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Full Review

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact Review

Until the Sony Z3 Tablet Compact landed on our desk we hadn’t really seen anything to rival the iPad Mini 2. So we really wanted to put this device through its paces – so we’ve had it on test over the past eight weeks.

Phones are increasing in size, but tablets seem to be shrinking – and it’s easy to see why – if they all performed as well as this one, no one would want a bigger version.

First impressions

The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact measures in at only 6.4mm wide, and weighs in at 9.7 oz (270g). In fact it’s so slim that it almost feels like it might snap – even the iPhone 6 seems somewhat obese in comparison.

Design-wise, Sony has decided to stay with its ‘omnibalance’ design, the device fashioned from plastic slate and metal. Turn it over and you’ll see a plastic reverse, with a pebble-like design and matt finish – this is no fingerprint magnet! They grey finish of the plastic sides makes it look like metal too.

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact Review - Photo 2

Like the Xperia Z3 smartphones, the volume and power buttons sit on the right side if you hold the device in portrait mode. The viewfinder for the snapper is situated at the top middle. This device is also waterproof – so perfect for watching films in the bath if you want!


The screen offers sharp, punchy images thanks to its 283 ppi and 1200x1920 pixel Triluminos screen. It might not be up there with some of its stable-mates when it comes to pixel density but it’s good enough.

Sony claims the display has an oleophobic coating, but it didn’t work that well – ours got covered in grubby fingerprints.


The camera on the Z3 Tablet Compact won’t be winning any awards soon – it has decent enough specs but the resulting images are very average. There’s an 8.1-megapixel snapper on the back of the device, and a 2.3-megapixel front-facing camera, which is fine for video calls and selfies. But just don’t expect too much from them.

Playstation integration

The first tablet to act as a screen for a Playstation 4, performance is disappointingly laggy. While content streaming worked reasonably well, we did experience quite a jittery feed – but then if it allows domestic bliss to be resumed while you play on your console and your other half gets to watch TV it’s worth a lot.

And you can even continue playing Playstation 4 while you’re in bed – something that using your TV set for the screen doesn’t allow. This may or not be a good thing depending on your point of view!


Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Review Photo 3


Turn on the Z3 Tablet Compact and you’ll see loads of pages of ready-loaded apps – you might want some of them but most of them are totally useless. You can explore the Google Play Store but not that many apps are optimised fo

r this device. Sony’s own apps for games, music and movies are all here, so you end up with a set of three lots of apps. There are also some odd games, the Garmin navigation apps and a whole gamut of other apps that you’ll need to get rid of.

Performance and battery life

The device’s battery is huge – it’s a 4500mAH model – and how it got squeezed into this ultra-slim device is a mystery. We were able to watch loads of Netflix content – and thanks to its speedy charging feature we found 30-minute charging sessions let us enjoy two hours of wholesale media bingeing and lots of web browsing for another couple of hours.


Sony has succeeded in bringing back the ultra-slim device. It has given Apple some real competition to its mini devices – but it’s a shame that it has seen fit to cram the Z3 Tablet Compact with bloatware. This and the price – £300 – are the downsides of what is otherwise a beautifully designed, waterproof device, whose expandable strorage and Playstation Integration make it a very worthy contender.



Dimensions : 213.4 x 123.6 x 6.4 mm

Weight: 270 grams

Screen size: 8.0 inches

Screen Resolution: 1200 x 1920 pixels

Pixels Per Inch (PPI) : 283

Processor: 2.5GHz Quad core application processor


On-board Memory: 16GB (microSD support)

Camera: 8.1 mega-pixel rear camera , 2 megapixel front-facing

Operating system: Android 4.4.2 (KitKat)

3G / 4G LTE / WiFi : Yes/ Yes / Yes

Bluetooth / NFC : Yes/ Yes

Battery capacity: 4500mAh

Other features: Waterproof, Playstation 4 Remote Play

Colours: Black, White

Launch Date: Out Now

Price: From £300

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