We compare the best of Android with the best of iOS, to see which of these five-star smartphones you should throw your cash at: the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact or the Apple iPhone 6.
Apple’s iPhones have been rather dinky until now, with the spangly new 4.7-inch iPhone 6 towering over earlier handsets. Conversely, Sony’s Xperia Z3 Compact is a shrunken version of the Japanese giant’s full-sized mobiles, yet at 4.6-inches it’s only a tiny touch smaller than the iPhone 6.
In our opinion at least, this pair are the best Android and iOS devices out there right now. But which one is best for you?
Apple iPhone 6 vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Design
Although the iPhone 6 and Xperia Z3 Compact have almost identically-sized screens, their designs couldn’t be much more different.
Sony has done an excellent job making the Xperia Z3 Compact as miniature as possible, with very little bezel surrounding that 4.6-inch screen. It’s a little chunkier than the iPhone 6, yet it’s better suited to smaller hands. We love the glossy design, although it does pick up fingerprints and smudges a little easy, while the colourful red and green models are vibrant and stunning.
The iPhone 6 can’t boast such stand-out colours, opting for the usual whites and greys (sorry, ‘space grey’, to reflect the many grey entities floating out in the endless abyss). However, it’s another gorgeous handset, packing a curvy metallic finish that looks suitably premium and resists scuff marks and scratches. It’s more ‘stretched’ than the Xperia Z3 Compact, so not as dinky, but it’s just as comfortable to use one-handed unless you have really stubby fingers.
If you’re a little on the clumsy side, the Xperia Z3 Compact is more likely to survive everyday abuse thanks to its impact resistant corners. Of course, if you’re always dropping your phone you should probably invest in a case, but the Xperia is also fully water resistant (achieved by covering those ports with nifty flaps), so it’ll even survive a plunge into a toilet or a pint of your finest bitter.
Apple iPhone 6 vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Movies
There’s not much between these phones’ displays when it comes to viewing space, and the Xperia Z3 Compact’s screen is just as sharp as the iPhone 6’s too, boasting around 320 pixels-per-inch. So if you’re into your HD movies, either phone does a great job.
Both screens are powerfully bright to cancel out any annoying sun glare, so you can comfortably watch flicks in the garden. Viewing angles are nice and wide too, so it’s possible to cram two or three heads around the dinky screens, if your kids all want to watch at once.
The only clear difference is colour reproduction, with the iPhone veering towards cooler colours while the Xperia produces rich images that really bleed off the screen.
Apple iPhone 6 vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Games and apps
Both phones come packed with their own selection of apps, which most people would refer to as ‘crapware’. You know the kind: own-brand streaming services, media players, productivity apps and so on. The only difference is, on Sony’s phone you can either uninstall or hide these apps away, while iPhone users are stuck with them sat on the desktops.
Both Google Play and the Apple App Store offer a fantastic range of apps and games, although the App Store still tends to get some of the hottest entertainment titles and creative software before Android. For instance, Amazon Instant streaming has only just arrived on Android in the past month.
However, gaming fans will love Sony’s Remote Play feature, which allows you to stream content from your PS4 to your Xperia Z3 Compact. Connect the phone to your Dual Shock controller and the 4.6-inch screen becomes a mobile gaming display, so you can play Destiny anywhere in your home.
Apple iPhone 6 vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Bonus Features
Both phones pack in plenty of cool and a few unique features, which should appeal to a wide range of users.
Fitness is of course one of the big topics right now, with even the hardiest of pasty lovers donning lycra pants to drop a few pounds. Both the iPhone 6 and Xperia Z3 Compact can help you burn off that burrito, via the Health app and the Lifelog app respectively. These allow you to track your motions, and in Health’s case you can also enter all those delicious salads and naughty treats you’ve shoved down your gullet, while seeing how your vitals have changed over time.
Lifelog takes a different approach, guilting you by tracking how much life you waste surfing the web, sleeping or pissing around on social networks.
Both phones also pack 4G support for fast web surfing and media streaming, as well as built-in NFC. However, while the Xperia Z3 Compact allows you to connect to peripherals and share files over NFC, the iPhone 6 only uses NFC for mobile payments – and not in the UK just yet.
Sony’s Xperia Z3 Compact also boasts some cool audio features, including High-Res Audio support and built-in noise cancellation to drown out angry tots on your commute.
Apple iPhone 6 vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Performance
You don’t have to worry about performance with either of these mobiles; the Xperia Z3 Compact and iPhone 6 both pack some serious processing power, so you can play the latest games without a single dropped frame. They’ll not be outdated any time soon, either.
Both phones are also capable of multi-tasking, although you still can’t run two apps side-by-side on the iPhone 6. Only the Xperia Z3 Compact can do that, thanks to the Small Apps feature.
Both phones heat up a little under duress, but not to worrying levels – not unless you’re shooting a 4K video on the Xperia Z3 Compact, in which case you’ll likely see the thing power down after about ten minutes of strain.
Apple iPhone 6 vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Battery life
If you need a phone to keep you going all day, you’re in luck. We can comfortably get a day and a half of use from either of these phones, even with regular use, and you’ll get five to six hours of video streaming
Apple iPhone 6 vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Camera
So far, we might’ve made it pretty obvious that these phones are all-round awesome. Last, but certainly not least, the Xperia Z3 Compact and iPhone 6 each boast a truly impressive camera; one rocking a few great bonus tools, and the other packing so many features we couldn’t even cover them all in our review.
The iPhone 6 is the more restrained of the two, its 8-megapixel iSight camera doing the basics very well and supplementing them with a few well-chosen features. With its new ‘Focus Pixel’ tech, the iPhone 6 can snap shots almost the very instant you tap the shutter, while manual controls have finally been added for full control over the results. Features-wise, you get time lapse, HDR and super-slow modes, all of them well worth a play.
Meanwhile, Sony’s Xperia Z3 Compact packs a 20.7-megapixel snapper that’s awesome on auto, producing crisp, clear shots even in low light situations. And if you want bonus modes, you’ve got ’em. From live social streaming to crazy augmented reality modes for the kids, there’s over a dozen different tools here, most of them likely to go unused by the bulk of consumers. Check out our full review for more info.
Apple iPhone 6 vs Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Verdict
Both of these phones represent the very best smartphones have to offer, excelling in almost every area. The Xperia Z3 Compact is the more hardy of the two, is ideal for PS4 owners thanks to Remote Play and sports better audio support and NFC implementation, but the iPhone 6 is a solid all-rounder too and boasts the brilliant App Store.