Versus: Sony Xperia Z3 Compact vs Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

Design, screen and camera

The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is right here, and while it may not attract fairly as much attention as the top-end Sony Xperia Z3, it’s actually a more interesting, uncommon phone.

Like the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, it gets you all the spec power of Sony’s top-end giant, but in a smaller bundle. If you want an effective phone that’s not going to fill your palm and your pocket, are not0 searching in the right location.

But the real concern is– how does the new Compact compare with the old one, announced just a year earlier? Their objectives are identical, but their specifications and screens aren’t. In the new model you get a bit more power, a much better camera and a substantially larger screen in a phone of the same size. What’s not to like?


In a very fundamental respect, there’s not a large amount of distinction between the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact and the older Xperia Z1 Compact. The new design is 0.3 mm longer, precisely as wide and 0.9 mm thinner.

Sounds pretty uninteresting, does not it? Wrong. That they are so comparable in size is hugely excellent, due to the fact that the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact has a considerably larger screen than its predecessor.

Xperia Z1 Compact vs Z3 Compact

The bezels have been trimmed, and the locations below and above the display put on a diet plan to make the Xperia Z3 Compact just as, well, compact as the last phone. It’s a bit lighter too– although we ‘d challenge people to truthfully see a 10g difference between phones unless comparing straight.

Whether a result of this miniaturisation or a separate option, the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact utilizes a nano SIM as opposed to a (now routine) micro SIM. So if are not0 really upgrading from the Z1 Compact, you’ll certainly have to acquire a new SIM or get creative with a pair of scissors on your existing one (not recommended). Speaking from nerve-wracking experience, we suggest dropping your network a line.

Both phones have a Gorilla Glass 3 front layer that covers the screen, however Sony has enhanced the rear design this time. Where the Xperia Z1 Compact utilizes flat front and back panels that seem glass, just the front really is– the back is polished plastic.

Xperia Z1 Compact vs Z3 Compact

This time around, both sides are toughened glass, which can make the back a bit less susceptible to scratches. The sides of the Xperia Z3 Compact are plastic, however, with a translucent surface that’s an eye-charming depth to it. Last time, Sony used aluminium for the sides in the last phone rather than plastic– which some may choose– however the brand-new model looks and feels like a winner.

There are– in our viewpoint– better colors available in the Xperia Z3 Compact too. Where the Z1 Compact can be found in pink and yellow as well as the standard white/black, you can get the brand-new design in green and orange/red. The color models look fantastic, perfectly displaying the clear plastic sides.

Xperia Z1 Compact vs Z3 Compact

Both phones offer pretty detailed weather resistance, utilizing socket-covering flaps to keep water out. The design of the actual flaps has actually been enhanced, though, in order to make them a bit more durable. We ‘d heard various reports of Xperia phone flaps failing, so that can only be a good idea.

The IP certification of the Xperia Z3 Compact has actually been somewhat upgraded over the Z1 Compact too. This time around you get IP65 and IP68 rather of IP55 and IP58.

It’s simple to get lost in these certifications, so we will make it easy: both phones can be immersed in water of at least 1.5 m for a minimum of Thirty Minutes, however where the Xperia Z1 Compact is just ‘dust evidence’, the Z3 Compact is ‘dust tight’. For most people the distinction is relatively meaningless. However it’s a great one to flaunt if you want to bore your good friends.

Xperia Z1 Compact vs Z3 Compact

Yep, it’s not that interesting an upgrade, but we still love being able to take the phone into the bath without fretting.


As currently detailed, one of the most impressive things about the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is that it fits a much bigger screen into the same size frame. The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact has a 4.3-inch display, the Z3 Compact a 4.6-inch one.

When you look at how little the Z3 Compact is, and think its display is just 0.1 inches smaller sized than the lovely-but-much-larger HTC One, you’ve to give some design props to Sony.

Xperia Z1 Compact vs Z3 Compact

A larger screen will be better for games, much better for surfing– better for everything, actually.

However, there’s a disadvantage to this change, Sony has actually not upped the resolution. It’s 720p but at the price there are lots of 1080p phones to choose from, it’s a difficult compromise to swallow.

Get up close and individual, eyeball-to-pixel and you’ll have the ability to discriminate. However let us not get too upset. Even with the larger-screen Z3 Compact you get a display of 319ppi, which is simply a shade below the 326ppi ‘Retina’ resolution of the iPhone 5S.

It could be much better, but it’s certainly not bad.

Xperia Z1 Compact vs Z3 Compact

Both phones get to put on Sony’s Triluminous and X-reality branding. These are innovations born in Sony’s TELEVISION department. You get great image quality, really great vibrant colors and excellent contrast for an LCD display.

Despite all the fancy-sounding innovations in these phones, both the Xperia Z1 Compact and Z3 Compact use IPS LCD screens at heart.


Look at the core video camera specifications of these two phones and it appears like Sony has not made any considerable upgrades. Both phones have 20.7 MP primary sensors that are 1/2.3 inches a piece. That’s big for a phone, and is the conventional size for good compact cameras.

However, where the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact shares its video camera hardware with the Xperia Z1, the Xperia Z3 Compact has the exact same camera setup as– you guessed it– the Xperia Z3.

Xperia Z1 Compact vs Z3 Compact

There are a few crucial differences. The optimum ISO level of sensitivity setting has actually been bumped up from 6400 to 12800, making the Xperia Z3 Compact much more capable in low-light conditions.

ISO 12800 images are typically rather loud even if you use a DSLR, but Sony is a pro at using severe noise decrease methods in its leading phones to make super-low-light images fairly clean-looking. Typically unnaturally so, in reality.

For really low light conditions, the Xperia Z3 Compact electronic camera will certainly be a little bit better than the last design.

The lens has actually altered too. Where the Xperia Z1 Compact has a lens with a comparable focal length of 27mm, the Z3 Compact goes a bit wider with a 25mm ‘G’ Lens. Field of view is a question of individual preference, but we are also wishing the new phone’s lens might be faster too, with a larger aperture. We are looking for clarification on this spec at present. That stated, the Z1 Compact is adept with a f2.0 lens.

Xperia Z1 Compact vs Z3 Compact

In excellent lighting, you can anticipate to obtain similar sorts of short between the two models. However as conditions get a bit harder you’ll improve results from the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact. As most high-end phones can produce great photos in good lighting, this is an outcome.

There’s a small upgrade to the front video camera, from 2MP to 2.2 MP, but neither is on the level of the up-to-5-megapixel front electronic cameras we see in phones like the HTC One M8.

Battery, CPU/Ram, cost and early verdict


Even though the Xperia Z3 Compact is a millimetre thinner than the Z1 Compact, Sony has still managed to fit in a bigger battery in the brand-new model. This time around you get a 2600mAh device instead of a 2300mAh one.

Sony states the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact will certainly last for a strong two days from a charge, however thanks to the larger screen it is not really quite as long-lasting in all tasks. For instance, the Z1 Compact will last for up to 12 hours of video, however that’s cracked down to 10 hours in the Z3 Compact.

Xperia Z1 Compact vs Z3 Compact

Talk time has actually been reduced by 4 hours too, from 18 hours to 14. The Xperia Z3 Compact’s stamina is not fairly as terrific as that of the old model, but it suffices not to show from another location annoying.


What we enjoyed a lot about the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact when it showed up was that it was practically the only small phone to offer the power and specifications of its bigger sibling. It utilizes the Snapdragon 800 2.2 GHz, a quad-core processor shared with the Xperia Z1.

In a comparable vein, the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact utilizes the same 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 801 as the Xperia Z3. There are no CPU jeopardizes to choose the shrunken size.

Xperia Z1 Compact vs Z3 Compact

But how does the Snapdragon 800 as compare to the Snapdragon 801? Well, the Xperia Z3 Compact gains an extra 300MHz in clock speed, which can not injure.

However, the standard architectures of these chipsets are very comparable. There’s not a big generational space in between the 2, and there are no huge effectiveness improvements– as it verified by the smaller-screen model’s longer endurance.

There are some improvements. The electronic camera image signal processor is better in the Snapdragon 801, which should improve camera-shooting efficiency a bit, and the GPU’s optimum clock speed is a reasonable bit quicker too.

In all honesty, we are not convinced a 720p phone like the Xperia Z3 Compact requires the extra grunt. However a little reward power is like a free doughnut– are not0 not going to say no even if it doesn’t truly do you much great in the long run.


When the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact first launched it went for around ₤ 430 (around $740, AU$ 850) SIM-free. And, not a surprises here, that’s precisely what Sony lists the Z3 Compact as.

Those wishing to see the phone cost loads less than existing top-end phones may be disappointed. However that’s what these Compact phones have to do with– offering the high-end experience in a smaller package.

Now that it’s a slightly older design, Sony notes the Z1 Compact at ₤ 399 (US$ 530, AU$ 559) SIM-free, but are not0 likely to be able to discover some much better discounts from networks or merchants.

For example, in the UK Phones4U notes the Z3 Compact free of cost on contracts of ₤ 30 (about US$ 49, AU$ 53) a month while the Z1 Compact is offered on contracts of ₤ 25 (about US$ 41, AU$ 44) a month, once again with no up-front cost. You can also get a good conserving on the Z1 Compact if you look around on Amazon.

It’s unlikely you’ll see the Xperia Z3 Compact for a load less than the market price for a little while. So while Sony provides the costs as rather similar, you can probably conserve around ₤ 100 SIM-free, or about ₤ 120 throughout a 2-year agreement, if you get the Z1 Compact.

Early verdict

In some respects, the relationship between the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact and Z1 Compact is much the same as that of the Xperia Z3 and Z1.

This more recent design gets you a bit more power, a somewhat improved camera and a tweaked design that’s a bit simpler on the eye. Nevertheless, the real star destination of the Z3 Compact is that you get a significantly larger screen without adding to the size of the phone at all. It’s a very excellent task of handset design.

That the screen resolution has not been increased to match is a minors frustration. However for people who are not in love with the idea of a huge handset however still desire a high-end phone, the Xperia Z3 Compact can hit the spot.