Sony's Xperia Z2 may have only gone on sale in April, but that hasn't stopped the company from working on its successor.
The Z3 has just gone on sale in the UK and some local pre-orders start on October 1 -- although there's a strangely staggered rollout and Sony hasn't actually given a firm release date. Optus, however, has said it will begin delivering the Z3 and the Z3 Compact from October 9, while Telstra says it will have the devices from October 14.
Broadly similar in design to its predecessor, the Z3 is slightly slimmer and narrower than the Z2, despite sporting the same 5.2-inch screen. It's completely waterproof, packs in a Quad Core Snapdragon 801 processor and even takes 4K video. The Z3 compact is the same phone, just wedged into a 4.6-inch frame.
Of course, for many users, the killer feature will be the PS4 streaming. This allows you to stream games from your PS4 to the Xperia Z3 range and -- thanks to a clever mount adapter -- you can even play using your PS4 controller.
Sony has priced the Z3 at AU$849 and AU$699 for the Compact. Local telco plans and pricing are as follows:
In terms of plans, Testra will offer the Z3 for AU$10 monthly handset repayments on a 24-month AU$70 Mobile Accelerate Plan for a total minimum payment of AU$1,920. The Compact will be on the same plan but for just AU$3 a month with a total cost of AU$1,728. Both devices will be available from October 14, with pre-orders from October 7.
Telstra will also be offering the Z3 outright at the discounted price of AU$816 and the Compact for AU$600.
On Optus, the Z3 will be available for AU$73 a month -- AU$13 handset repayments on a AU$60 plan. That gets you 2.5GB of data and the total minimum cost over 24 months is AU$1,752. Very weirdly, the Compact is AU$75 a month -- with AU$15 handset payments on the AU$60 plan. Still 2.5GB of data, but the total minimum cost is AU$1,800. Both devices have a "limited" PS4 giveaway attached.
According to the Optus site, the Z3 and Z3 Compact will be delivered from October 9. Optus does not appear to have any outright pricing for the handsets.
Virgin has the Z3 for AU$5 on a AU$60 plan. There 2GB of data and a further bonus 2GB if you're switching carriers. Total minimum cost is AU$1,560 and the first 100 pre-orders get a bonus PS4.
Finally, Sony says that Vodafone will offer the Z3 at "AU$8 on a AU$70 price plan" although again at the time of writing we were unable to confirm this.
Your handset colour options are surprisingly complex. If you buy the Z3 outright, you've got Black, White, Copper and Silver Green to choose from and it's available for pre-order on October 1. Optus has Black, White and Copper. Telstra, also has Black, White and Copper (but you can't pre-order until October 7). Virgin has Black, but from October 3. Vodafone has no date for pre-orders and will only stock Black.
On the Z3 compact side, if you're pre-ordering to buy outright you have a choice of Black or White from October 1, unless you're buying from outright from Sony in which you can pre-order Black, White, Green and Orange from the same date. If you want it from Telstra, you've got Black, White and Orange but not until October 7. Optus has Black, White and Green from October 1, and neither Virgin nor Vodafone will stock the Compact according to Sony.
Again, Sony has not listed an on-sale date, just these staggered pre-orders. We've asked Sony to clarify this and we'll update when it responds.
Sony is also announce that thewould be coming to Australia. No official price or date yet but at the launch CNET was told that it would cost AU$199. Sony is also dropping the price of its disappointing to just AU$99.
Sony has also confirmed it will bring the 8.3-inchto Australia, although with no pricing or availability yet.
We'll be updating this story throughout the day.
Updated at 9.00am to include Optus pricing and availability.
Updated at 12:55pm to include Telstra pricing and availability.
Updated at 1.10pm to include Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact information.