On any other new high-end phone this would be an alarm-clock-missing death sentence, but I woke up the next morning with Sony’s wake-up alarm going off and didn’t even bother charging the Z3 Compact until lunchtime — because the battery on this phone is amazing.
If you want to split hairs, the screen could be better, the hardware could be newer, and the phone itself could be thinner, but it’s those compromises that contribute to the overall success of the Xperia Z3 Compact.
It’s the successor to the 4. 3-inch Xperia Z1 Compact, and despite packing in extra screen real estate, it’s no larger. Measuring 127x65x8. 3mm, the Z3 Compact is definitely compact in the world of 5-inch and above phones like the larger Z3, Samsung’s Galaxy S5, and over-5. 5-inch monsters like the LG G3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
What is worth pointing out, though, is the fact that the Z3 Compact is entirely waterproof, to the highest IP68 standard — that’s one of its defining features not only against the iPhone but against all other Android competitors as well.
Having cycled through the Galaxy S5, then the LG G3, and now the Z3 Compact as my personal phone, it’s the Compact that stands out the most as a step forward for Android smartphones.
Being a Sony phone, you get that entertainment empire’s various middling in-house apps for movies and music, as well as an integrated PlayStation app that pairs with your PS4 to act as a second screen or to play your games remotely — very, very cool.
It’s a 2600mAh (non-removable) lithium ion cell, so reasonably large for the size of the phone, but it’s Sony’s software smarts that mean the Z3 Compact barely sips any power at all.
Sony claims ’2-day’ battery life for the larger Z3, and only ’1. 6-day’ for the Z3 Compact, but the combination of frugal hardware, an incredibly efficient and relatively low-resolution display, and smart software tweaks mean the Z3 Compact is a battery monster.
Sony could have used a higher resolution display in the Z3 Compact — the HTC One M7 had a 1080p 4. 7-inch panel — and, if you’re looking very closely, you can see the difference between the two.
You might be turned off by that 720p number, but don’t be — it’s only one factor making up an otherwise very impressive screen. (It’s that low resolution that contributes to the great battery life, too.
The Z3 Compact has a lot of subtle refinements over its predecessors, but it’s still essentially a Z — a single pane of glass on the front panel, a single pane of glass on the back, and a plastic bezel running between the two.
It’s mostly Sony’s squared-edges design responsible for this, with the flat rectangular glass panels and the curved bezel making the Z3 Compact feel surprisingly similar to an iPhone 5S.
Personally, I much prefer the higher resolutions, because they can display whole websites without as much scrolling, but the tradeoff is battery life, which this phone evidently has in spades. the fact that you can access the camera without unlocking the phone kinda takes away the big advantage apple has had in terms of my requirements. i’m not able to do it with my note 2… maybe it’s just me . _.
The camera menu is at least intuitive, and the physical shutter button is very helpful — both for pre-focusing and capturing photos, and for quickly launching the camera app from any screen or from when the phone itself is locked.
Sony is making a lot of noise about the fact that the Z3 Compact and Z3 sport a new 20. 7-megapixel sensor capable of shooting in low light up to ISO 12,800, but on my particular Compact I really only liked the photos I took in good lighting.
It’s running all the same processing hardware as the handset that you’ll be able to buy in stores, but some software and features will be tweaked before launch — particularly the camera module — and may vary from what you see here.
It, and by the same reasoning the larger Z3 as well, is by far Sony’s most refined smartphone, and unlike the masses of like-for-like Android handsets the Z3 Compact really does have some great standout features.
Read more here: Gizmodo