Sunday, 30 August 2015

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

    It's been approximately four and a half years since I upgraded my phone. Having been on a sim-only contract, I was rather reluctant to pay any more than £10 a month to call and text people; however, since starting my blog, it's safe to say that I'm using social media far more than I'm utilising 'old-school' communication.

   For years, I had a very old and really quite battered Windows Phone which had an awful app market, and therefore I tended to use my Kindle to interact with my social media accounts. Now, this poses a slight problem when you're about to go on a night out, and you realise that you won't be able to post the obligatory selfie every hour or so until your Instagram feed becomes a very blurry piece of contemporary art, because your Kindle is too big to fit in your tiny 'what's-the-point' clutch. So, I decided that it was time to take the pressure off my dear Kindle, and buy myself a decent phone.

   There are many options, but I was looking for two things: a decent app market and a great camera. A few phones caught my eye - the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Note 4 (both 16 megapixels) and the LG G4 (13 megapixels) - however, it was the Sony Xperia Z3 (20 megapixels) that really stood out for me, being the only phone whose camera sensor was higher in megapixels than my DSLR.
   Tariff prices drove me towards the Z3 Compact, as both phones are the same, but the Compact is just the right size to fit in my abnormally tiny hands. The Compact has a screen size of 4.6" whilst its larger sister sits at 5.2", but both include a 20MP camera - so no compromising on hardware. If you need a comparison, it's a pretty similar size to the iPhone 5S, but the screen itself is larger because there is no physical 'home' button on the handset.

   The Compact is super easy to get used to (I'm just thankful I'm back to Android) and can be personalised to the heart's content. After an hour of exploring all the apps and widgets (as is obligatory when one gets a new toy), my phone was fully customised and ready to go.
   Just as I had imagined, the camera is perfect - although, anything is an upgrade from the 5MP camera on my previous phone. I'm able to post on Instagram with crisp and detailed shots, which can be edited using a number of great editing apps from the market (my current favourite is VSCOcam). I can also manually adjust ISO, white balance and play around with depth of field (although I'm yet to discover whether I can adjust the f-stop), record 4K video (ideal for YouTube), and shoot unnecessary but quirky panoramic shots.

   As if this wasn't enough, the Compact is also water resistant in fresh water, in depths of up to 1.5m for 30 minutes. Although it's unlikely that I'll be taking many shots underwater, it's nice to know that I can still shoot if I get caught in the rain, or if I'm at a waterpark.
    So far, the only fault I've found is that the phone heats up quite quickly when downloading and installing updates. This is a tad alarming, and there doesn't seem to be any way to counteract it, but I suggest leaving it on a cool flat surface to let it do its job. Software installations are pretty quick, so it's doubtful that you'll be waiting for it to cool down for long.

   Overall, I'm super happy with this handset - it suits all my needs, has all the apps I need, takes amazing photos and videos, and looks really sleek and minimalist. Just a note - this is NOT a sponsored post; I bought this phone with my own money after very careful consideration and research. If anyone can recommend some good flip/wallet cases - that would be amazing!
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