Does the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact have a plastic back instead of a glass one?

Does the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact have a plastic back instead of a glass one?
The extremely popular Sony Xperia Z1 Compact shares many of its specs with the full-sized Sony Xperia Z1. But there are differences with the size and resolution of the screen on the two devices. The full-sized Xperia Z1 carries a 5 inch screen with a 1080 x 1920 resolution, while the compact model brings a 4.3 inch panel with resolution of 720 x1280. The battery on the full sized model weighs in at 3000mAh while the Xperia Z1 Compact is powered by a 2300mAh cell.

But there could be another difference, one that Sony has not announced and has only hinted at. It seems that while the front and back panels of the Sony Xperia Z1 are made of glass, as is the front of the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, the back panel of the latter device could be made of plastic. One reviewer wrote that the phone has "a polished polycarbonate back and Gorilla Glass front." Sony has recently responded to an inquiry about the back panel of the Xperia Z1 Compact by stating clearly that the rear panel of the device is made of glass. And that is where the story would die except for something interesting.

Based on a White Paper released about the device, Sony originally said that both front and back of the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact are made of glass. But the Japanese based manufacturer has recently changed the wording of a line in the White Paper from "Both the front and back are made from durable tempered glass," to now read, "The front side of the phone is made from durable tempered glass." Hmm. The White Paper for both the D5503 and M51w variants were changed on February 6th. The only change made to the White Paper was the removal of the words in the sentence stating that the back panel is made of glass.

Hopefully, Sony will clear up this issue by telling us the reason for the change in the White Paper. If it is not a convincing answer, what else can we conclude except that the back panel on the Xpeira Z1 Compact is made of plastic? The fact that we are even entertaining this possibility also tells us how far plastic has come as a material in the mobile industry.

Thanks, Anonymous Tipster

source: XperiaBlog

Related phones

Xperia Z1 Compact
  • Display 4.3 inches
    1280 x 720 pixels
  • Camera 20.7 MP (Single camera)
    2 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 2GB RAM
  • Storage 16GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 2300 mAh
  • OS Android 5.1 Lollipop



18. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Plastic is a more durable material than glass since it won't break on dropping. Even if the Z1 Compact is made of plastic, its still a great phone as it offers high end specs on a compact/smaller size, hence appealing to people who prefer small screen phones (like me).

21. yeah_mike

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 09, 2014

So suppose my phone takes a tumble down some stairs. The phone is ruined because the front glass LCD breaks but hurray at least the plastic back will still be intact... I think most of the anger is directed at Sony's false advertising. If they didn't claim the back was glass there would be fewer angry people right now. Of course "Hi, we're Sony, check out our new premium phone with a plastic back (just like Samsung!)" doesn't make very good advertising...

17. anleoflippy

Posts: 596; Member since: Jan 03, 2013

I've played with at at a Sony Centre and the feel is the same with the Z1 so hey I'm not complaining.

15. Feanor

Posts: 1450; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

I played with the phone long time yesterday in a shop and the back seemed identical to the back of the Z1 that was standing next to it (both functional, both white). I didn't see any difference.

11. imMature

Posts: 87; Member since: Sep 04, 2013

Maybe they need to cut down the production cost to give the device a lower selling price. Knowing that the Z1 Compact costs almost the same as the original Z1 is quite shocking to me. I was really looking forward to own the device, replacing my Nexus 4..

13. Leonis

Posts: 338; Member since: Jan 08, 2014

How is it shocking? It got the same specs but smaller screen. Waterproof and dust proof. Something many phones doesn't get. If smaller screens should cost less then tablets should cost even more. They are cheaper than most phones.

10. sinple

Posts: 132; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

maybe they change it to plastic to solve the LED problem

7. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Plastic with Sony? NO it can't be! Sony only uses glass unlike Samsung! I like how they changed their wording though.

25. Remmy

Posts: 191; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

Agree. But Xperias with plastic still feel nice though, not cheap at all. :)

6. XperiaOptimusOne unregistered

Either way it's still a geat device.

5. buccob

Posts: 2982; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

You are not going to ruin this for me!!!! I already knew about the glare in low light photographs + led flash... and I already knew about the possibility that the back cover is some sort of plastic instead of glass... BUT I will get this phone!!! (hopefully revised version)

9. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I'd hold off. MWC is around the corner.

12. imMature

Posts: 87; Member since: Sep 04, 2013

I don't think there will be any mini flagships at MWC this year..

4. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1258; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

This is a plus for me. It just got more durable without any sacrifice.

1. alrightihatepickingusernames

Posts: 474; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

Somebody smash theirs so we can find out.

2. anirudhshirsat97

Posts: 408; Member since: May 24, 2011


3. Kaiser2007

Posts: 173; Member since: Nov 16, 2013

If it's not broken, then it's not glass. I prefer plastic back.

8. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

It has a non-removable back, so I'd rather have glass. Just saying.

14. kaikuheadhunterz

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jul 18, 2013

Anything that feels nice to touch is okay (regardless of material)

20. papss unregistered

I agree.. I really don't care what the material as long as it feels nice and sony almost always does good in this area

16. buccob

Posts: 2982; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

If its more resilient to cracks I actually prefer plastic. Scratch protectors can handle front and back, without case for me... I only need a wrist lanyard... something missing in many other phones

19. garlic456

Posts: 251; Member since: Dec 24, 2012

If no one could be able to find it out then there is no visual and physical difference. So there isnt anything to complain

22. buccob

Posts: 2982; Member since: Jun 19, 2012


26. garlic456

Posts: 251; Member since: Dec 24, 2012


27. buccob

Posts: 2982; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

I was agreeing with your comment completely...

28. garlic456

Posts: 251; Member since: Dec 24, 2012


23. giani

Posts: 269; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

'Faux glass' maybe ?!

24. RandomUsername

Posts: 808; Member since: Oct 29, 2013

I hope ifixit will do a teardown.

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