When it comes to flagship smartphones of late, many users may feel that things have gotten out of hand (literally) when it comes to screen sizes, as most of today’s top crop actually stray beyond 5 inches, a size that would have been considered very larger just a year or so ago. But do not fret, manufacturers like Sony and LG are aware of this and also similar designs in a slightly smaller package. The LG G3 S and the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact to two examples of this. Today we make a side-by-side comparison of these two smaller contenders to help you guys get a grip on what’s going on. Mobile Geeks compare the Xperia Z3 Compact and the G3 S:
LG G3 S: Pros and Cons
The LG G3 is a wonderfully crafted 5.5 inch Android smartphone that has inspired LG to produce the smaller and slightly more affordable LG G3 S. While the G3 S has the look and feel of its larger flagship brother it has in fact had a considerable re-make, one that includes a much lower resolution display, an inferior processor and a toned down camera. None of these changes make the LG G3 S more attractive. There are some potential advantages however that could be used to justify LG’s component choices.
The LG G3 S is based around 5 inch screen at 720p resolution, this makes it not only a smaller device compared to the big brother that inspired it, but the vastly lower resolution removes issues related to heat and battery consumption. The lower resolution display also means that there is less pressure on the processor, especially if we consider the sheer number of pixels the G3 has to manipulate compared to the G3 S. So there is a logical reason to opt for the lower performing Snapdragon 400. Fewer pixels means much less work for the graphics processing part of the processor.
Other specific features on the LG G3 S include a 8MP camera that includes LG’s signature laser auto-focus, a feature which does help it on low light and offers one of the fastest auto-focuses we have come across. The LG G3 S also uses another feature which we must also refer to as ‘signature LG’, and that is the position of the power button and volume rocker on the back. It may take some getting used to, but once you have, you may find it preferable to side edge placement.
The overall software experience on any current LG Android smartphone is excellent. The styling is top notch and easily the equal of Samsung, HTC or Sony. The layout of menus is very well thought through and there are plenty of intelligent options for one handed use, customization and a very strong software package that stays well from being bloatware.
Overall the LG G3 S is a very attractive smartphone that could win you over for several of the reasons outlined above. Check out our full review of the LG G3 S below.
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: Good things in Small Packages
The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact is a slightly different take on a very classy flagship elder brother, the Xperia Z3. It comes in a considerably smaller 4.6 inch form, but Sony has attempted to make sure that users of the Z3 Compact will experience no inferiority complex. Upon learning that the Z3 Compact has a lower resolution 720p display, you may be tempted to give up hope, but don’t be fooled. Despite having fewer pixels, this panel is one of the best we have seen. The viewing angles are awesome, colors are vibrant and well presented, and the brightness levels are off the chart.
When it comes to performance, the Z3 Compact holds nothing back. using the same Snapdragon chip that we came to respect on the Samsung Galaxy S5 and other true flagships – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, a quad core SoC that kicks some serious butt, especially in graphics performance thanks to its Adreno 330 GPU. You also get 2GB of RAM which is fantastic to see on a smaller device where many (including LG) have opted for 1GB.
Corning Gorilla Glass is not present on the Z3 Compact, but you do get a tempered glass front with tough plastic on the back. Actually the very dense and durable plastic feels very similar to glass in most respects, and not like plastic. The Compact is also water and dust resistant to IP68 which is great to see too.
The build quality and design are very similar to the flagship Z3, but what will surprise most people is that the camera is pretty much identical. You are getting the same 20.7MP camera, wide lens and 1/2.3 sensor that blew us away on the Xperia Z3. This is ‘no compromise’ photography from a smartphone perspective, and certainly one of best camera experiences you can have. One other place where the Sony Xperia Z3 really excels head of the G3 S is in terms of battery life, with the possibility of getting perhaps as much as three days of regular usage with needing to charge.
Make sure you check out our full review of the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact below.
Head to Head Conclusions
These are two truly exceptional smartphones, and in all honesty we could happily recommend either of them. The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact will cost anywhere between $30-$50 USD more than the LG G3 S, which is not surprising considering its superior camera, processor and battery life. The LG is still a fantastic smartphone however, and one that has a unique button placement design and exceptional software. Let us know in the comments below which ticks all the boxes for you.
For an in-depth look at these two devices in video form, be sure to watch our comparison video below: