Sony Xperia Z1 Compact review

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact review

T3 4
  • Are the the super-sized Google Nexus 5 and LG G2 too big for your mitts? If so, check out our Sony Xperia Z1 Compact review

    Sony Xperia Z1 Compact review

    Love

    • Premium waterproof design
    • Brilliant 4.3-inch display
    • Powerful processor

    Hate

    • Lack of Android 4.4
    • Sony’s UI feels slightly dated

    The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is a phone that looks to disprove a theory, smartphones don’t need to be bigger to be better.

    With rivals like the LG G2, Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and even the Sony Xperia Z1 showing that there is a desire for big screen phones they’ve often suffered from the sheer logistical issues of having an everyday device that can no longer be held and used with one hand.

    By being smaller then surely it must be a mid-range smartphone? Well at nearly £450 there’s nothing mid-range about the price and as any Apple iPhone 5s owner will tell you, those 4 inches of screen real-estate don’t come cheap either.

    This then is a flagship phone, repackaged into a more compact form factor and aimed at those who want the portability of the iPhone but prefer Google Android.

    So here’s the question, can the Z1 Compact really take on both the big-screen flagships and fend off the likes of the HTC One Mini and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini?

    Sony Xperia Z1 Compact: Size and build

    Taking your first glance at the Z1 Compact and you’ll realise that this is still a Z1, the design is almost identical to its larger brother introducing the premium metal build and glass back.

    Measuring in at 127 x 64.9 x 9.5 mm and weighing just 137g the Z1 compact is slightly larger than an iPhone 5c and weighs slightly more.

    WATCH: Sony Xperia Z1 Compact hands-on video

    Overall it feels great to hold although that glass back is going to become a magnet for scratches so if you’re image conscious we’d recommend a case.

    The build quality is as high as you’d expect from Sony’s new Xperia Z range and we reckon it trumps the One mini and the iPhone 5c.

    However, the display tends to attract dust and fluff - you’ll rue the day you left a tissue in your trouser pocket then washed them.

    The phone is available in black, white and two new, surprisingly inoffensive shades - pink and lime.

  • Sony has produced a smaller, more affordable version of its flagship Xperia Z1 Android phone. Check out our Sony Xperia Z1 Compact hands-on review...

    Sony Xperia Z1 Compact review

    Love

    • Premium waterproof design
    • Brilliant 4.3-inch display
    • Powerful processor

    Hate

    • Lack of Android 4.4
    • Sony’s UI feels slightly dated

    The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact has been described by the maker as "the world's first non-copromised compact smartphone". A pared-down version of the flagship Sony Xperia Z1, the new Compact is, as the name suggests, a smaller version albeit one that doesn't compromise on hardware.

    While the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and the HTC One Mini don't quite live up to the high standards set by their range-topping brethren, Sony hopes that Z1 Compact will offer an alternative to its top-tier handset without compromising on specs.

    Sony Xperia Z1 Compact: Size and build

    The Sony Xperia is only 1mm slimmer than the Z1 but the overall size difference is easily noticeable. Unlike the HTC One and the HTC One Mini which, while different in dimensions, are almost indistinguishable when placed next to each other, the Z1 Compact is very clearly a pint-sized version of its big sibling.

    The smaller dimensions means that the phone is much more comfortable to hold and use with one hand, unlike the Z1 and the gigantic Sony Xperia Z Ultra. Weighing in at just 140g, the Z1 Compact comes in four colours - black, white, striking lime and a shocking, but not-too-awful pink. Article continues after the video.

    Sony Xperia Z1 Compact: Features

    Sony has tried to make it easier for you to switch from another smartphone, even from a different OS, with Xperia Transfer Mobile. The idea is that it will will recognise key data that you want to transfer - including contacts, messages, music and videos. Data is transferred wirelessly after an initial connection has been made via NFC (or using a cable if you're transferring from an iPhone).

    According to Sony, the software will recognise data from major smartphone brands including Samsung, LG and HTC (and of course Sony Xperia).

    The Z1 Compact also sports the same waterproof casing as the original Z1, along with the same 20.7-megapixel camera and 2-megapixel front-facing cam. You'll also get 16GB of on-board stroage, which is expandable via micro SD.

    Sony Xperia Z1 Compact: Screen

    The 4.3-inch screen is noticeably smaller than the Z1's 5-incher, but the 720p display is just as impressive. In our short time with the phone, we found the screen to be bright and full of clarity, even on darker videos. Obviously it's something that we'll be looking at more closely as soon as we get a full review sample to test.

    Sony Xperia Z1 Compact: Battery

     

    The Z1 Compact sports a 2300 mAh battery - the same as the original Sony Xperia Z, first launched at CES 2013. This, along with Sony's clever Battery Stamina Mode, which turns off all non-essential functions when they're not in use, means that you should get a least a full day's charge from the phone.

    Sony Xperia Z1 Compact: Performance

    Sony's new handset features the same quadcore Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor as the full-size Z1 - which means that the UI feels just as snappy.

    The phone will launch with Android Jelly Bean (4.3) on board, with an Android KitKat (4.4) update promised before the end of March.

    Sony Xperia Z1 Compact: Verdict

    Our first impressions of the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact were good - and it's manageable form factor means that we actually found it easier to handle than the flagship Xperia Z1.

    The top-tier specs, combined with a lower price and some fancy neww colours could well make the Z1 Compact a big success. Stay tuned for a full review.

    Sony Xperia Z1 Compact release date: Mid-February 2014

    Sony Xperia Z1 Compact price: TBC

    Hands-on review by Libby Plummer

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  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

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