IFA 2014: Sony Xperia Z3 could be the first audiophile smartphone

Sony crams audio upscaling, PS4 Remote Play, and top-class camera tech into its new flagship

Sony has taken the wraps off its latest flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z3, at IFA 2014 – and we're all ears.

Literally; the Xperia Z3 plays nice with Sony's High-Res Audio headphones, using the company's DSEE HX technology to upscale your MP3 and AAC files to "near High-Resolution quality." Hi-Res audio is a bit of a niche concern at the moment, but it's set to grow in importance now that with record labels have locked down a definition of what the term means.

As with previous Xperia flagships, Sony's focused on making the Z3 a multimedia powerhouse; although you don't get a 2K screen, the phone packs a 5.2in Full HD display with Triluminos tech for a wider colour gamut – employed to great effect on the Z2.

Front-facing stereo speakers mean that you can watch movies without resorting to headphones – though if you want to avoid annoying fellow bus passengers, you can don Sony's own MDR-NC31EM headphones; they pack active noise cancellation that's powered by the Xperia Z3, sparing you from having to carry a battery around with you.

The Xperia Z3's 7.3mm thick, 152g aluminium and glass frame comes in white, black, copper or silver green hues; it's fully waterproof and dust-resistant, with an IP 65/68 rating. Inside, the phone packs a quad-core 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB RAM and 16GB storage (expandable with microSD). You also get a 3,100mAh battery. 

Happy snappers will also be delighted by the Z3's camera; a 20.7MP 1/2.3 Exmor RS sensor delivering ISO 12800 sensitivity, paired with a wide-angle Sony G lens. Naturally it'll also shoot 4K footage. 

The Z3's also capable of streaming PS4 games, Vita-style, using Sony's Remote Play tech; you can hook up a DualShock 4 gamepad to Sony's GCM10 Game Control Mount to turn your smartphone into a mini games console. It's worth noting, though, that it'll only work over your home Wi-Fi; you can put paid to thoughts of streaming PS4 games while you're on your morning commute.

Pricing and availability have yet to be revealed; we'll update our preview with details as they come in.

READ MORE: Sony Xperia Z3 hands-on review

More after the break...

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