Not everywhere in Australia has the same support for mobile coverage as the big cities do, and rural Aussies are often left out from the choice of new handsets due to operational differences, but at least there’s a new phone to choose from, and it’s a pretty good one.

The news comes courtesy of Telstra and Sony, with word that Sony’s recently reviewed Xperia Z3 Compact smartphone is now rated for use in rural and regional Australia on Telstra, thanks to it just being awarded “Blue Tick” certification.

For those who aren’t aware, Telstra’s “Blue Tick” rating is applied when a smartphone or tablet is tested to support better range beyond the limit of the Australia’s major cities, providing voice, text, and data to places generally considered to be rural or regional places.

The list of devices sporting this compatibility is fairly small, with the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact joining the Samsung Galaxy S5, Apple iPhone 4S and 5C, and Nokia Lumia 625, among a small collection of others, including Sony’s own Xperia Z1 Compact, which was rated Blue Tick at the beginning of the year.

We reviewed the Z3 Compact recently and found it to be excellent — close to a perfect five stars for us, actually — and this just adds to it, making it suitable for people who live outside the city, as well.

That said, we’re checking with Sony to see if this Blue Tick rating will extend to the larger Xperia Z3, since the specs are almost the same, with the exception of a bigger screen and aluminium frame.