Sony Xperia X Compact Review

Call quality



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.

Battery

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

Conclusion


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.

Software version of the review unit: 34.1.А.1.198



Pros

  • Compact, comfortable to hold and carry design
  • Excellent battery life
  • Very good outdoor visibility
  • Functionally-rich multimedia apps suite

Cons

  • Smallish keys with shallow feedback
  • Comes with a third of the internal storage occupied
  • Finger scanner not available on the US version

PhoneArena Rating:

6.8

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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: 2338; 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: 2325; 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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