Unlike its rivals, Sony updates its flagship smartphone every 6 months so we're already on the Xperia Z3. See also: The best smartphones of 2014

It will set you back around £520 and in most respects looks the same as the last few iterations. Sony has stuck to the same square style design each time but has been refining it with each new device. Read: Sony Xperia Z3 release date, price and specs.

This time around, the Z3 is thinner, lighter and is more ergonomic with completely rounded sides and no sharp edges. Small tweaks have made a big difference so although it looks almost the same, it somehow feels like a completely new smartphone.

New colours include copper and silver green and Sony has increased the IP rating to IP68 meaning can be submerged in 1.5m of water for up to 30 minutes. Nylon corners are now in place in case of accidental drops.

We like the Z3's new design but existing Xperia owners will be disappointed to hear there is little change in the hardware department. Sony Xperia Z3 vs Xperia Z3 Compact comparison review: Is the mini Z3 too good?

Sony has stuck with the same processor – although it's clocked slightly higher – and 3GB of RAM.

It's no surprise that the Z3 benchmarked almost identical to the Z2 but that's not exactly a bad thing and despite the higher CPU clock speed, Sony has improved battery life. We comfortably managed two days without even switching on Sony's excellent Stamina mode.

There's only a 16 GB storage capacity on offer but users can add up to 128GB more with a microSD card slot. The screen remains at 5.2in and Full HD so no Quad HD here which the firm claims is unnecessary and detrimental to battery life.

Sony has also stuck with the same 20.7Mp camera and we can hardly blame them as it's a solid performer. It does have improvements such as a 28mm wide angle lens, the highest ISO of any smartphone at 12800 and some new camera apps to play with.

It's all pretty samey with no additional hardware which rivals are offering such as fingerprint scanners, IR blasters and heart rate monitors so Z2 owners will have little reason to upgrade.

Sony, has two new features though, the first being PS4 Remote Play. As the name suggests, PS4 owners can play PS4 games on the Z3 rather than the TV.
The firm has also added support for High-Res audio including DSD files making this the first smartphone with the ability.

The Xperia Z3 runs Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box and Sony's interface remains largely the same but with small changes. The app icons are now larger and you can optionally double tap to switch the screen on. PS4 Remote Play and High-Res audio are the most important additions.

Although the Xperia Z3 is largely the same as the Z2 and existing owners may see no reason to upgrade, Sony has taken an already decent smartphone and improved it – namely in design and software. It might not have the bells and whistles like rivals but the Xperia Z3 is a solid choice for a smartphone.