The "1-Minute" Review
- 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."
Prices (Where to Buy)
Sony released the Xperia Z1 Compact on January 31, 2014.
The Xperia Z1 Compact price will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. You can compare Sony Xperia Z1 Compact prices from around the web here on The Informr.
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact user manual here.
Sony backs up the Xperia Z1 Compact with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your Xperia Z1 Compact has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Sony support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Sony's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.