Sony Xperia Z3 Compact hands-on


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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