The design of the Z3 Compact is excellent. It looks great and feels comfortable to hold. If you like the look of the Z3 but not sure about the dimensions of the larger phone, then you’ll be very pleased with the Z3 Compact. Performance is also excellent with some impressive specifications in a phone of this size. Though the screen resolution has been reduced from 1080p of the Z3 to 720p, it still looks premium. The overall experience of the phone is great and it really feels like a premium product despite its size and price. Battery life is also very good considering what you’ll be using this phone for.
However, if it owes some merits, then there are demerits also. The camera isn’t quite as good as expected. It’s a fine camera by Smartphone standards, but with all the bluster and big numbers that Sony throws around in regards to the camera. Sadly, the expectations are going to blow away. The handset also has a worrying habit of getting warm if you are using for long periods of time, or when using certain camera modes. It never feels dangerous but occasionally it would make the camera app crash, which can be annoying.
Sony is obviously aware of the issue, as it includes a warning message when using certain camera modes, but acknowledging a problem with a brief pop up message hardly excuses it. Sadly, that takes away some of the premium experience of the rest of the Smartphone.
All in all, there’s a lot to really like about the Xperia Z3 Compact. Though Sony seems to be putting out new Xperia Z models every six months, you will get the feeling that with every step, it is steadily improving the formula. Sony has also avoided offering a severely cut down version of its flagship device. Where other manufacturers will cut the specifications of the mini variants, the Xperia Z3 Compact keeps a lot of the features of the bigger Z3, making the compact an excellent choice if you fancy the Z3, but are not too sure about the large size of the handset. The integration of Sony’s services and their appeal will depend on how invested you are in the Sony ecosystem. The PlayStation 4 remote play feature probably has the biggest mainstream appeal, and I’m looking forward to testing the feature when it goes live. However, when all the other Android devices are able to use this feature though after being rooted, this may dull the impact of this ‘exclusive’ feature.
Heat issues are my biggest disappointment with the Xperia Z3. I don’t mind a handset getting warm when being used from time to time, but when it starts to affect the performance of certain apps and features it spoils what usually is a very impressive experience. However, if you are looking for a feature-packed phone that looks fantastic and performs brilliantly, then you’ll be very pleased with the Xperia Z3 Compact. Just don’t expect to shoot epic 4K movies with it.