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Sony Xperia Z1 Compact vs HTC One


Sony Xperia Z1 Compact vs HTC One


Sony Xperia Z1 Compact vs HTC One
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact vs HTC One
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact vs HTC One
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact vs HTC One
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact vs HTC One
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact vs HTC One
Sony's miniaturized version of its flagship Xperia Z1 – the Xperia Z1 Compact – arrived at the smartphone arena to an expectedly enthusiastic fanfare. It ventures into previously uncharted land, as while competitors from HTC and Samsung have already come out with their respective 'mini' editions of their high-ends, neither quite did it with the bang with which Sony has. The Z1 Compact, said simply, puts pretty much every other 'mini' to shame, as its specs sheet reads literally the same as the one attached to its bigger brother. Moreover, Sony has donned the Z1 Compact with the same premium-looking, water- and dust-proof body.

But there's somebody else in the arena that also knows a thing or two about building some seriously premium devices. HTC's One is likely one of the most widely-acclaimed devices out on the market right now, at least in terms of design. The aluminum-clad big hitter from Taiwan may not be the most up to date in the hardware department, but what it lacks in processing power, it more than makes up for it in polish and charm.

Put next to each other, the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact and the HTC One send a powerful message: this is how the smartphone world could look and feel like. Elite, uncompromising. But what happens if we set on the two on each other? It's about time we found out.


The Z1 Compact is distinguished by its 'OmniBalance' design language, and looks a lot like the rest of the Sony Xperia family of devices. But that's not a bad thing necessarily. The phone sports a front side made of glass, and a back side made of plastic, with a metal frame hugging its profile, all of which set it apart from the sea of Android phones. The premium effect is slightly diminished, as both the left and right side of the device are littered with port flaps and the power, volume, and shutter keys. Those are all well-built, however, and provide satisfying feedback. On the back, you're treated to a markedly different view – the glass is only occupied by the camera and LED flash units, along with the Sony and Xperia logos, giving it a much cleaner look.

But the high-end looks of the Z1 Compact are faltering when put next to the aluminum-clad HTC One. The industrial design of HTC's flagship, along with the various, but simplistic ornaments throughout, give it a hand over Sony's petite handset. The front of the HTC One leaves a lasting impression, thanks to the stereo Boom Sound speakers on the top and bottom. Unlike the Z1 Compact, the One has a very clear-cut and minimalistic profile, unencumbered by numerous openings and flaps. The One doesn't sport a dedicated camera shutter key – just a power button on the top left side, and a volume rocker on the left. These are both extremely flush with the surface, and kind of unresponsive. This serves to showcase the lengths to which HTC went with the One's design – functionality and user experience are sacrificed at the alter of fashionably good looks.

Seeing as the One is also a pretty narrow, but tall device, we're also forced to exert some serious effort to reach something as essential as the power key on the top. At 5.41 x 2.69 x 0.37 inches, HTC's flagship is kind of rapacious in its physical footprint. In comparison,the Z1 Compact (5.00 x 2.56 x 0.37 inches) manages a more ergonomic feel, despite its dust- and water-proof, IP58-certified body. Handling the device one-handed is a pleasure, thanks to its petite proportions and adequately-placed buttons. It honestly feels like, for once, Sony is the one making a slightly better use of space.

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
5 x 2.56 x 0.37 inches
127 x 64.9 x 9.5 mm
4.83 oz (137 g)

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

5.41 x 2.69 x 0.37 inches
137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3 mm
5.04 oz (143 g)


To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


Sony's stubbornness has finally receded, and the company has fitted an IPS LCD panel in the Z1 Compact. The fairly dense, 720x1280 pixel screen (342ppi) has an accurate color temperature of about 7250K, with brightness peaking at the excellent 515 nits.

On the other hand, the HTC One's 1080x1920 pixel (469 ppi) Super-LCD3 screen is sharper, though it's less visible in bright sunlight (it peaks at 460 nits of brightness) It's color temperature is also less on target, at 7656K, so whites exhibit a cold overtone, but gamma is spot on, at 2.21 (vs. 2.68 for the Z1 Compact).

Overall, colors are reproduced correctly by both displays, though Sony's screen is slightly more true to the actual, target colors. On the other hand, the One's display is considerably sharper, and also disproportionally bigger, as it houses the software navigation buttons on its bezel, unlike the Z1 Compact. When it comes down to calling this, we thought that the One is the slightly better option, as we felt that the added benefits of a larger, crisper display largely make up for the miniscule superiority of the Z1 Compact's panel in terms of color fidelity.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact 515
HTC One 460
View all

  • Options

posted on 29 Jan 2014, 06:25 7

1. danny_a2005 (Posts: 267; Member since: 06 Oct 2011)

Go Sony.. HTC one is a great phone though, but the camera needs a few more mpx

posted on 29 Jan 2014, 06:28

2. hmd74 (Posts: 485; Member since: 31 Jan 2013)

You must compare it with mini editions... One mini or s4 mini...

posted on 29 Jan 2014, 06:37 9

4. Leonis (Posts: 338; Member since: 08 Jan 2014)

No they don't. Its obvious the z1 compact will win those. this is a flagship phone in a smaller casing.

posted on 29 Jan 2014, 08:29 9

6. SonyPS4 (Posts: 346; Member since: 21 May 2013)

One mini and S4 mini cant even beat Xperia ZR (unoficial mini ver for Xperia Z) let alone this one. Z1 Compact is on different league.

posted on 29 Jan 2014, 08:29 7

7. newbey123 (Posts: 631; Member since: 19 Mar 2012)

HTC One, hands down!

posted on 29 Jan 2014, 08:58 2

8. camera531 (Posts: 346; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)

I really like the Sony, but HATE the permanent plastic screen protectors that scratch very easily and are hard to get fingerprints off of. Why have scratch resistant glass if you're going to just permanently cover it with cheap plastic!?

posted on 29 Jan 2014, 21:58 1

11. buccob (Posts: 2714; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)

Because they are not scratch proof... they are mainly advertised as Shatterproof, and are applied with heat at factory, not just transparent stickers... and you should apply an additional scratch resistant sheet on top...

I for once am all in with that protection, because I saw how it prevented my wife's Xperia from shattering after many falls to concrete and asphalt... instead the phone have a small, almost invisible hairline crack horizontally that is unnoticeable and you can't even feel it because of the sheet.

My advise is to keep that layer and add another one disposable..

posted on 29 Jan 2014, 09:18 1

9. amro99 (Posts: 109; Member since: 29 Nov 2012)

i dont understand what makes PA compare HTC One with Z1 Compact. They are in completely different leagues

posted on 29 Jan 2014, 21:59

12. buccob (Posts: 2714; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)

Well... I think its mostly based on price... not on size..

But I do agree with you... This Compact, should be compared to the Minis out there...

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 06:43

18. Qawi94 (Posts: 10; Member since: 13 Jun 2013)

yeah totally..the Z1 Compact is better..If that what you meant

posted on 29 Jan 2014, 15:07

10. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)

The Z1 compact looks a little too close in size to the HTC One for my liking, it also looks a lot thicker. The HTC is also too big for its screen size so Sony can do much better size wise. I think like the Surface PRO 2 it needs to go on a diet before it has a chance of really taking off.

posted on 29 Jan 2014, 22:54 1

13. shinywindow (unregistered)

Hts one few. Ir blaster and speakers and pretty good camera are what matter to me. Plus the sexiest phone ever.

posted on 29 Jan 2014, 22:54 2

14. shinywindow (unregistered)

Htc htc

posted on 29 Jan 2014, 22:55 1

15. shinywindow (unregistered)

For the win. Damn auto correct.

posted on 30 Jan 2014, 01:57 1

16. Jalil (Posts: 40; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)

HTC one is better.
Only it needs megapixel improvement.

posted on 31 Jan 2014, 00:43

17. fireblade (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Dec 2013)

both are gorgeous devices. It's a difficult choice

posted on 02 Feb 2014, 04:03

19. RizwanYaqoob (Posts: 27; Member since: 14 Dec 2013)

HTC One all the way but only needs more camera pixels.

posted on 02 Feb 2014, 19:46

20. potatosalad (Posts: 40; Member since: 07 May 2012)

i think Z1 Compact is not a flagship phone. so it's irrelevant to compare these two.

posted on 07 Feb 2014, 20:02

21. Itsotxoridxe (Posts: 1; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)

There is something that I don't get... if the focal lenght of the HTC One is 28mm and the Xperia Z1's is 27mm, why are the angles of the photos wider on the HTC One?

Techincally, it should be the other way around no?!?

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 18:59

22. mesbah (Posts: 1; Member since: 17 Feb 2014)

htc is the clear winner here......in my opinion HTC tried to give us a new experience with the one ....they were not traditional like the competitors who cared only with hardware specs.....we have to admit that there is no a big difference between all these flagships concerning hardware........in daily life we don't feel it ........HTC tried to present something different (ultrapixel-design-boom sound -UI)..........I think this company deserves much attention.

posted on 23 Feb 2014, 04:25

23. Odiin (Posts: 351; Member since: 23 Apr 2013)

Any day Z1C. HTC one is overrated phone. No one is bothered about HTC except US.

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