Xperia Z3 Compact - a gamers' phone, even now.
by Aleksa Zdravkovic
January 1, 1970
Hands up if you like marketing! -Did Not think you did. Frankly, I don’t either. Then why is it so important to me when it comes to buying games and tech? I like London Grammar (the band) for instance and I couldn’t help but feel affected as I heard the vocals of the oh so ever lovely Hannah Reid gliding over the well-shot commercial for (then) new Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact. It launched on September 4th 2014, which puts me at a place where I’ve had it for well over two years now. But at the end of the day I didn’t buy it because I heard “Nightcall” and saw a few “flashy” shots. After two years and running, it’s still water-proof, it’s slick and it still plays PlayStation 4 remotely, which was a deciding feature, for me at least.
The looks, the brains, the muscle.
Start from the top. I’m somewhat of a gamer myself and not much of a “phone-enthusiast”, so I was never excited to get a new phone two years ago. But there was something alluring about the design of this phone. It’s quite elegant, In a minimalist sense of the word. Two simple and entirely flat plates convey what turned out to be a phone that packs quite a punch for it’s size. I went with the Compact version myself, at 4.6 inches I felt like someone at Sony thought about people like me. Yes, us rare “outcasts” prefer their phones smaller in size from their palms. And what fits in it you ask? Well…
We’re talking a Quad-Core processor running at 2.5 GHz and an Adreno 330 GPU, which allowed for gaming across the Google Play Store without worrying about frame-rates or whether I’ll be able to fire up the game. It packs a front camera at 20.7 Mega-pixels meaning you’are getting sleepy pictures at extremely high resolution as well as video raging all from 720p at a steady 120 frames, 1080p at 60 frames, to 2160p at 30fps if you want to capture some hard detail. The front camera could be considered as somewhat of a disappointment standing at 2.2 Mega-pixels, but let’s justify that with stating that selfies are overrated.
In terms of storage I feel comfortable knowing I can always switch between my micro-SD cards that can, as you well know, go up to 256 GB. But even with all my music and a few hefty videos here and there, I’m okay with even the internal 16 gigs. And all of this I get at a weight of 129 grams. It always feels light in my hand and comfortable to work with, especially to text with, and I’d say that’s one of the more important things when you’re in the market for a new phone. My OS build can go up to the Androids’ Marshmallow (that’s 6.0) and updating has always been a breeze.
Tear and wear, not our game… But we do like pools!
I’m quite satisfied with its functionality and I never experienced any issues or draw-backs in terms of power and performance quality. I never worry about the battery. I get 6 hours of music, 2 days per charge for daily tasks and if I stay off-line I can get it to be of use for much longer before plugging it again. Having said all that, a few flaws had to surface over a longer period. Namely, it’s an extremely gentle phone, and the few times it fell, it broke, and every time I had to change its screen. But by that point, I liked it so much that I just couldn’t get rid of it. I managed to overlook this major flaw due the fact that this phone is entirely waterproof and in that sense, it provided me with more than few extremely satisfying experiences. I love rain and the freedom of being able to pull out your phone and text someone or make a call while it’s pouring feels amazing! During the summer, I’d take a few cool shots while relaxing in the pool with some friends. It was a feature heavily pushed in the promo material and I can’t say that I’ve been wronged in any way, despite my great skepticism regarding the claim. By 2016 I guess it became standard, wasn’t back then though.
Phone is not a platform for gaming. Unless of course you turn It into your console.
So, so far this looks like an okay phone, so what’s the big deal? Why’s it a “games’ phone”? This generation, at least by the numbers, chances are that if you game, you game on the Play Station 4. What happens when you’re not a fan of hand-held but have an Xperia Z3? That’s right, you fire up “Remote Play”. Sony issued more than a few exclusive Sony apps for the Android platform should you find yourself in the position of owning a Sony phone. Amongst them is Remote Play, available for phones that can throw a punch in terms of power. Basically, it let’s you “second-screen” you PS4 so you can play your PS4 titles on your phone. All you need is an average Internet connection. Cool, right?
If you’re thinking that playing a AAA title is tricky on a 4.6-inch touch screen, you’re wrong. Who said anything about touch-screen? Just connect your DualShock 4 and phone to a stand and you’re good to go. You’re playing on your game-pad trough your phone. It makes up for some pretty neat scenarios. Say somebody needs your display, TV? -Just continue your gaming session on your phone. No interruptions, no compromise. It’d get surreal sometimes seeing Nathan Drake in Uncharted 4 hold up an Xperia phone as well. As an avid gamer, this feature comes in real handy. I’m never restricted to playing just the mobile games on my phone, who’s to say I can’t have a little bit of fun in Destiny, The Witcher or perhaps Uncharted 4? One word – gametastic!
Still just a phone.
Alright, but its a neat little trick and at the end of the day, my phone its not my go to gaming-station. Its still just a phone. I phone I don’t regret buying. It packs a punch, I like the way it looks and it has something special that matters to me, befits me. But I don’t get worked-up about it. I feel comfortable and its quite complementary considering all the things I use it for. I has not revolutionized my life, I don’t believe a phone can do that outside of its presumed technical purpose, but Ive certainly grown to feel attached to it. If I had to put a number on it, I’d say it’s a solid 8. I guess Id just like to see more ways we can stream games to our daily lives and in on-the-go scenarios. Keeping In mind all the things that phones do for us during the day, I am wondering when are we going to exchange the convention of calling them phones with another term. Anyways, I like mine, and two years ago, Id probably try and persuade you in getting one too.
View this product in full, here – www.sonymobile.com/global-en/products/phones/xperia-z3