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Smartphones are getting bigger with every generation, every new model. Even Apple, champion of the small screen, has finally caved khổng lồ the trend. Over the past few years, however, some of the major smartphone players have taken lớn creating "mini" versions of their top handsets khổng lồ satisfy those who still crave a smaller device. While these petite imitations benefit from shared design và branding, their hardware specifications are usually no match for the flagships they mimic. Sony does things a little differently, though, shunning the "mini" moniker và preserving as many high-end features as possible in its smaller devices. Case in point: the new Xperia Z3 Compact, which crams the best of the 5.2-inch Z3 into a 4.6-inch body, and is basically everything you could want in a smaller smartphone.

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Gallery: Sony Xperia Z3 Compact reviews | 27 Photos


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Gallery: Sony Xperia Z3 Compact đánh giá | 27 Photos


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Pros

Incredible battery lifeTop-tier performanceFlagship design and build qualityReduced in size, but not capability

Cons

Poor low-light camera performanceSony's apk skin feels antiquated

Hardware

The Xperia Z line hasn"t changed much since Sony revealed the original flagship Z handset nearly two years ago. In fact, the vast majority of Sony devices in recent history have followed the same, strict thiết kế language. Thus, the Z3 Compact is essentially a rectangular block with pillowed perimeters, lượt thích most of its brethren. In this respect, the Z3C won"t be everyone"s cup of tea, with its hard, serious lines being a far cry from the sexy curves of HTC"s One series, khổng lồ name just one example. If you"re a fan hâm mộ of Sony"s blocky styling, however, then the Z3C is certainly a well-executed mã sản phẩm of that.

The Z3C doesn"t have any one, standout design feature, but as always, the devil is in the details. The matching tempered-glass panels covering the front and back, the aluminum power nguồn key, the metal detailing around the main camera lens and headphone jack -- all reminders you"re handling a premium, albeit understated device. Even the branding strewn across the back is pleasingly arranged, with silver Sony & gray Xperia/NFC logos stacked neatly along its length. A small chú ý of the main camera specs also sits between the relatively large lens và small, circular LED flash.

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There"s slightly less going on up front. A small, silver Sony logo sản phẩm sits just above the 4.6-inch display; oblong stereo speakers live near the top & bottom; và the front-facing camera is tucked away in the upper-right corner, with a multicolor notification LED on the opposite side. The only buttons, physical or otherwise, are located along the right-hand edge; you"ve got a two-stage camera key, volume rocker and power button, all of which are one kind of metal or another. The latter two aren"t in what I"d điện thoại tư vấn a standard layout, both being close lớn the middle. However, the form size of the device actually makes the positioning of the power & volume keys rather convenient: right where your thumb instinctively rests when holding it, assuming you"re clutching it with your right hand.

Along the đứng top edge, you"ll find the tai nghe jack and secondary mic; the primary mic is on the bottom edge, naturally, alongside a strap hole for attaching charms to the thing, or whatever the kids bởi to their phones these days. The left border is by far the busiest, with two sealed cavities hiding the micro-USB port/microSD slot & nano-SIM tray, respectively. These flank Sony"s magnetic charging dock connector, because every phone the company makes apparently must be compatible with these niche accessories. It"s definitely the ugliest feature of the handset; it breaks up the "flow" of the pillowed border, but it"s not so offensive as lớn spoil the overall look.

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As I"ve hinted at before, not every facet of the Xperia Z3 has made the leap khổng lồ its smaller counterpart. You can spot they"re related from a mile off, but where the Z3 is wrapped in a metal frame, the Z3C is bound in a hard, translucent plastic, with the same nylon corner caps adding extra durability lớn these higher-risk impact zones. Sony calls the transparent effect "liquid reflection," probably because it"s an easier sell than "see-through plastic." Some might not like the fact that the premium, metal rim has been omitted from the Compact, but I actually prefer the plastic"s added sense of depth, just because it"s a little... Different.

What the Z3C lacks in metal accents, it more than makes up for in build quality. The thing is solid as a rock, and everything is put together with absolute precision -- it kind of has to be to lớn qualify for its IP65/68 waterproof and dustproof rating (that"s higher than you"ll ever realistically need unless you plan on freediving while on the phone lớn mom & dad). The serious-looking black mã sản phẩm with dark-gray wrapping I"ve been using complements the tight build nicely, but you can expect the same robustness from the white, minty-green and copper-orange options too.

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At a glance, the Z3C might not look lượt thích the most comfortable device lớn hold. For starters, there"s a thin, sharp rim around the two glass panels on either side of the curved border, & the corners of the device are only slightly off-square. Furthermore, the back panel offers minimal grip, it being slick glass và all. These initial observations are moot, however, because the phone is small enough, at 127 x 64.9 x 8.6mm (5 x 2.56 x 0.34 inches), that you don"t need lớn apply a ton of pressure to lớn these potential problem areas khổng lồ keep it safely in-hand. The Z3C is slighter heavier than I expected for a phone of this size, at 129g (4.55 ounces), but its weight has no negative impact on usability. It"s as easy lớn hold and operate one-handed as it is lớn forget about when stuffed in a jean pocket.

This basic facet of the everyday user experience is something điện thoại thông minh manufacturers seem lớn be ignoring en masse. It"s been refreshing khổng lồ use a smaller device as my daily driver, not because I have tiny hands, but because I believe an emphasis on portability has been lost somewhere in the race for the biggest display. There"s obviously a huge demand for big-screen devices, but with the Z1 Compact và newer Z3 Compact, Sony"s continuing to cater lớn those who want a smaller handset without giving up high-end specs. Personally, I prefer having something that"s painless khổng lồ use và carry around in lieu of "enhanced nội dung consumption," or whatever tagline marketers want to lớn use to promote the newest 6-inch monster.

Sony Xperia Z3Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
Dimensions146 x 72 x 7.3mm 127 x 64.9 x 8.6mm
Weight152g129g
Screen size5.2 inches4.6 inches
Screen resolution1,920 x 1,0801,280 x 720
Screen typeTriluminos LCD with 16.7 million colorsTriluminos LCD with 16.7 million colors
Battery3,100mAh Li-ion (non-removable)2,600mAh Li-ion (non-removable)
RuggednessIP65 and IP68 waterproof & dustproofIP65 and IP68 waterproof và dustproof
Internal storage16GB (12GB free)/32GB (D6616 model)16GB (12GB free)
External storageMicroSDXC (128GB)MicroSDXC (128GB)
Rear camera20.7MP (1/2.3-inch sensor, 25mm-equiv. Focal length)20.7MP (1/2.3-inch sensor, 25mm-equiv. Focal length)
Front-facing cam2.2MP stills, 1080p video2.2MP stills, 1080p video
Video capture1080p, 4K1080p, 4K
NFCYesYes
Radios

HSPA+ (850/900/1700/1900/2100); GSM GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900); LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 20)

HSPA+ (850/900/1700/1900/2100); GSM GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900); LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 20)

Bluetoothv4.0, aptX, A2DPv4.0, aptX, A2DP
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 801 (MSM8974AC)Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 (MSM8974AC)
CPU2.5GHz quad-core Krait 4002.5GHz quad-core Krait 400
GPUAdreno 330Adreno 330
RAM3GB2GB
EntertainmentMHL, USB OTG, WiFi Direct, DLNA, Miracast, FM radioMHL, USB OTG, WiFi Direct, DLNA, Miracast, FM radio
WiFiDual-band, 802.11a/b/g/n/acDual-band, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Wireless ChargingNoNo
Operating systemAndroid 4.4.4 (Sony-specific UI)Android 4.4.4 (Sony-specific UI)

Display

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You"ve probably already clocked by now that the Z3C sports a smaller-than-average 4.6-inch display. While the bigger Z3 has stuck with a 1080p panel instead of opting khổng lồ join the QHD clan, the Z3C has a miserly 1,280 x 720 screen, which translates to a px density of 319 ppi. I"m kidding: A 720p display is more than adequate for the Compact"s size, & you"d struggle to lớn find any meaningful difference if compared with a 1080p screen of the same dimensions (well, maybe a decline in battery life, but that"s about it). The panel at play here is an IPS LCD affair, with Sony"s Triluminos and X-Reality technologies that promise richer, more natural colors và enhanced contrast. The Z3C (and its bigger brother) are also said to pack a new "intuitive contrast-enhancement technology" that kicks in when the handset detects an external source of bright light, but I didn"t notice it having any effect in my investigations.

The white balance of the panel is spot on as far as I can tell (you can always tweak the mặc định setting in the display thực đơn if you find otherwise). Colors are bold and bright too. However, blacks aren"t quite as deep as they could be, but this is common khổng lồ LCD technology, và it"s something OLED screens are inherently better at producing. Viewing angles are decent, even if you do start lớn lose màu sắc saturation past a certain tilt point. All things considered, the Z3C"s display is a high-quality one, but it does falter slightly when it comes khổng lồ sunlight readability. Don"t get me wrong: It kicks out enough power to not be an issue in most cases. Still, the glare from the glass covering it isn"t entirely eradicated, so I doubt you"ll want lớn dive into YouTube on a lazy afternoon in the park.

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In other miscellany, the tempered glass covering the display (and the rear of the device) is notably adept at repelling fingerprint oil and grime. It"s not completely immune to smudges, of course, but it never gets lớn that overloaded, slightly sticky point I"ve experienced on a few handsets (including Sony"s own Xperia SP). It took me a while khổng lồ figure out the nuances of the auto-brightness setting. While it reacts appropriately to changing conditions, it"s always anchored lớn the manual slider setting, meaning it will only adjust within a range of that preset. From a user-experience point of view, I must admit that moving from a 5.2-inch device khổng lồ the 4.6-inch Z3C brought about a remarkable decline in my touchscreen typing accuracy. But after getting used khổng lồ a more condensed keyboard layout, I was more or less back to lớn full tốc độ within a few days.

Software

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The Xperia Z3 Compact is running the latest consumer-ready version of android (4.4.4 KitKat) beneath Sony"s proprietary user interface. Thankfully, it"s a fairly light skin that doesn"t differ all that much from stock Android, which I prefer khổng lồ some of the heavier manufacturer customizations (*cough* TouchWiz *cough*). But, that also means there"s nothing particularly special about Sony"s UI. From my point of view, though, it"s intuitive and, well, it just works. Anyone vaguely familiar with game android will be able to dive right in, no tutorial required. That said, there are a few gems baked in here, like the easy-access screen-recording feature we told you about in our recent Xperia Z3 review.

Overall though, just like the design of Sony"s hardware, its software hasn"t evolved much over the years either. Thus, the UI does feel a little dated in comparison to, say, the most recent iterations of HTC"s Sense skin. The icons for Sony"s own apps are drawn in the same 3 chiều style they have been for some time, & are perhaps a bit too cartoony given the Z3C"s all-business design. It"s a minor quibble, though, & shouldn"t be enough to lớn drive anyone away from what"s otherwise a superb little handset.

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Out of the box, every panel on the Z3C"s trang chủ screen carousel is absolutely sodden in widgets & shortcuts promoting Sony"s apps và services, so you"ll have to lớn spend a little time organizing this to lớn your liking. The ứng dụng drawer is just as noisy, but that"s kind of expected when Sony creates so much of its software in house. Some of this is what I consider straight-up bloatware, like the preinstalled Kobo, OfficeSuite, AVG antivirus và Garmin navigation apps. Fortunately, you can uninstall these if you have no use for them, but services like đoạn phim Unlimited, the Xperia Lounge Sony-centric news app and Lifelog activity tracker are on there for good. You can always just ignore them if they"re of no use to you, however.

All of Google"s services are present, of course, but Sony has its own versions of several key programs. This means there are duplicate music players, video clip players và photo album apps. No big deal, but coupled with some of the new camera tricks having their own icons now, too, the app drawer is messy to begin with, let alone when you start loading whatever you want onto the device.

Additionally, the entire Z3 range (Z3, Z3 Compact and Z3 Tablet Compact) are the first Sony phones to support PS4 Remote Play, a feature previously found only on the PS Vita handheld console. Unfortunately, the tiện ích that enables this isn"t available until November. I"m disappointed I haven"t had the chance lớn try it out, but honestly, I can"t see myself playing the next hotline of Duty title in bed on a 4.6-inch screen too often.

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Camera

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Since the Xperia Z1, Sony"s used the same 20.7-megapixel, 1/2.3-inch Exmor RS sensor across its flagship Z line. The Z3 và Z3 Compact are similarly equipped, with the addition of a new, wider 25mm, f/2.0 G Lens. The pair also nội dung the same 2.2-megapixel front-facing camera, too, which isn"t exactly a selfie addict"s dream, but perfectly adequate for the odd đoạn clip call. Before I get on to lớn how the primary shooter performs, a quick walkthrough of Sony"s camera app. From the viewfinder, you can quickly adjust settings like scene selection, flash mode, exposure và white balance. One icon opens up a deeper menu that allows you lớn change everything from image resolution và ISO setting lớn smile detection and image storage location.