Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review: Not your usual suspect

Not your usual suspect

GSMArena team, 12 September 2014.


The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact phonebook is integrated with the dialer using a tabbed interface - the Contacts, Phone, Favorites and Groups tabs can be side-swiped. The contact list has a dedicated search field plus it offers and a cool alphabetical scroll bar.

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You can sync with multiple accounts, including Exchange and Facebook, and you can selectively show or hide contacts from some accounts (as well as filter specific groups in an account), or set the phonebook to display only contacts with phone numbers or only contacts that are online.

Linking contacts is available, and the quick contact feature is here too.


Calling on the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is okay. It held onto signal just fine even in tight urban spaces and the sound coming from the speaker was loud enough. The clarity is only average on our side while the other line reported we came in fine enough.

The dialer support smart dialing.

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Loudspeaker is only average

The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact scored an Average on our loudspeaker test. The quality of the sound generated is good, but is just not that loud, likely due to the waterproofing. Here's how it stacks up to other devices.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact 60.9 66.6 58.7 Below Average
LG G2 mini 65.2 67.7 64.6 Below Average
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact 65.9 62.1 73.5 Average
Samsung Galaxy Alpha 66.6 61.7 75.7 Average
Sony Xperia Z2 66.7 64.6 75.7 Average
Samsung Galaxy S5 66.9 66.6 75.7 Good
HTC One mini 2 69.3 66.6 75.9 Good
Samsung Galaxy S5 mini 73.5 67.7 78.7 Very Good
Motorola Moto G 4G 77.1 76 83.3 Excellent

You can find out more about our testing here.

Messaging and email, text input

Text messages and MMSs use standard threaded layouts. Adding multimedia (photos, videos, sounds, etc.) will convert the message automatically into an MMS.

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Naturally, the Gmail client and the default Email apps are onboard. Gmail can sync only with (multiple) Google accounts, while the generic Email app can handle POP and IMAP and offers a Combined inbox.

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Gmail and Email

As for text input, the Xperia Z3 Compact offers a customizable on-screen full QWERTY keyboard.

You can choose a different layout (keypad, QWERTY, QWERTY with extra symbols), add/remove the coma and period button, the smiley and voice input buttons and also enable things like bilingual word suggestions if you have more than one language enabled. Different keyboard skins are available too.

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You can also try the so-called Gesture input if hitting those keys individually doesn't give you the desired typing speed. It's similar to Swype, and even if you've never used a Swype-like input before, you'll quickly get used to it.

Single-hand size keyboard is available too, but only in portrait orientation. If enabled, it squeezes the onscreen keyboard to the left or right side of the screen so it gets more comfortable for single handed text input.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
Single-handed keyboard

Reader comments

Where you buy?

  • Dan

I chose z3 compact in 2019. Why? Battery 2-3 days and dimension. Thank you gsmarena!

  • AnonD-821125

My z3 compact been around since 2015 and got no problems with it just make sure you dont let it sit on high heat for long periods of time or else the display would act up and the back will stick out due to heat melting the back glass adhesive.