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Sony Xperia XZ3 brings out the big guns to challenge the Galaxy S9

This flagship phone is playing for keeps.

Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt

Editorial Director / CNET Franchises, How-To, Performance Optimization

Jessica Dolcourt leads CNET Franchises, How-To, and Performance. With over 15 years in journalism, her experience includes mobile phone and software reporting and reviews, and delivering advice on expansive topics ranging from personal finance to travel and home. Jessica got her start at Download.com and holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).

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2 min read

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Sony is one of those phonemakers that gets lost in the shadow of the iPhone and Galaxy phones. But its latest, the Xperia XZ3, wants to be in it to win it -- at least compared with the Galaxy S9.

The supersize, superpowered, superpricy handset comes in swinging, with specs you'd want to see on any high-end phone. You've got a 6-inch screen, a 19-megapixel camera setup (single lens, like the Galaxy S9), waterproofing and wireless charging, an amenity you don't often see outside Samsung phones. Google's latest OS, Android Pie, runs the software show, and the whole phone is backed by Qualcomm's brawny Snapdragon 845 chipset.

Watch this: Sony's Xperia XZ3 packs enough muscle to scare the Galaxy S9

The Xperia XZ3 will sell for $900 in the US with Amazon and Best Buy. That steep price tag converts to about £690 and AU$1,230. Although the phone won't go on sale until Oct. 17, Amazon preorders kick off Sept. 24 for US buyers. Sony sweetens the deal with a pair of Xperia Ear Duo headphones, while supplies last.

Sony phones don't sell in every market, and can be hard to track down in spots like the US, but Sony Mobile's website helpfully points you to handsets you can buy through retailers like Amazon and Best Buy.

Sony Xperia XZ3 looks surprising in dark green and red

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Sony Xperia XZ3 specs

  • Screen: 6-inch QHD OLED with 18:9 screen ratio
  • Rear camera: 19-megapixel with ISO 12,800 for photos, and ISO 4,000 for video
  • Front-facing camera: 13-megapixel (f1.9)
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
  • Storage: 64GB onboard/4GB RAM
  • External storage: Up to 512GB microSD
  • Battery: 3,300 mAh
  • Wireless charging (Qi-compatible)
  • Software: Android 9 Pie
  • Super-slow-motion video: 960 fps
  • Fingerprint sensor on the back
  • Water resistance: IP65/86
  • Gorilla Glass 5
  • Data speeds: Cat 18
  • Colors: Black, white silver, forest green, Bordeaux red
Watch this: Unboxing the Sony Xperia XZ3

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