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Sony Xperia Z3 unveiled alongside Z3 Compact at IFA 2014

After many rumours (opens in new tab), Sony has finally unveiled its latest flagship Android phone, the Xperia Z3, over at IFA 2014 in Germany (opens in new tab), along with its smaller, more manageable partner in crime, the Xperia Z3 Compact.

The Sony Xperia Z3 is a 5.2in handset with a resolution of 1920 x 1080, whereas the Compact is a 4.6in phone with a 720p resolution. Both have Sony's Triluminos tech and X-Reality for better contrast, and apparently the brightest displays among contemporary premium smartphones according to Sony's own testing.

Both these devices are also waterproof to IP65/68 standard, too, so you needn't worry on that score – they can last for 30 minutes in water to a depth of 1.5 metres.

To focus on the Xperia Z3 flagship itself (pictured above), the phone has a rounded aluminium frame (sound familiar?) which is 7.3mm thick, so this is a sleek looking handset. It weighs 152 grams, a shade less than rivals like the HTC One M8 (opens in new tab), but still considerably heavier than the iPhone 5S (opens in new tab) (although that phone is a lot smaller, of course, with a 4in screen).

Read more: IFA 2014: Live news, pictures and analysis from Berlin (opens in new tab)

The Z3 is powered by a 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, backed up with a generous 3GB of RAM and an Adreno 330 GPU, a combination which should have no trouble shifting pixels on that full HD display. It supports 4G LTE too, of course, and has NFC.

The phone will be available with 16 and 32GB of storage, along with a microSD slot for expansion.

Sony is also claiming not just the brightest display, but the world's best smartphone camera (based on the raw specs, and a blind survey of 200 UK consumers). The Xperia Z3 has a 20.7 megapixel rear camera with a 1/2.3" ExmorRS sensor and a 25mm wide-angle Sony G Lens to let snappers fit more into their photos.

Top low-light performance is also promised, with ISO 12800 sensitivity, and as for video footage, this unit is 4K capable and has SteadyShot tech for smoother panning and a more stable image overall.

A ton of novel software features are also promised, such as the ability to record from multiple angles using multiple Xperia devices, or to add sound to a photo. You'll also be able to snap an event with the main camera, and your reaction to it with the front-facer.

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Sony wants to deliver not only on the visual front, but also with audio, as the company has brought High-Resolution Audio on board the Xperia Z3 (for headphones and music tracks which support it – though there is also upscaling on board for non-high-res tunes). Digital Noise Cancelling technology is also present, and there's a pair of front-facing stereo speakers with S-Force Front Surround should you be listening without headphones.

What else is worth mentioning? Battery life, certainly, with the 3100mAh battery able to last for up to two days, Sony claims, and with a Stamina mode which can switch off background functions to eke out more longevity.

As for gamers, they can enjoy PS4 Remote Play to hook up with games on their Sony console and use the phone to control them – or it's possible to play games on your Xperia Z3 with the Dualshock 4, should someone else be watching the TV.

If work, not play, is of more interest to you, Xperia Email, Calendar and Contacts apps are on board, and these can be synced using Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. A dual-SIM variant of the Z3 will also be available.

Related: Best gadgets of IFA 2014: Sony Xperia Z3, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Moto 360 smartphones (opens in new tab)

It's an impressive sounding piece of hardware, and if you want to know whether what's on paper translates to real life, stay tuned for our Xperia Z3 hands-on which will be published very shortly.

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Kunimasa Suzuki, President and CEO of Sony Mobile, commented: "Consumers demand and deserve greatness from their smartphone – in design, camera and battery life. That's precisely what we aim to deliver with Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact, at the same time as delivering leading innovations such as unique Sony camera experiences and, for the first time, PS4 Remote Play in two beautifully designed, fully waterproof smartphones."

Sony hasn't yet pinned an exact launch date down – it's just "autumn 2014" at the moment, so we can expect the Xperia Z3 and the Z3 Compact (which is pictured above) to hit possibly late this month, or in October.

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.