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8.5/10
Informr score
The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact currently has an Informr score of 8.5 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 30 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Waterproofing
  • Fast performance
  • MicroSD card support
  • Comfortable grip
  • Good camera

What's bad

  • Lack of typical metal Xperia design
  • Mid-range resolution
  • Possible battery life concerns for power users

Sony turned the compact smartphone market upside down the Z1, proving that smaller phones could pack the same punch as their biggest brethren. With the release of the Xperia Z3 Compact, Sony aims to repeat their previous victory. How does the new phone stack up to the competition? Let’s check out the reviews!

For the most part, the Z3 Compact is literally a scaled down version of the Z3. However, there are a couple of differences. The first, and most noted in reviews, is the removable of the metal chassis. While durability seemed excellent in all reviews, most also noted that the plastic and glass design was something they weren’t fond of. CNet stated that the phone “loses the luxury feel of metal found on its big brother and predecessor.”

The other difference is in the memory category. However, with 2GB of RAM to play with, the phone receives outstanding reviews on performance. Forbes called it, “a powerful handset in a wonderfully small package.” The 2.5 GHz quad-core processor is pushing a 4.6-inch IPS display at 1280 by 720 pixels. Digital Spy said, “The Z3 Compact feels virtually as snappy as its Z3 sibling and on a par with a flagship Android smartphone.” Increased brightness and contrast is provided by Sony’s Bravia engine. This brightness was applauded by most reviewers noting how well it performed in bright sunlight.

The choice to use a 720p display was an area of contention with most reviews. While many pointed out how this falls short of most current flagship phones, including the bigger Z3, the display is running a similar resolution to many of the most popular flagships of last year on a smaller display. If you plan to do a lot of reading with your phone, Trusted Review notes that, “the 720p panel lacks the crispness offered by a Full HD display.”

The phone also sports a 20.7-megapixel camera, making it one of the most powerful cameras available in current smartphones. TechRadar noted, “We’re pleased with the quality of the photos taken, especially outdoors.” Reviews of the camera were positive overall with many reviews praising the intelligence and ease of use of the auto mode and exceptional low-light performance for a smartphone camera. The dedicated shutter button also will make it easier to take stable, blur-free shots.

All of this is packed into a design that is waterproof for up to 30 minutes in 1.5 meters of water. CNet put this claim to the test and found their test model worked with no problems after a lengthy submersion. Just be sure to check the waterproof flaps before taking the plunge.

The subtle tweaks to screen size and specs also allowed Sony to shave a bit of capacity off the battery. Reviews of battery life were hit and miss. Some testers found the device would last days while others barely pushed a full day’s use. The consensus seems to be that the phone battery is particularly susceptible to video streaming, gaming and other high-demand tasks but that typical usage should net a day free of hunting charge ports. However, CNet notes, “With average use, you should still expect to give it a full charge every night.”

One important feature for gamers is the exclusive PS4 Remote Play feature. Previously only available on the PS Vita, this feature will allow Z3 owners to connect to their PS4 and play games using their mobile as a display. Unfortunately, this feature won’t roll out until late in 2014 so reviews are unavailable.

Overall, the reception of the Z3 Compact is extremely positive. When compared to both the full-size Z3 and the Z1 Compact, reviews of the phone stand on their own. Forbes stated, “The Sony Xperia Z3 provides an alternative to the monster smartphones, with very few compromises in performance or presentation.” The Verge was very happy with the device, stating, “There’s no other phone like it on the market today.”


Operating system
Android
Processor
2.5 GHz
Screen Size
4.6"
Camera
20+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Reviewed

If you consider a smartphone to be a phone first, the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is the best of a dying breed. Where most smartphones are leaving some customers in the lurch with rapidly ballooning screen sizes, the Z3 Compact offers a smaller alternative without cutting any corners.We've seen this stra...

- Reviewed.com staff, Reviewed
TechSpot

There’s a lot to like about a smaller form factor smartphone with all the power, features and hardware of the larger flagships, especially when that smartphone is the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact. While the device isn’t significantly upgraded over the Z1 Compact that was released earlier this...

- Tim Schiesser, TechSpot
PC Magazine

Nobody wants a small, powerful Android phone, except for everyone who does. So Sony hasn't been able to find a carrier to pick up the Z3 Compact. Instead, it's available for $529 unlocked direct from Sony or through electronics stores like Newegg. That will seriously limit its popularity in a nation...

- Sascha Segan, PC Magazine
Brighthand

The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is the most well-rounded sub 5-inch Android phone on the market today. Its 4.6-inch display wouldn’t put it in the “compact” category until recently, but since we live in a world of phablets and huge handsets, the Z3 Compact’s thin profile and high-...

- Dragan Petric, Brighthand
UnleashThePhones

Remember how I said the Xperia Z3 was the best smartphone you could buy today? Well the Xperia Z3 compact is exactly like it, just more portable. If the Xperia Z3 is too large a phone for you, Sony’s given you a choice of a more compact phone here.I’ve quite enjoyed my time with this pho...

- Clinton Jeff, UnleashThePhones


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


Sony released the Xperia Z3 Compact on September 28, 2014.



Sony backs up the Xperia Z3 Compact with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your Xperia Z3 Compact has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Sony support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Sony's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.




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Quick view

Screen Size
4.6"

The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact's screen size is 4.6 inches with 720 x 1280 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.5 GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC Quad core 2.5 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 4.4.4 KitKat (Update Available: 6.0.1 Marshmallow) operating system (OS).

Camera
20+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 20+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 2+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
16 GB

Internal memory is 16 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
2600mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2600 mAh battery. Sony's performance ratings are 840 minutes, 892 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Xperia Z3 Compact Specs

Overview
Release date September 28, 2014
Regions available USA
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
variations
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1700/1900 /2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/700/2100 /800/850/900/1800/2600 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
variations
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
variations
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 4.4.4 KitKat (Update Available: 6.0.1 Marshmallow)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC Quad core 2.5 GHz
Internal Storage 16 GB
RAM 2 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.947 W/kg
Body: 1.098 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2600 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 600 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 892 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Up to: 602 minutes
Talk Time Up to: 840 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 38.3 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors White, Black, Red, Green
Dimensions [H x W x D] 12.7 x 6.5 x 0.9 cm (5 x 2.6 x 0.4 in)
Weight 129 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Water Resistant
Rugged design No
IP Rating IP 68
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 720 x 1280 pixels
Pixel density 319 pixels
Size 4.6 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer Yes
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, Google Talk
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, aptX
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB)
PC Synchronization OTA, SyncML
TV Out No
DLNA Support Yes
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet Yes
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
20+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
8x digital
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, ISO, Panorama, Burst mode, HDR, Object tracking, Scene recognition
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, XviD, AVI
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution
2+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, M4A, OGG, SMAF, WMA, WAV
Radio Yes (FM/RDS)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, AVI, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, XviD
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Stereo
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types XLS, PPT, PPTX, DOC, DOCX, PDF
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed (Google Chrome, Facebook, Google+, Twitter)
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Sony D5803, D5833

Additional Sensors: Barometer, Pedometer
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Reviews
Where to buy Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
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