Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Xperia Z3
How does Sony's big phone compare to its little one?

Sony only really has one flagship smartphone at any given time and the latest of those is the Xperia Z3, but in many ways the Xperia Z3 Compact can be seen as a flagship too, because unlike most minis it has high end specs.

The Z3 Compact is arguably the best 'small' screen Android phone around, but despite the name it's not simply a shrunk down Xperia Z3. Here's what's different.

Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Design

The core design of these two phones is undeniably similar and they're both very similar to past Xperia handsets too.

The Sony Xperia Z3 has a glass back, metal frame and OmniBalance design, while the Xperia Z3 Compact also has a glass back and OmniBalance design, but instead of metal it's got a translucent plastic around the edges.

Z3 Compact

This creates an attractive effect which if anything arguably even looks better than the metal on the Z3. There are also some differences in available colours, as while both phones come in black or white, the Xperia Z3 has more outlandish copper and silver green options, while the Xperia Z3 Compact has an additional choice of orange or green.

Both phones are IP65/68 certified dust and water resistant and both are slim, though the 7.3mm Xperia Z3 is thinner than the 8.6mm Xperia Z3 Compact.

Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Display

This is arguably the biggest difference between these two handsets and positions them at different sections of the market, because while the Sony Xperia Z3 has a large 5.2-inch display, the Xperia Z3 Compact has a relatively, well, compact 4.6-inch one.


Neither of these phones are small then but the Z3 Compact is definitely the more pocket friendly of the two.

Other than that they're quite similar, both use IPS LCD, both are supposedly the brightest in their class and both are packed with fancy Sony tech, such as Live Colour LED's, but while the Xperia Z3 has a 1080 x 1920 display, the Z3 Compact is just 720 x 1280 and noticeably less sharp as a result.

Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: CPU, RAM and storage

Both the Sony Xperia Z3 and the Xperia Z3 Compact have high-end innards, but one is slightly more high-end than the other. Both have 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processors and Adreno 330 GPU's, but the Xperia Z3 has 3GB of RAM while the Xperia Z3 Compact has a still-respectable 2GB.

There's no difference in storage though, with both phones rocking 16GB built in and microSD card slots with support for cards of up to 128GB.

Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Camera

Xperia Z3

In theory there shouldn't be anything to choose between the cameras. Both phones have a 20.7MP Exmor RS sensor with a 25mm G Lens and both now have an ISO 12800 setting, which should lead to better low-light performance than their predecessors.

They can even both shoot 4K video and have 2.2MP front-facing snappers.

Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Battery

The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact has a smaller battery than the Xperia Z3, as you might expect. Specifically it's 2600mAh to the Xperia Z3's 3100mAh, so it's still fairly large.

Despite the size differences though performance might be similar as Sony promises an eyebrow-raising two days of life from both of its new phones.

Z3 Compact

Though if you dive down into the specs there are some differences, with the Z3 apparently delivering up to 19 hours of talk time, 10 hours of video or 740 hours of standby, while Sony reckons the Z3 Compact can hold out for up to 14 hours of talk time, 10 hours of video or 920 hours of standby.

Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Price

We don't know how much either of these phones will cost yet, but going by the previous versions of both and the fact that the Z3 Compact is smaller, has a lower resolution screen and less RAM we'd hazard a guess that it will be around £100 cheaper than the Xperia Z3.

More specifically it's likely to retail for around £450 / $700 / AU$800, while the Z3 will probably cost around £550 / $850 / AU$950 SIM free.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.