why? Because I want COMPACT!!! :D
    The killer will be the next Compact with S820. Z3+ with S810 is like a i7 without fan ….

  • Nidou Xperia™

    ok, i got it, I have Z3, but these marketing matters won’t change my mind that I won’t change my Z3 for a Z3+ and I’d rather wait for a Z5 or Z6.

  • Timel

    Hey bros
    Could anyone tell me what is LDAC and what is difference between LDAC and DAC

  • Timel

    People want the awesome camera from Sony smartphone, please make the awesome superior auto and the full manual controls.

  • nfs2010

    LDAC is a bluetooth protocol that can do high res audio wirelessly & DAC is a HW that converts digital signal into analog. People use external DAC as the internal ones on phones or even mp3 players are quite crappy. So you take the digital output through the USB, feed it into the dac, & the analog output you get will blow away the crap analog output from 3.5mm port. Hope that makes sense!

  • Michelangelo Ceferino

    This is a good information because it’s different to Z3 and Z3+Z4 or probably the next Z5 flagship, everything can change

  • iosvsios

    There are always improvements.

    Rather, it should help the case that the Z4 isn’t just a weaker Z3, they added a lot of non-obvious improvements, which are welcome.. Sadly it’s crippled by the battery life and possibly by the CPU, the rest IS an improvement however.

  • Timel

    Thanks you so much bro ^_^

    LDAC is great but it would be better if Sony put S-Master HX Amplifier or at least the real DAC like Wolfson Dac or Sabre ES9018 DAC to the next Xperia flagship phone.

  • Michelangelo Ceferino

    LDAC is more better when you do connect your Bluetooth especially in audio device by sony

  • Timel

    why Sony let competitors like Apple, Samsung and LG precede them about smartphone camera. C’mon Sony is the maker of great cameras such Cyber-shot RX series and Alpha NEX, basically Sony can easily make the awesome camera for their Xperia flagship phones but Xperia cameras have always been worse than competitors… the only weakest point of Xperia flagship phones, this is so stupid!

    Sony must seriously focus on their smartphone camera. The Z5 must come with the awesome superior auto and the full manual controls.

  • nfs2010

    Actually, when you do LDAC from the phone you want the good DAC to be inside the headphone (not the phone) cause the phone is sending out digital data over bluetooth. But yes, you could also put a great DAC inside the phone so that you can enjoy the 3.5mm out. Oh all wolfson DACs are not good. The one you see in the mobile are junk :D. So Cirrus logic (the company that makes audio codec for Apple) bought Wolfson and they’ll make sure Apple gets the best mobile audio chips as they make something like 80% of their Apple.

  • nfs2010

    But yeah a phone with built-in great wolfson DAC would be awesome.

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  • nfs2010

    Are they using “Sabre ES9018 DAC” or something else from Sabre? I thought that one goes into profession audio equipment, it may not be suitable for low power mobile applications.

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    ONLY better DAC is not enough to produce a good sound. The OPAMP is also need to be the good and matching one.

  • nfs2010

    Yep, a TI one would be great :P

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    Yes TI was always make the good OPAMP

  • nfs2010

    Oh, we should also add a nice >$500 pair of headphones. Most people will use this great DAC & Amp combo with a $10 headset anyway & it’d be so hilarious =)

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    I think if anyone use that junk class headset with a good combo set of DAC & AMP.

    I would like to call them “idiot”

  • This makes me want to upgrade as soon as it’s available for me. There’s so many small changes it really makes it seem worth it.

  • Benjamin Levy

    It looks like they put the camera lens behind the back glass, so you have a smooth exterior surface.

  • skyzo97

    Sony has made a good phone, but Snapdragon 810 …

  • zymo

    They should Improve the camera in an significant way! They need a much better image processing sw. And why don’t they use their new IMX230 sensor? Other brands already launched devises sporting this Sony sensor.

  • Tommy He

    After using Z4 Tablet for two weeks, I cannot say SD810 is a bad SoC or Sony made a mistake to adopt in its latest product line.

    Its battery performance for average usage(anything except heavy 3D game) is awesome. Depending on the indoor or outdoor under sunshine, roughly 15+ hours.

    For 3D games, I have played hours of Anomaly 2 and Table Racer, never feel a single slowness caused by overheating.
    Not even a little. Period.

    Surely it still feels hot in center part of rear panel, but it’s far away from griping area and apparently no affect to performance.

  • fluxx

    Yeah, the Z3+ could have been a much better package with the SD808 and IMX230. Let’s hope they get the next one right, then I might upgrade from my still-good Z2.

  • Matt

    What are you saying is like mp3 is great, but it would be better if they put more sound “processor”.

    In fact z3 does have quite capable DAC (check HEADFI for reference), then quaint the difference are minimum if you use :
    # compressed format like mp3(depends on compression rate and quality)

    #out of the box earphones

    Only the output is a tad lower than competition, but the effect ist pronounced on low power device like earphones, unless you use power hungry headphones . . that is all

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    only one but big mistake

  • Svnjay

    They’re already on par with Apple in camera.

  • fried_egg

    Just a pity the near immediate appearance of “camera too hot” & shut down makes the phone unusable.

  • fried_egg

    Most people though buy a phone within 2 months of it launching… why sell a phone that for 10 months is “old” and no one wants to buy. If when you buy a Sony you know you have the latest at that time and that in most software features it will stay up to date (the Z & Z1 got 5.0.1 and should be getting 5.1) then you would not care that a new model is out… unless you think owning a phone everyone thinks is “old” is cool just because it is still an unloved flagship gathering dust in a store…

  • Harut Hajin

    All 8, 13 and ~21MPX cameras made by Sony, for Samsung, Apple, Benq, Lenovo , Xiaomi , Sharp, Yota and others, difference between quality it’s from software codes

  • Timel

    It all depends on Sony, Sony can choose to
    get ahead of the competition or choose to lag behind competitors

  • iia3ezu

    Keep calm and wait for the Z5.

  • HAWX

    Thank you really much ^ ^ I’m really curious about engineering behind products :)

  • vzangel

    If the Z3+ is 6.9mm thick, imagine what they could have done today with the Z3+’s technology in 8.5mm like the Z1; an insane battery life, better front facing speakers and OIS for sure.

  • Srijan Chawla

    Not really, Yes it was one of the best, but Z3 was quite an improvement over the Z2, the biggest one that i felt was ergonomically, how it was built, lighter & quite easier to hold than the Z2, better edges with better fillets & better grip.
    So yes Z2 is the greatest but not the best of Sony

  • Amir

    z3+ is the best, minus s810.

  • Oldtimer42

    I use my Z3 Compact a lot for conference calls as a speaker phone. The speakers are very weak in comparison to colleagues Iphone 5’s.

    Disappointing that this feature isn’t as strong as it should be.

  • HAWX

    Xperia’s cameras are not patroting. Does S6 plays High Res files up to 24-192? Does Samsung get wet? Does your Samsung work even if there is water on it’s screen. AHAHA noob Samsung Timel get da f0ck out from your cave.Stop eating Doritos and learn every Smaprtphone has it’s advantages and downsides compared to it’s rivals. If you don’t like new improvements than you should already understand this is not a phone for you. #LoLoL0

  • haxona

    Believe me when I say this but after a couple of days when the OS settles down my Z2 always got hotter than my Z3+ is doing now. The problem is overblown out of proportions and is only a problem the first 2-3 days after installing an update. After that if you are gonna trashtalk the Z3+ because it gets a bit warm then trashtalk the whole series of Z phones because they all become this warm

  • haxona

    I have no idea how I am going to get the code, both apps basically give no help whatsoever about how to do it *:/

  • nick

    Oem like opo can do better battery and still maintain less physical footprint with larger screen and what Sony does decrease battery and for what to make device more slim what you want to do with a slim device, and if u already have aqua series why are you punishing the users with lowest quality speakers on flagship, non waterproof flags also sell i think you are unaware, or think its the only point to sell your flagship.
    I hope z5 would bring something new to table.

  • nick

    I was doing a test 4k on my z3 and it clocked to 75 degrees and still the recording was going on after 1 warning almost it was 10mins then i stopped the recording, i don’t think z3+ woul be that bad,since most of the people don’t even play much games or do heavy processing task.
    I barely use 4k on my phone,only in certain conditions, sometimes do heavy gaming and its super fine when z3 was launched they said same, it heats blah blah and all now they got more hot object they say it’s better than z3+.
    I wil be getting mine in few weeks lets see…as i have only tested the demo unit and it was good enough.

  • haxona

    There is significant difference between my Z2 and my Z3+ shots I even posted some on XDA and sent some of them to Xperiablog. But I guess they didn’t find it interesting enough.

    Here you go :)

  • haxona

    Its a lot better that I can tell you

  • Timel

    Does S6 plays High Res files up to 24-192?
    Of course, it does

    Does Samsung get wet?
    No problem, it does, people can use S6 while raining

    Does your Samsung work even if there is water on it’s screen
    Too bad, Nope

    Every smartphone makers have seriously focused on the smartphone camera because they get what most people do want, yeah most people want great smartphone camera

  • Svnjay

    “No problem, it does, people can use S6 while raining”
    You can use the Z3+ underwater! The S6 is not IP certified.

    Thankfully, the Z3+ camera is just as good as the iPhone.

  • nfs2010

    I finally got the code from Xperia lounge today. Then I had to sign up for an account using that code on the Privilege plus app! I’ll have to select the movies now.

  • zymo

    First thanks for the pics. It looks like the Z3+ has a better metering mode and handles white balance better. But still those image looks to “grainy”. Most of the images I’ve seen taken with the Note 4 or S6 are just gorgeous and videos are way better than anything else on the market. While Sony’s making some minor improvements Samsung comes around the corner and blows everything away. It shouldn’t be Sony trying to catch up Samsung or LG (G4) but the other way round.

  • Timel

    At least people can use S6 in the rain without any problem, that’s enough for daily using

    Yup S6 Can’t use underwater but…. c’mon We are not mermaid okay? We’re human,

  • Svnjay

    Haha, S6 shills are feeling the burn.

  • Timel

    Again… How often do you really use your phone underwater Svnjay?

    All I want to say is… Sony’s focused wrong point, they don’t get what most people really want, I didn’t mean that waterproof is useless but most people want the greatest smartphone camera more than the waterproof feature.

  • Svnjay

    Accidents happen.

    The Z3+ camera is on par with the iPhone 6 that you love so much.

  • Timel

    According to the DxOMark?

    I dare, please do the blind test between Z3+ and iPhone 6, S6, LG G4, Nokia 808, Lumia 1020 and then we will see which phone’s the winner, which phone’s the best, which phone’s just good and which phone’s the worst LOL

  • Svnjay

    DxOMark is objective and scientific.

    I’d take that over an opinionated blind test.

  • Timel

    Of course, DxOMark is scientific, that’s cool
    But blind test is tangible reality

  • Svnjay

    Blind tests are subjective.

  • Timel

    Stop lying to yourself
    Stop defending Sony
    DxOMark can’t change the reality that Z3+ camera is much worse than iPhone 6 camera, people around the world know this!

    So dont waste your time and face the truth Svnjay, You should tell your beloved company how such their smartphone cameras are, for the improvement, before it’s too late.

  • Svnjay

    I don’t know why you discredit Dxomark. We know you hate Sony but c’mob Timel, just accept it.

  • Timel

    I don’t hate Sony

  • HAWX

    “Playing higher res tracks on S6 Edge have a touch more subtlety to instruments, and an increased sense of space around big orchestral tracks, though Sony’s Xperia Z3 still delivers vocals with a touch more expression.”

    Using 700$ S6 on rain is a huge risk, I’m not that rich to risk my money.

    With Xperia Z3+ you can take photos underwater or listen to music If you have right handset. It has better battery life than some other flagships as well. Z3+ still have some qualities that are better or unique compared to other flagships.
    If these qualities are must have qualities then go for Z3+. Otherwise you can get other device from other manufacturers. There isn’t anyone forcing you to buy spesific device.

    Calling Sony noob and trashtalking won’t change much. If you want to help them really or give some opinions you can go and talk on Sony’s official forum.

    Please keep this forum clean. Stop doing dick race. You are just a costumer and prooving Samsung’s some qualities better than Sony’s ones won’t make you something. Give your opinions positively and be a man.

  • M Usman

    I actually now own an s6 edge believe it or not and I’m impressed. I only miss the LDAC I had in my z3+. Can’t play hi res on the edge. Speaker distorts. When I use tidal and hifi using Sony’s hi res headphones, the sound isn’t the same. Fast charging is great although the battery life is terrible. The camera is definitely better.

  • Iucidium

    You’ll need to buy LDAC compatible Bluetooth headphones.. Which are Sony’s.

  • CharlesSWilson

    Some New Features with xperiablog….. Go To Next Page

  • Battal Aljadei

    There’s no any Secrets about Z3+ or any other smartphone !

  • MaudJMaynard
  • jag

    My z3+ takes great pics. Even my Fiancée is jealous because my phone takes better pics than her iPhone 6 plus.

  • Stanley08

    I have a Z3 which i only bought 2 weeks ago. And i still don’t regret it. Wats the point of having a better CPU if you can’t use it to the MAX?

  • Blacksparrow15

    does the front camera of z3+ have an autofocus feature?

  • El_Carnicero

    I recorded over 8 minutes of 4k video and there was no “camera too hot” message.

    Nice try, Samsung troll.

  • fried_egg

    Samsung Troll? are you some kind of idiot. Ive posted on here for years.. had a X10,S and have a Z1, I am the reason some of my friends bought Z2 and Z3s and one just bought a Z3+ which shut down repeatedly when using it in the pub last week when comparing the apps on my phone to his. By the way, you should see what I wrote on the trusted review’s Z3+ review that gave the phone a 6/10 and only a 4/10 for the camera… then tell me I am a samsung troll again… muppet

  • fried_egg

    @El_Carnicero:disqus read this and tell me I am a troll again… see my comments about their review and tell me again. fool.

  • El_Carnicero

    Yes yes, well done, still you’re wrong. I’ve had ZERO camera errors/heat shutdowns.

  • El_Carnicero

    I still don’t see any “near immediate appearance” of any error messages. Keep trolling, son.

  • fried_egg then again, read this and tell me 1) i am trolling when i questioned their score.. or that they too found the camera utterly unusable. moron

  • El_Carnicero

    You mad, bro? Need to call people “moron”? Insecure much?

  • fried_egg

    @El_Carnicero:disqus oh look also says camera “too hot to handle” — are you living in a world of “you” or the world where people have a better idea of what is going on. you sound very very sad if you cant balance your own experience view. you sound unhinged and very much a fanboy when you dismiss several magazines and sony’s own admission ( that the z4 & z3+ is overheating and will receive a fix soon (likely to further close the 8 cores off… did you know only 6 are normally on, and when the camera fires up all 8 are used.. you can download the qualcomm app to actually see the cores and their load and confirm your phone is only using 6/8 normally…) gives the app name ( ) & also confirm overheating quickly closes camera after only 10 photos… you really have zero knowledge.

  • fried_egg

    by the way, you know this is Z3+ not Z3… you had a Z3 a couple of weeks ago.

  • El_Carnicero

    Yup, got my Z3+ a week ago. Loving the Aqua. :)

  • fried_egg

    well my little “bro” (wannabe gangster speak). go and tell android central, trusted reviews and ibj their retail review phones were all wrong and yours work, add your comments on their reviews and dont forget a screen print using the qualcomm app “TREPN” to show that all cores are working and sony havent turned any of them off when you are using it to prove them all wrong. oh and email sony to say they were wrong & their admission the phone overheats was a lie bro… hahahaha.

  • El_Carnicero

    Well, they should re-test using the new firmware. Mine updated OTA the day I got it. :)

  • El_Carnicero

    By the way, “bro” is not gangster-speak, you imbecile. :)

  • El_Carnicero

    Nice to see the details behind the corner caps too

  • AshleyDBaker
  • fried_egg

    still doing it yesterday and no updates in UK… oh, and have you checked with the qualcomm app to see if the sony “fix” actually just makes your 8 core phone a 4 core phone… likkle ganster bro (that is the culture the words come from as you dont appear yo know that bro)

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  • Adrian M

    Why ?? i´m glad to have z3 and not z3+. z3 is stronger

  • skyzo97

    This phone not officially available in my country in Malaysia. It have come to Singapore and Indonesia though.

  • The Devil Hunter

    Does anyone know when the Z4 phone or tablet will be available in the US? I know they have a Z4v variant with Verizon but I have T-Mobile and I was wondering if they will be releasing the Xperia Z4 tablet or phone here. Thanks in advance.

  • Shubham Mutreja

    sony used NXP TFA9890 audio chip on Xperia Z2 but in Z3 they used TWO NXP TFA9890 Chips!!
    In z3+ they used Silicon Image WCD9330 chip

  • nfs2010

    Oh, I was talking about the Sabre DAC he mentioned which are being used in those Chinese phones. The one he mentioned (“Sabre ES9018 DAC”) is really good & usually goes into audio equipment. So I was just asking if that’s the one being used in those Chinese phones – probably not…

  • Kevin Pachää Khouyà

    Z3+ have the greatest camera ,its the best photophone …

  • Shubham Mutreja

    they only have loud volumes as an advantage
    The NXP TXA one also is very loud and z3 has two of it but level of waterproofing makes it to sacrifice volume and glass on the back also creates problem
    The audio output is low due to(i think) europe restrictions of volume
    And they focus only on europe markets
    This chip was also on NOTE 4 which has excellent audio quality
    Z3 also has excellent audio quality but only it sucks at volume and this can be corrected by low Impedance or sensitive heaphones like Audio Technica ATM-50/70

  • Clarence Alvarado

    Hopefully they also release entry-level SBH Bluetooth Headsets like the SBH20. Make the SBH25 with a detachable in-ear headphones with LDAC support and a much bigger battery (around 420 mAh, capable of Bluetooth music up to 8-10 hours continuous).

  • jrnr

    Bro, this is not z3, z3+ is much better
    May be they have fixed the software issue, yes takes better photos than my i6

  • Abhinav Tella

    I’m happy with my Z3. Greater battery life (even according to Sony’s own specs) and according to some reviews the Z3 actually has a tiny bit better speakers than the Z3.

    I will admit the USB placement on the Z3+ is better where you can even add this small USB to magnetic adapter and yes its QuickCharge 2.0 compatible:

  • Abhinav Tella

    Movies expires one year after activation, if I am not mistaken, still not bad though.

  • Alvin

    “does samsung get wet” well if the s6 seduces timel, the s6 will definitely get wet

  • HAWX


  • Shubham Mutreja

    Accidents like Timel?

  • MWisBest

    The TFA9890’s primary purpose is to amplify the speakers (voltage step up to 9.5V for example, etc), for headphone audio out it’s likely using a different DAC.

  • Shubham Mutreja

    yes i know i was wrong but forgot to edit!

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