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.

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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.

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