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Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact Review

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact

Posted: , by Nick Todorov Nick Todorov



Interface and functionality

The latest Android 8.0 Oreo with Sony’s speedy UI on top of it.

Kudos to Sony for launching the Xperia XZ1 Compact with Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box. This means that the phone runs the latest, safest, most up-to-date Android software that Google has to provide. Alas, the benefits to having Oreo at launch aren’t immediately obvious, as Android 8 itself isn’t very exciting of an update from a user perspective. But all those under-the-hood improvements, including the better handling of battery-draining apps, are more than welcome.

On the Xperia XZ1 Compact we find Sony’s own custom interface, which is very similar to what you’d see on other current and recent Xperia phones, only smaller. Personally, I didn’t find the default text size comfortable enough to read so increased it up a notch from the Display Settings menu. Speaking of size and text, the on-screen keyboard is physically smaller than those on most other phones, but I found it sufficiently accurate once my fingers got used to its layout. In fact, its size is ideal for single-thumb typing.

Probably the best thing about Sony’s software is that it is fast and responsive. Also, it comes with a number of perks. Sony’s “What’s New” app curator, for example, has an “App of the day” promo where we can download a paid app for free. But some features could have been executed better. For instance, there’s no easy, intuitive way of checking the time or any lock screen content as pressing the power button to wake the phone instantly makes a fingerprint reading and takes us to our home screen. Also, pulling down on the home screen displays a search bar for finding apps, which is redundant, as the Google widget can already do that. Pulling down the notifications shade would have been a much more practical use for this gesture.

Processor, memory, performance

Fast and responsive with any task.

As we mentioned in the beginning, processing power is one thing the Xperia XZ1 Compact has plenty of. Equipped with a Snapdragon 835 – the best chip Qualcomm currently has to offer – the phone runs even the most demanding games without issues. Having a 720p screen instead of a higher-res, Full HD one also helps with maintaining high framerates while engaging in tasks demanding lots of graphics computations. Switching between apps is quick, and side-by-side multitasking is a smooth experience (even though I doubt many would engage in side-by-side activities on such a small display). Overall, we have no complaints as far as performance goes.

The Xperia XZ1 Compact comes with 32GB of built-in storage, but since the operating system eats up a huge chunk of that, only about 22 gigs are available to the user. That is likely to run out before you know it, especially if you take lots of photos and video in 4K, so consider taking advantage of the microSD card slot that is available.

Internet and connectivity

Without going much into details here, you have Chrome set as default browser on the Xperia XZ1 Compact. It is an app most Android users should be familiar with, and a substitute isn’t necessary, in our opinion. Chrome is fast, covers the essentials, and syncs your browsing data across devices for easy access.

On the topic of connectivity, we should clarify that Sony is not launching the Xperia XZ1 Compact through any of the major US carriers. Instead, you may get one through Amazon (that’s where Sony’s official website links to). The Xperia XZ1 Compact being offered is unlocked and compatible with GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile. However, it won’t work on Verizon or Sprint.


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PhoneArena rating:
8Very good
Display4.6 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (319 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera19 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2450 MHz, Kryo 280 processor
Size5.08 x 2.56 x 0.37 inches
(129 x 65 x 9.3 mm)
5.04 oz  (143 g)
Battery2700 mAh, 10.5 hours talk time

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