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(Pocket-lint) - Sony has been busy at this year's consumer electronics show IFA, announcing a number of new additions to its Xperia mobile line up including the Xperia Z3 Compact.

Just like its predecessor, the Xperia Z3 Compact brings flagship specs into a smaller device so we put it up against the Xperia Z1 Compact that was announced at the beginning of this year to see what the differences are and how far the new Xperia Compact has come.

The Xperia Z3 Compact is slimmer, lighter and nicer

The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact arrives with an almost identical design to the Xperia Z1 Compact aside from a couple of tweaks here and there that overall make for a better looking device.

Sony has added nylon corners to the Xperia Z3 Compact to help protect it if you drop it and it has also introduced an edge that it is calling the "liquid reflection frame" to hold the front and back glass panels together, which replaces the silver trim found on the Xperia Z1 Compact.

Some new colours have been introduced with the new device too, replacing the bright pink and bright lime green colours is an orange and mint green, but the same IP65/68 rating remains so the Xperia Z3 Compact will be just as waterproof as its predecessor.

In terms of build, the Xperia Z3 Compact offers the same footprint as the Xperia Z1 Compact but it is slightly slimmer at 8.6mm and considerably lighter at 129g compared to the 9.5mm and 137g of the original Compact.

Bigger display on the Xperia Z3 Compact, but same resolution 

Sony has been sticking to its guns when it comes to the resolutions of its latest launches and the Xperia Z3 Compact is no different, standing still at the same 1280 x 720 pixel resolution as the Xperia Z1 Compact.

Don't worry though, it's not all the same in the display department as despite Sony keeping the footprint of the Xperia Z3 Compact the same as the Xperia Z1 Compact, it has increased the display size from 4.3-inches to 4.6-inches.

Of course, the larger display and same resolution means the pixel density drops slightly on the new Xperia Z3 Compact compared to the Xperia Z1 Compact from 341ppi to 319ppi, which essentially means the original device has a sharper display but the difference won't be noticeable to the human eye.

The Xperia Z3 Compact will be faster

The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact featured the same processor as its bigger brother and the Xperia Z3 Compact does the same, meaning the Xperia Z3 Compact will be quicker than its predecessor.

There is 2GB of RAM under the hood of both devices but the Xperia Z3 Compact will come with the 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, while the Xperia Z1 Compact features a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor.

The difference might not be dramatic but the Xperia Z3 Compact should be a little faster at performing more strenuous tasks compared to the Xperia Z1 Compact.

Better camera on the Xperia Z3 Compact

Many were pleased to see the same 20.7-megapixel sensor appear on the Xperia Z1 Compact when it launched at CES as it was a nice change to see an uncompromised "mini" device and Sony has done it again with the Xperia Z3 Compact.

While there is no difference between the Xperia Z3 and the Xperia Z3 Compact, there is a difference between the Xperia Z1 Compact and the Xperia Z3 Compact as Sony has added some improvements to the latest Xperia flagship devices.

The megapixels remain the same but Sony has upped the ISO to 12800 on the Xperia Z3 Compact in an attempt to improve low light images, as well as introduced a wider 25mm G Lens to the new handsets.

You'll also find six new camera applications on the Xperia Compact Z3 compared to the Xperia Z1 Compact including Live to YouTube, Face-In, MultiCamera and 4K video recording, as well as improved SteadShot and Intelligent Active Mode for steadier videos.

The Xperia Z3 Compact has extra features for gamers and music buffs

Both the Xperia Z3 Compact and the Xperia Z1 Compact run on Android 4.4 KitKat with the Sony skin over the top, which includes the What's Now portal that pushes Sony's content.

You won't see a lot of difference when it comes to the user experience between the two devices but Sony will be launching a service in November that will allow you to play your PlayStation 4 console games on your Xperia Z3 Compact, which you won't be able to do on the Xperia Z1 Compact to begin with.

Additionally, Sony has made the Xperia Z3 Compact hi-res audio enabled and introduced the DSEE HX technology to it that will convert low-res audio files into near hi-res to give users music "as the artist intended".

The Xperia Z3 Compact will last longer

The Xperia Z3 Compact has a 2600mAh battery capacity that Sony claims will give you two days of life under normal usage conditions and even if that is a high claim, it should still last longer than the 2300mAh battery in the Xperia Z1 Compact.

There is 16GB of internal storage in both devices, which is expandable up to 128GB via microSD and the normal connectivity features including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and NFC are all on board both too.


As you would expect, the Xperia Z3 Compact improves the already great Xperia Z1 Compact in many areas including design, display size, camera, processor, battery and software additions.

The only place where the Xperia Z1 Compact wins the battle is the sharpness of its display but considering we are talking a couple of pixels per inch, it is probably safe the say the Xperia Z3 Compact is the winner here.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Originally published on 2 September 2014.