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Sony Xperia Z3 India launch next week, price 50k

The Sony Xperia Z2 is still going strong, but voila, the new, LTE-enabled Xperia Z3, arguably the one of the most advanced phones in India, will be launched in India next week at a price of around Rs 50,000. The Z3 compact, which will come with a 4.6-inch screen, would be priced around Rs 38,000 Rs 42,000.

UPDATE: The Xperia Z3 is available on Flipkart for Rs 49,990.

International prices for the unlocked version should be around $550.

The Z3 is the successor to the Z2, which was launched just four months ago, and carries the same full-HD 5.2 inch display. But there’s a crucial difference between the Z2 and the Z3. Unlike the previous version, all variants of this version come with 4G LTE.

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According our dealer sources, the Z3 will set you back by about Rs 50,000, or largely the same as the starting price of the previous version. Flipkart is likely to be among the first to offer the phone. Sony is planning an aggressive campaign to promote the model, sources revealed.

The Xperia Z3 is Sony’s best phone – a direct challenger to the Samsung Galaxy S5 (Rs 37,000) and the LG G3 (price Rs 43,500). In terms of internal specifications, all three phones are very similar and come with the Snapdragon 801 chipset with a 2.5 GHz Krait processor. All three also run Android 4.4 KitKat.

However, there are some difference that make the Xperia Z3 standout from the others in India, particularly ruggedness and the availability of LTE. Before we get there, however, we should note that the LG G3 has the biggest display of the three, both in terms of overall size (5.5 inch vs 5.2 inch) as well as in terms of resolution. At 3.68 mln, the LG Model has nearly twice the number of pixels (dots) on its display compared to both the Galaxy S5 and the Sony flagship.

While the G3 has a bigger display, does it have better clarity and crispness? Perhaps not, since the LG G3 has a pixel density of 534 dots per inch, while the Samsung S3 has a density of 432 pixels per inch and Xperia Z3 comes with 424 pixels. Anything above 350 pixels is tough to distinguish with a naked eye in most use cases (or when held at normal usage distance.)

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Still, in terms of display, the LG model does have a slight advantage for those comfortable with big phones.

Now, coming to the Sony model. The Xperia does have a crucial advantage compared to the others — it definitely more rugged and waterproof. The Z3 is IP65/68 rated, making it more waterproof than ever before.

In addition, it is also thinner than the Z2, and has a width of 72 cm, compared to 72.5 cm for the Samsung Galaxy S5 (which has a 5.1 inch screen) and 74.6 cm for the LG G3.

In other words, the Xperia is definitely easier to hold despite having a slightly bigger display compared the S5. It’s not the lightest though, at 152 gm compared to about 145 for the others, but that is still about 10 gm lighter than the Z2.

The most crucial differentiator, and one where the S5 version launched in India clearly loses out, is in terms of support for 4G LTE. Vodafone, Airtel, Aircel and Reliance Jio have, or will have LTE services by early 2015. In fact Reliance Jio will launch LTE services across the country by then, and it pays to have a phone with LTE built in.

That said, the Sony Xperia Z3 variant being launched in India will not support 2300 MHz LTE, which is what Airtel and Aircel have launched already. Jio, however, will launch LTE on both 2300 MHz and 1800 MHz and that is just as well, since the Sony phone will support 1800 MHz LTE.

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In comparison, the Galaxy S5 does not support LTE. The LG G3, however, scores well here as it supports LTE in 700, 800, 1800, 2100, 2300 and 2600. In other words, nearly all frequencies in which LTE has been, and is likely to be launched in India, are supported.

The Xperia Z3 also has rounded edges that give it a much better look than the boxy appearance of the Z2. Another difference is that the Z3 can play games directly from Play Station 3 console if both are connected to the same WiFi network. The phone will take the place of the TV. In addition, the Z3 is promised to have enough battery life to last two full days on normal usage.

Like all Sony Models, the Z3 scores well in terms of camera, and comes with a 20.7 megapixel shooter with very high ISO (light intake) levels and a 25mm wide G Lens.

The display is also supposed to be 50% brighter than the Z2 screen, which helps with outdoor usage.

So, is the Xperia better than the G3? We don’t know frankly, as it depends on what size display you are comfortable with. But if 5 inches is your thing, then the Z3 is arguably the best phone of three out there right now.

Another complicating factor is that the Z3 will face competition from two other phones that will also be launched next week — the Lenovo K920 and the HTC Desire 820.

Still, coming close on the heels of the launches of the C3 and the E3, which were launched over the last ten days, the Z3 will definitely help the struggling Japanese phonemaker drive some sales in India.

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