15 Reasons Sony’s Xperia Z3 Compact Bests Apple’s iPhone 6 [updated]

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Bests Apple iPhone 6

15 top reasons the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact smartphone is a much better buy now than Apple’s iPhone 6 for business travellers, including an outstanding battery life and improved durability. -updated on 04/10/2014-

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Bests Apple iPhone 6At the end of last year, I created a new ‘Lifestyle‘ category on to share my personal thoughts on newly released tech and gadgets which could improve the productivity of my fellow business travellers, social media professionals and digital innovation leaders.

I invite you to check my series of video reviews on the best keyboards for iPad Air.

In this post I will share my initial feedback on my new smartphone, the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact (16 Gb, Orange model).

You can find the full list of specifications directly on the Sony website.

Spoiler alert: the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is the best smartphone I have ever owned.

If I won’t be as detailed here as I was in my comprehensive series of video reviews of best keyboards for iPad Air, I’m aiming to share enough essential information and candid feedback to help you decide if this is also the best mobile phone for you.

This is not a technical review, I just wanted to share with you my selection process and the reasons why the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is the best smartphone of 2014 in my opinion.

A bit of background

If I’m not obsessed about them, I still like my tech and gadgets.  In terms of mobile phones, I was rather late switching from Blackberry to Apple a few years ago: I had initially ordered the Samsung Galaxy S2, but a few bugs and unsuccessful replacements later I finally opted for the iPhone 4S.  And I loved that handset.  That is until it stopped working about 18 months later for no valid reason.

Apple asked me for about £140 (and the device!) to replace it with a refurbished iPhone 4S.  That’s when I decided once again to give Android a go.  I ordered a Samsung Galaxy S4 on, mainly for the removable battery and the camera.  I returned it because it was over heating far too often, even just shooting a few photos.

Eventually, I picked up the gorgeous red model of the HTC One (M7, 2013).  And I loved this device even more than the iPhone 4S.

So you might wonder why did I decided to buy a new smartphone so soon?  I’m starting a new job in a couple of weeks, and I wanted two excellent mobile phones: one for business (my good old HTC One) and one for personal use.

Those articles take a lot of time to put together: if you found it useful, I’d greatly appreciate a back-link from your blog, a comment here and a mention on twitter (@Visible_Banking) or on LinkedIn.

iLike Apple

I’m compelled to mention that if I’m not a fan boy, I really like Apple’s devices: my wife is loving my replacement iPhone 4S (refurbished) and her iPad mini, I love my iPad Air and I recently traded my laptop PC for an Apple MacBook Pro Retina (2013).  My level of productivity has improved tremendously thanks to its speed and battery life: it provides a super user experience and I absolutely ADORE it.

So now, you might wonder why I didn’t go for an iPhone 6 or even better, an iPhone 6 Plus?  I will tell you why.

My key requirements

I travel a lot as part of my job as a business social media speaker, consultant and practitioner.  So battery life is the single most important feature for me.  Durability comes a close second.

I usually travel with my iPad Air and possibly my MacBook Pro, so I very rarely watch videos or play resource-demanding games on my mobile phone.  So I rate portability much higher than screen size.

I contribute to a lot of events on a monthly if not a weekly basis.  Even though I always carry a digital compact camera, I appreciate the ability to shoot good quality photos and short videos with my smartphone.  I only take the occasional selfie on stage after one of my public speaking engagements.  😉

Last but not least, I need to be able to both manage my social media profiles efficiently and curate/share content in the most optimised way possible.  Android is perfect for that: the apps can communicate between each other.  Please note that I still haven’t had the chance to try this new feature of iOS8 on my iPad Air.

Of course, part of me will always love the idea of owning the latest greatest devices, even if realistically I wouldn’t use a tenth of their features and capabilities.  Let me illustrate my point: the 240 fps slow-motion video recording on the iPhone 6 looks awesome, but how many times would I personally use it?

The contenders

I thought about buying the following devices: the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Motorola Moto G LTE (2013) or the Moto G (2014) and the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Size Comparison iPhone 6 HTC one

I invite you to try out the excellent smartphone size comparison tool from

You will find below my personal thoughts on those devices:

  • iPhone 6: I was close to buy one on Apple’s launch day, but 1. I wasn’t that impressed when holding it in the Apple store, 2. the battery is still notoriously average, 3. I find it far too pricey for the incremental improvements (bar the screen size)
  • iPhone 6 Plus: I won’t talk about #bendgate here.  The battery life is promising, but I personally found it far too big for my hand.  Once again, I find the price extortionate for the minimal improvements over the iPhone 5S and iPhone 6.
  • Samsung Galaxy S5: I was close to buy it for its removable battery and its excellent camera.  But my previous experience with Sammy’s flagship devices, the size of the phone and the lack of ‘wow factor’ had me reconsider.  I’ve never been a fan of the AMOLED screen and over saturated colours.
  • Motorola Moto G LTE (2013): I was that close to buy the 4G model with SD card slot on the cheap.  I’d have use it as my work phone and I’d have kept my HTC One for my personal use.  I decided it wasn’t as fun as having the latest greatest.  Also, there was a risk Motorola wouldn’t update the device’s OS with Google’s upcoming ‘Android L‘.
  • Moto G (2014): no 4G model (for now) and the screen is too big for my liking.
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Fifteen Top Features – Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

If this handset is not ‘perfect’, the screen and camera are not necessarily as amazing as the ones on the iPhone 6 / 6 Plus (check out those two insightful videos from the BTekt YouTube channel: screen and camera comparisons), the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is still in my eyes the Best Smartphone of 2014 for business travellers.

Obviously, I’m expecting a large number of Apple fanatics to challenge my views and make sure to prove me wrong.  And I invite you all to do so!

Anyhow, you will find below my selection of 15 top features on the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact which makes it a better smartphone than the similarly-sized iPhone 6:

  1. Battery
    Unarguably, the battery on the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is simply phenomenal.  I invite you to read those articles: ‘Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Delivers Impressive Battery Performance Beating All Rivals in Test’.
  2. Price
    The iPhone 6 (64 Gb) costs a whopping £600.  I bought my Sony Xperia Z3 Compact on for £347.99, including a car charger and a Roxfit flip case: the customer service was outstanding and the delivery seamless.
  3. Sd slot
    I’m not sure how much space I’ll really need considering my somewhat modest usage, but I’ve already bought this SanDisk 64 GB Class 10 micro SD cart on for £27.65.
  4. Digital noise cancellation
    Sound quality is important to me: for my calls and for my music.  I’ve ordered a pair of Sony MDR-NC31EM Digital Noise Cancelling Headset on for £27.95.
  5. Camera
    Unlike the iPhone 6, the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact has a dedicated camera button and it can records 4k videos (up to 4-5mn).  The overall quality of photos and videos is excellent.  Nevertheless, I found the front facing ‘selfie’ camera too soft and lacking definition.
  6. Speed
    The phone is extremely fast with everything you throw at it from flickering through the various menus to browsing through your photos and videos and playing games.
  7. Size
    In my opinion, the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact has the perfect overall size (screen and bezels/frame).  I invite you to try out the excellent smartphone size comparison tool from
  8. Durability
    The built of the phone is not only attractive, but it also feels highly more durable than the iPhone 6 with the materials used and its dust and waterproof certifications.  And if I might only shoot a few photos under water maybe once a year, the feature is reassuring when you are on the road a lot.
  9. Keyboard
    I’ve always preferred Android’s keyboards and their haptic feedback to the iOS ones.  The one on the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is fully customisable out of the box.  Of course, now iOS8 enable third-party keyboards.
  10. Colour
    I wanted a more edgy and original smartphone, so I bought the Orange edition of the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact.  It’s also available in green.
  11. Magnetic charging
    OK, Sony’s latest compact smartphone doesn’t support wireless charging, but the next best thing.  And I plan to make good use of Sony’s magnetic charging dock available on for £22.89.
  12. Sony User Interface
    I really enjoying Sony’s UI on the Xperia Z3 Compact: it’s simple, fast and close to the ‘Android stock’ experience.  It provides me with an excellent level of customisation which iOS8 doesn’t offer.
  13. Screen video recording
    Unarguably,  this is a rather uncommon feature that most people won’t need.  I personally love the fact that you can capture a video of your screen natively.
  14. PS4 Remote Play
    If I used to be a hardcore gamer 25 years ago, I don’t have time to play anything else than the occasional few rounds of Hearhstone battles on my iPad Air.  But the possibility to play PlayStation games on your smartphone will appeal to gamers (with a good eyesight).
  15. Lifelog
    If Sony’s ‘Lifelog‘ concept could be perceived as rather intrusive if you are planning to use it to log everything you do from walking, talking to your family and friend up to listening to some music, I’m excited with the potential of pairing my Sony Xperia Z3 Compact with the upcoming Sony SmartBank Talk SWR30 (watch this hands-on video walkthrough).

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: the Best Smartphone of 2014

Sony Experia Z3 Compact: Best Smartphone 2014

I spent hours searching online for early reviews and hands-on videos of the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact.  I thought I’d make your life easier by listing the best reviews I could find (in English):

  1. Something came in the mail today! [Sony Xperia Z3 Compact] on Reddit by ‘VLokkY
  2. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review on Pocket Lint (@pocketlint) by Chris Hall (@christhall)
  3. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Review on PhoneArena (@phonearena)
  4. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review on Expert Reviews (@ExpertReviewsUK)
  5. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Review: What the iPhone 6 Could Have Been on IBTimes (@IBTimesUK)
  6. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review: best in the mini class on Android Pit (@AndroidPITcom)
  7. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review: The no-compromise mini on Times of India (@toi_tech)
  8. Sony Xperia Z3 compact: Android’s answer to iPhone 6 on India Today (@indiatoday)
  9. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Review [4K] on nDevil TV (@ndeviltv)
  10. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Review on Digit (@digitindia)
  11. The best compact Android phone gets a makeover on CNET (@cnet)
  12. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Review: The Mighty Miniature on NDTV Gadgets (@NDTVGadgets)
  13. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Review on Clove Technology (@clovetechnology)
  14. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Review on (@4Gcouk)
  15. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review (video) on Btekt (@btekt)
  16. Sony Xperia Z3 review: The best Android device around? on Digital Spy (@digitalspy)
  17. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Australian Review on Gizmodo Australia (@GizmodoAU)
  18. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review: Not your usual suspect on GSM Arena (@gsmarena_com)
  19. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review: Top-end capability that fits in your pocket on The National
  20. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review on uSwitch (@uSwitchTech)
  21. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact proves size truly doesn’t matter as small can prove powerful on TechTimes (@TechTimes_News)
  22. Sony Xperia Z3 compact review: best small Android phone and iPhone 6 competitor on The Guardian (@guardiantech-new-
  23. Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact review on The Verge (@verge-new-

Here you are: with my article, including the list of reviews, I hopefully helped you to make an informed decision and purchase (or not) the all-arounder Sony Xperia Z3 Compact.

Updated: check out those incredible battery stats after 3 days, 20 hours and 32 minutes…

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Best Battery Smartphones 2014The battery life on the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is truly remarkable

This is a screenshot taken this Sunday morning: I’ve been using my Sony Xperia Z3 Compact extensively since I received it at about 2pm on Thursday.  I played with the camera a lot, I called my friends and family, I used a few of my favourite apps like IMDB and Appy Geek…  and I confirm that both wifi and 4G were always on, day and night.

I personally found the overall level of performance of the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact outstanding and well worth the consideration before buying a nicely built iPhone 6, don’t you think?

I look forward to the next generation of iPhones which will hopefully have a slimmer frame and a longer battery life.  And let’s see how successful Apple is with their NFC-based ‘Apple Pay’ payment solution.

So which smartphone did you buy: the Apple iPhone 6 or the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact?  Either way, how happy are you with your new and shiny device?

If you enjoyed reading my article or if you wanted to react, I invite you to connect with me here, on twitter (@Visible_Banking) and on google+.

What do you think?

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Written by Christophe Langlois

Based in London, Christophe is an entertaining social media keynote speaker and a trusted advisor to the global financial services industry on the topics of social media, social business and digital innovation.

Christophe has contributed to over 140 events in 18 countries.

Currently, Christophe is 'Social Media Senior Managing Consultant' at IBM Interactive Experience. He's also a Digital Advisor at the Financial Services Forum and the Moller Centre (part of the Churchill College in Cambridge).

Christophe's views on are his own, not necessarily his employer's.


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    • Just like you,I travel a lot and battery is crucial to me. I used to own the HTC One M8 a few months back, it was impressive as well but its battery life was a far cry from that of the Z3 compact. Initially I was contemplating on the Z3 instead because I was so used to big screen but No, it was the the Compact model that I chose.
      Again key features I needed
      1. Battery – all said
      2. GPS integrating with Google Map – extremely accurate and gets you anywhere you need to go
      3. Size – come to think of it a 4.6/4.7 screen size is just right, you don’t have to worry about a phone petruding out of your shallow pocket, let alone falling out unintentionally.
      4.Capability – basically it can perform all tasks a big smart phone can do and with good speed.

      I am not sure will Sony be having another new model like this or will I jump ship to another brand in the near future but rest assured, I will be sticking with the Compact for a while.

  1. Hi. I bought the same model Xperia Z Compact for much the same reasons, top among them was price and sheer level of technology packed into such a small frame.

    Thanks for linking to the accessories, such as the charger and the DNC headphones, which are now on my shopping list.

  2. Glad I found this post. I’ve been eyeing the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact for the past week. My current contract is coming to an end in October and I’m looking for a new phone to upgrade to. So far, the Xperia Z3 and LG G3 are on my shortlist and I’ll have to do more research on both.

    • Between those two phones, I’d personally go with the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact. It runs a faster and more responsive version of Android, it’s waterproof, and takes sharper images than the LG G3. However, it is smaller than the LG G3 and doesn’t allow for simultaneous video and image recording like the LG G3.

  3. The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact does appear to be quite an impressive phone, based on its own specifications and when compared to the recently released iPhone 6 smartphones.

  4. You made a lot of good points about the advantages that the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact has over the iPhone 6. I really like the accessories that are available for the Z3. The wireless charging caught my eye. I didn’t know this type of thing was available for the Z3 compact. The design is pretty cool too. I could keep it on my desk and keep an eye on it or view content while I work and while the phone charges.

  5. Good review of the phones. I heard about the iPhone 6 release (who hasn’t, lol) but I hadn’t heard of the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact. I’ll have to check out each phone’s specifications.

    • I’m so quite impressed with the Xperia Z3 Compact. I’ve had my phones broken into, so I like that the iPhone 6 has a fingerprint sensor, but not much else impresses me about the iPhone 6. I’ve had great experiences with Sony products so I’m biased.

  6. I ultimately decided on the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact. It was everything I needed at the moment and has features. I love all of the features so far, especially the battery life.

  7. In this comparison, the price of the iPhone 6 alone would steer me towards the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact.

  8. As an extreme sports junkie, I’d definitely go with the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact. Longer battery life, faster system, and waterproof? Jyeah!

  9. The water proof feature is pretty cool. I can definitely see myself using this when I go scuba diving

  10. I just bought and received an iPhone 6 earlier this week. I’ve had nothing but problems with it right out of the box. I’ve had to have the nano-sim card replaced by Verizon because it was defective. After I was finally able to activate the phone I hooked it up to be charged… 8 hours ago –it’s just now getting to 85% charged. I wouldn’t have bothered upgrading and would have just gone with a different brand and model if I knew I’d have to deal with these kinds of issues.

  11. Not a big fan of the iPhone 6 or Apple products in general, but I’ve been setting up my sister’s new iPhone and it’s pretty cool. It’s a step up from my phone, but I’d still pick the Z3 compact over it. Its battery life and uptime for video and audio playback better complements my work demands.

  12. The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact looks badass. If it were on a different carrier (personally, I prefer Verizon) then I would seriously consider buying it.

  13. Nice Article.

    Similar to you , I’ve been reading

    Reviews and also watching Videos on

    Z3 Compact. I need a small, powerful

    Phone with excellent camera.

    Fixed Battery scares me a bit but with

    long life, I am OK with Z 3 Compact

    and will probably purchase that one.

    SOME speakers on the Z3 Compact

    are loud and full, some are slightly

    muffled and some tinny based on

    Youtube Vids user reports and


    Components, which Factory,

    assembly variables, not sure why

    the speakers vary so much.

    Camera-voice actuated command will

    minimize shake-available ?

    The Video Cam has digital OIS-

    Software Update or Sony/Joint

    Developer paid App could adapt this

    for still photos , possibly, with other

    features to maximize the Camera, with

    Custom User Save Settings on

    Manual Mode-or a $ 20 App which

    improves the Camera to potential.

    I wish I could listen to 10 Z3

    Compacts and pick the best speakers,

    but will probably get one.

  14. Please DO NOT GET THIS PHONE. I’ve had it for 1 month and used it to snap photos of my son swimming in the pool. The waterproofing is a sham. It worked for 20 minutes in non-continuous water immersion despite ensuring the flaps were firmly flushed with the chassis. I suspect the weak flaps slowly gave way during the course of usage – major design flaw. Sony refused to provide repair warranty. So, BUYERS BEWARE!

  15. i really like ur articles ive been reviewing some reactions for the best phone to use…
    im a seafarer so i need a durable phone to use and has a longer battery life
    my best choice now is the z3 compact
    tnx vry much this article help
    me a lot

  16. This is an Excellent phone. Been using it for a few months now, I absolutely love the battery life which was the main reason for me to buy it. Plus i also wanted a phone which is water proof because my kids are still young and Ive had an interesting experience with my previous phone. All is all the phone is much better than a lot out there.

    It is feature packed and ive had not had any major bugs or problematic behavior while using the phone.

  17. hi,
    excellent article and thanks for the links.
    can u pls share your exp after a year with z3 compact? that is if u still have it and are using it.

    any cases of glass breaking on the front or on the back of the phone?

    do let me know as I m planning to buy this phone.

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