Gadget review: Xperia Z3 Compact

Updated: Oct 03, 2014, 06:27 IST | Hassan M Kamal |

With its new flagship model, the Xperia Z3 Compact, Sony seems to be dabbling with the same idea

After the launch of the Xperia Z2, there another flagship model in the same series. This time, it's a compact version: the Xperia Z3 Compact. It looks great, packs in nice features, but is it worth paying 44K, especially if you picked the Z2 only six months ago?

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
The Z3 Compact is available in green and red along with the classic white and black colours

What we liked
Smaller size: It’s a welcome relief to see the launch of a compact model in the Z series, especially for those who found the previous Z2 a bit too big for their pockets. The 4.6-inch display with a resolution of 720x1280 and screen density of 320 dpi offers crisp visuals, and the screen is brighter.

Improved battery life: We used the phone with either the WiFi or 3G on, for eight hours non-stop in a day. At the end of it, there was plenty left to get us going for another hour. It impressed us with over two days of battery life with its Stamina Mode.

Better connectivity and processing: The Z3 Compact is ready for the 4G LTE (whenever it hits Mumbai); is water resistant for 30 minutes up to a depth of 1.5 m of fresh water; offers 2GB RAM; and is powered by a 2.5 GHz quad core processor featuring 330 Adreno GPU. So, in terms of computing power, it can do most of the regular tasks like playing video games, movies, and others with elan. Also, in case somebody else wants to watch TV can do so as you don’t have to pause your game on your PS4 anymore. Both the Z2 and Z3 Compact can connect directly with the PS4 controller as an extended screen, for your PS4.

Camera and Sound: Though the camera is similar to Z2 at 20.7 megapixel (rear) and 2MP (front), it offers new features like the ability to stream live on YouTube, and connect with the video camera feed of at least three other Xperia Z3 or Z3 Compact phones. However, there’s not much improvement in the picture quality since Z2 (though the ISO support has been increased to ISO12800). A positive of Z3 is that it can record videos at 4K (3840 x 2160). It also plays high-resolution audio files, a new addition in terms of features.

What we didn’t like
Positives aside, unfortunately the features have limited real-life applicability. For example, though you can see the feed of three other Z3 phones, in the Multiple Mode, you can’t control them from one device, which limits its usage for any real-time multimedia needs. Secondly, a depth limitation of up to 1.6 m in fresh water means you have to be careful while using it underwater.

Besides, if you wish to record 4K videos, you may also want to edit it on the phone, which is again what it grapples with. The design is basic and reminiscent of another phone, which is currently making headlines with its bending issues. There’s also no support for on-call recording, an expectation from a premium phone.

Overall, the Z3 comes across more as an improvement on the Z2, without offering anything outstanding. We would like to believe, that there are major changes in the next model of the series, perhaps, in six months’ time. It’s a good phone for those looking for a 4G LTE phone with good looks, but if you own the Z2 already, we suggest you play the waiting game.

Price: Rs 44,990
Available: At all retail stores.
Rating: 6/10

Size: 4.6-inch
Resolution: 720 x 1280 (320 dpi)
Processor: 2.5 Ghz quad core; 330 Adreno GPU
Ram: 2 GB RAM, 16 GB storage (non-expandable),
Camera: 20.7 megapixel camera, GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G LTE
Price: Rs 44,990

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