- Andrew Hoyle , Cnet
With its powerful processor, great camera, decent screen and gorgeous, waterproof design, the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is the best small Android phone around.
- Samuel Gibbs , The Guardian
The smallest of the Xperia Z line feels good in the hand, is sturdily built and is waterproof. It has a great screen, an excellent camera and applications simply fly on its powerful processor.
- Excellent processing speed and power
- Accurate and deep colors
- Long battery life
- Easy to use one-handed
- Thicker and heavier than larger smartphones
- White balance is a little off
- Back cover scratches easily
Unlike other smartphone manufacturers, Sony has been able to miniaturize its flagship phone – the Xperia Z1 – without compromising performance. When compared to other smartphones, the Z1 Compact is smaller in terms of width and height but it errs on the thicker side at 0.4 inches and is actually heavier than larger devices like the Samsung Galaxy S4 at 137 grams. Despite the thickness and weight, reviewers highlight the fact that the smaller size and ergonomic design makes it much easier to handle. Experts mention that the phone also feels solid due to its single-piece aluminum frame and protective glass covers. Unfortunately, they also noticed that the glass back is prone to fingerprints and scratches and suggest using a case to avoid these issues.
Aside from the smaller 4.3 inch screen size, the Z1 Compact also has a lowered resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. While not full HD like the Z1, it still offers an excellent pixel density of 341 ppi, which is actually higher than the iPhone 5S. Critics only noticed issues with clarity and sharpness when they were fully zoomed out in websites but it was practically negligible. More noticeable to them, however, were the improvements to color accuracy and black levels. The Z1 Compact boasts Sony's Triluminos display technology that allegedly provides a color gamut that is 50 percent larger than conventional LCD panels. Trusted Reviews backs up the claim stating, "Colours are visibly more accurate and deeper than the iPhone 5S's…" though they go on to say that whites are not quite perfect.
In terms of power, the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact sports the same internal hardware as its larger sibling: 2.2GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. Experts were able to use processor intensive apps without any lag or resolution issues. For daily tasks like browsing around the interface and switching between apps, CNET describes the experience as "satisfyingly swift, with zero noticeable lag." Running the show is a 2,300 mAh battery. While smaller than the Z1, benchmark tests place battery life at just around 9 hours. Real world use backs up the benchmark numbers as The Verge clocks battery life at over a day of moderate usage.
On the back is the same 20.7-megapixel camera from the Z1 complete with the same software. While reviewers describe it as a good all-rounder, it still has issues with noise for indoor and low light conditions. Still, Digital Trends notes that its lowlight performance is better than many of its competitors despite its aggressive flash.
The issues with the Xperia Z1 Compact are few and far between. For the most part, reviewers highly recommend it for those looking for a smaller phone alternative. Phone Arena states, "…the Xperia Z1 Compact is not only a great Android smartphone, it's simply a great phone, all things considered." Engadget adds, "Sony's 'mini' flagship is what companies should have been doing all along."
Reviews (9/10 Avg. rating)
A small phone with big ambitions
Feels every bit like a high-end Android phone
The Z1 Compact fills a niche that has been largely ignored by pretty much every other smartphone maker on the planet save for Apple. For all the hardware diversity within the Android ecosystem, there really is nothing like it, and as a result it should be a downright astounding device. I adore the design and the concept of the Xperia Z1 Compact and I love that Sony has delivered an honest and actual “mini” version of its (previous) flagship device instead of a lame attempt to cash in on a flagship brand. I am very impressed at how capable it is in spite of its dimunitive size, w... Full review
Retains the majority of its bigger sibling’s cutting edge hardware, but fits comfortably in the hand
Instantly recognizable as a member of the Xperia family, the Z1 Compact is another black slab with glass front and back, set in an aluminum frame. The Compact is obviously much smaller than it’s brethren at 5.0 x 2.56 inches, but it’s the chubbiest of the bunch at 0.37 inches (9.5mm) thick. It feels heavy in the hand and even a little cold when it hasn’t been busy, but it’s small enough to hold and operate one-handed.
Apple has long argued the merits of its perfect-sized iPhone that you can comfortably hold and use without requiring two hands. If you buy into... Full review
Great features in small proportions
All the benefits of the Z1 in a smaller package
Industry-leading features and specifications
It's very easy to recommend the Z1 Compact. You might not like the styling or the overabundance of ports and flaps, but that's the tradeoff for waterproofing, which is definitely a neat feature. As for alternatives in this price range, you could buy an LG G2, which is larger, or an iPhone 5c which is roughly the same size but not as powerful.
The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is exactly the kind of product we've wanted to see for a long time. The smartphone industry is too eager to follow trends, and a recent features arms race has led to a staggering tilt in favour of phones with 5-inc... Full review
A smaller but still smart package
Compact handset with high-end, powerful hardware
It’s one hell of a device
Small but powerful
Recently, most manufacturers' flagship smartphones have partnered up with compact variants, so instead of a 4.7-inch, 5-inch or 5.2-inch screen, they offer a more practical 4.3-inch display. Despite the similar screen size, Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact is in a completely different league due to its powerful hardware platform - it's very much the powerful Sony flagship in a much smaller body.
If you're on the fence about picking up either Sony's Xperia Z1 or Xperia Z1 Compact, the only important difference is in the dimensions. An amazing camera and an excellent chipset are standard o... Full review
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