Sony Xperia Z3 Compact tablet review: Quality offering aside from Remote Play glitch

Sift through the multitude of tablets on the shelves these days and you may not notice the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact.

Part of this is down to the Samsung and Apple blockade in stores, with their vibrant advertising stealing the show.

But it’s also because the Xperia Z3 is an understated work of art, almost like a masterpiece novel that only a select few have read.

From a distance it looks like any other tablet with its black bordering and 8-inch screen. Fire it up, though, and you’re in for a delight, for this is Sony at its high-quality best.

The screen responds to your touch as you’d want it to, video playback is incredibly smooth, and the Android operating system is a breeze.

Add in its slimline design, the ability to be used as a phone and its IP65/68 waterproofing and it sounds like we have the ultimate tablet.

And then comes what should be the cherry on the cake.

Consumers who would have noticed the Xperia Z3 tablet sneak into view are PlayStation 4 owners. The Z3 range, which includes two smartphones, is the first to feature Remote Play, an app which allows the PS4 to be screened on the tablet via a Wi-Fi connection.

This is ideal for those who own a single television and have to battle family members for screen time.

For me, however, it proved the tablet’s downfall.

I synchronised the app with my console, connected the DualShock controller via Bluetooth and set about a game of Fifa 15. My internet connection is fast enough to stream movies without a glitch, but the frame rate on the tablet suffered, and then, just after half time in my first match, disaster struck.

A message appeared saying connection was lost, and for the next three weeks it never reconnected. Every time I switched the controller on, the internet connection dropped out.

Judging by the number of complaints I found online about the Remote Play feature it seems I am far from alone in suffering such glitches.

It’s a real shame, because I thoroughly recommend every other aspect of this tablet.

q&a teething problems

Ian Oxborrow reveals more about the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact:

What did Sony say about its product not working properly?

There was no comment on the actual technical aspects of the app. I was sent a replacement tablet and the same issue occurred. Other PS4 users have reported instances where their DualShock controller causes the connection to drop.

It’s a fine idea though, isn’t it?

Absolutely. And it must be remembered that this is Sony’s first stab at it. It’s a similar story to the glitches reported with the Apple Watch, the first generation is rarely problem-free. I suggest you only go for it if you have industrial-strength internet in your home.

But your experience might be an isolated case.

Quite. I handed the tablet over to a colleague who had no problems with the Remote Play app and he was impressed with the concept. While it wasn’t perfect in terms of graphics and frame rate, he felt it was a worthy addition to Sony’s technology stable.

How much does the Z3 tablet cost?

You’re looking at around Dh1,700. The Z3 smartphone, which also runs Remote Play, is about Dh1,600 online, while the compact version is Dh1,300.

Anything else?

It weighs just 270 grams, has an 8.1MP rear camera and 2.2MP front camera, has a standby time of up to 990 hours and video playback of up to 15 hours. It comes with 3GB of Ram and has an expansion slot for a 126GB MicroSD card.

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