Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact

8.5/10 AVG.
RATING
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Specs summary

Screen
8"

The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact's screen is 8 inches with 1200 x 1920 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.5 GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 Quad core 2.5 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The tablet runs on the Android 4.4 KitKat (Update Available: 6.0.1 Marshmallow) operating system (OS).

Camera
8+ MP
You can take photos or capture video with the tablet's onboard 8+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 2+ megapixels resolution.
Storage
16/32 GB

Internal memory is 16/32 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
4500mAh

The tablet is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 4500 mAh battery. Sony's performance ratings are 54.2 days standby time.



Sony's Z3 Tablet Compact is a well-made, thin and light device with a stunning display, brisk performance and robust battery life.

- Jamie Rigg , Engadget 

Reviews summary

8.5/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 22 reviews

What's good

  • Incredibly thin and light
  • Excellent battery life
  • Snappy performance
  • Water- and dust-proof

What's bad

  • PS4 connection feature laggy and often crashes
  • Camera images lack detail and proper contrast
  • Display colors oversaturated

While smartphones are getting bigger, the tablet manufacturers seem to be duking it out for the title of top mid-size tablet. Sony has entered the fray with the release of the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. At first glance, it might not necessarily live up to its "compact" name, but once reviewers held it in their hand they understood why Sony tacked on the title. At 0.25 inches thick, it is one of the slimmest tablets available and it weighs only 270 grams. As well, the 16:10 aspect ratio allows it to be much narrower than its competition (the iPad Mini 3) and experts were able to hold it easily in one-hand. As thin and light as it is, critics did not experience any significant bending though CNET warns, "…it does feel a touch fragile." It does, however, have an IP65 and IP68 rating that makes it dust proof and waterproof for up to 30 minutes in up to six feet of water.

Dominating the front of the screen is the 8-inch full HD LCD display. Although it doesn't offer the same resolution or pixel density as the iPad Mini retina display or the LG G3, experts barely noticed any difference in sharpness. As well, they commend the screen for its good contrast and vivid colors though they mention that it tends to be a bit oversaturated. Brightness levels are also good as they were able to read the screen in bright light despite its high reflectivity.

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Inside is a 2.5GHz quad-core processor paired with 3GB of RAM. This combination of hardware created a virtually stutter free experience for experts regardless of whether they were just browsing the web or playing graphics-intensive game. As thin as it is, Sony was able to stuff a 4,500mAh battery inside that get it running for around 13 hours in battery draining tests and a little under two days of light usage in real life testing. One of the more interesting features of the tablet is its ability to act as a display for the PlayStation 4. Unfortunately, when put to the test experts experienced frame rate issues, freezes and crashes. Still they add that the technology is still in early stages so they expect it to improve over time.

Sony isn't breaking the mold with their 8MP camera but it did reward experts with a solid performance. Performance-wise, they had no complaints as it provided fast and reliable picture taking and decent autofocus. Image quality, on the other hand, is fair at best. They noticed a lack of fine detail in images as well as problems with contrast, though surprisingly low light images were fairly clear when compared to similar low end cameras. Still, TechRadar states, "You're probably not going to want to frame any of these shots."

Overall, reviewers had few complaints about the Z3 Tablet Compact and would recommend it over its competitors despite its flaws. Stuff.TV states, "…the Z3 Tablet Compact is a lovely thing. It's a slim, light and reliable couch or commute companion."


Reviews (8.5/10 Avg. rating)


Android Guys

Excellent performance, fantastic build quality, and great added features

from Android Guys

The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is definitely one of our favorite tablets right now. With excellent performance, fantastic build quality, and great added features, the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact should be on everyone’s wishlist.

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The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is definitely one of our favorite tablets right now. With excellent performance, fantastic build quality, and great added features, the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact should be on everyone’s wishlist.

Read full review

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PC Magazine

An elegant, well-equipped Android tablet that's hard to recommend

from PC Magazine

The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is a refined, powerful Android tablet that exudes the premium feel Sony hangs its hat on. But pricing the tablet at full-sized iPad Air 2 levels seems misguided, especially as demand for premium Android tablets continues to decline. Those still in the market for a hig...More

The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is a refined, powerful Android tablet that exudes the premium feel Sony hangs its hat on. But pricing the tablet at full-sized iPad Air 2 levels seems misguided, especially as demand for premium Android tablets continues to decline. Those still in the market for a high-end Android tablet should turn their attention towards the Editors' Choice-winning Galaxy Tab S 8.4, which has the best display of any tablet, and a lower price tag than the Z3 Tablet Compact.

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ZDNet

Outstanding multimedia experience at a price

from ZDNet

The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is an excellent Android tablet, but is likely priced $80 to $100 too high for mass consumer sales. The audio and video experience is excellent, it was a joy to carry such a light tablet, and it has just about everything one could want in a tablet.

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The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is an excellent Android tablet, but is likely priced $80 to $100 too high for mass consumer sales. The audio and video experience is excellent, it was a joy to carry such a light tablet, and it has just about everything one could want in a tablet.

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Engadget

Light in the hand, heavy on the wallet

from Engadget

Sony's Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is a lovely piece of hardware. It's light on flair, has a borderline-terrible camera, mediocre stereo speakers and a slightly tired Android build. On the flipside, though, it has a fantastic display (even if it is only a 1080p panel), outstanding performance and long battery life. Maybe I'm just boring, but the facet I like most is how thin and light the tablet is. I haven't really wanted for a new slate since I picked up a discounted OG iPad mini many moons ago. While I've been using the Z3 Tablet Compact, I've grown to adore how... compliant it is. For me, its size and weight are the most impactful features, but therein lies the problem...

More

Sony's Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is a lovely piece of hardware. It's light on flair, has a borderline-terrible camera, mediocre stereo speakers and a slightly tired Android build. On the flipside, though, it has a fantastic display (even if it is only a 1080p panel), outstanding performance and long battery life. Maybe I'm just boring, but the facet I like most is how thin and light the tablet is. I haven't really wanted for a new slate since I picked up a discounted OG iPad mini many moons ago. While I've been using the Z3 Tablet Compact, I've grown to adore how... compliant it is. For me, its size and weight are the most impactful features, but therein lies the problem.

There are other thin and light tablets. Some have higher-resolution screens; others are beautifully designed; and all are cheaper than the $479 Z3 Tablet Compact. A high waterproof rating doesn't justify such a high price, and I shouldn't really be complaining about things like camera performance for that kind of dough, either. I've had the luxury of using the featherweight tablet for an extended period of time -- enough to fall in love with its petite profile -- but I haven't had to drop a cent for the pleasure. While I'd be happy to add one to my gadget repertoire, I simply can't bring myself to drop nearly 500 bones on a tablet that doesn't stand out enough from the crowd. If it were cheaper, maybe -- but for now, I'll stick with my two-year-old iPad mini, thanks. 

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Notebookcheck

Hardly any criticism

from Notebookcheck

Sony really created a convincing device with the Xperia Z3 Compact. Only the case stability and the color accuracy of the panel are small issues. The latter is otherwise one of the best screens in this price range. Brightness, pixel density and contrast are on a really good level. The Japanese don't use the latest and fastest SoC, but they still equip the tablet with a really powerful SoC that can always utilize its full potential...

More

Sony really created a convincing device with the Xperia Z3 Compact. Only the case stability and the color accuracy of the panel are small issues. The latter is otherwise one of the best screens in this price range. Brightness, pixel density and contrast are on a really good level. The Japanese don't use the latest and fastest SoC, but they still equip the tablet with a really powerful SoC that can always utilize its full potential.

One thing that should be improved is the microphone. We also hope that the App2SD feature will be implemented with the update to Lollipop. However, this is complaining on a very high level, since Sony makes almost everything right and offers a great tablet, which is also waterproof and dust-resistant. There is hardly any alternative for the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact if you want to watch movies or play games in the bathtub.

Display enthusiasts on the other hand will be better off with the Galaxy Tab S 8.4. Fans of iOS don't have a choice, anyway, and have to live with the products from Apple. However, the iPad Mini is the most sophisticated device within the comparison, but also has its price, especially if you want more storage or an LTE module. One less expensive and smaller alternative is the MediaPad X1. Still, our review unit is a very successful package and therefore deserves the top spot in this product category. 

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TabletPCReview

Convincingly the most elegant and practical and waterproof body seen on mid-size tablets yet.

from TabletPCReview

The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is one of the best Android mid-size tablets currently available, and probably the best 8-inch tablet in general, even when the Apple iPad mini 3 is taken into account, as well as compact tablets with Windows. Its superiority is thanks to the exceptionally great processor, a fantastic design, which is convincingly the most elegant and practical (and waterproof) body seen on mid-size tablets yet....

More

The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is one of the best Android mid-size tablets currently available, and probably the best 8-inch tablet in general, even when the Apple iPad mini 3 is taken into account, as well as compact tablets with Windows. Its superiority is thanks to the exceptionally great processor, a fantastic design, which is convincingly the most elegant and practical (and waterproof) body seen on mid-size tablets yet.

The shortcomings are its low display resolution, as well as poor quality of the back camera and a high suggested price of $499.99. However, the positive features of this device surpass these flaws by all means, and just about everyone who purchases Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact will be pleased with their investment.

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Mobile Syrup

Has everything going for it

from Mobile Syrup

The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is a small tablet with a big name, and a big win with only a few missteps. The primary one is price, and that’s the only I can’t seem to get over. It’s the right size, weight and thickness, and its performance is exemplary. It’s well-designed, portable and easy to use one-handed, but some of that gracefulness comes at the expense of battery life...

More

The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is a small tablet with a big name, and a big win with only a few missteps. The primary one is price, and that’s the only I can’t seem to get over. It’s the right size, weight and thickness, and its performance is exemplary. It’s well-designed, portable and easy to use one-handed, but some of that gracefulness comes at the expense of battery life.

If and when the price declines — and the market indicates that it eventually must — the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact will be a must-buy for Android lovers. For now, though, I can’t recommend it when the competition is as fierce as it is. 

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Digital Versus

Smaller but a worthy successor

from Digital Versus

All of Sony's 2014 premium mobile products are great. The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, despite a few slight faults, has some blinding qualities. The Full HD screen is bright and crisp, responsiveness is excellent, and the added smartphone features make this one of the best compact tablets of the year.

Read full review

All of Sony's 2014 premium mobile products are great. The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, despite a few slight faults, has some blinding qualities. The Full HD screen is bright and crisp, responsiveness is excellent, and the added smartphone features make this one of the best compact tablets of the year.

Read full review

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Pocket-lint

Powerful, portable, pricey

from Pocket-lint

Sony has made a play for portability with the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact and there's no denying that's been achieved, in spite of the bezel present at both ends. As a tablet to throw in a bag and take with you on the move, it gets the core design right.

It's well specified, with plenty of power, substantial endurance, waterproofing, and a display that can cope with brighter conditions (once you take control of its brightness settings). In that sense, there's little that the Z3 Tablet Compact won't do...

More

Sony has made a play for portability with the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact and there's no denying that's been achieved, in spite of the bezel present at both ends. As a tablet to throw in a bag and take with you on the move, it gets the core design right.

It's well specified, with plenty of power, substantial endurance, waterproofing, and a display that can cope with brighter conditions (once you take control of its brightness settings). In that sense, there's little that the Z3 Tablet Compact won't do.

However, it is rather expensive. At £329 it's £90 more than the iPad mini 2, which is a natural rival. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 (Wi-Fi) and Nexus 9 are also both cheaper, at £319 a piece. The 4G version of the Z3 Tablet Compact, as reviewed here, is £429, making it considerably more expensive.

There are unique strengths of Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, such as its PS4 Remote Play feature, but the competition is fierce. From the iPad's premium build and superb apps, to Samsung's excellent high-resolution display, or the Nexus 9's 64-bit Tegra power and pure Android Lollipop offering, the Sony finds itself struggling to make as strong a case.

For PlayStation 4 owners and media fans, or those who want a travel companion, the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is worth a look. But for all the goodness it offers, the price just feels too high. 

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Tech Advisor

A decent iPad mini and Galaxy Tab S rival

from Tech Advisor

It's great to see Sony finally make a smaller tablet and the 8in form factor is proving to be increasingly popular. The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is super thin and light and is waterproof to boot. Hardware is decent but not mind-blowing and while rivals like the Galaxy Tab S offer a bit more gadge...More

It's great to see Sony finally make a smaller tablet and the 8in form factor is proving to be increasingly popular. The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is super thin and light and is waterproof to boot. Hardware is decent but not mind-blowing and while rivals like the Galaxy Tab S offer a bit more gadgetry, Sony offers High-Res audio and a killer feature for gamers in the form of PS4 Remote Play. It's a great effort from Sony if you're looking for a high-end 8in tablet.

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Full Specs

Overview
Release date November 2, 2014
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kindom
Networks
No cellular data
variations
SIM card No
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 4.4 KitKat (Update Available: 6.0.1 Marshmallow)

Compare Android Tablets

Secondary OS No
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 Quad core 2.5 GHz
Internal Flash Memory 16/32 GB
RAM 3 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
SAR Body: 1.423 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 4500 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time 1 hours
Video Playback Time 15 hours
Wi-Fi Surfing Time 12 hours
3G Surfing Time Unknown
4G Surfing Time Unknown
Reading Time Unknown
Standby Time 54.2 days
Physical Characteristics
Material Plastic
Colors Black, White
Dimensions [H x W x D] 21.3 x 12.4 x 0.6 cm (8.4 x 4.9 x 0.2 in)
Weight 270 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Water Resistant
Rugged design No
IP Rating IP 68
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1200 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 283 pixels
Size 8 inches
3D No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating Yes
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Chemical tempered glass, Scratch-resistant
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech Yes
Screen Reader Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC
PC Synchronization OTA, SyncML
TV Out Yes
DLNA Support Yes
NFC Yes
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
8x digital
Flash
No
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Red-eye reduction, Burst mode, HDR, Object tracking, Scene recognition
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, XviD, AVI
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution
2+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MIDI, MP4, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC, AMR-WB, AMR, WMA, WAV, M4A, OGG, AMR-NB
Radio Yes (FM)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, XviD, AVI
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Stereo
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed
Included Software / Apps -
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Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Sony SGP611, SGP612, SGP621, SGP641

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact Reviews
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