Sony’s finally come to its senses, having announced the Xperia Z3v for US carrier Verizon Wireless on Thursday, after years of keeping American Sony fans in the cold with the Xperia Z series exclusivity with prepaid carrier T-Mobile. Up until now, Sony fans in the US have had to pay $700 and $800 out-of-pocket for Sony Xperia Z devices, and, despite the fact that they pack 20MP cameras, are water-resistant, and provide Sony’s unique experience in software and design, customers have seen Sony devices as a mobile cul-de-sac.
This is the case no longer.
Sony has finally decided to extend its generosity to American carriers and provide a Sony Xperia Z3 experience for Verizon Wireless customers. We’d seen Sony Xperia Z mockups of a possible device from earlier this year, and heard rumors here and there in the wild, but Sony’s announcement today put an end to all the whispers and chatter. Now, those on the nation’s largest 4G LTE network can finally put a little Sony back into their lives – and a ton of up-front cost back into their pockets.
The Xperia Z3v, as the device is formally called, features a design that is rather reminiscent of the Xperia Z2 instead of the parent phone for which this Verizon smartphone is named (Z3). With the specs being relatively the same between the two devices (the exception being the Android OS update), you’re getting the same quality Xperia Z3 experience that so many customers have already come to know and love.
The Xperia Z3v packs a 5.2-inch display (just like the Xperia Z3) along with a 1920 x 1080p (Full HD) screen resolution, and features a 2.5Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage (the Verizon Xperia Z3v model). The device also features a 2.2MP front camera and a whopping 20.7MP back camera with a 3,100mAh battery that Sony says can last up to two full days with normal usage. Android 4.4 KitKat will remain the minimum update with this device although you’ll likely be able to update past this – seeing that other Sony devices have already received additional, incremental updates to Android 4.4.
A characteristic of Sony’s Xperia Z line, now including the Xperia Z3v, is that the company’s devices are water and dust-resistant. Sony says on its site that its devices are “waterproof,” but we wouldn’t take this claim too seriously; after all, Sony has been barred in South Africa from calling its Xperia Z1 “waterproof”. We don’t want you to experience the same disappointment as the South African woman whose $800 died along with her Sony device in the water because she believed the company’s claim. While the Xperia Z1 only had IP55/58 water and dust resistance, Sony’s Xperia Z3 is IP65/68 water and dust-resistant – meaning that you should have fewer headaches.
The Xperia Z3v will retail at Verizon for $199 with a two-year agreement. Considering that you’re getting 32GB of internal memory storage out of the box, it’s a good deal all-around. We here at Inferse are glad that Sony’s finally decided to get out of its “T-Mo only” mode, but we have to ask: Sony, what took so long?
For those who may want something a little less expensive and off-contract, you can always pick up the newly-announced HTC Desire Eye – though you’ll have to “shake hands” with AT&T to get it (it’s an AT&T exclusive).
So, what’s the verdict Verizon customers? Happy to see Sony’s flagship finally available on Big Red? Do you think that Sony’s timing was excellent, or do you think that the company should’ve waited until it announced the Xperia Z4? Do you intend to buy the Xperia Z3v at this point? Do your thing in the comments.