Battery life sets Sony smartphone apart

Sony's Z3 and Z3 Compact have got excellent battery life.

Sony's Z3 and Z3 Compact have got excellent battery life.

The season continues, with Sony releasing two new models that will go head-to-head with other recent releases.

Chief among their competitors are the new iPhones - with Sony models very similar in size, though a bit cheaper.

I don't think Sony will worry too much as their Xperia line has been popular and the Z3 and Z3 Compact continue that tradition.

However, the smartphone market is cut-throat and to stand out you need some features that wow consumers.

My favourite part of these phones is not very exciting but it plays a huge role in your enjoyment of a phone - battery life. Sony claims its batteries will last two days, which means users can finally say goodbye to nightly charging.

To achieve this its screen resolution - 1080p on the Z3 and 720p on the Z3 Compact - is lower than some competitors but they still look good. One thing to remember is the screens look a bit blah straight out of the box as the brightness is set very low. Go to settings to adjust it to suit.

Its other wow features are being waterproof in fresh water up to 1.5m for 30 minutes and being able to use it as a second screen for your PlayStation, which could entice many people whose big screens are dominated by friends of family when you want to do some gaming.

Everything else is as expected from Sony - good sound, nice design and a great camera (20.7MB) with a multitude of settings. As smartphone photography surges manufacturers have been designing their cameras to give users more control, but I reckon most people just point and shoot and the Z3s do both well.

The 5.2 inch Z3 is also a lot shorter than the iPhone Plus (5.5 inch screen) but only a little fatter. The Z3 Compact has a 4.6 screen and a somewhat chunky design. It's a lot thicker than the new iPhone 6 but also about 10mm shorter so it looks a lot smaller.

Sony runs Google's Android software which is easy to use and will be familiar to most people.

Lollipop, the new Android operating system, will be available on the Z3 and Z3 compact sometime early next year and will have a new design and several new features.

Choosing which phone to buy is getting harder as manufacturers up their game and offer improved devices. So how do you choose?

If you love Sony devices, this will not disappoint.

If you have a Z2 model and don't use PlayStation there's no real reason to upgrade. If you are looking for a new smartphone then this is worth a look, but spend time looking at other devices too so you get one that best suits your needs.

The Z3 Compact costs $749 and the Z3 is $999 but Spark (formerly Telecom) has contract deals for both devices.

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 - Stuff

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