If you are looking for a great-looking phone with a display diagonal below 5 “, you have not had a very diverse selection for several years. Leaving a competitive iOS platform, Sony is the only choice for Sony and its Compact models. Their latest Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact has come to our editorial office, is it a small flagship or smaller compromise?
Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact Review
Here is a table of contents to make it easier for you to breeze through the article. Click on any of them to jump to the content:
- Package contents
- Appearance and workshop processing
- Image and sound
- Hardware and display
- Operating System
Packing without a quick charger
Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact comes in a small white box whose design has not changed for a long time. Also, you will even get a USB-C cable, a quick charger, earphones and several manuals. Sony (traditionally) has sent the phone to test only with manuals and charging cable, and so we cannot judge the quality of the headphones or the charging rate with the original charger. In the standard package, the Xperia XZ1 Compact comes with only a standard 1.5A charger, which is a great deal of damage as the phone supports fast charging.
The design of a small Xperia keeps the traditions
Like all Sony phones that have been launched in the past few years, the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact tested today also holds the OmniBalance design language. We waited for such an elegant, up-and-down appearance, mainly using the edges. While the Xperia X Series should hold OmniBalance as long as it is on the market, Sony is already working on a new line of phones that will drive the new design direction. Most of the body is made of plastic except the metal on the top and bottom edges of the device. Metallic glare at the sides of the instrument pleasantly revives the design especially by the black variant tested by us. Applauding we need a soft touch surface treatment that is pleasant to the touch and does not over-attract prints.
The front of the phone is covered with the latest Corning Gorilla Glass 5 hardened glass. It is rounded on the hips and continuously follows the rounded edges of the phone. Thanks to this, the phone, despite its slightly thicker, somewhat square, fits well into your hands and does not scratch you uncomfortably. The lion’s share of the good hold is, of course, the size of the device of 129 x 64 x 9.3 mm, thanks to these you really will not have the problem to control the phone with one hand. Despite the larger margins, especially above and below the display, the Xperia XZ1 Compact has a fairly acceptable ratio of the display area to full front. The display occupies 70.6% of the face. We can compare it to probably the biggest competitor. The Apple iPhone 8 display has only 65.4% of the face. iPhone’s dimensions exceed Xperia by almost 10 mm in height and 3.3 mm in width, on the other hand, it offers a 0.1″ more prominent display and a 2mm thinner body.
The Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact reports the return of water resistance
Alongside the curved glass, the front of the device takes the presence of stereo speakers. Inside the upper left corner of the camera is a camera lens, complete with a light-emitting diode, laser focus, and colour spectrum sensor. Also, just the Xperia logo and a small mark symbolizing the NFC chip location are on the back of the device. The right side is Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact completely released from the buttons. There is only one cap. At the same time, you will also remove the microSD card from your phone. There is still a slot for nanoSIM under the cap, but it has its drawer. This solution is somewhat unusual today, but on the other hand, it is also practical. When replacing a memory card, you do not have to pull out the SIM from your phone.
Furthermore, we praise the manufacturer for moving the cradle of the volume above the power button. Especially in the (indirect) Xperia X Compact predecessor, the volume control was not very comfortable; the cradle between the power button and the camera’s shutter release button. However, we would appreciate the slightly more substantial cradle offset by at least half a centimetre upwards. The bottom edge of the phone is USB-Connector and telephone microphone. On the other hand, a 3.5mm jack connector and a secondary microphone were found on the top edge. When looking at the design of the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact, we must not forget the presence of IP68 certification. Under laboratory conditions, water resistance is guaranteed to a depth of 1.5 m for 30 minutes and full resistance to dust.
Fast and reliable fingerprint reader
The fingerprint reader must not be missing in any current Android smartphone of a higher price category, nor is the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact an exception. To unlock the phone, you first need to press the power key before the fingerprint is detected. However, the reader reacts so quickly that the phone unlocks virtually immediately after pressing the button. The accuracy of the reader is also of a very good quality, and we have only rarely experienced at the time of testing that the reader would not recognize the finger at the first attempt. We also like the placement of a button when the thumb is intuitively resting when holding the phone in the right hand and when the phone is caught in the left hand, the button is well-reached with a forefinger. The only problem can arise with some car holders that can overlap the button with the side mount.
Nice picture and top-notch sound
Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact uses a 4.6 ” IPS display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 px. The resolution may be low for the top smartphone ratios, but with a small diagonal, the screen will offer a 319-pixel image fineness. This is still quite good for normal use, and we did not think we needed a higher resolution display. On the contrary, we welcome the use of “only” HD resolution given its lower energy intensity. The display can be commended for excellent readability in the sun, vivid colours, or IPS display ratios of very good black rendering.
While in the display area the lower resolution can be considered a compromise, the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact is among the best in the market today. First of all, we need to highlight the stereo producers on the front. In the first place, they offer above-average quality reproduction for smartphones. Of course, the bass cannot be expected from the speakers on the phone, but the sound is loud enough, and the midday and the heights are outlined. Already traditionally great it is also the output of the 3.5 mm jack connector and deserves praise also hilarious preloaded music player with equalizer and many other settings.
Top equipment under the hood
One of the main attractions of Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact is a combination of small size and high performance. It does not assume anything less than the powerful and well-known Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset. It combines an eight-core processor with Kryo kernels of up to 1.9 and 2.45 GHz respectively and Adreno 540 graphics chip. This combination then adds 4 GB of memory. With the powerful hardware, you certainly do not have to worry about the phone making any current game of trouble. This is confirmed by the popular benchmark AnTuTu, in which the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact has earned more than 160 thousand points. Internal storage offers 32GB capacity which is less than 22 GB after the first phone start. Who does not have enough storage; it has the opportunity to extend the storage with a microSD memory card.
Connectivity to excellent
Just as the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact did not disappoint in performance, it did not disappoint the connectivity. Perhaps the only complaint we have is to use a slow USB 2.0 controller connected to modern USB-C. Otherwise, we can only praise. The Bluetooth is present in the latest version 5.0and fast Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac. LTE support at all important frequencies is practically a matter of course. However, we have to have a good signal reception, both Wi-Fi and mobile. For a long time, we have not made a phone in this area as great as the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact with which we have captured LTE even in places where every other phone stubbornly refused to show a net other than Edge. Well, the phone was also well-guided in positioning, which was detected by the GPS in a moment, and even in the area, we were navigating soberly.
Standard above average battery life
It’s not long before Sony suspected of using larger batteries than it says. Sony’s smartphone’s battery life is comparatively competitive with its competitors, yet the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact can offer above-average usage times despite the relatively smaller 2700 mAh battery. With our regular business use, consisting of several phone calls a day, mail handling, and instant messenger communications and, of course, constant sync with Wi-Fi and mobile data, we usually have a phone for two days. The next day, however, it lived just the same night.
As we had before, we did not have an original charger available, but with a non-genuine charger that supports fast charging Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, it took the phone to charge from 15% to 100% for just 1 hour 15 minutes. This is more than a solid performance. But make sure Sony does not get you a quick charger, and if you want to charge it above-standard, you’ll have to pay extra. Battery protection is very interesting. This should extend the life of the built-in battery by mapping your charging habits and adjusting the charging cycle. For example, if you give your mobile phone a regular charge when you go to sleep, it is charged at 90% first, and this level is the rest of the night. Only moments before you usually disconnect the phone from the charger will the battery recharge its full capacity.
Brisk and fresh system
Sony is one of the manufacturers who did not even think about creating their superstructures, but the design of the system in the phones of this manufacturer strongly reflects the current look of pure Android. This is not the case with Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact. It uses Android 8.0 Oreo for which this Japanese producer deserves only praise. Especially when the system runs on the phone very smoothly without any hint of deceleration, the applications are running virtually instantly on the phone. Only some third-party apps that cannot be uninstalled and users will be a problem.
Among the exciting features and applications we include:
- Quality music player with an equaliser
- Great gallery apps
- The ability to edit the appearance of a system using themes
- Lifelog monitors not only physical activity but also activity on the phone (surfing, playing games …)
- Implementing Google cards into a launcher
- Battery saving modes
- The ability to move apps to an SD card
- Excellent application assistant to make it easier to get to know the phone and less advanced users
Camera and video shooting
From a phone competing with the most undesired models on the market, peak performance is expected not only in performance but also in the camera. Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact is one of the most powerful photo phones, but unfortunately, there are no flagship models for this brand. The phone features a 19MPx Sony IMX400 sensor, electronic stabilisation, an f / 2.0 lens, and a laser focus and white balance colour sensor.
The resulting images are very good in many areas; praise deserves colour fidelity or enough depth of field. Very nice are also details that are a bit lost on the edges. Since the past, the best Sony camera has also learned to grasp a photo maker better, but in this respect, it still has some reserves. However, the biggest enemy of photography is, in general, post-processing, which is otherwise slightly downgraded by the hardware.
We are pleased to note, however, that even in the post-processing and ultimate quality of the photos, Sony is getting better year after year, bringing good-quality photos. However, if Xperia XZ1 Compact does not appear to us as a capable photo mobile, our review does not, do not be mistaken. Pictures taken in good light can already be compared to the best in the mobile industry in many ways, only when shooting in the dark, there is already a noticeable noise that many competitors can do better. So if we’re going to want to compare Sony’s new product with the best that the market currently offers, we’ll find some imperfections, but overall, the camera leaves a good impression. The phone works very well in the video shooting area, where it can capture up to the 4K video at 30 FPS. Most users, however, will probably prefer FullHD video at 60 FPS plus electronic stability. The icing on the cake is then slow-motion at 960 frames per second.
Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact photo application
The photo application also deserves praise, but it has not changed much since the past but has undergone several modifications and, above all, simplification. One example for all can be to move 4K videos from somewhat illogical placement between apps to classic video resolution settings. SuperAuto Auto Mode, which detects the scene itself and chooses camera mode accordingly, works quite well, but the more experienced photographer will undoubtedly appreciate the relatively sophisticated manual mode.
For a very good price tag, you get a true flagship model in a compact package. First of all, we have to praise Sony’s novelty for its uncompromising performance while still enjoying an excellent battery life. The manufacturer also worked on the camera, and alongside the ever-improving photos, it also produced high-quality 960fps slow-motion video. For example, add a good fingerprint reader, an excellent sound from both the speakers and the 3.5mm jack connector or very well optimised Android 8.0 Oreo, and you have the recipe for a great little smartphone. The design language may be annoying for some years, and Sony’s sounds are also boring. On the other hand, manufacturers cannot deny quality processing and praise the presence of IP 68 certification.
We are delighted that at least Sony is faithful to small devices from Android smartphone manufacturers. Moreover, these smartphones do good and avoid unnecessary compromises. We would just like competing manufacturers to come up with their alternatives. Greater competition would benefit this category.
+ small dimensions
+ high performance
+ accurate and fast fingerprint reader
+ high-quality camera
+ very well optimised Android 8.0 Oreo
+ excellent sound
+ water and dust resistance
– you do not get a quick charger in the package
– only USB 2.0
– some uninstallable third-party applications
What is The Current Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact Price and Availability Status?
You can click on the links below to view latest Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact price & availability.
Where to Buy Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact & Pay On Delivery
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