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Mobile World Congress 2019

Sonys Press conference from MWC took place end of February
If you missed it you can watch it here.
Please join the discussion here and share your thoughts on what was anounced here. MWC 2019 discussion.

XZ user not impressed with the XZ3

Adviser
Message 1 of 18
1,033 Views
Message 1 of 18

XZ user not impressed with the XZ3

 I'm writing to give feedback for my XZ3. 

 
I have just migrated from my wonderful silver XZ and am already regretting it after day one. 
 
Double tap to wake - I used this religiously on my XZ due to it's immense usefulness/accessibilty, despite the fingerprint reader being in a genuinely usable location on that handset. Now that the XZ3 has a fingerprint scanner in a genuinely unusable location I am mortified to discover that double tap to wake no longer works. I have to enable the pointless and frustrating added-layer of 'Ambient Screen' so that I am then able to double tap to get to that pointless extra screen...then I'm forced to wait a second or two before double tapping again to get to the lock pattern screen.
 
Buying this £700 flagship phone has, at the least, quadrupled the time and effort to unlock the phone via screen-tapping compared to my XZ which I got for £450 at launch.
 
If double tap can be registered in order to reach that God-awful ambient nonsense screen then why can't I unlock my phone with a double tap when that ambient screen is disabled? Appalling design.
 
No headphone jack is near unforgivable as it is so totally needless to remove, yet so remarkably convenient and necessary. I'm heavily begrudged by it and if a near-identical phone is released with headphone jack and double tap to wake then I won't hesitate to say goodbye to Sony whom I've been a loyal customer for many generations. 
 
Sony have made using my phone a complete chore compared to how my XZ functioned. The fingerprint scanner was on the side so that it could be accessed whilst the phone was in a cradle or flat on a surface. Sounds useful right? Then why change it!
 
If the fingerprint scanner was still awkward or hands were messy then a nice clean double tap on the screen unlocked the phone or took it to the lock pattern screen. Sounds really useful right!? So why the **bleep** did Sony remove it!?
 
Sony need to strongly consider their approach to QA testing. I guarantee anyone on planet earth presented with 2 phones, with and without those features above - would choose the features that made accessing the phone much easier. Go figure!
 
Sorely disappointed with this phone. Nice screen, nice to have more power, nice that it comes with Pie... Shame its a laborious shambles at the point of user entry every-single-time and cost me £700 for the 'pleasure'.
 
Please pass this feedback to your OS software department because simply reinstating double tap to unlock (without that pointless 'Ambient Screen' active) would make me care less about the useless fingerprint scanner (which I'm constantly confusing with the camera lens...finger marks all over the lens CONSTANTLY, YAY!). 
 
Another point is that the phone is practically made from Teflon. I have ordered a gel case out of necessity because, oddly enough, I don't want my phone to skid at 100mph like hot melting butter across any surface that hasn't been perfectly levelled by NASA engineers. It slides off my bed which is a firm and flat mattress! Given that it's not made from beautiful aluminium like my previous XZ, but in fact glass (known for it's easily breakable qualities) - you do not want the phone to slide about like a bar of soap. If you have a sofa on a hard floor then good luck is all I say. 
 
One last note is that facial recognition hasn't worked once. When setting up the facial recognition it asks me to position my head in full frame of the circle but it's at such an unnatural distance, height and angle that I'd have to hold my phone up in the sky and at arms length to register my face. Yet again more inconvenience dressed up as convenience. Who's going to hold up a phone like that? No one, that's who. 
 
All in all very disappointed that accessing my phone is a complete shambles. Design is meant to move forward and become more elegant and less noticeable. Sony have stepped back 4 years and thrown bollards at the user. 
 
The phone is also too big. If it was the same size as the xz but with a bigger screen then it would be perfect. Phablets are needless - see my earlier point about design making things smaller and more convenient - again sony have stepped back 4 years. 
 
Regards 
 
- A sorely dissapointed loyal customer now £700 and 5-seconds-per-phone-interaction poorer
17 REPLIES 17
Talent
Message 2 of 18
1,026 Views
Message 2 of 18

Re: Not impressed with the XZ3

So assuming you had done your research online into all the things that you are dissatisfied with why then did you go ahead in getting an XZ3 in the first place? All these nitpicks you have with this device you could have found out if you took the time to look into more detail about the XZ3 specs etc.

 

While I agree it's disappointing not to have double tap to wake, it's not NEW news. Think that has been the case since the Xz1, though I could be wrong. 

Adviser
Message 3 of 18
1,008 Views
Message 3 of 18

Re: Not impressed with the XZ3

I had read about the bad fingerprint reader placement, the "slightly" slippery exterior, and larger size but obviously I couldn't experience them myself until I had it in my hand. I thought, "how bad could all that really be" along with the headphone jack too. But the annoyance has been far worse than I could have expected, given that I was excited by the screen and internals.

It's not slightly slippy though, its literally like holding teflon coated in butter, and It's only a bit bigger than the XZ but obviously loads more screen realestate which means now reaching the top of the screen requires serious finger gymnastics. The screen scale feature is quite cool but why not just make the thing a cm shorter so it can fit in peoples pockets where it belongs and be easy to weald? If it was aluminium-backed then the gymnastics might be more bearable. I've got larger than average hands and the XZ was a perfect size for me. I feel sorry for people with smal hands trying to use this behemoth. 

Coming from an XZ, without experience of later models - I naturally expected useful features to be added, not taken away. Instead loads of terrible features (like the horrid side-sense...instant disable!) get the go-ahead and useful ones get the block.

I actually wasn't aware at all that the 'double tap to wake' feature had been removed. It's such a fundamental, useful and easy-to-impliment mechanic that it hadn't crossed my mind that they'd inexplicably cut it! I mean...why!? I simply assumed that such a usefull feature would now be bread-and-butter. It is the easiest method of accessing your phone in almost any situation, by far IMO. 

Battery life is also much worse than the XZ. I appreciate it has a meaty screen but for £700 they could have put a bigger battery in. 

All very dissapointing, unfortunately Slightly frowning Face

P.s. on a side-note, I also bought a Sony WCH20 as the geek in me was dead excited by having a sci-fi wireless charger...but it makes a constant fan-whiring noise, meaning I can't use it as my bedside charger. It was just too noisy to sleep next to. Be warned!

Enthusiast
Message 4 of 18
997 Views
Message 4 of 18

Re: Not impressed with the XZ3

You could've gone to a shop and checked out a display model, you knew about the headphone socket and Sony did provide an adapter.

Having issues with the software is one thing but an awful lot of your issues could've been less surprising had you done your research, I personally think the phone is great, don't like the tapping the side for options things by that's about it.

If you feel so passionately about the deeply horrendous disappointment that is the xz3 then sell it and look for something else. 

Adviser
Message 5 of 18
994 Views
Message 5 of 18

Re: Not impressed with the XZ3

I certainly will consider it, as I already mentioned. I pre-ordered it in the mind that it cannot be so bad, but I think I was wrong. 

Unfortunately the Pixel 3 also misses the essential headphone jack...what the **bleep** is wrong with these companies? Can they think for themselves without blindly following the church of Apple? 

And anyone using a Sony with double tap for wake...why would anyone expect that feature to be removed?? Who would think to search for that? 

And many of these annoyances can only truly be understood in real-life situations. Looking at a store model isn't going to show me how **bleep** annoying not having a 3.5mm jack will be when battery runs low or forgotten that stupid adapter. Or how slippery it will be if I have wet hands etc. 

Anyway, I hope any XZ superfans like me will read my gripes before deciding to purchase. 

Inhabitant
Message 6 of 18
962 Views
Message 6 of 18

Re: Not impressed with the XZ3

Ok, please take a deep breath and calm down, everything is going to be ok Slightly smiling Face

 

Reasons behind why certain functionality is developing in a certain way is sometimes not obvious, sometimes it's because of new Android version limitations, other companies claiming patents, companies with monopolies cornering other companies... So don't straight up be mad at Sony. It's good to voice our opinion in a place they are hopefully monitoring though.

 

As far as your issues... I had the Z3 that had double tap to wake and the  XZ Premium that didn't, so after a while I got used to not having it. XZ P did have the beautiful side fingerprint sensor though, so it was easy to forget about double tap. Getting used to the new placement of the sensor takes a bit of time, make an effort and give yourself some time. For situations where you can't use your finger, you can also setup a voice ID unlock, that's something new that works great. Also, setting trusted locations and trusted devices really turns the need to secure your device down to a minimum. When my smartwatch or headphones are connected or when I'm home or at other safe addresses, security is off and that's most of the time.

 

Ah the headphone jack... I do agree Apple made a mess when they started this trend, as they do... But to be fair, I've been using Bluetooth headphones since the Nokia ones on their Symbian devices, I can't even remember when was the last time I used wired ones. And Sony is the king of wireless headphones, why don't you just upgrade? I have the original 1000X, the SP700 and XB80S, I can recommend all of them.

And also, you have an adapter included in the box if you want to rock old-school style. It's really not such a big deal.

 

The screen is bigger, but did you notice you can swipe over the navigation keys to make it smaller so you can control it easily with one hand when needed? I have no need for this, but for people with small hands it's super practical and you still get to enjoy a screen big enough to immerse you into any video you'd enjoy watching or a game you like playing...

 

For me the goods of this beautiful phone far outweigh the bads and I'm even more of a Sony fan since I got it Slightly smiling Face I mean, just the screen and the audio...

Adviser
Message 7 of 18
938 Views
Message 7 of 18

Re: Not impressed with the XZ3

Sorry, I understand my OP was probably a bit hot-headed. I was just in shock at the removal of my most used basic function.

I know I can get used to them but it all feels very contrived and less convenient, on paper and in practice. The double tap is functionally there in both software and hardware but they've just added another splash screen to wade through to use it. It's bizarre/daft.

TBH I didn't realise how fantastic the side placement of the fingerprint scanner was until using this back one. My fingers are very long so I have to contort them into an uncomfortable position and fumble around searching when holding the phone normally. It's just bad ergonomics/design. If it was above the camera (where fingers naturally sit to desperatly keep hold of this bar of soap lol), or perhaps at the bottom of the front face (for thumb) then that would be much better IMO. If it has to remain on the back then exactly where the camera is now would be the best spot.

I'm not keen on voice or place to unlock as it doesn't feel very secure. If we could use routers as trusted devices then that would be awesome but the huge 'general area' around my house doesn't feel like a good idea if I drop it in the street by accident just outside. 

I have the same legitimate grudges against no headphone jack as many others. It's simply needless and adds yet another thing needing to be charged and another set of essential tiny dongles easy to lose. If you want to listen and charge at the same time? Longhaul flight? Middle of nowhere for a while? Fine in the confines of Apple's californian utopia but not good for most other people on the planet. 

Yep I discovered the screen shrink and it is a good idea...or an essential idea given the size and slipperyness of the device. I've got big hands and still need to use that function alot (I like to use one hand for my phone for everything except typing or games). 

I think more people will start agreeing with my points on size and frictionless properties when their £700 *glass* device slips onto a hard surface and they have to pay loads of money to send to Sony and wait 2-3 weeks to have it returned, just as I had to on a previous Sony device with glass front and back. Sony do not have a good customer service in my experience. Again, it begs the question...why not aluminium? Zero benefit having glass instead, and quite the oposite. 

I'm sure many people will simply lump these gripes if they share them, thus giving Sony a mandate to continue displaying design inconsideration and copying market trends instead of leading the way. If the 3.5mm never returns then it is a sad day indeed. 

I'll see how I go, as you say, but I'll be keeping keen eyes on any new handsets. I'll begrudge Sony for making me switch brands if I do as I really like the general feel of their Android UI and always have.

You're right about the screen - it looks amazing.  

Highlighted
Inhabitant
Message 8 of 18
805 Views
Message 8 of 18

Re: Not impressed with the XZ3

Hey, 

my oppinions are: at 1st, everyone wanted a bezel-less phone so, you cannot complain of a too large screen when all the specs are  at your feet. For that problem you can resize your "active part of the screen" exactly how you want it. These are the new generation's features, large, small bezels screen, really, you cannot come and complan about that.

2nd - yeah, no tap to wake up must be really annoying. This remainds me of such a cool anymation i (we)had on our xperias until android 5, that CRT screen turned off.

take a look how cool that was. Still, it's been removed long ago Slightly frowning Face

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oiw-vps_nG0

Enthusiast
Message 9 of 18
791 Views
Message 9 of 18

Re: Not impressed with the XZ3

I really don't understand the issue with tap to wake, yes there's an extra screen but that comes on as soon as you move the phone, you don't have to tap it, it's there as soon as it detects motion so you give it the usual two taps and you're away. 

Adviser
Message 10 of 18
783 Views
Message 10 of 18

Re: Not impressed with the XZ3

And what about the multitude of situations where your phone is stationary and you want to wake the phone? When it is in a car cradle, when it is on the counter whilst you're cooking and need to quickly check the recipe again, when you've got very messy hands and want to keep contact to a minimum, etc....to name but a few of the extremely likely real-world scenarios. Sometimes I like to keep it flat on a table to read/scroll whilst I eat...now I have to pick it up or tap it 4 times with an intermitant pause before I get to the lock screen.

 

Seriously, why not just allow a setting for double tap to bypass the pointless ambient screen? It's there in code but simply switched off. All they need to do is switch it on. Crazy. 

Why people think the ambient screen is good is totally beyond me. But then again I migrated from the XZ which had the awesome side-position home button so picking it up meant I could simultanously press the button (which had an in-built finger-print scanner so I didn't even need to press it!) and pick it up in one go. I mean, if you need to pick up your phone to activate it then your hand is already on the buttons...such a stupid and convoluted design it has become. 

The XZ is starting to look like some sort of futuristic award-winning design against this. I'm sure many people are defending The XZ3 because the thought that they might have just dropped £700 on a bit of terrible ergonomics/design is a tough pill to swallow. 

@me323 - that is indeed a cool animation! I've never seen that before. But alas, my complaint is about something truly functional. An animation is nice but not a feature to improve usabilty and access.