Sony Xperia X Compact Review

Interface and functionality



Sony's interface overlay pretty much follows the stock Android Marshmallow experience – from the homescreens to the bland-looking status bar – save for a few more options in the settings screen, and a few Xperia apps thrown in for a good measure. Love it or leave it, at least the interface runs smooth and without notable hiccups. Oh, yeah, there is an app drawer, too.

Sony uses the renowned SwiftKey predictive text keyboards instead of the Google one as default, and it is easy to type on the small display by tapping or swiping with your thumb only while holding the phone with one hand – great solution for texting while driving. Not. A bunch of theming and wallpaper options are available for customizing, and each of the phone's colors comes with the respective theme hue for the interface.

Sony has added several features to make your life with the phone easier, though, that aren't present in the stock Android edition, like the tap-to-wake option for the screen, or а complete backup solution, both local and in the cloud. We also especially like the Xperia's Smart adaptive control, which senses when you hold the phone in hand, and are looking at a picture, for instance, and keeps the display on regardless of the screen sleep settings.

You will, of course, find the venerable PlayStation app that lets you tap into Sony's gaming ecosystem. It offers the PS4 Remote Play function to connect a DualShock controller, and use the phone as a portable console streaming your PS4 games, neat.

Processor and memory

The “potent munchkin” is not so potent with Snapdragon 650 instead of the 8-series, but no less capable.


The biggest difference between the previous phones in the line, and the X Compact, is the choice of chipset. Sony used to place the same top-shelf Snapdragon processor of the 8-series in the Compacts that it used in its larger flagships, but that is no more. The X Compact is run by a hexa-core Snapdragon 650 clocked at 1.8 GHz. Frankly, with Sony's light Android skinning, this felt more than enough to power through most of what you will throw at it, save possibly for the visuals of some heavy 3D games, and the synthetic benchmark scores below confirm this observation.

The system memory situation is pretty generous with 3 GB of RAM provided, and the internal storage is also very good for the category and price point, at 32 GB. Actually, the internal memory situation would be great if not for the breathtaking amount of it being occupied by the operating system itself. Out of the 32 GB of storage, Sony's software takes nearly 12 GB even before downloading any apps or altering any settings. Not cool, especially considering how close-to-stock the interface and its options are. Thankfully, there is a microSD slot for storage expansion.

AnTuTu Higher is better
Sony Xperia X Compact 75361.33
Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) 36116.66
Sony Xperia Z5 Compact 61434
Apple iPhone 6 50888
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Sony Xperia X Compact 2507.66
Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) 1043.33
Sony Xperia Z5 Compact 2315.33
Vellamo Browser Higher is better
Sony Xperia X Compact 5090
Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) 2793
Sony Xperia Z5 Compact 4929.66
JetStream Higher is better
Sony Xperia X Compact 36.608
Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) 21.552
Apple iPhone 6 67.485
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
Sony Xperia X Compact 51.33
Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) 20
Sony Xperia Z5 Compact 57
Apple iPhone 6 48.9
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Sony Xperia X Compact 22
Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) 8.4
Sony Xperia Z5 Compact 38
Apple iPhone 6 25.8
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Sony Xperia X Compact 1507
Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) 630.66
Sony Xperia Z5 Compact 1350.66
Apple iPhone 6 1239

Internet and connectivity


Sony uses Android's default Chrome browser for your surfing needs. The phone offers LTE-A Cat 6 up to 300 Mbps download speeds, if AT&T or T-Mobile can provide those where you live, as these are the carriers that the X Compact is compatible with in the US.

As usual, Sony also offers DLNA and Miracast support, while wired connectivity is of the trendy USB-C variant. The USB-C port offers USB 2.0 transfers only, though, and, since the MHL port is now gone, you have no option for wired streaming of the screen imagery.

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31 Comments

1. WAusJackBauer

Posts: 456; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

So why did it get such a low score?

3. libra89

Posts: 2335; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

This. It doesn't seem to be too bad as I might have thought originally. Still overpriced though.

10. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Thank you PA for giving it less than a 7. My request has been fulfilled!

26. JC557

Posts: 1926; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

They didn't improve much if anything over the previous generations especially their cameras. They make some really good sensors but damn they suck at implementing them in their own devices.

28. cheetah2k

Posts: 2319; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

For once I agree with iPA's scoring. No IP rating is a fail. The screen isnt as bright as the Z5C, and the SD650 is a major letdown.. I give up on Sony.. They are lost... lost in space

2. pyradark

Posts: 895; Member since: Jun 10, 2012

Im impress phonearena! cant wait for 6/10 with XZ

4. syam7863

Posts: 74; Member since: Sep 15, 2016

Frankly, i click on this article, so called review just to read the comments. Can't wait for 100/10 rating for IP7/IP7+. Not saying that IP7/IP7+ are bad. They are good, really good. But things are getting more and more ridiculous.

5. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Hm... GSMarena scores a much lower battery life that great cannot be a word used to describe it. But seriously, only 12GB free out of the 32GB of storage is insane! That's taking away 20GB...about 65% gone. Wow!

9. DanteTheGreat

Posts: 67; Member since: Jul 31, 2014

They said 12Gb taken away, not 12gb left? And GSMArena's battery testing method and phonearena's are completely different. You can't directly compare their scores.

11. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Oh, yeah... My bad.

17. Djz89

Posts: 447; Member since: Aug 25, 2014

73 hours is not bad, not great, but it could be much worse.

6. guests

Posts: 196; Member since: Jun 19, 2016

PA is preparing to give full mark to iphone 7, that's why every other phone must be given low score to promote the superiority of their beloved brand. I'm expecting Ray S to come up with the review.

7. DanteTheGreat

Posts: 67; Member since: Jul 31, 2014

The review and the score don't add up. Why does it get such a low score?

15. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

$500 for a phone with S650? V10 with 808 that runs circles around this is $300. That's why.

18. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

TRUTH.

19. DanteTheGreat

Posts: 67; Member since: Jul 31, 2014

No offense, you're talking trash. Add LG V10 to the benchmarks and be amazed. And this phone is a good 80 GBP cheaper than the V10.

22. donrox

Posts: 204; Member since: Jul 18, 2014

Was the v10 priced at 300$ at launch? And is the v10 a 4.6" phone? Hmmm

25. hansip87

Posts: 231; Member since: Nov 10, 2015

808 runs circle around 650 with cortex a72 core? You're kidding me right?

31. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

When you are an iPhone user and dont know android world you should not talk. http://www.techgrapple.com/snapdragon-650-vs-808-vs-mediatek-helio-x10/ SD650 trash the 808 in ALL aspect from cpu to gpu to battery usage. Sorry.

8. FlySheikh

Posts: 444; Member since: Oct 02, 2015

Phew..

12. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Got more features than the iPhone yet it got a 6.8. Imagine what the iPhone will get for a rating.

13. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

9.2 let's bet on it

27. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

*at least 9.2

29. 0kax0el0

Posts: 238; Member since: Nov 15, 2012

Almost spot on.. 9.3

14. rht89

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 21, 2016

Well, now I know, why shouldn't I rely on review scores. just look at specs , features etc from reviews. If possible get a hands on experience from store. Then decide and buy.

16. Djz89

Posts: 447; Member since: Aug 25, 2014

The price is a little high, but the phone does deserve more than this. But, I am not surprised.

20. enzotarece

Posts: 87; Member since: Aug 14, 2013

Phonearena dont care wat score u give to sony me na tap buy them tek that u all are disgrace to the tech world

21. drahcir02

Posts: 102; Member since: Mar 03, 2016

That's expected from PA.

23. Ezio2710

Posts: 548; Member since: Aug 22, 2015

PA didn't include why it has more charging time

24. mixedfish

Posts: 1570; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

"The X Compact offers a far cry from the jolly, saturated “Sony colors” that its cameras used to be associated with." Since when have Sony ever gone for saturated colors? They have also preferred neutral 'lab' even the flagship pro-ish cameras I own like DSC-RX1, A7mk2 have the some characteristics.
Xperia X Compact
  • Display 4.6" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 23 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 650, Hexa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 32GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2700 mAh(14.1h 3G talk time)

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