Smaller versions of smartphones often compromise on performance for the sake of cost and build, but the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact holds back little when compared to the full-size version of Sony's flagship smartphone.

The waterproof Z3 Compact runs on a quad-core, 2.5GHz Snapdragon Qualcomm processor. It features a 20.7MP rear camera and a 2.2MP camera for selfies.

Essentially, the only things setting the Z3 Compact apart from its big sister is its 720p resolution, its lightly smaller battery capacity and its tighter dimensions. For consumers not interested wielding the near phablet form factor of the Z3, with its 5.2 inch display, the smaller Z3 Compact offers may be just for phone for them.

"It's a little less crisp in absolute terms of pixels per inch (ppi), but it still looks very crisp and should be more than enough for most people," states a reviewer. "Interestingly, the screen has been bumped up to 4.6-inches diagonally, from the Z1 Compact's 4.3 inches, without any significant increase in body size."

There are other minor differences between the Z3 and the Compact, particularly the absence of a metallic band wrapped around the perimeter of the smaller handset. Metal has been swapped out for plastic, but the Z3 Compact still has the ability to absorb shocks like its big sister.

"The blockiness of the corners isn't so much of an issue as it is with the bigger versions, and at a little under 9mm thick, the Z3 Compact slides easily into the pocket," states another reviewer.

A shared feature gamers will likely appreciate is the support for PlayStation's Remote Play feature. PlayStation owners can dock Z3 Compacts onto a game controller and play Sony games via PlayStation Network Accounts.

The Z3 doesn't compromise on features or performance, which is a part of Sony's strategy to make up for its lagging sales of low-end devices by pumping more value into its high range. There are a lot of things Sony would like to add and adjust in its mobile devices, but it has to generate growth among its high-end products to support those aspirations, according to Kuni Suzuki, head of Sony Mobile.

"We are a latecomer to the smartphone market and have a lot of new technology bubbling up inside of the company," said Suzuki. "We want to show it off and use it to be more competitive. Every six months we find many, many areas where we can improve in both hardware and software, but it's only sustainable as long as we are growing in the premium product market."

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