Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Review

Oh dear. That’s the first thought that crossed my mind when I turned this thing on. Oh dear, what have I gotten myself into.

The hardware’s fairly pleasant. The mix of glass and plastic feels a bit like an upmarket Nexus 4. It’s about the same size as that generation of phones, but the screen is big, at 70.6% screen-to-body ratio (compared to the Nexus 4’s 68% or the iPhone 6’s 66). It’s also exceptionally thin and light; you can tell it’s a flagship product.

But damn, the software. The instant I turned it on I was greeted by a custom setup wizard thing. Sony has seen fit to come up with their own software for the setup, and that’s probably fine. It asks me to sign in to some Sony stuff and whatever, I can skip it.

Then the phone boots and it’s like we’re running Android 2 again. Everything’s pokey icons and stupid animated wallpapers that look like nothing anyone would ever classify as good design. The launcher’s customised, the drawer’s customised, the settings are customised to the point that I can’t even find where to set up my Google account.