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Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

from  $229.95+
product image
88 Engadget Score
An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.
88

An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

Smartphones that are small in size, but big on performance are a dying breed. With the Xperia Z3 Compact, you get the all the care and attention Sony gave the bigger Z3, just in a more petite package. That includes an elegant design, a (mostly) good camera, strong computing power and spectacular battery life. The Z3 Compact is simply the best small Android smartphone on the market at the moment.

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Pros
  • Incredible battery life
  • Top-tier performance
  • Flagship design and build quality
  • Reduced in size, but not capability
Cons
  • Poor low-light camera performance
  • Sony's Android skin feels antiquated
88 Engadget Score
An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.
88

An all-around great product that's among the best in its category. You'll almost certainly be happy.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

88
 

User Reviews

70
vr304
When working this is an awesome phone.Battery life that eats most other phones....read more
80
Pannakon
I've used galaxy s5, xperia z1, lg g2, lg g4, htc one m7. Therefore, I got many...read more
100
alexandervchan
Without a doubt the best phone I have owned (since my indestructible Moto C350...read more
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Score Breakdown

 
77
Average user Score
 
70
vr304
09.04.15
When working this is an awesome phone.Battery life that eats most other phones. Smaller size, can be used one-handed, but big on power and features. Fully water-proof and can take photos underwater (yes, I actually tested this). Good quality and volume of sound and the display is good, even in sunlight.But....The glass is extremely delicate. After three broken screens I have cut my losses and will be getting something else. The screen glass does not seem to be protected or toughened, all three times it has cracked from the very edge, not from a central knock. Although the crack was quite small it effects large portions of the screen and had made the phone unusable each time.Prior to this phone I had never broken one. I've always keep it in a case of some sort, currently a silicon type cover. After the first screen I thought maybe I'd been unlucky but I'd had a good run. So I had it repaired by the Sony recommended repairer to avoid any warranty or water-proof issues. The second time I still had the protective sticker one the screen and had had it back about two weeks, I was fuming. The third time I had had my phone back 6 days from the previous repair. It was in my pocket, worked fine at home, got out of car twenty minutes later, not working/cracked screen again !!!This is a great phone but it needs to wrapped in bubblewrap to keep it a great phone. I am happy to recommend this phone to others based on features, battery life and useability, but it does seem much more fragile than most other phones.
 
80
Pannakon
09.02.15
I've used galaxy s5, xperia z1, lg g2, lg g4, htc one m7. Therefore, I got many andriod experience. you can rely on my review
 
100
alexandervchan
07.22.15
Without a doubt the best phone I have owned (since my indestructible Moto C350 that is!). The best 3 features are things that other phones seem to have totally overlooked in the last few years. It's the only phone out there with flagship specs that is still capable of fitting comfortably in a hand, and you can even reach the top corner of the screen with your thumb!The battery can actually make it through a day without needing a top up charge. Frequently I even get 2 days out of it!IT'S FRIGGIN' WATERPROOF!! This makes such a difference. I have frequently dropped it in the snow, I've taken some really cool photos from underwater, and you can clean it without worry after you've managed to get post-cake-eating stickiness all over it.It also accepts microSD cards, so I can have most of my music on there (and I can actually listen to it as the battery can hack it!), and it reduces the cost of the handset as it only has about 12GB of usable storage space built in. Some people say that the screen isn't as good as other flagships, but personally I don't hold my phone so close to my eyes that I can see the pixels, so I can't say I've noticed a lack of them. The colours are bright, contrast is good, and photos and videos look great on it.I have no issues with Sony's take on android, and actually think it has some nice touches, such as the mini calculator you can have on top of any app. The launcher is clean and it has my favourite app drawer implementation with folders in the drawer (listen up, google!!), but I sometimes see a lag loading desktop icons after closing a bunch of apps. Just a small point on Android: I moved over to the Z3C after owning 4 variants of iPhones, and would never consider going back now. Yes, there are a few more bugs, but they have never affected my daily routines, and it is a price more than worth paying for the increased freedom and flexibility.The camera is great. In any kind of outdoor condition, it performs as well or better than any other phone camera I have seen. It does lack a little in low light conditions, but for the size, I can accept the removal of the image stabilisation from it's bigger brother.Strangely, one of my favourite features is actually in the clock app. The desk mode, when combined with the optional charging stand (which attaches magnetically through a port on the side) makes the phone a perfect bedside clock, which is something I didn't realise that my life was lacking until I had it!I like having the plastic edges and corners, as they don't scratch up and degrade, and the glass back keeps it feeling like a premium device. I have only one criticism, which is that it is a little chunky - worth it for the battery, but it is still a consideration.So to wrap up, I love this phone and would recommend it (or maybe a future Z4C?!!) to anyone in the market for a new phone.
 
80
Adityan
04.03.15
Not bad at all for an android. Sony is delivering top class hardware. Only limitation is the Android software, but running on fantastic hardware.The voice recorder feature is superb. we can set a time within which the voice call is taken over by the answering machine. retrieval of voice is as easy as reading a message on the phone. Truly useful.
 
20
Re-
03.17.15
I bought the phone in late October as it came out in Australia. After two weeks of use the phone had a crack on the front glass which occurred while driving and sitting in my pocket (I wear pretty loose cloths so not really pressured in any way. After quite some arguing with Sony, they accepted to repair it at their charge. The phone came back after 2 or 3 weeks. A few weeks later the auto focus was not working and the phone was sent back to be repaired under warranty. The phone came back after 2 or 3 weeks again but this time when I opened the box, the back panel was cracked with a single crack straight out of the box. I sent it back and it took another 2 weeks for me to get it back. About 2 weeks after that I was browsing the net and the phone got a bit hot but not excessive as I was carrying it in my hand while browsing. I felt a small cracking vibration in my hand. I turned the phone around and the whole back panel was shattered, just like security glass that breaks apart the fact that there was no impact on the panel whatsoever. Even though I argued pretty hard Sony refused that time to take that repair at their cost and I had to pay $77 to get it fixed. Pretty horrendous experience for me and since HTC and Samsung are coming out with their new flagship really soon, this leaves a lot of room to think. My phone spent 2 of the last 4 months in a repair centre. Not what you want to happen when you pay quite some bucks for a brand new phone. I cannot recommend this phone, this is a massive disappointment for me.
 
90
JacquesLeisegan
03.17.15
Awesome phone. I really enjoy the size, its not so big as smartphones are getting these days. Battery lasts for a solid day with moderate use from early in the morning until late at night. Really pleased and money well spent!
 
100
dquilon
02.26.15
I have had this device officially for a month, and so far it has been a great experience. In the past I had a Motorola Atrix (it was good the first year, then it was very faulty, hardware wise), then I got a Samsung Galaxy S3 and I had it for a month until it was stolen from me (a great device, though TW is not my favorite interface), after that I got the Xperia Acro S which felt a bit as a step back in performance, but a step forward in durability, connectivity and UI. I used it for 2 years and after countless falls it survived without major damage. Now I got the Z3 Compact after patiently waiting for a worthy successor to my Acro S, since the Z1 Compact did not convinced me with its camera, also I rather have a bigger screen on the same size of body. So the Z3 Compact actually ticked all the boxes I wanted for a new phone, and it keeps surprising me with certain features that I discover overtime. The camera is not the best out there, but I enjoy it a lot, specially in low light situations where other phones simply give up. The High Sensitivity ISO mode works exceptionally well when you are in extremely low light situations and flash is not an option (far objects), and if you turn flash on, the mode will get even more light than what other hansets would. Slow motion video (Timeshift video) is very good and it is the most fun for me, though it will eat your storage really quick. Also I enjoy the Multi Camera mode with my QX-100 and the videos turn out very interesting. The digital stabilization works incredibly good, but it will make the field of view quite a bit narrower. I love having a dedicated double-step camera shutter button. I haven't dunked the phone in a pool but I did use it for taking pictures and videos on a pool without submerging it. I have rinsed it on the sink and I have taking showers with it. Wet finger tracking tech works ok, with occational touches caused by large drops of water on the screen, but the smaller ones get ignore. The sound quality is actually very good, I keep ClearAudio+ on for my Plantronic BackBeat Go2, for my XSP-N1BT car stereo and for when I use the built-in speakers, however I turn ClearAudio+ off when using it with BOSE SoundDock 10, since it has too much bass, and also when watching movies with the built-in speakers, so I can hear voices better. Stereo sound is there, and it works good when keeping the phone in front of your face, but the effect is lost if you place it further than say 30cm (12") away. The muffled sound can be improved with ClearAudio+ or with EQ depending on the music playing, and even if the speakers are not the loudest, they actually deliver decent bass!, something missing on most smartphone speakers (excluding HTC). I love the Walkman app, I was a bit confused and undecided with the "home screen" on the app, but after using it for a while, it makes sense to show the content it does. I like the way it is also on Album but I dislike it on Movies. Back to Walkman, in my opinion it is the best music player included by a major manufacturer, it gives a lot of useful features (play queue, sense playlists, extensions, folders, music info download, song tag edits, etc) and at the same time it is very stylish, simply to use and sounds great. On the other hand, it lacks gapless playback and genre organization. For phone calls only the lower speaker works when on speakerphone, and it sounds a bit tiny but it is a compromise made due to the feedback from the microphones. Using the earphone, the sound is actually very loud. The screen is great specially for media consumption where X-Reality kicks in. The rest of the interface is a bit bluish but thats something you can get used to. Also the blue tone gives the illusion of being brighter than warmer tones. Movies and pictures look great on it and it does NOT need more resolution than what it offer. It is the perfect balance between ppi and battery efficience. Speaking of battery, I constantly get over 5 hours of Screen On Time, when using my phone heavily (and I mean HEAVILY). browsing, navigation, gaming, music, bluetooth, and so on. Sometimes I get over 7 hours, and it has never died on me before the end of the day. I charged my previous device 2~3 times a day with my kind of usage, and I was lucky to get over 2:30 hours of Screen On Time. I love this device and I hope I don't encounter the issues other people have mentioned. I have treated this phone very carefully but I have hit it accidentally a few times with hard objects without any consequence. I want this phone to give me at least 2 years of joy like the Acro S did.
 
100
dquilon
02.26.15
I have had this device officially for a month, and so far it has been a great experience. In the past I had a Motorola Atrix (it was good the first year, then it was very faulty, hardware wise), then I got a Samsung Galaxy S3 and I had it for a month until it was stolen from me (a great device, though TW is not my favorite interface), after that I got the Xperia Acro S which felt a bit as a step back in performance, but a step forward in durability, connectivity and UI. I used it for 2 years and after countless falls it survived without major damage. Now I got the Z3 Compact after patiently waiting for a worthy successor to my Acro S, since the Z1 Compact did not convinced me with its camera, also I rather have a bigger screen on the same size of body. So the Z3 Compact actually ticked all the boxes I wanted for a new phone, and it keeps surprising me with certain features that I discover overtime. The camera is not the best out there, but I enjoy it a lot, specially in low light situations where other phones simply give up. The High Sensitivity ISO mode works exceptionally well when you are in extremely low light situations and flash is not an option (far objects), and if you turn flash on, the mode will get even more light than what other hansets would. Slow motion video (Timeshift video) is very good and it is the most fun for me, though it will eat your storage really quick. Also I enjoy the Multi Camera mode with my QX-100 and the videos turn out very interesting. The digital stabilization works incredibly good, but it will make the field of view quite a bit narrower. I love having a dedicated double-step camera shutter button. I haven't dunked the phone in a pool but I did use it for taking pictures and videos on a pool without submerging it. I have rinsed it on the sink and I have taking showers with it. Wet finger tracking tech works ok, with occational touches caused by large drops of water on the screen, but the smaller ones get ignore. The sound quality is actually very good, I keep ClearAudio+ on for my Plantronic BackBeat Go2, for my XSP-N1BT car stereo and for when I use the built-in speakers, however I turn ClearAudio+ off when using it with BOSE SoundDock 10, since it has too much bass, and also when watching movies with the built-in speakers, so I can hear voices better. Stereo sound is there, and it works good when keeping the phone in front of your face, but the effect is lost if you place it further than say 30cm (12") away. The muffled sound can be improved with ClearAudio+ or with EQ depending on the music playing, and even if the speakers are not the loudest, they actually deliver decent bass!, something missing on most smartphone speakers (excluding HTC). I love the Walkman app, I was a bit confused and undecided with the "home screen" on the app, but after using it for a while, it makes sense to show the content it does. I like the way it is also on Album but I dislike it on Movies. Back to Walkman, in my opinion it is the best music player included by a major manufacturer, it gives a lot of useful features (play queue, sense playlists, extensions, folders, music info download, song tag edits, etc) and at the same time it is very stylish, simply to use and sounds great. On the other hand, it lacks gapless playback and genre organization. For phone calls only the lower speaker works when on speakerphone, and it sounds a bit tiny but it is a compromise made due to the feedback from the microphones. Using the earphone, the sound is actually very loud. The screen is great specially for media consumption where X-Reality kicks in. The rest of the interface is a bit bluish but thats something you can get used to. Also the blue tone gives the illusion of being brighter than warmer tones. Movies and pictures look great on it and it does NOT need more resolution than what it offer. It is the perfect balance between ppi and battery efficience. Speaking of battery, I constantly get over 5 hours of Screen On Time, when using my phone heavily (and I mean HEAVILY). browsing, navigation, gaming, music, bluetooth, and so on. Sometimes I get over 7 hours, and it has never died on me before the end of the day. I charged my previous device 2~3 times a day with my kind of usage, and I was lucky to get over 2:30 hours of Screen On Time. I love this device and I hope I don't encounter the issues other people have mentioned. I have treated this phone very carefully but I have hit it accidentally a few times with hard objects without any consequence. I want this phone to give me at least 2 years of joy like the Acro S did.
 
100
bambangpmgks
01.09.15
perfect phone
 
100
akbarivan
01.09.15
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is a beast and also a beauty, or you can say beautiful beast (if you know what i mean)I own it for 2 months, have a smartband talk, have the smartwatch3, love all the Sony product's compatibilityThis phone is truly ideal for me with the georgeous design and perfect size, great camera and battery life is all i need because i travel a lot, Sony just amazed me more and more

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