Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Announced at IFA

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As expected, this week's IFA conference in Berlin has been host to many new smartphone announcements. Just like last year Sony used the conference as a chance to push its latest flagship smartphone.

This year's big Sony phone is the Xperia Z3, another waterproof smartphone with a 5.2" display. Sony, however, is now diversifying its Xperia offerings in much the same way that Samsung has with its Galaxy lineup. The Xperia Z3's launch will be accompanied by the Xperia Z3 Compact, a smaller version of the Z3.

In the mobile industry, mini versions of flagship smartphones often come with pared-down hardware specs, but Sony is claiming that the Z3 Compact is "uncompromised" in that way. The device features the same 2.5GHz Snapdragon quad-core processor as the larger Z3, as well as the same Adreno 330 GPU.

The processor may be the same, there are many areas where the Z3 Compact falls short of the larger Z3.

The most obvious is the Z3 compact's 4.6" 1280x720 resolution display. This contrasts with the Z3's 5.2" 1920x1080 resolution display.

The Z3 compact also has less memory than the Z3, with 2GB of RAM versus the Z3's 3GB. Both come with up to 16GB of storage (though 4GB of that is used for firmware).

Both devices come with a 20.7MP rear camera and 2.2MP front-facing camera. The Z3 is capable of 4K video recording while the Z3 compact is limited to 1080p video recording.

Aside from hardware considerations, the Z3 and the Z3 compact will come running much of the same software. Both devices will run on Android 4.4 Kitkat and will undoubtedly be loaded with Sony proprietary software. Both smartphones can also connect to Sony's PlayStation 4 and its Remote Play feature, allowing them to connect to a DualShock 4 controller and be used as a remote screen for playing games. Like previous Xperia smartphones, the Z3 and Z3 Compact are also, of course, waterproof.

“At Sony Mobile, ‘flagship’ now means offering a choice to consumers of enjoying a large screen Xperia Z3 for immersive entertainment or a more compact, lighter Xperia Z3 Compact that doesn’t ask you to compromise on features,” said Kunimasa Suzuki, CEO of Sony Mobile. “Consumers demand and deserve greatness from their smartphone - in design, camera and battery life. That’s precisely what we aim to deliver with Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact, at the same time as delivering leading innovations such as unique Sony camera experiences and, for the first time, PS4 Remote Play in two beautifully designed, fully waterproof smartphones.”