Sony Xperia Z1 Compact hands-on

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact hands-on
Among the many announcements Sony made today at CES 2014 was the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact. This mini version of Sony’s flagship Android smartphone is something special because unlike other “mini” renderings of their respective class leaders, this compact form factor is packing flagship specifications.

With a smaller size though, it could be said that some small compromises were made.  However, those supposed compromises are not really compromises at all. The Xperia Z1 Compact’s smaller screen has a lower pixel resolution, and the smaller body means there is a smaller battery to keep the screen lit, but the smaller set up does not demand as much power. Taken as a whole, the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is a nifty (and colorful) package.


There is no mistaking Sony’s design language with the Compact, it is an Xperia device through and through. It has a premium build quality feel that the rest of the Xperia line up enjoys. Its smaller size fits perfectly in just about any hand and that also lends well for easy one-handed operation. The user experience is unchanged from the rest of the Xperia line up.

That user experience is aided by the fact that this miniaturized version of the Xperia Z1 is packing the same quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU found in the larger brother. The power of that chip has no trouble delivering the goods to the user on the smaller screen.


That smaller screen, measuring 4.3 inches, has a resolution of 720 x 1280. That gives us a respectable pixel density of 342ppi. The unit in our hands-on images offered a crisp display and fluid motion with no apparent deficiencies. The viewing angles are decent too. The brightness seemed to be a bit on the soft side, but the ambient lighting of the showroom might have been playing a role in that perception.


The user interface for the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is the same as can be found across the Xperia line-up. Under the UI is Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Individual tastes will vary of course, but those that desire a user experience that is not quite as deep as Samsung’s TouchWiz or LG’s Optimus layers will find the Sony experience to be quite capable.

Processor and Memory

The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact shares the same quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.2GHz chip that is in the Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z1S. There is 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage. The Compact will accept microSD cards up to 64GB. The power of the CPU and Adreno 330 GPU make for swift and easy use of the Compact’s features.


Like its bigger siblings, the Xperia Z1 Compact is packing the same 20.7 megapixel camera with an LED flash. It also records video in 1080p HD and has digital image stabilization. We do not have any photo samples from the device just yet, but it is reasonable to assume that the quality will be on par with the rest of the Xperia flagship line.

In the end, the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is an exciting product, offering outstanding specs in a compact form factor that frankly cannot be matched at this point. Pricing and availability, not surprisingly, was not forthcoming, but keep checking back with us for more information.

Related phones

Xperia Z1 Compact
  • Display 4.3" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 20.7 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 16GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2300 mAh(18h 3G talk time)



1. Teja171 unregistered

What about Xperia Z2 ?

3. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Expect it in Q4 2014.

4. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Nah, Q2 2014 sounds more reasonable.

5. Remmy

Posts: 189; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

"[Xperia Z1] is our strongest selling smartphone to date and will continue as our flagship into 2014." from Sony Mobile's new year message. I read the article from Xperiablog btw. :)

18. Miracles

Posts: 560; Member since: Aug 31, 2013

Rumors of the Sirius flagship?

23. Remmy

Posts: 189; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

Probably not, maybe in a different form factor or running on a different OS. :)

2. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Very good phone, the king mini droids. But I think it will more expensive than the other minis.

7. pyradark

Posts: 895; Member since: Jun 10, 2012

let say same price as the iphone 5 16GB or iphone 5c this mobile rock but Im a little dissapointed with CES 2014 no stunning new mobile from sony, as in NEW

11. dratomic

Posts: 483; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

u don say

15. alterecho

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

As far as i can see, it looks like THE king of droids. Extremely powerful, supposedly good camera, water resistant, amazing specs, expandable storage, managable in one hand. Its just ticked all requirements for an awesome phone.

6. iliketech

Posts: 78; Member since: Aug 17, 2011

does it have wireless charging ?

13. starkiller306

Posts: 58; Member since: Nov 13, 2013

it's go a magnetic charging dock...

17. dratomic

Posts: 483; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

wireless charging is useless as long it needs to be in contact with charging pad. wired charging at least gives me freedom to move around and roam

8. szaboagoston

Posts: 43; Member since: Nov 28, 2012

Finally someone did it. Flagship specs in a smaller phone. But why not hold an iphone or the Xperia Z1 up next to the device, when making a video?!

16. imMature

Posts: 87; Member since: Sep 04, 2013

Edit: Wrong info. sorry. Haha. Thought it was a size comparison :P

19. Miracles

Posts: 560; Member since: Aug 31, 2013

I'm really confused....Is Z1S the same as the Z1 Compact? Or is it a specially modified version of the Z1S?

21. Bioload25

Posts: 213; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

No,z1 compact is a Z1 with a smaller screen (4.3,720p with better viewing angles though) Z1S is said to be a sucessor of the Z1 but I didnt notice much (if any) difference between them,and it's exclusive for T-Mobile

22. starkiller306

Posts: 58; Member since: Nov 13, 2013

Z1S is same as the Z1 but with 32gigs of int. memory, it's a T-mobile exclusive and also it has a plastic frame not alluminum rest all are the same including the screen.

20. district11

Posts: 126; Member since: Apr 17, 2011

Its nice to see good specs in smaller size phone.

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