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Sony Xperia Z3 Compact vs Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini vs HTC One Mini 2

It’s battle of the mini smartphones…

The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is the successor to the Xperia Z1 Compact. The not so small spin-off of the newly announced Xperia Z3 is set to go up against the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini and the HTC One Mini 2.

So how does Sony’s latest Compact compare to the competition? We compare the specs to find out.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact vs Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini vs HTC One Mini 2: Design

Xperia Z3 Compact: Aluminium body, 8.7mm thick, 127g, water and dust resistant
HTC One Mini 2: Aluminium body, 10.6mm thick, 137g
Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini: Plastic body, 9.1mm, 120g, water and dust resistant

Just as Sony did with the Z1 Compact, the Z3 Compact is a virtual clone of the Xperia Z3. There’s the same single-piece aluminium frame and toughened glass back to put it in good company with the all metal One Mini 2. The Z3 Compact is the slimmest of the bunch as well and gets the same water and dust-resistant certification as the Xperia Z3 so you can take it for a dip in the bath.

It’s going to be available in black, white, orange and green models so it’s the most colourful of the trio. We’d still side with the One Mini 2 or look, but the Z3 Compact is clearly not too shabby to pull out of the pocket and show off either.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact vs Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini vs HTC One Mini 2: Screen

Xperia Z3 Compact: 4.6-inch, 720P HD screen
HTC One Mini 2: 4.5-inch, 720p HD screen (326ppi)
Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini: 4.5-inch, 720P HD screen (326ppi)

There’s very little separating these three handsets for screen quality. Like the One Mini 2 and the S5 Mini, the Z3 Compact features a 720p HD display. It’s a disappointing in some respects that it’s not full HD, but this is a resolution well suited to screens this size. Sony is once again using display technology from its Bravia TV range to make sure it’s well equipped for watching videos and playing games.

The One Mini 2 and particularly the S5 Mini’s Super AMOLED display definitely offer sharp, bright and colourful screens and it looks like the Z3 Compact is not going to be far off the other mini’s for screen quality and performance.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact vs Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini vs HTC One Mini 2: Software and Processor

Xperia Z3 Compact: Android 4.4 KitKat, Snapdragon 801 quad-core CPU, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, micro SD card support
HTC One Mini 2: Android 4.4 KitKat with Sense 6.0, 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 quad-core CPU, 1GB RAM, 16GB storage, micro SD card support
Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini: Android 4.4 KitKat with TouchWiz UI, 1.4GHz Exynos 3 Quad 3470 CPU, 1.5GB RAM, 16GB storage, micro SD card support

All three mini smartphones are up to date with the latest version of Android, though there’s no details whether they will get a bump up to Android 5.0 L when it launches later this year. The Z3 Compact is well ahead in terms of raw power using the same processor as the nippy Xperia Z2 with an extra GB of RAM over its rivals to help handle more intensive tasks.  

The Snapdragon 400 CPUs nestled inside the S5 Mini and the One Mini 2 are more than capable of keeping things running smooth, but the Z3 Compact is certainly equipped to deliver a faster performance. As we’ve seen on the Z1 Compact, that extra power can sometimes cause the handset to get hot under stress so we hope history doesn’t repeat itself with the Z3 Compact.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact vs Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini vs HTC One Mini 2: Camera

Xperia Z3 Compact: 20.7-megapixel main camera
HTC One Mini 2: 13-megapixel camera and 5-megapixel front-facing camera
Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini: 8-megapixel main camera and 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera

On the Samsung and HTC phones, this is where things feel truly mid-range. The Z3 Compact much like the Z1 Compact uses the same camera as the bigger Z3. That means a higher megapixel count and benefitting from the same new features as the larger Xperia Z3. So, it will have the new ISO sensitivity range, 25mm G Lens and improved video modes.

That’s not to say that the One Mini 2 and the S5 Mini are terrible cameras. You can still take good quality images, although you are going to have to do without some of the new more interesting camera features found on the One M8 and the S5 that help make them some of the best smartphone cameras to use in both good and low-light conditions.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact vs Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini vs HTC One Mini 2: Battery Life

Xperia Z3 Compact: 2,600 mAH battery, power saving modes
HTC One Mini 2: 2,100 mAh battery, power saving modes
Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini: 2,100 mAh battery, power saving modes

The good news is that HTC, Samsung and Sony have all made big improvements in making the new minis really go the distance. The Xperia Z3 has the biggest power reserves of the three and Sony is claiming you should get around a 2-day battery life, which is similar to the Z1 Compact. It’s also going to include the same useful power saving modes to push things even further.

As we found on the S5 Mini and the One Mini 2, both offer great battery performance and it looks like we can expect similarly good things from the Z3 Compact.

First impressions

Everything Sony has revealed about the Z3 Compact suggests it’s once again going to be the mini smartphone closest to its bigger, more expensive equivalent. It’s packing all of the same qualities in a smaller body and doesn’t make as many compromises as the One Mini 2 and the S5 Mini.

Price is going to be a major factor here though. When the Z1 Compact went on sale, it was available around the £430 mark for a SIM-free version, making it £30-40 more expensive than the mini options from Samsung and HTC. If the price is right, the Z3 Compact has all the ingredients to be the best of the mini smartphone bunch.

MORE: Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini vs Galaxy S5

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