Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Review

We go hands-on with Sony’s latest Compact smartphone

This is our review of the SIM Free Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, which we have available to order on the Clove website here at the fantastic price of just £290.83 (£349 inc. VAT).

Sony_Xperia_Z3_Compact_BlackRoughly six months ago Sony launched a new breed of smartphone into the market.  A smartphone that many desired but never really existed; but Sony took a bold step that has ultimately paid off for them.

The Xperia Z1 Compact was and still is as powerful as the Sony Xperia Z1 on which it was based, but had a smaller display to make the overall handset more user friendly, but did not want to sacrifice memory and processing power; which was too often the case with other ‘mini’ or ‘compact’ models.

Whilst I like to keep reviews as balanced as possible I do have a personal affliction with the Z1 Compact.  It is my device of choice and I could not be happier.

The problem with the Z1 Compact was that it was released at the same time as the Z2, but was based on the previous Z1, in theory out of sync with Sony’s range.

With the launch of the Z3 comes the launch of the Z3 Compact to keep the 2 in line with each other and much closer matched in terms of specification.

The differences between the Z3 and Z3 Compact are:

  • The compact has 2GB RAM rather than 3GB
  • The display is a 4.6” 720p IPS panel as opposed to the 5.2” 1080p
  • The battery is 2600mAh as opposed to 3100mAh
  • It is 8.6mm thick and 129g compared to the Z3 at 7.3mm thick and 152g

In comparison to the Z1 Compact:

  • 2.5GHz processor compared to the 2.2GHz quad-core of the Z1C
  • 4.6” 720P display rather than a 4.3”
  • 2600mAh battery rather than 2300mAh
  • 8.6mm thick and 129 grams rather than 9.5mm thick and 137g
  • Stereo speakers
  • Softer edges on the Z3 Compact

So with less than a year between the two how does the latest model stack up? Find out in our video review below or keep reading for the full written review.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 price confirmed, due week commencing October 13th

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 release date set for mid-october, available to order now.

SM-N910_Frost White_Left-45- degree-Pen_011We have now had official pricing confirmed for the SIM Free Samsung Galaxy Note 4; it is available to order on the Clove website for £479.17 (£575 inc. VAT)

We are expecting the first stock of the Note 4 to arrive the week commencing October 13th.

Click here to visit our Samsung Galaxy Note 4 product page and place an order 

We have the Note 4 available to order in black, white and gold. In case you haven’t seen them already, here’s a quick run through of the Note 4 specs:

  • 5.7″ quad HD Super AMOLED display
  • 32GB internal storage
  • MIcroSD memory card slot
  • 4G
  • MHL 3.0
  • 3GB RAM
  • 8.5mm thin
  • Metal frame
  • Android operating system
  • New and improved S Pen technology
  • 16 megapixel rear camera
  • Refined user interface
  • Choice of colours

Galaxy Note Edge not coming to the UK

We have also heard this morning that the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge will not be coming to the UK at launch. However, we will be doing our best to source non-UK stock for those customers that are interested in ordering one. More information available in this blog post.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge will not be available in the UK at launch

2[1]Whilst we await official confirmation from Samsung, we have heard from distribution channels that the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge will not be available in the UK at launch.

What does this mean for UK customers interested in the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge? 

When the Note Edge launches, there will not be UK stock available. It will not be available in the majority of European countries.

For those customers that are interested in purchasing the Note Edge, we will look to source non-UK stock. This means that, if possible, we will purchase the stock intended for one of the countries where the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is due to launch.

What about pricing?

At the moment we await confirmation on pricing. We currently have the Note Edge available to pre-order, although the price is not confirmed. If you place an order at this time, your card will not be charged. Once we have confirmed the price we will contact pre-order customers to confirm whether or not they would like to proceed with the order.

Click here to visit our Samsung Galaxy Note Edge product page

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Pricing Confirmed

We have now confirmed the pricing of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, which was announced at the same event as the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge.

The Note 4 will be priced at £479.17 (£575 inc. VAT) with the first stock due to arrive the week commencing October 13th.

Click here to visit our Samsung Galaxy Note 4 product page

SM-N910_Charcoal Black_Front-Pen_002

Motorola Moto G (2nd Gen) flip shell unboxing

Moto-G-2014-Flip-Shell-BlueA couple of days ago, Josh posted about the availability of the Motorola Moto G (2nd Gen) shells and flip shells to say they were now ready to order.

Both types replace the existing back cover and the Flip Shells also offer protection to the Moto G’s screen.

Priced at £18 including VAT, they are a good value options and are available in the following colour options:

  • Liquorice (Black)
  • Chalk (White)
  • Cherry Red
  • Turquoise
  • Royal Blue
  • Violet
  • Lemon/Lime

We have completed a quick hands on with the official flip shell accessory to show  you what it looks like and how it fits to the phone.

For more information or to pick one up yourself just head over to the product page on the Clove website here.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Unboxing

Since the announcement from Sony at IFA  we’ve seen a great deal of interest in their products including the Xperia Z3 compact. As a follow up to the Xperia Z3 unboxing here’s a quick look at its little sibling, the Z3 Compact.Sony_Xperia_Z3_Compact_Black

We’ve been lucky enough to get one to have a look over and as with all of the Sony Xperia range you won’t be left disappointed if indeed this is to be your next phone.

Here’s what you’ll be looking at spec wise:

  • Android 4.4 operating system
  • 20.7 megapixel camera
  • 4K video recording
  • IP65/68 rating
  • Powerful 2.5GHz quad-core processor
  • 4.6″ HD display
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage
  • MHL 3.0
  • Stereo speakers
  • PlayStation certified with remote gaming
  • 8.65mm

On paper I’m sure you’ll agree that it looks extremely impressive and you are getting a lot of phone for your money at £349 inc for those who are required to pay it.

To get yours head on over to our website here and if you have any questions, fire away, hopefully we’ll be able to answer most in the video below.

Sony Xperia Z3 Unboxing

A first look at Sony’s all new Android flagship

Sony_Xperia_Z3_CopperSony have now officially announced the Xperia Z3 and we expect to be able to start shipping orders before the end of September.

We have the Black and Copper colours confirmed from Sony, both in 16GB configurations. Our stock is expected to arrive in the next couple of weeks and we will be dispatching as soon as it arrives.

We are currently taking paid orders at £515 (£429.17 ex-VAT). If the price drops before launch day then any existing orders will of course be refunded the difference.

If you’re itching to know what the Z3 looks like then Sony have been kind enough to send us an advance retail unit of the Copper model to play with! You can watch Jon’s unboxing below and hear his his initial thoughts.

This is a sample box so there are no accessories inside, the phone itself is a final production model though. Very nice.

If you have any thoughts let us know below. Personally I’m very happy with the copper finish, almost like a muted gold.

Huge price drop on Sony Xperia Z3 Compact – down to £349 inc. VAT

Sony xperia z3 compact price dropWe’ve got great news for prospective Sony Xperia Z3 Compact customers: we’ve just slashed its pre-launch price tag from £432 inc. VAT to £349 inc. VAT.

This price change will be applied to both new and existing orders. If you’ve already placed an order with us for the Z3 Compact we will adjust it to the updated price for you and refund the difference.

Click here to place an order for the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact on the Clove website

Previously the Z3 Compact was priced at £360 (£432 inc. VAT), but it’s now down to just £290.83 (£349 inc. VAT). That’s an incredible saving on what promises to be a great handset.

The first stock of the Z3 Compact is expected to arrive towards the end of this month in Black, White and Red options.

Cat B15Q Tough Smartphone – Android 4.4 KitKat

Cat B15Q rightTraditionally smartphones which have a rugged design use older versions of operating systems.  An older example of this was when you could buy a rugged phone with Windows 6.5 installed, long after it disappeared from general consumer phones.

This is due to companies often having update schedules, as well as using bespoke software which needs testing to make sure of compatibility with multiple systems. There are also costs implications with moving to a new OS which typical consumer devices do not have to worry about.

It is therefore refreshing that we have seen a different approach from Cat, in that they are offering the latest version of Android with the B15Q Tough Smartphone.

The first rugged phone with Android 4.4

4.4 KitKat provides many benefits and improvements over earlier versions of Android, making the Cat B15Q an interesting product for anyone looking for a modern, rugged smartphone.

So what are the improvements with Android 4.4 and how do they enhance the B15Q?

A feature you may have heard about is “OK Google”.  With it you can perform searches, send text messages, get directions and access many other abilities of your phone by simply using your voice.  This means that if your hands are dirty and you don’t want to touch the screen, you can still access many of its functions. All you have to do to activate this voice control is say “Ok Google”, just as the name implies.

There is also enhanced caller ID which retrieves information from local listings within Google Maps. This can be great for helping you know who those unrecognized numbers are, giving you the option to take the call, or ignore it as necessary.

All of your communication is now consolidated into one place, bringing together your SMS, MMS video calls and Google Hangouts chat messages. This means you no longer have to hunt around for messages you know you received, but can’t quite recall from which service. This makes it easier to follow all communications between friends, clients and yourself.  Also if you chat with certain people more often, your Cat B15Q will automatically sort your contacts and rank these based on popularity making them easier to find.

Cat B15Q dustIf you ever need to create documents quickly you will welcome the integration of QuickOffice. This is now pre-installed on the Cat B15Q and enables you to edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations, whether you have used Microsoft Office or Google Docs to create them.

These are just some of the features which show how having Android 4.4 KitKat improves the capabilities of the Cat B15Q Tough Smartphone, giving you the ability to do more, quickly and efficiently.

Check out the Cat B15Q Tough Smartphone, currently available from Clove for £234 (£195 ex-VAT), with FREE Cat Safety Glasses while stocks last.

Sony DK48 magnetic charging dock for Xperia Z3 & Z3 compact unboxing

Sony_DK48If you are in the market for a Sony Xperia Z3 or Z3 Compact then you might be interested in the Sony DK48 magnetic charging dock.

The magnetic charging dock has been a popular accessory for Xperia Z devices of past and allows you to charge your handset without needing to open the port covers on the phone.  This is thanks to a 2 pin connector on the side of the Xperia handset.  Dock the phone in landscape orientation and the connector on the dock and phone align and start transmitting charge, assuming you have connected it to mains power.

The dock is for charging only and can not be used with a computer for data transfer.  No USB cable is provided in the box, so you will need to use the one that came with your phone or purchase another.

When docked, your device will be sat at an ideal viewing angle should you wish to watch some media back on it.

Sony do include in this kit, 4 adapters.  The adapters allow either a Z3 or Z3 Compact to be used in the dock with or without a case.  We can not provide a list of all the compatible cases, but the official Sony and Roxfit book cases both work with the dock.

See what the dock is like and what you get in our unboxing video below.

And for those of you who are wondering, I am sure there are a few; the dock does not really work with other Sony Xperia Z handsets.  Depending on your Xperia and which adapter you use, you may get the connector to align, but the phone will unlikely hold steady and the connection may be lost.  We have tried a Sony Xperia Z1 Compact and Z Ultra in the dock with the varying connectors and can confirm that whilst possible, for the hassle and possible DIY fixes you may need to do, best to opt for the dock designed for that particular handset.

Priced at £29.99 including you can order yours here.

Sony Xperia Z3 gets wireless charging with WCR14 wireless charging cover

Sony-Xperia_Z3_WCR14_Wireless_Charge_Cover (3)Sony are set to offer Qi wireless charging on the Xperia Z3 in the form of the WCR14 wireless charging cover which will be available in both Black and White.

The lack of wireless charging is quite possibly one of the biggest disappointments on the Z3 smartphone.  Whilst a magnetic charging connector and optional dock go some way to doing away for this need, Qi charging for many is a real bonus.

The downside of adding Qi charging to the Z3 is that it is not a simple back cover replacement like it would be on a Samsung smartphone, it is a case with Qi built in.

An official accessory, made specifically for the Z3 (not the Z3 Compact) the WCR14 cases are due to be available around the time of launch of the Z3 itself, at the end of September.

The cost of the case will be £59.99 including VAT, but as well as adding wireless charging it will also protect your device and allow you to sit it in landscape mode so there is extra added value.

Sony-Xperia_Z3_WCR14_Wireless_Charge_Cover (11)

The case will be compatible with all Qi enabled wireless charging pads, but Sony do offer their own, the WCH10 which was released earlier this year to pair with the WCR12 for the Z2, but they never came to market in the end.

If you are into your Sony products and contemplating either the WCR14 or WCH10, you might be interested to know that the new BSP10 Bluetooth speaker can also use the WCH10 as a charging pad so a bundle of the three might make for a more cost effective solution.

Due in at the end of September, you can order a White or Black coloured WCR14 case from Xperia specialists, Clove, here.