Sony Xperia X Compact Review
One of the stereo speakers on the Xperia X Compact also doubles as the earpiece, and voices come out loud and clear enough to be called above average in call quality. The only complaint we have is that there is a slight echo chamber effect when the volume is pushed up, though the mid-level is still plenty strong for everyday purposes.
The two noise-canceling mics also did a good job weeding out ambient noise, and relaying our musings in a credible manner to the other side of the conversation, with strong sound and legible voice timbers that nevertheless sounded a tad more distorted than we would like.
Just as its predecessors, the X Compact is a “two-day” marathon runner
In the last few Z-series editions, Sony patted itself for creating “two-day battery” phones. This was especially true for the Compacts, which are still one of the longest-lasting Android phones that don't have giant batteries inside. While powerful, but quick to the heat and the throttle, Snapdragon 8-series chipsets of the last two generations chipped away at the stellar battery endurance claims somewhat, the X Compact is running on a Snapdragon 650, so can it be a true marathon runner?
Well, our battery benchmark returned almost 10 hours of screen time on a charge, which, for a 2700 mAh juicer, is worth a praise. This is similar to the result that the previous Compacts managed, and they have already proven to be “two-day battery” phones in real-life usage, so you can expect nothing less from the X Compact, too. The charging time of almost two and a half hours with the stock charger, however, is pretty slow for today's standards, though Sony will sell you a faster than the stock 1.5A charger for some extra cash.
Battery life (hours) Higher is better
Sony Xperia X Compact 9h 49 min (Good)
Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) 10h 8 min (Excellent)
Sony Xperia Z5 Compact 9h 27 min (Good)
Apple iPhone 6 5h 22 min (Poor)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
Sony Xperia X Compact 148
Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) 112
Sony Xperia Z5 Compact 146
Apple iPhone 6 147
At the sub-$500 price point that Sony is offering the X Compact at launch, there may be more than enough niche demand to justify its release. The only compromise made with the cutie, compared with its predecessors, is the midrange Snapdragon chipset, but that's now enough to drive the X Compact well, plus Qualcomm's last few flagship Snapdragons haven't exactly been thermal management kings, so the choice of silicon may be for the better.
Other than that, the X Compact delivers very well on most important fronts. It has a good camera with excellent focus-hunting abilities while video recording. The screen is also very bright and with low reflections, making it great for outdoor viewing. The battery life is top-notch, and call quality is loud and clear. These are all things most people are looking for in a handset, and when delivered in a small and handy package at a decent price, they make the phone stand out.
As far as the competition goes, the X Compact is really in a niche of its own right now. There's the cheaper but similarly sized Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016), which has a 4.7” display, a fancier styling, decent camera, and fine battery life, though considerably less-potent hardware. Looking away from Android, the 4.7” iPhone 6 can be found at a similar price point today, and can actually get you much more phone for the money. In the X Compact's $450-$500 range, however, there is little in Android's small-and-strong category but its predecessor, the Z5 Compact, which happens to be a more powerful handset, at a lower price right now.
- Compact, comfortable to hold and carry design
- Excellent battery life
- Very good outdoor visibility
- Functionally-rich multimedia apps suite
- Smallish keys with shallow feedback
- Comes with a third of the internal storage occupied
- Finger scanner not available on the US version
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- 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)