Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Does Size Matter?

Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Does Size Matter?

By Rich W Woods

Yesterday, the Sony Xperia Z3v was made available on Verizon. On October 29, the Sony Xperia Z3 will be made available on T-Mobile. Somehow, in all that, the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is lost. Although there is an unlocked version available from Sony’s web site, it won’t be available from any carriers and that’s the reason why Sony has never really taken off in the United States.

After spending the last week with both the Sony Xperia Z3 and Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, I have fell in love with both of these phones. They are both super fast, beautifully designed, and they take fantastic photos; however, the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact lacks a couple of the specs of the Sony Xperia Z3.

Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Specs

Sony Xperia Z3 Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
Processor 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 801 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 801
Display 5.2″, 1080p, 424 ppi, LCD 4.6″, 720p, 319 ppi, LCD
Body 146x72x7.3 mm, 152 g 127.3×64.9×8.6 mm, 129 g
Camera 20.7 MP, 5248×3936, 2.2 MP 20.7 MP, 5248×3936, 2.2 MP
Video 4K at 30 fps, 1080p at 60 fps, 720p at 120 fps, Front 1080p at 30 fps 4K at 30 fps, 1080p at 60 fps, 720p at 120 fps, Front 1080p at 30 fps
Aperture F/2 F/2
Camera Sensor 1/2.3″ 1/2.3″
Storage 16/32 GB, Expandable to 128 GB 16 GB, Expandable to 128 GB
Price $699 $529


So the main differences between the two phones are RAM, size, and screen resolution. As far as performance goes, RAM can be a major factor; however, the 720p display has half the amount of pixels as a 1080p display, which increases performance.

When looking at screen resolution, numbers like 720p, 1080p, 1440p, and 4K don’t matter at all. What matters is pixels per inch (ppi). Apple defines a Retina display as a display where the user can’t see any pixellation at an average viewing distance. For an iPhone, Retina is 326 ppi.

Sony Xperia Z3 vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Camera

Both of the cameras have the exact same specs, so the photos should be exactly the same.

It would seem that there has been some confusion lately. The photos are not downsized. Click or tap them to enlarge them.

Sony Xperia Z3 Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Perhaps I spoke too soon when I said that they would have the exact same photos. After all, it makes sense. They have the exact same resolution, aperture, sensor, and software, but somehow the pictures are a bit different. Notice the fourth and tenth photos down. There’s a pretty big difference there.

The last photo is a selfie taken with the 2.2 MP front facing camera. This is something that needs work on Sony’s part. It’s not the resolution that makes them look so bad. After all, Apple does a good job with the iPhone 6 and its 1.2 MP front camera.

The difference in screen resolution is negligible. After all, 720p on a 4.6″ screen is really just as good as 1080p on a 5.2″ screen. If 326 ppi is good enough to be Retina for Apple, 319 ppi will be just fine.

Both of these phones have a physical camera button, one of my favorite features in a phone. The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is the perfect size to actually feel like a digital camera.

As far as performance is concerned, there is no noticeable difference between the 2 GB of RAM of the Xperia Z3 Compact and the 3 GB RAM of the Xperia Z3. If you are a power user that does things with your phone that would require the extra RAM, chances are you’ll want the larger screen anyway.

Every major handset manufacturer’s flagship is 5″ or above. The HTC One M8 is 5″, Nokia Lumia 930 is 5″, Samsung Galaxy S5 is 5.2″, Sony Xperia Z3 is 5.2″, LG G3 is 5.5″, OnePlus One is 5.5″, iPhone 6 Plus is 5.5″, and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is 5.7″.

It makes sense for Sony to go the same route as Apple, making one phone in the 4.6″-5″ range and another that is competing with the larger phones. After all, some people do prefer the smaller size, and if that person is looking for a high end device, there is really nowhere else to go.


All Sony Xperia Z3 Camera Comparisons

All Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Camera Comparisons 

About the author
Rich Woods

Being a computer programmer wasn't enough to fulfill his love of technology. In 2013, Rich founded For the Love of Tech and has been writing about his love of tech ever since.

  • Anton

    Sony Galaxy Note 4? ))) I think you mistyped )

    • Good call. Thanks. Surprised no one else ever found that