Rated 4 out of 5
by Axio Nice phone with one pain point
I like this phone. Great size, powerful specs, battery life is amazing, it's quite zippy and smooth. Also, the camera modules are lots of fun. I use the Live broadcast to Youtube a few times as well as the AR.
1) My main issue right now is that the phone just corrupted my 32Gb MicroSD card when the software crashed. I lost all that data like my photos and based on my call with customer support it's not something Sony will cover even with my protection PLUS plan.
Less bothersome issues that I want to provide feedback:
2) The speakers are a little weak and distorted. I occasionally have to switch back to regular mode to hear what someone is saying.
3) The auto brightness only functions within a small portion of the overall brightness range. It's just annoying when going from bright to dark areas and you have to keep manually adjusting the brightness even with the auto-adjust activated.
Overall, phones are really complicated and Sony did a good job on most items. Just why did it have to destroy my MicroSD card! :-(
December 20, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5
by coke105kine One of the Best Android Phones, Except...
Purchased a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact when it was finally released here in the US. I was really looking forward to the release of this phone, since I like look of Sony's Xperia line and I noticed Sony doesn't put as much bloatware onto Android compared to other manufacturers.
Other reasons why I chose this phone include the fact it has a 4.6" screen like the iPhone 6, yet kept the same body size as an iPhone 5 (I converted over from iOS), and has a battery capacity close to that of the iPhone 6 Plus. I wasn't happy with how Apple made their phones bigger without slimming down the bezels more, and the fact that many users have been reporting bending at the volume keys.
Overall, the experience on my Sony Xperia Z3 Compact has been great. No lag, apps open fast, and I like Sony's Stamina Mode that helps to conserve battery. Only issues I've had software-wise are the fact that some Android apps won't run smoothly, but that's expected when you have an operating system that's not optimized for one set of hardware.
However, there is one potentially major design flaw I must mention. The Xperia Z3 Compact has two options when it comes to charging the phone: either through the micro-USB port underneath a flap on the top-left side (looking at device from the front), or through a magnetic charging port below that flap on the same side. I decided to purchase a third-party magnetic charging adapter that hooks up to the required micro-USB cable, so that I wouldn't have to have a flap hanging open whenever I'm charging my phone. This magnetic charging port, however, is simply a plastic piece with a magnet and metal contacts that's glued to the rest of the phone's body. The port can therefore break loose under normal use, since any magnetic charger you use can yank the plastic piece out thanks to the strength of the magnet. I've only had this phone for a month, and I only used the magnetic charger for about a week or two before the port pulled away from the rest of the phone. My waterproof/dustproof rating is surely invalid now, and until Sony fixes this design flaw, could be a potential deal-breaker.
I've checked online Android forums, and other Xperia users have reported that this problem has been around since the Xperia Z2 - well over 6 months. And using Sony's in-house magnetic charging dock won't prevent the port from detaching, either. Several Z2 users reported removing their phone from the dock one day, only to find that the port remained attached to the dock while the rest of the phone detached.
I've attached a picture illustrating the problem. Potential buyers, please do consider this fact before deciding to buy this phone. Like I said, overall the phone is one of the best Android phones out there, but this design flaw with the magnetic charging port could be a serious problem if you're in a dusty environment, or near water a lot. This is why my rating is 3 stars, and not 5.
December 8, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by shanto6888 Buttery smooth
Used the phone for a week now and I have to say I made a huge mistake switching to samsung for the last two years. Sony makes some of the best products in the industry and this smartphone is just amazing. I am pretty tired of where the smartphone industry is heading with larger screens. If you want one-handed use without having to compromise on specifications, this is just the phone you are looking for. It looks great and has a premium feel to it. The user interface is buttery smooth and is a welcome change from the bloat dragged Samsung UI. Battery life is just amazing. I was on a 9 hour road trip where I constantly streamed songs over LTE by using spotify. Just lost about 20% of charge.
However, the flaps on the phone covering the card slots and USB port will eventually come off if you open and close them everyday. I highly recommend buying a magnetic charger cable.
Additionally, I was a bit disappointed to see no earphones in the package. However, that is not a big deal.
November 9, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by cpurick Best Small Phone on the Market
Sony is the only manufacturer offering full flagship specs on a phone small enough for one-handed use. The Z3 Compact goes head to head with the top, first-tier phones and phablets from every manufacturer, and puts most of them to shame. And it does it all with a battery that's within reach of going two days on a single charge, depending on how heavily you use it.
The only concession Sony's made on the Z3 Compact is the screen resolution. The brightness, clarity, color, contrast are all first-rate, but the 4.6" package only needs 1280 by 720 pixels to deliver a "retina" quality 319 pixels per inch.
This phone is blazingly fast, gorgeous to look at, and incredibly comfortable to hold and use, and packed with Sony's advanced processing for superior sound and video. The 20MP camera rivals most point and shoots, and although I would never submerge mine the Z3 Compact is also waterproof with a camera button designed for underwater use.
If you're tired of being forced to buy bigger and bigger handsets to get a top-notch flagship phone with excellent battery life, you can stop looking. The Z3 Compact is your phone.
October 13, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by Peregrine Way too fragile
Phone fell out of my pocket in my first month of using it (had a CaseMate Tough case on it) and the screen cracked. Just a small, hairline crack horizontally across the bottom of the screen. The entire top section (80%) of the screen no longer responds to touch, which means I'm locked out of the phone. The capacitive touch screen does not support cracks, so even small damage to the glass will make this phone completely unresponsive.
This phone is touted as tough, but watch out. It's water proof, yes. It is NOT tough. It's NOT rugged. It's NOT active. It's only waterproof. Don't be fooled.
On the performance side, the phone is excellent, which makes the loss of functionality (and switching to a loaner) that much harder to bear. The screen gives beautiful graphics, with good response, fast processing time and reliable connectivity. I was ecstatic about the new phone, until it cracked under normal situations. Customer service wanted me to send it away for 2 weeks and pay $25 to have it looked it (yep, screen's broken). No thanks, man.
Unfortunately, I have to say "Stay away!" Wait for the next model with better gorilla glass, or go to a company with better customer service.
January 9, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by MichauxO The Perfect Phone
Let's start with design & aesthetics. The Z3C is the ideal phone size. It feels so good in the hand. I have smaller hands, but I'm able to roam to all four corners with my thumb, and use the device one-handed with ease. It is also a cool looking device. The translucent plastic edging is something you have to see in person. It has chameleon quality to it with changing lighting conditions, and looks at once retro (harkening back to the see-through plastic electronics of the 80's/90's) and forward looking. I went with the green, and it is a really striking color. Disclaimer: I bought it from eBay foregoing the warranty. I would have preferred to buy from Sony, but I just couldn't wait until Nov. or whenever it will eventually ship...
So, I've had the Z3C for a few days. It's model D5803 (as above) and I have it running on T-Mobile in Seattle where I'm able to roam with 3-4 bars LTE with no issues. My first impressions are that this phone does everything well, and some things extremely well. Here's a short list of my favorite features:
1. Battery life is a game changer. The 2 day claim is accurate, and perhaps even a safe estimate. With heavy use I was able to push it 24 hr. + without a charge, and with light use 48 hr. +. Standby...who knows? I haven't been able to keep my hands off it this week.
2. Audio tech. The front facing surround speakers are adequate, but it really shines when synced with my new Sony Extra Bass XB950BT/B headset. I did a quality comparison with my Macbook Air, my ex iPhone 5, and even my Xperia Z2 Tablet...the DSEE sound enhancing tech on board the Z3C makes a noticeable difference when listening to mp3s or videos. It sounds hi-res and the audio clarity when paired with a good receiver is phenomenal.
3. It's Speedy. The Snapdragon 801 is a beast in this little package. Switching between apps or browsing the web is fluid. Downloading stuff is a snap. I have a weak home wi-fi setup, and the Z3C makes it less slow, plus I can tether via LTE to give my other devices (e.g. PS4, Z2 Tablet) a boost when downloading files.
4. Waterproof. I did test this in the sink, and it was as advertised. Considering I bought this phone from the gray market without warranty, I'm a little leery about taking it for a swim, but the waterproofing is reassuring, especially since I live in Seattle and the rain is coming.
5. The display is crisp, vibrant, and clear. Compared to my Z2 Tablet, you can notice the 720p vs. 1080p resolution difference somewhat, but honestly, in a device this size, 720p is more than adequate, and it looks really sharp with good viewing angles.
6. Camera. I'm still uncertain about the camera quality (especially coming from iOS devices by comparison). There are so many manual settings and bells & whistles to tweak that I'm still figuring out how to optimize the picture quality. Using the default settings, it takes impressive photos, if a bit over saturated, but like I said, I haven't taken many photos yet or played around with the software much. The dedicated camera button is a solid feature, and I like how it launches the camera from the lock screen with one click of the camera button.
7. The future. I'm looking forward to using the remote play feature with my PS4. The Z3 or Z3 Tablet Compact might be better suited given their screen real estate, but it is a promising feature. My only concern is that my poor PS Vita might get jealous.
This review is running long. Thanks for reading. I'll close by saying that I am super impressed with the Z3C. I can't really think of one negative thing to say about it. It does everything well, and in my opinion, it is the perfect smart phone. If you are on the fence, I say go for it! Hopefully Sony can market this (along with its big brother) and keep up with demand.
October 16, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by karmasai iPhone 6 Killer
When I first got the phone, a fellow colleague bought the 6 plus for personal use and allowed me to demo it for an hour or so, and then I began assisting a mobile QA engineer in app testing for the iPhone 6 mini at work for about a week.
I personally was upgrading from a circa '11 Galaxy SII. The battery was constantly dying after 5-6 hours and I was running out of RAM and storage space every 3-4 days. Frequent stalls and random restarts was a signal for me to upgrade.
So when I first got my Z3C, I wasn't too surprised by how slippery it is. The iPhones are extremely worse considering that they are so thin and light with full glass and metal surfaces creating 0 friction.
The Z3C's Front and back glass panels give it a premium look and feel, but do be careful to make sure an edge is being gripped. The plastic/nylon rounded edges provide needed stability and grip and protection from falls. It'll also slide on any smooth surface.
The omni balance weighting helps when reaching the far edges of the phone (The iPhone is top heavy, as well as the SII while the Z3C has a balancing point of dead center). May seem like a gimick but it's truly helping from an ergonomic perspective if you have a hitchhiker's thumb that doesn't bend too easily. It also has some weight to it which makes it feel more solid and gives is a more significant presence when compared to these impossibly "am I really holding something?" light phones.
A great feature of this phone is that it can be used on every GSM network, and it is amazingly fast in every respect. I was able to download 300 mb in under 10 seconds on wifi which is faster than my computer. I also can load Asphalt 8 in under 3 seconds, which is a good minute faster than my S2.
The camera, unfortunately, is a bit buggy. On every open, it inappropriately warns "video cannot start; it is in use by another application" and typically crashes when switching from Superior Auto to Manual mode. Otherwise, it's on par with my canon T2i in every respect, save the obvious advantages a dSLR's fully variable optical zoom (1/2.6-14f) and lens quality has over a digital zoom fixed 1/2.6f lens. Exmor cmos sensor does an excellent job in low-light photos and is on-par with iPhone 6. Overall photo quality is better in the ZC3, but it is easier to obtain viable pictures with the iPhone without adjusting the focus mode. The iPhone 6 captures better looking slo-motion videos due to a higher slo-mo recording frame rate, but that's about it's only non-user controllable advantage that I could tell it had over the ZC3 in the 5 days I demo'ed it.
It's best feature is battery life. I'm sure that with normal usage (calls/txts/nav during the day, social apps/internet/gaming by night) I can get about 3 days out of a single charge in Stamnia mode. The iPhone, surprisingly, got similar battery life to my SII. (WOW so bad)
The 2 GB of ram greatly helps since I usually have 10-20 tabs open in chrome. However Android 4.4.4 does a great job at memory management, so this is more of a future-proofing feature.
I thought I'd be a bit disappointed in screen quality, going from a Super AMOLED to IPS LED, but with the Trumulinos tech, I didn't really notice much. Blacks are still super black (there must be some physical filtering going on) and the color range is wide and seemingly more precise in saturation.
The phone also offers automation which is cool, but unfortunately it works better with the Sony apps than native google apps.
It also has a glove mode, which I might try to use while underwater. But since I paid full price for this phone, I don't think I'll be inclined to test the IP68 waterproof rating until I need to. My guess is the waterproof rating is why the speakers are a bit on the quiet side, even though they sound great. Call quality is great, although I wish my retail package came with the MDR-NC31EM noise cancelling headset instead of that cheap my-ears-are-too-small-for-this-thing iPhone knockoff headset.
All in all, the ZC3 is quite easily the best phone I've ever had.
November 4, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by z28xtce Perfect size,Great looking, powerful phone
Coming from a iphone 5s, this is basically the same size with a larger screen, excellent battery life, and I love it because its waterproof. Ive run all the benchmarks and this phone is smoking hot!
December 4, 2014