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Sony Xperia Z3 Compact hands-on

Posted: , by Victor H.

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The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is a smaller device than a flagship, but this does not mean that it is less powerful than one. In fact, it has almost the same zippy internals as its flagship sibling, the 5.2-inch Xperia Z3.

So what is the difference? Mainly, in size: the Xperia Z3 Compact is a 4.6-inch smartphone with a 720 x 1280-pixel (720p HD) display. For all else, it’s got the same outstanding design. It’s made out of glass and the edges are nicely rounded. But the most impressive design feat seems to be that the 4.6-inch Xperia Z3 Compact fits in nearly the same dimensions as last year’s 4.3-inch Sony Xperia Z Compact. This makes it a perfect device for single-handed use, and that’s something that many will appreciate. In addition to that, we’re seeing some bold colors: along with the traditional black and white, there is orange and green as well.

Display


Sony Xperia Z3 Compact hands-on
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact hands-on
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact hands-on
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact hands-on
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact hands-on
We are impressed with the 4.6-inch display of the Xperia Z3 Compact. It has great looking colors (at least to our trained eye, we’re yet to run benchmarks) - vivid and rich, but maybe just a tad short of perfect. The 720 x 1280-pixel resolution might not seem extremely high as nowadays we get phones with Quad HD panels, that is with four times more pixels, but it feels sufficient to not notice individual pixels. Pixel density comes in at 319ppi, close to the level of the current iPhone 5s, if we had to compare it to anything.

Interface


The Z3 Compact runs on Android 4.4 KitKat with Sony’s Timescape user interface on top. It’s a fast-running interface with nice, modern icons and swift transitions with almost none of the slowdown we’re so often seeing in other devices.

Processor and Memory


Under the hood, the Xperia Z3 Compact features the Snapdragon 801 system chip. It features the quad-core Krait 400 processor that can run at up to 2.5GHz, and along with 2GB of RAM. Internal storage starts at 16GB, but you can easily expand on that via microSD cards of up to 128 gigs.

Camera


Apart from its excellent performance, the other huge advantage of the Xperia Z3 Compact is its large-sensor camera. With the Xperia Z3, the Z3 Compact shares the same 20.7-megapixel 1/2.3” Sony sensor. This is the largest sensor out there on Android, and that gives it many advantages, especially in lower-lit environments. The handset is also capable of recording 4K video.

Battery


The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact features a 2600mAh battery. This might not sound like a heck lot for a flagship, but we should not forget that we’re talking about a device with only a 4.6-inch display with a not hugely challenging, 720p resolution. The end result seems like a winner: the 2600mAh juicer should theoretically be able to easily carry you through a day, and why not even two. We’re yet to test the juicer with our exhausting battery tests, but we do expect some nice scores.

Expectations


Don’t be misled by the ‘Compact’ in the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact. This is not a ‘mini’ phone with shrunken down specs: it’s a full on compact flagship. And that’s great: after all, not everyone would want the huge 5.2-inch display of the Xperia Z3. With a great display, zippy processor, and impressive camera, the Z3 Compact has all it takes to succeed.


20 Comments
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posted on 03 Sep 2014, 16:06 9

1. hmd74 (Posts: 301; Member since: 31 Jan 2013)


I Love Dat

posted on 03 Sep 2014, 16:16 5

3. Ashoaib (Posts: 1822; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


yeah... its nice and beatiful... please izombies come out of your icomma and go for this highly specs and premium looking phone... now you have no excuse that other manufacturer doesnt have high end small phone... iphone is not high end anyway, it is just a mid ranger

posted on 03 Sep 2014, 16:58 2

7. akki20892 (Posts: 3411; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Not only u, but we love dat too

posted on 03 Sep 2014, 16:07 4

2. AK4TAY7BEN (Posts: 6; Member since: 01 Aug 2013)


My next phone unless Sony doesn't launch it quickly enough in the US.

posted on 03 Sep 2014, 16:17 9

4. XPERIA-KNIGHT (Posts: 2429; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)


Simply Gorgeous phone.

posted on 03 Sep 2014, 16:18 3

5. mistertimi (Posts: 76; Member since: 28 May 2014)


No video? Poor show PA.

posted on 03 Sep 2014, 16:50 7

6. Lt.Green (Posts: 369; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Definitely upgrading to this.

posted on 04 Sep 2014, 00:58

18. Wiencon (Posts: 88; Member since: 06 Aug 2014)


Me too. Orange for me.

posted on 03 Sep 2014, 17:03 2

8. rnagic (Posts: 15; Member since: 13 Jul 2014)


Is there an IR blaster? It's not a deal breaker, but it'd be nice if it had one.

posted on 03 Sep 2014, 17:42 1

9. zoozo (Posts: 6; Member since: 03 Sep 2014)


The design is so much better now that the screen to body ratio is smaller! Now, the white or black version?!

posted on 03 Sep 2014, 18:17 1

10. avalon2105 (Posts: 71; Member since: 12 Jul 2014)


Actually, screen to size ratio is bigger now, meaning that screen occupies more of the device footprint. As for the color options, I think Z3C begs for some live colors (green being best looking for me).

posted on 03 Sep 2014, 18:53

11. edelxander (Posts: 27; Member since: 01 Oct 2013)


yup..i'm using the sammy GS4 and the IR blaster is a very useful tech. I do consider between iphone 5s and the z1 compact as my 4-incher phone but this new device simply show my way. This phone is going to be my next phone. A compact power house!

posted on 03 Sep 2014, 19:19 1

12. EspressoBrownie (Posts: 5; Member since: 08 May 2014)


Metal and glass, best of both worlds for a phone. Definitely a upgrade from Z1 compact. Question is, upgrade or wait for Z4 compact???

posted on 03 Sep 2014, 20:10

13. Suiii (Posts: 2; Member since: 31 Oct 2013)


it isn't metal =x

posted on 03 Sep 2014, 22:05

16. EspressoBrownie (Posts: 5; Member since: 08 May 2014)


Yeah I just noticed it...wow I'm sad now

posted on 03 Sep 2014, 21:23

14. LeBrownJames (Posts: 86; Member since: 17 Mar 2014)


Does this have the front stereo speakers of the Z2/Z3?

posted on 03 Sep 2014, 21:56 1

15. Classique (Posts: 18; Member since: 10 Jan 2014)


Come to AT&T please

posted on 04 Sep 2014, 00:06

17. phantom_six_man (Posts: 36; Member since: 12 Feb 2014)


worth a wait :),this onw is a nice upgrade because the next compact will be z5 :)

posted on 04 Sep 2014, 02:23

19. Symon_Fleece (Posts: 46; Member since: 30 May 2014)


Best compact phone!
Finnally, xperia has their own browser, instead of chrome
the icons are bit larger than before.
but it this phone is great :)

posted on 04 Sep 2014, 10:16

20. sswain (Posts: 48; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


Still too thick and much wide bezels, not for me...

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