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Sony's Xperia flagship and smartwatch are coming to Verizon this fall

Brad Molen
10.09.14
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Over the last few years, Sony has struggled to make a dent in the US smartphone market. Aside from the Xperia Z1S on T-Mobile and the Xperia Ultra Google Play Edition, American buyers haven't been exposed to the global Sony smartphone lineup. That's why we were happy to learn last month that T-Mobile will carry the electronics giant's latest flagship, the Z3, and today Verizon announced that it will begin offering its own variant, known as the Z3v, on October 23rd for $200 on-contract. Additionally, the Sony Smartwatch 3 will make its way to the same carrier later this fall for $250.

Gallery: Sony Xperia Z3v hands-on | 22 Photos

As the letter 'v' denotes, this version of the Z3 is not exactly the same as the global flagship. Most of the specs are the same -- 5.2-inch 1080p display, 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801, 20.7MP Exmor camera, IP68-certified for waterproofing, 32GB internal storage and a microSD slot capable of handling up to 128GB cards. Verizon sweetens the deal by adding Qi wireless charging.

The overall design is the same, but Verizon has tweaked a few elements of the design. It's wider and thicker, reps say (we've asked for exact dimensions and will update the post when we get them), and the sides aren't quite as rounded as the original Z3; the edge where the sides connect with the front/back bezels are slightly angled and consist of polycarbonate. Even some of the tabs (the microSD, for instance) use rectangular corners instead of rounded ones.

We've praised the Z3's fantastic battery life, but while Sony promised two days of battery life on the global version, the company's only willing to claim "more than a day" on the Z3v -- slightly ironic given it features a larger battery (3,200mAh, versus 3,100mAh on the original). Sony doesn't say exactly why this is the case, but it's likely due to differences in bloatware software and radios (CDMA radios are packed in).

Edgar Alvarez contributed this report.

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