The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact comes with Google Chrome as the default web browser out of box instead of the generic Android browser. While the minimalist interface hasn't changed since Chrome launched on Android, the browser is being constantly refined by Google, and this has resulted in one of the smoothest and most powerful browsing experiences we've encountered on a mobile.
Of course, one of Chrome's strengths is its ability to seamlessly sync with the desktop version using nothing but your Google account. This allows you to open an article on your PC and finish reading it on your mobile phone. It also syncs your bookmarks and favorite sites.
Sony's Smart Connect app comes pre-installed. It allows you to set your device to do a variety of things - like launch an app or set an alarm - whenever you connect an accessory like a headset or a charger. You can also set events to occur during a time interval (e.g. mute alarms at night). As for NFC compatibility, the Smart Connect app doesn't work with ordinary NFC tags, but only Sony's Smart tags, which is kinda disappointing. However, one of our readers duly pointed out, you can purchase cheap generic NFC tags, which are programmed as SmartTags so the app can recognize them just fine.
Sony Select does the same as the Sony's What's New app, but comes with much less functions and old UI. We feel Sony should retire it.
The calendar has three different types of view - daily, weekly and monthly. The lower section of the screen is reserved for a list of upcoming events. Adding a new event is quick and easy, and you can also set an alarm to act as a reminder.
The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact comes with a Track ID TV app that will recognize a TV show if you have the device to listen to what you're watching - neat.
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact also features the Office Suite 7, which comes with a Premium license for one month, allowing for viewing and editing office files (docs, xls, ppt), and it can also read PDFs.
Calculator, Clock app (with stopwatch, world clock and timer), Sketch, Notes and File Manager apps are also here by default.
There is the Sony PlayStation app too, which allows you to browse your PlayStation profile, avatar and achievements. It's far from Microsoft default Xbox app on Windows Phone, but it's something. It can also connect to your PS4 and extract various content from there.
The Power Saver - now part of the settings menu - helps you extend your battery life by toggling things like Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth screen brightness, auto sync and background data on and off automatically when the battery charge falls below a certain user-defined threshold. You can also turn off the Wi-Fi if there is no saved Wi-Fi network in range or turn off mobile data when the screen is off, and more.
Sony also provides a Backup & restore app, which can use the internal storage, a microSD card or even an attached USB mass storage device. You can backup the system and downloaded apps and their data along with any media files.