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Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Review

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact 9

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Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Review
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Review
Call quality


Sony has produced a fine piece of equipment for phone calls with the Z1 Compact. Its earpiece is pretty loud and relatively clear. There is just a bit of distortion that can be heard in the sound, but overall things sound very well. Meanwhile, your callers will be treated to an equally good sound, thanks to the Z1 Compact's quality microphone.

As we said in the previous part, the loudspeaker is strong enough, so you can easily use it for calls as well.

Battery


Due to the smaller size of the handset, Sony has been unable to fit a very big battery inside the Z1 Compact. In contrast to the chubby, 3000 mAh unit in the Z1, the Z1 Compact only has a 2300 mAh battery. Still, with its smaller screen and lower resolution, we think users won't be experiencing insufficient battery life. According to the official data provided by the manufacturer, the Xperia Z1 Compact should last for about 18 hours of continuous talk-time on 3G, or the impressive 25 days in 3G stand-by (22.9 days in 4G). There are some pretty spectacular results, so we really have high hopes for the battery life of this handset in the long run. Stay tuned for additional details, as we're working on getting our own, custom battery life test done with the Xperia Z1 Compact.

Conclusion


With the Xperia Z1 Compact, Sony has made an important move that will make its smartphone line-up considerably more approachable. The Z1 is a powerful and well-rounded product, but its imposing size meant that there will undoubtedly be a lot of people who'd prefer to go for something a bit more pocketable. Now that the Compact is here (and in a number of fresh colors, at that), those users will have such an option with Sony.

This latest high-end Xperia phone is a beauty to behold, and with its superb features and characteristics, such as the 20.7 MP camera that's among the very best out there, it's actually the first modern Android phone that can offer a top-notch experience in a compact shell. Whether it can be a viable alternative to a “regular”, 5-inch flagship, well, that depends on the type of consumer that you are. If you can't take your eyes off your phone's screen, then maybe you should hold onto the larger display, as it will make your life significantly more comfortable. On the other hand, if you are more of a casual user that would still like to have access to a premium smartphone experience, the Z1 Compact will be a great choice, especially when you have in mind that it will also be easier to carry around.

So, we already know that the Z1 Compact can be a great alternative to any other Android flagship, as long as you don't mind the smaller display. But how does it compare to the iPhone 5s – another premium offering in roughly the same size class? The Xperia Z1 Compact is very well-made (and good-looking), but we have to admit that the iPhone 5s is even more eye-catching, thanks to its slimmer profile and lack of so many ports and slots around its sides. Really, there's a lot of action going on across the metal frame of the Z1 Compact, and this is where the two differ. While the Apple iPhone 5s stays true to its beautiful, minimalist style, the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact remains true to its Android nature, which means that it has to provide you with all kinds of useful options, like a microSD card slot, a separate port for its charging dock, and a dedicated camera shutter key.

At the end of the day, the Xperia Z1 Compact is not only a great Android smartphone, it's simply a great phone, all things considered. Sony has made the bold move of venturing where few Android manufacturers have dared to go so far. Let's see how well it's going to work out for them!

Software version of the reviewed unit: Android 4.3, Build 14.2.A.1.114


Pros

  • Stylish, compact design
  • Cutting-edge performance
  • Great camera
  • Water- and dust-resistnace (IP 58)

Cons

  • Relatively small display
  • Minor UI issues
PhoneArena rating:
9 Excellent
User rating:
9 12 Reviews
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91 Comments
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posted on 23 Jan 2014, 09:31 10

1. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


Yet another Sony phone that makes me drool. And yet another phone that Sony should've sold in the states. Bring your phones back to the states on every major carrier in the States please Sony!

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 09:38 4

4. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Would sell pretty well on AT&T and T-Mobile.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 10:21 5

13. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


Would sell well on any major network not just a GSM provider.

posted on 24 Jan 2014, 14:55 2

58. FredoGavera (Posts: 7; Member since: 09 Jan 2013)


To be honest, I was never really a huge fan of xperias. The only sony phone I ever owned was the play which was great except for the complete lack of support...

Regardless, the last xperia to catch my eye was the Z1, never got it though because I'm in the category of people who find phones that size absurd. Once this phone is out I'm pretty much a guaranteed buyer.

I just really hope that updates won't be delayed too bad for future android OS's... I hear sony isn't the best with keeping up... already had to deal with LG's shenanigans

posted on 25 Jan 2014, 08:44

59. RickB (Posts: 6; Member since: 25 Jan 2014)


Sony has been doing very well with open sourcing their builds so even if they don't provide updates as fast as we want, you can always upgrade the ROM yourself.

I'm running a custom ROM on my Xperia ZL and it easily doubled my battery life. It's still a Sony ROM so I have the great apps like Walkman and Dual Shock controller, but none of the bloatware that I don't need that just consumes the battery.

posted on 09 Feb 2014, 19:35

84. HarryWild (Posts: 60; Member since: 18 Oct 2012)


I finally found a phone that I want to buy and it not going be sold in the U.S.! It a high end phone too! Just crazy, Sony! No wonder you are in trouble!

posted on 10 Apr 2014, 14:11

87. Heretic (Posts: 18; Member since: 12 Jun 2012)


I agree.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 09:33 23

2. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)


Relatively Small Display??

Yeah. We at PA expect phablet size displays in a phone barely bigger than an iPhone.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 09:48 19

7. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Yeah, and I guess they didn't realize that the phones name is Z1 COMPACT. It's supposed to be smaller than average!

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 09:37 30

3. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Ray, I read the whole review. Now how the hell does having a small display count as a con when the iPhone 5S and 5C (as mentioned under the display category) has a 4" display?

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 10:34 5

15. JerryTime (Posts: 468; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


See my comments under the Z1S vs 5s article and you'll have your answer. ;)

It's gotten to the point where these reviews and phone comparisons are laughable at best.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 13:11 4

26. buccob (Posts: 2591; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


Also my comment... I will summarize.

What readers should pay attention is to User Rating... And if that rating somehow is close to what PA gives, then you have a fair review... But the norm is that most user gives Sony smartphones a higher rating than what authors do, and that shows a disparity and probably a bias review.

We all know this phone is going to get >9.3 on user rating so it does not worry me... I will still buy it

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 09:39 27

5. imparanoic (Posts: 88; Member since: 15 Oct 2012)


phonearena crap bias review, relatively small displaÿ4.3, yet you don't mention this supposed disadvantage on iphone 5s or 5c even though the screen is smaller at 4"

I think phonearena should called iphone -arena

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 22:07

42. jael206 (Posts: 146; Member since: 18 Jul 2012)


But no matter how we bash PA for being bias, they still stand unapologetic.. What the face man!!

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 09:43 1

6. Xperia_droid (Posts: 39; Member since: 07 Nov 2013)


now IPS+Triluminos+X-reality display sounds interesting

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 09:50 1

8. Xperia_droid (Posts: 39; Member since: 07 Nov 2013)


of if i forget about camera
iphone 5s need to be scared

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 23:03

74. Lauticol (Posts: 350; Member since: 25 Jun 2011)


Triluminous, Bravia and X-Reality are all gimmicks Sony adds in it's smartphones displays, but you compare them to other company's flasgships and Sony screens are the worst

posted on 29 Jan 2014, 07:31

76. Xperia_droid (Posts: 39; Member since: 07 Nov 2013)


Bravia/X-reality are awesome when watching videos. they makes videos a bit oversaturated and boost contrast. yes sony's previous screen panels are not too great but i still prefer this for watching videos.
but i want 6" retina display with X-reality :D

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 09:52 2

9. mokhtar (Posts: 405; Member since: 06 Jan 2014)


now do a test between 5s / s4 mini / htc one mini , or you will avoid that " phone arena" because you know sony will smoke the others ??
Sony now : best phone z1 , best compact phone , best tablet ... you made phone area :p ?

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 22:07

43. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Z1 is not the best phone lol. Best compact is a tie between the 5S. Best tab? iPad Air/Mini 2.

posted on 28 Jan 2014, 15:22

72. mokhtar (Posts: 405; Member since: 06 Jan 2014)


For you yeah, for the world.and.reviewrs tablet z the best tablet and the award winning of 2013 :), best phone is z1 and ray and the other reviewrs say that not me :) ( note 3 is a phablet :))

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 09:52 13

10. Amir1 (unregistered)


best compact phone ever made. iphone is a thing of the past.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 10:05 2

11. R-vjn (Posts: 197; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)


Finally IPS comes to Sony, thank god. I always hated the displays of xperia's, even Triluminos, when compared to the best IPS panels around.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 10:12 2

12. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Ray, could you add 20 mpx photos, since those are just 8 mpx and they look quite bad imho.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 10:30 8

14. emadshiny (Posts: 1144; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


I cant see such a con as "relatively small display" for iPhone which is even smaller than Compact. Oh! I forgot here is iPhone arena

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 10:34 1

16. zhonghua (Posts: 2; Member since: 14 Jan 2014)


Mr. Ray, please share the video review if you do have. I can't wait to have this phone soon.. :) Nice review by the way.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 10:40 5

17. spiderpig2894 (Posts: 596; Member since: 10 Jan 2012)


A cons that states "Relatively small display". Say whuut? How can you never say that to an iPhone yet you can say it to a "Compact" branded phone?! What kind of logic is that?

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 10:50 12

18. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1237; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)


The small display is a pro for this phone- that's the selling point!

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 11:15 4

19. Feanor (Posts: 753; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)


Hmm...9.0 is clearly a bit unfair when the larger Z1 brother with the significantly worse display, slightly worse performance and potentially less battery life received a better note. Also in comparison to iPhone I was expecting at least same score.

posted on 23 Jan 2014, 11:55

20. papss (unregistered)


Great phone other than the OS it uses. Honestly that's a deal breaker

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Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

OS: Android 5.1 5.0 4.4.4 4.4.2 4.3
view full specs
Display4.3 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (342 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera20.7 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2200 MHz, Krait 400 processor
2 GB RAM
Size5.00 x 2.56 x 0.37 inches
(127 x 64.9 x 9.5 mm)
4.83 oz  (137 g)
Battery2300 mAh, 10 hours talk time

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