03/09/2014 12:12 BST | Updated 03/09/2014 12:59 BST

The Sony Xperia Z3 Looks Like The Android Phone To Beat

Sony has taken the wraps off its latest flagship smartphone; the Xperia Z3 and before it was released we managed to grab an afternoon of playing time with both the Z3 and the rest of the ZPeria Z3 range.

Now it's important to note that it has been just over six months since the company unveiled the predecessor, the Z2.

How can that much have possibly changed in such a short period of time? Well apparently a lot has changed, and almost all of it you won't notice to begin with.

sony z3

When you first pick it up the only thing that'll strike you as different is a change in design; gone are the sharper edges, instead replaced for a Lumia-esque smoothness that feature handy rubberised corners to protect from drops.

Build quality is still excellent though and despite sporting a whole range of different shiny pieces of glass it still feels like a device that's sturdy and rigid enough to survive the odd fall.

sony z3

Aside from this everything seems business as usual; the buttons are still in the same place, the screen is still the same size and all the ports are where they should be.

So why should you buy it? Well that's a very legitimate question and one that Sony has a pretty definitive answer for.

Unfortunately the answer is something we can't actually confirm, or at least until we get one in our hands.

For now though we can give you our first impressions on the rest of the phone, and to be honest even if the battery life jargon turns out to be well, just jargon, then the phone itself is still more than a match for the competition.

Sony's updated the screen, significantly, and it shows on both the Z3 and the Z3 Compact. The screens are brighter without sacrificing contrast and the colours look far richer, which is impressive as the Z2 already had one of the best screens on the market.

sony z3 compact

The camera has also been improved, it now features a 26mm lens so while the MP are the same, the angle is slightly wider. We'll need a more time with the phone to prove this true but for now it looks as slick as it did on the previous phones.

Sony has also upped the processor, the Z3 now has a faster 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor. Despite being faster than the Z2 Sony claims it has actually improved efficiency.

Start flicking through the software and there's more good news. If we had any real qualms with Sony's previous versions of Android it was that they wasted a lot of space. That feeling has well and truly gone.

Wallpapers now gloriously fill the screen while icons no longer get acres of surrounding space, instead it feels like you could create a truly practical home screen.

sony z3 case

Sony Mobile has been going from strength to strength in the last few years, and by refining the experience in each iteration they're creating one of the best Android smartphones you can buy.

If it can truly live up to its two-day battery life claims then Samsung and LG will have their work cut out.