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 Xperia Z3 could be the first audiophile smartphone

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.

Sony Xperia Z3

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