Sony Xperia Z3 Compact battery life test results: the new champ welcomes us to the era of 'two-day' battery life

The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact comes with the promise of not only being a flagship-grade device with top specs in a compact body, but also with one particularly alluring proposition - that of two-day battery life. Such big claims for Sony begged for some real-life testing, and we're happy to say that we've concluded our exhaustive Xperia Z3 battery life test and the results are in.

The Xperia Z3 with its 2,600mAh battery proved to be not just good, but quite exceptional: it easily grabbed the first place amongst all non-phablet smartphones with a battery longevity of 10 hours and 2 minutes on our test

How do we test? We run a custom script that replicates real-life non-stop usage of a smartphone, so the result is indicative of how long the phone would last under average use when you use the phone without putting it down. In reality, of course, our phones stay idle for long periods of time and this is why the Z3 Compact will be able to run for two days off the charger under average use.

Of course, this depends on how you use the phone: Sony's official numbers show that the Z3 Compact talk time is 14 hours on 3G, then it promises 10 hours of continuous video playback, and 110 hours of continuous music playback. Most impressively, though, the handset's stand-by longevity stands at over 38 days, while other flagships like the Apple iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S5 clock in at just around 16 days.

We’re also very happy to see that Sony has added a new Ultra STAMINA mode that turns wallpapers to black and white, leaving only very few basic apps. This mode is clearly there to squeeze the most out of your battery, in a way similar to what Samsung first did with its Ultra Power Saving Mode. With the Ultra STAMINA mode enabled and 40% of charge left, the Z3 Compact shows that it can last for more than 4 days, which is nice.

Here are all the apps that are available when you are in Ultra STAMINA mode: Phone, Contacts, Messaging, Camera, Album, Calendar, Alarm & Clock, Calculator, FM Radio. The browser is sorely missing, but camera is there. It’s all about compromise. Keep in mind that Sony’s implementation is also a bit clunkier than others’ as deactivating ultra stamina mode will actually force-restart your device.

We have also run a test to see how fast the phone recharges. Unfortunately, it seems that the Z3 Compact does not feature any kind of the new QuickCharge technologies that allow a very fast charge-up of the phone. You'd need to wait nearly 3 hours and a half for a full re-charge of the handset's 2,600mAh battery. Take a look at the Xperia Z3 Compact battery life test results right below.

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

hours Higher is better
Nokia Lumia 930
4h 30 min (Poor)
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
6h 8 min (Average)
Motorola Moto X (2014)
5h 45 min (Average)
6h 14 min (Average)
HTC One (M8)
7h 12 min (Good)
Samsung Galaxy S5
7h 38 min (Good)
Sony Xperia Z3
9h 29 min (Excellent)
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
10h 2 min (Excellent)
minutes Lower is better
Motorola Moto X (2014)
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Nokia Lumia 930
HTC One (M8)
Samsung Galaxy S5
Sony Xperia Z2
Sony Xperia Z3
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
Testing method:
As for our battery test, we use a simulation of real-life usage. A smartphone nowadays is used for much more than calling and texting, so we had to take this into account. The average smartphone user actually spends most of the time on the web and social media, and you might be surprised that this average Joe of a user actually listens to music and plays games more than he talks! To get a better understanding of that average use, feel free to take a look at the top activities we do on our smartphones.

Story timeline

Related phones

Xperia Z3 Compact
  • Display 4.6" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 20.7 MP / 2.2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2600 mAh(14h 3G talk time)



1. Dthawk

Posts: 42; Member since: Feb 11, 2014

Wow, I did not expect these results!

5. Duketytz

Posts: 534; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

They are fixing the criticisms that they got for previous flagship bit by bit. Am waiting for Z5:D

7. PunyPoop

Posts: 752; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

Z3 has smaller footprint, smaller battery than my Z2 but managed to have a longer battery life! Kudos to SONY!

42. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Yeah... Optimization... Now fast charging is needed Sony. Taking almost 3hrs to recharge.

48. bur60

Posts: 981; Member since: Jul 07, 2014

I have said this over and over again. Phonearena only considers 0 to 100% charging. The phone charges with a regular speed (1500mah speed, I tested my z1 and z2). The 'problem' where Sony gets bashed in without informing the readers by PA is, it charges 1500mah up to 90%. From 90 to 100% it charges slow (better for nighttime charging )

50. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

who cares... with a phone like the z3 compact it's very unlikely that you'll have to charge during the day, so you can simply leave it on the charger overnight. Anyway, it's not 3hrs. It's less, unless of course you're not using the charger that came with the phone but a less powerful one.

53. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Just wait for custom kernels and you'll see how it charges in 2 hrs.

45. JC557

Posts: 1925; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

That's all well and good now they just have to make it widely available and compatible with all carriers. I'm not sure the T-Mobile exclusivity will be a good thing for the Z3. I guess I'll wait and see what's in store for Verizon and Sony. Can't wait to try one out at the Sony Store though. I just picked up the Sony SRS-X2 portable speaker to supplement my Sony SRS-X5 that's a little too large for portability purposes. The Z3/ Z3c would look great with these speakers.

27. maherk

Posts: 7017; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Although I was one of the first to mock Sony for the Z3 since on paper it was almost identical to the Z2, I have to applaud them for proving me and many others wrong. The Z3, Z3 conpact along the Note 4 has to be the best Android phones ever. The Z phones were always a sexy ones, but with the slimmer profile and the rounded edges it made the Z3 even sexier. My only complaint about it is the on screen buttons, I know lots love them, but that is the only thing that is making me pick up the Note 4 over it in 2 weeks from now. Kudos to Sony, they perfected an already great Z2.

59. mafiaprinc3

Posts: 585; Member since: May 07, 2012

Excellent job in optimizing the battery life Sony, keep it up and let's not forget the amazing battery life of the Huawei ascend mate 2 and the Huawei ascend mate 7.

57. mechameister

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 23, 2014

android project volta will make z3c reign at the top as the king of battery life for a long time to come

61. sid07desai

Posts: 290; Member since: May 03, 2012

yes the battery life is exceptional. But the drawback is 3+ hours of charging time to full charge. Which means a busy user can only find time to charge the phone completely at night, while sleeping. Which is pretty much the case with all other phones. But if it can last an entire day with heavy-extreme usage, I can't complain.

74. spw000

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 23, 2014

apparently it has fast charger which works up to 90%... after that it slowly charges to protect the battery life.

79. dimas

Posts: 3420; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Sony Z3 compact just killed iPhone 6 in specs and battery life. I'm impressed and can't wait to have Z3 compact in my hands.

2. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

I'd love to get a Z3C.

25. lalalaman

Posts: 638; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

OMG! i so want that phone too or Z3 if i had the money for it

3. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

This is the phone people should be standing in line for, or signing up for pre-orders.

60. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

Unfortunately they r not.....I still think same thing.

4. ShenAlJoker

Posts: 113; Member since: Jul 19, 2013

Tell me the way to make the display of z3 accurate.(color) I mean settings adjustments.

8. Victor.H

Posts: 1098; Member since: May 27, 2011

Hey, ShenAIJoker, we've talked about this in our Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review here The Z3 Compact has a cold-looking display, but luckily Sony offers you the option to adjust RGB levels in settings -> display. We tweaked it to the following values: red ~ 250, green ~ 190, blue ~ 0, and we feel such color balance is much closer to optimal.

76. ShenAlJoker

Posts: 113; Member since: Jul 19, 2013

Thanks a lot Victor. To me z3 is the best all-round package.

24. rkoforever90

Posts: 478; Member since: Dec 03, 2011

Try this R = 5, G = 35 and B = 80

29. Victor.H

Posts: 1098; Member since: May 27, 2011

That would actually make an already bluish screen, go even further in the blues.

6. LeBrownJames

Posts: 201; Member since: Mar 17, 2014

One word: Wow!

15. DogeShibe

Posts: 1121; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

That's mine

43. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Just let down by the 2gb Ram, instead of 3gb Ram The Z2 has 3gb Ram.

49. PunyPoop

Posts: 752; Member since: Jan 18, 2013

Z3c has same CPU and GPU of S5.

56. MichiGo

Posts: 173; Member since: Sep 09, 2014

Bro its a compact.

63. LeBrownJames

Posts: 201; Member since: Mar 17, 2014

It sits below the Flagship phones but above the midrange ones, so 2gb ram is just enough.

64. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

lol, i still think that, u should make your own phone.

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