Hands on Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact review: Sony nails the small premium smartphone niche

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Feel like a giant with this 4.6-inch smartphone

Reasons to buy
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    Qualcomm Snapdragon 835

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    Small size

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    Promised battery life

Reasons to avoid
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    720p screen

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    Fibreglass rather than metal body

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We've got great news if you're in the market for a premium smartphone with a small screen - Sony has just announced the XZ1 Compact

We love the idea of this phone, it's something which no other big manufacturer is doing right now, and we've recently had the chance to get hands on with the mini marvel, these are our first impressions.

The first thing you'll notice about the XZ1 Compact, is, obviously, how small it is. This thing has a 4.6-inch screen, and feels more like an iPhone 4 than a 2017 smartphone.

But don't let those looks fool you, the XZ1 Compact features the latest specs, including Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 835, which is found in the Compact's larger brother, the Xperia XZ Premium.

The screen looks pretty decent, it's colourful and vibrant. The only issue is that's it's 720p, although, this isn't too much of a problem considering the small screen size.

The Xperia XZ1 Compact is a stout little thing to hold. It feels remarkably well made.

The body is made from glass fibre reinforced polycarbonate (plastic), so it doesn't feel quite as premium as its bigger brothers, but, despite that, it's solid, with no flex.

It comes in four tasteful colours, Black, White Silver, Horizon Blue and Twilight Pink.

The casing is water resistant, which again, is a great feature which is rarely found in smaller device.

Talking of features which are rarely found in smaller devices, you've also got the latest Sony audio tech,including Hi-Res Audio, DSEE HX upscaling, LDAC, Digital Noise Cancelling (DNC) and ClearAudio+. 

The XZ1 Compact also has stereo speakers which have 50% more sound pressure than previous models.

The camera is also an area Sony has focused on. The XZ1 Compact carries Motion Eye technology, with features such as Predictive Capture, which starts taking pictures before you press the shutter button, as well as super slow motion video, capturing at 960 fps.

The XZ1 Compact also features a super wide-angle front camera with a 120° Field of View. This will let you capture more of the background, or more friends, in your selfies.

It's be one of the first smartphones to come with Android Oreo out of the box.

And finally, the XZ1 Compact packs a  battery is a 2700 mAh, paired with the small screen and efficient Snapdragon processor, this thing should last for days.

Initial Verdict

We're really impressed by the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact, it's refreshing to see Sony doing something different to everyone else.

It'll start shipping in September.

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Spencer Hart
Style and Travel Editor

As the Style and Travel Editor at T3, Spencer covers everything from clothes to cars and watches to hotels. Everything that's cool, stylish, and interesting, basically. He's been a part of T3 for over seven years, and in that time covered every industry event known to man, from CES and MWC to the Geneva Motorshow and Baselworld. When he's driving up and down the country in search of the greatest driving roads, he can be found messing around on an electric scooter, playing with luxury watches, or testing the latest fragrances.