I am not a Sony endorser. I have no formal relationship with Sony but it sure looks that way to many people because I have switched all of my photographic gear to Sony.
And now, with a sheepish expression, I’m about to discuss why I have set aside my Apple iPhone 6 plus for the new Sony Xperia Z3. First I’ll tell you the reasons, and then I’ll tell you the story about how I came to this decision.
- It’s waterproof. When you live in Canada, there are times you’re walking around in the snow and the phone falls from your hand. I wind up furiously blowing into all of the holes trying to save my iPhone. Did you know that inside the earphone hole of your iphone there is a little ‘moisture’ indicator that tells the warranty people if your phone has been in the water? (that voids your warranty). The z3 is dunkable. No need for that spare can of coffee or rice to dry out your phone after a plunk in the toilet. I have literally plopped my Z3 in the tub next to me while rinsing shampoo out of my hair. It is easy to get used to this, but also risky if you switch back and forth between iPhone and Z3.
- It has an SD card slot. This to me was huge. I take a lot of photos and videos, and therefore find that I have to buy the most expensive iPhone (128 gig) just to be able to store my images and videos before it fills. What is most tragic is that my wife had a 64 gig, filled it, and backed up her images to her laptop, deleting all of the old ones to make space for more room. Her laptop was destroyed in a house fire, and all of those images were lost. Thank you asshole Apple for wanting to protect their revenue by making image memory fixed, and making you have to rely on iCloud backup to save your images offline. iPhoto is such a terrible piece of software (where are the images stored? Oh yes, the image library! Where is that stored?). Even if you store on iCloud, you have to manually delete images on your rapidly filling space. With the Sony, you just transfer your memory to the SD card (I put in a 128 gig) and then transfer those to your computer, hard drive, cloud, wherever. You get a simple DCIM folder and video folders. It is EXACTLY like shooting a digital camera. You shoot, remove the card, and save it to your computer – if you want… or…
- Transfer Images By Tapping You can tap the phone to your Sony Alpha camera and the images will transfer – simply by tapping! Using NFC (near field communications). Here’s a demo:
- The camera is a lot better – a lot, lot better. The lens is a 25mm f2.0 vs iPhone’s 29mm f2.2. This is noticeably wider. You can also shoot in full manual mode. You can choose your ISO, shoot mode (aperture priority, shutter priority, etc – just like a regular camera). Those of you who shoot Sony will recognize the creative styles and the Auto modes. It has a 20.7 megapixel image size (shooting in M mode) vs the iPhone’s 8 megapixels. The front facing camera is 2.2 megapixels, vs 1.2 megapixels for the iPhone.
- The Video Is Incredibly Better – This camera can shoot video in 4k. The lens is faster, allowing you to shoot better video in low light.
- Battery Life Is Much, Much Better – This was huge for me. Using the new Android “Lollipop” operating system, it feels like the battery is about 50-100% longer. To get the best battery life, I turned on “Stamina Mode” (which doesn’t really shut anything down that you’re going to need) and turned off the “Google Now” feature that activates the siri-like “okay google” command. In order to turn on voice functions, simply touch the google button on top, and you can do voice commands.
- Live Remote Viewing – If you have a Sony Action cam (or any Alpha camera) you can use your mobile phone as a remote viewfinder! Imagine setting up a camera and using your phone as a remote LCD.
- Ease Of Transfer – On Sony’s site, they have a software tool and resources that allow you to instantly transfer data from your iPhone to your new Sony phone. Only thing though, is anything on the Apple Store is not transferable, which is fine by me because Apple’s Store for movie purchases is outright ridiculous compared to Google Play, Amazon Instant Video or YouTube’s Premium Video purchasing offerings. One other thing that I cannot STAND about Apple’s iTunes store. For some reason, it asks you to enter your password many times once you decide to purchase something. You know what Apple, you’re stupid
- Cost – This is a better device at about half the price.
Drawbacks? Here are a few: 1) there two apps that I need which are not available on Android, like “Kevo” or “Livescribe”. I’ve had to literally carry around my piece of shit iPhone 6plus just for those apps. There is also no thumbprint recognition, but I worked around that by making a really easy pattern for my thumb to trace to unlock my phone. Oh, last drawback? I cannot find a cool slimline leather case for it. I liked my leather case on my iPhone because it was starting to show age and wear.
I have heard some internet reports that Sony is exiting the mobile device world, but not sure if that is true. I don’t know why Sony isn’t selling more units. I mean, I have a clue (you can’t find them in any of the wireless stores!). It seems to be like this with Sony. The engineers do a great job making a product, and their marketing people struggle with translating all of this engineering horsepower to ways that resonate with a marketplace with a two second attention span.
So, people have to rely on reviews. I have no reason to switch to Sony, I’m not being paid to do it, and Sony doesn’t ask me to write anything, nor do they control what I say. It’s a better phone than Apple, and Apple is an asshole for making people buy more expensive phones just to have more memory to store their images or videos. And for making it difficult to backup images (and to clear them) between your computer, the cloud or your mobile device.
Oh last reason I like the Xperia over the iPhone 6 plus? It won’t bend in your pocket.