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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
 
10
lopcharm
12.29.14
To recommend anything , I have two weeks with the phone, not dropped or hit me , but crashed back , validating vendor warranty in my case Telcel, washed his hands saying it is not a detail factory (it only display the month warranty say you have them ) , they have to send it to evaluate the Sony company, however it is very likely I have to cover the total repair , technical service people tell me that the range ( z1, z2 , etc ) if you have this in detail, but they had not presented it crashed without a blow , fall or caused by the user.
 
70
matevzB
12.15.14
After using the Samsung Galaxy S II for three years, I decided to switch to Sony Xperia Z3 Compact mainly due to its dimensions and features.The spotlight is one feature that I was using very often on Samsung and is very disappointing in this Xperia - it really looks like a tiny candle and is not really useful.I like the smart screen rotation - it keeps the screen from rotating if you do it slowly (lying down in the bed or similar). The screen however, could have better viewing angles and more contrast (yeah... I am used to AMOLED's black and viewing angles.).Battery life is great. I can get 3 to 4 days of normal usage on a charge. Also, if you are looking into buying the Z3 Compact, don't skip the magnetic charging dock. It is a real must - really handy to just put the phone into dock on one side and it helps to avoid opening the flaps frequently.Regarding water resistance - after a week of normal use, I noticed that the SIM card flap simply won't stay closed, opening the inside to water ingress. Moreover, it seems that Sony has quality issues with the seals on those flaps since there are many users complaining about that and returning the phones.The phone is light and looks really great, but it feels delicate and fragile. Even slightly pressing on the back glass, one can see the glass bending in.Camera interface is for kids. I don't need AR scene modes and stuff... give me normal shortcuts to settings I will be changing most of the time. There is a dedicated camera button, which can trigger camera even when you have the phone locked. Although convenient, I get a lot of black pictures that are took in my pocket...Although I have no carrier-based preloaded apps, there are too much of them directly of Sony. I don't need this. Make it an option!
 
90
gaurav71189
12.07.14
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget
 
90
rndprst
12.06.14
Best compact phone of the year. I'm glad I bought this one instead of Z1C.
 
50
boppel
11.20.14
Overall a great smartphone. But the durability is catastrophic - one small (!) drop will completely destroy the front and/or back glass and thus make the phone unusable. Not what I expect from and advertised outdoor capable phone!
 
50
rickgadget
11.19.14
Very slippery phone - glass front and back. A case is an absolute must. Mine cracked without being dropped, I think because I had it in my coat pocket on a cold day. Carrier wouldn't do a thing for me.Too bad - otherwise a nice phone. Can't recommend it though.
 
90
danleeuk74
10.16.14
The last outing for the Xperia Compact line was pretty much well received by most, including me.I said it then, and say it again now - Sony's Z1 Compact was a fantastic rival to the iPhone 5, while it didn't sell in the bucket loads; partly down to Sony's crappy marketing I'm sure, it did stand up in every way against allsub 5 inch handsets.So what can Sony do to an already good handset to make people jump into Xperia ?Software and UIMost of the biggest changes come to the software, Sony have got one of the best UI experiences out there - that's if you prefer clean lines and less clutter. Gone is the mess that HTC has on their handsets, and lets face it HTC has the only UI that puts the silence / vibrate function on its volume rocker the other way round. That in itself drives me insane with rage (ok that's a bit strong), but ddoesn'thide the over tuning of Android which puts me off using any HTC.Samsungs TouchWiz and LGs whateveritscalled are both trying to see how much bloat they can install on a phone before it halts and catches fire - they are both the same in many ways in terms of useless features nobody gives a flying fuck about. Although I'm sure +Marques Brownlee likes to get highly excited over those.The ability to remove most of the pre-installed 3rd party apps is most welcome, something the Z1 and Z2 didn't allow until later Android versions. So you can delete Facebook and Vine for a start. You can record screen demos as well by pressing the power button down for a few seconds (its in the power menu) - of course the high ISO changes to the camera, double tap which is copied directly from the LG G2s "knock on". Screencasting to Chromecast right out the box is brilliant, along with the Remote Play for Playstation. All superb additions to the feature list which is placed in a clean menu system that doesn't look like a post pinata party for 4yr olds, to top it off using the Z3 Compact underwater is a much better experience.GripesNot as Premium as the Z1 CompactNow the screen, its my only gripe here, when placed next to the Z1 Compact you notice the size difference of the screen but the pixel density is noticeably down.While it doesn't look bad, you do really see the difference and I'm sure you friends with their 1080p screens will too. However you have to remember for £349/$500 its considerably cheaper than almost all other flagship handsets.Generally the Z3 doesn't quite feel as premium as the Z1 Compact but its by no means cheap, the back is less easy to scratch which is good but Sony have some how made the handset to sit well in the hand AND be super slippery at the same time. Its quite an achievement.BatteryBattery life is a stella improvement over the Z1 Compact, last much longer than its older brother by a whole day, and with my usage I get 3-4hrs more on screen time than before. So if you have a long powerless commute to work every day and beyond, the Z3 Compact has your back.OverallBig Flaps, nobody likes big flapsThe tweaks to the battery, larger screen in the same frame and some design changes. I'm not best pleased with the massive flap on the side. Previously the USB flap was much smaller and just covered power inlet, now its hiding the USB and Micro SD card, but the fit does feel more secure despite the lack of premium feel frame the Z1 had.We have the Xperia in while and it doesnt show up finger prints on the back like the black version does.Even though I sound a bit beat down on the Z3 Compact, my feelings for the handset cocouldn'te further from that. I love it. Its a perfect size, the UI is clean, the camera is fantastic with some cool multi camera features if you pair the Z3C with another Xperia phone. Its fast and super buttery smooth, proving you don't need 64bit OS to run blazing fast. Z3 Compact also looks good, very good.Does it stand up against the iPhone 6 ? Yes in every way, iPhone 5 ? of course, and maybe every Android before it.http://ihaveagadget.blogspot.com/
 
100
jconli1
10.15.14
A gadget unicorn - Engadget

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