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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review: Top-end capability that fits in your pocket

The soon to be released smartphone is just like the Z3 Dual, only smaller and cheaper.
The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact (right), Dual (left) and tablet
The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact (right), Dual (left) and tablet

While the gadget world has been enthralled in the past few weeks over new releases from Apple and BlackBerry, Sony is set to make waves with the release of its Xperia Z3 smartphone range, due to hit UAE stores from early next month.

In addition to the highly impressive Z3 Dual, one of our favourite smartphones of the year, Sony is also set to launch the Z3 Compact, for those who want to save a few hundred dirhams or perhaps just don’t have as much handbag or pocket space.

As is suggested by its name, the Z3 Compact sports a 4.6-inch display compared with its larger sibling’s 5.2-inch display. Perhaps more significantly, it sports a mere 720p resolution, lower than both the full Z3 Dual and also cheaper handsets such as Motorola’s Moto G.

While the display’s performance is a little below some of its peers, movie trailers and sports clips played smoothly with pleasingly bright colours.

But aside from the display, Sony has very happily retained many of the features that made the Z3 Dual such a special handset for its compact version.

The Z3 Dual has set new standards for smartphone battery life, and while direct comparisons were not available, this appears to be the case for its compact sibling, which can last for up to two days on a single charge for light usage.

The same 20.7-megapixel camera is also present, which takes sharp images and videos with deep colours.

And for PS4 owners, the same ability to play games anywhere in the house on the Z3 Compact’s screen is also present.

The Z3 Compact comes with 16 gigabytes of memory built in, with a microSD card slot offering the prospect of much more. Sadly, it seems there’s no room for a second SIM.

Retailing at Dh2,499, the Z3 Compact is not cheap, and those looking to save money will be inclined to save a bit more and go for a budget model. But with its superior battery life and camera, it is hard to beat if you are looking for a top-notch smartphone in a smaller body.

q&a big phone in a small package

What about the basic functionality of the phone?

The Z3 Compact has a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor running at 2.5GHz, with 2GB of RAM (compared to the Z3 Dual’s 3GB), and runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat.

Sounds fascinating? What on Earth does that mean?

It means that despite being a smaller handset, it’s a souped-up Android smartphone that feels very snappy.

Talking of cameras, I’ve heard that the Z3 Compact can take photos in some unusual circumstances?

Indeed. Like its larger sibling, the Z3 Compact is pretty waterproof, meaning it can be kept under 1.5 metres of fresh water for up to 30 minutes. Perhaps not something to take diving, but fun for underwater selfies at Yas Waterworld.

Fair enough, but we’re kind of in the middle of the desert over here, aren’t we?

Fear not, the phone is also “protected against the ingress of dust”. So if you accidentally drop it while camping in the desert, it’ll be in full working condition for whomever finds it 100 years later. Possibly.

That’s nice. But why should I buy a Z3 Compact rather than a full size Z3 Dual?

Good question. If you’ve got the money and like a bigger handset, it’s probably worth shelling out Dh2,999 for a Z3 Dual instead, given its bigger, better display. Then again if you genuinely prefer a smaller handset (which many do, given that it’s easier to text with one hand on the go), then the Z3 Compact fulfils that need with the same impressive performance.

jeverington@thenational.ae

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