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Thread: Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Smartphone Review

  1. #1
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    Apr 2012

    Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Smartphone Review

    Sony has decided to do away with huge phablets and come out with a mini version of its Xperia Z1. Today I would be reviewing the Sony Xperia Z1 compact, a pocket friendly Smartphone. Sony has put in a good effort to add the best in this mid-sized phone. This mini version is priced at 440(SIM-free in the UK). To justify its price, Sony has given this new compact a 4.3inch display with a quad core processor, 2GB RAM and a 2300mAh battery.

    Apart from all these, one of the main attractions of Xperia Z1 Compact is its 20.7MP camera which should appeal the photographers out there looking for a decent camera in a Smartphone. Most of the specs are same as the original one though I found some general improvements in the new version. Let’s check out if Sony has successfully induced its small device with great functionality, as it claims. Before reviewing the device, let's have a look at the main highlights of the same:

    • Android 4.3 JellyBean Operating System
    • Single Aluminum frame with tempered glass on the front and back
    • IP55 / IP58 rating for dust and water resistance
    • 4.3 inch Triluminos Touch Screen Display with X-Reality for Mobiles
    • 1280 x 720 pixels resolution
    • 2.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974) processor
    • 2GB of RAM
    • 20.7 Megapixel rear camera with Exmos RS sensor
    • 2.2 Megapixel front-facing camera with 720p video recording
    • 1080p video recording with rear camera.
    • 16GB internal memory, expandable memory upto 64GB using microSD card
    • LTE / 3G, WiFi 820.11 a/b/g/n/ac , Bluetooth 4.0 with APT-X, GPS/ GLONASS, MHL, NFC
    • 2300mAh Battery with STAMINA mode

    Design and Packaging:

    As you would see the Sony Z1 and the compact look almost identical. The Z1 compact has a premium look like the Z1. It weighs around 137gms and has dimensions of 127 x 64.9 x 9.5 mm. it’s a pocket friendly app with a screen size of 4.3 inches with a resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels. Compact is available in lime hue, pink, white and black colour as shown in the image above. The metal edges compliment the body colour giving an overall charming effect to the phone. The micro SD and the micro USB slot are to the top of the handset while the Micro SIM slot is towards the bottom edge. The phone has a dedicated camera button and launches camera from lock screen on long press. The headset jack is at the top edge.

    Above the screen sits the 2MP front camera, while in the back there is another main attraction of the phone, the 20.7MP camera with a LED flash besides the lens. Towards the bottom you can see the speaker which muffles the audio when you place on any surface. Inside this cover sits the 2,300mAh Li-ion non removable battery and unfortunately this phone doesn’t support wireless charging.

    Compact is supported by 2GB RAM and 16GB internal memory which is expandable up to 64GB using the micro SD. The compact is built of aluminium and glass which gives it a premium look and feels good in hands unlike the plastic feel on most of the other smartphones. Since it is a high end Sony handset, it is IP58 waterproof and dust proof making it durable and safe to use.
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    Re: Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Smartphone Review

    Display / Screen:

    The Z1 compact features a nice 4.3 inch display with a screen resolution of 1280x720 pixels. I wouldn’t say it’s very impressive. Recently we have seen many new handsets with huge screen of up to 6 inches with much better resolution. The display on this one is Tri-luminos LCD display and there is no viewing angle problem that was seen in the Sony Z and Z1. The compact has visibly a wider viewing angle compared to the Sony Z and Z1. Colours look real and texts are readable at every angle, thanks to the X-reality engine.

    The subjects on the display look lively and sharp coz of that. There is a good improvement from the previous version; though a bit more is expected. Sunlight readability is good and screen has really good brightness even when set at 50%. With 6inch displays out there, 4.3inch looks like a small phone, however given the Sony technology, the output is magnificent and gives wonder viewing experience as well as gaming experience. Full HD videos run very smoothly and look great and so does the high graphic games.

    Hardware and Performance:

    The Z1 compact is processed by 2.2GHz Quad Core snapdragon processor. it is supported by 2GB RAM supporting very fast multitasking in the phone. I tried playing some really heavy games with apps running in the background, the phone performed very smoothly and I found no disturbance in my game. The Internet connectivity is really strong, Wi-Fi connection did not drop much while I was using; reception is really good. Also the call performance is up to mark, sound was clear and loud. As far as storage is concerned the phone has 16GB inbuilt storage expandable up to 64GB with micro SD. out of 16GB, 12GB is user memory; so there is no issues at all concerned to storage. You can store as many apps and your favorite games you want in this handset.


    Battery performance of this device gets a positive nod as it gives a good output. The 2,300mAh battery supports the phone for around 1 day and a bit more with average usage. With the connectivity options all, video playback, high brightness the phone is expected to stay up to 12hrs. So, looks like it’s a decent performance and on an average that’s what most of the smartphones offer. To push the battery life to the maximum, Sony has added two power saving modes.

    Like most of the battery saving app, on enabling it, the backlight, connectivity options, notification etc. gets disabled. You won’t really need those as the battery has a good performance on the standard mode. You need to bother only when you have no option of charging the phone for a couple of days.
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    Re: Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Smartphone Review


    Sony has really provided us amazing camera solution since they came into Xperia Z series. Following the same, Sony Z1 compact has an amazing 20.7 MP rear camera and a 2MP front camera. There is not much to say about the front facing camera but it’s good enough for video chatting and supports video recording at 1080p. The rear camera comes with 1/2.3-inch sensor with Exmor RS and BIONZ mobile image processing. This is one of the highest resolution camera on smartphone you would come across.

    Sony has tried to provide the best camera experience to the users; however it still cannot beat the Lumia 1020 PureView camera. The camera offers wide variety of modes to click according to the surrounding. The superior auto mode gave really amazing results with superior colours and sharpness. You can reset the exposure value, ISO, white balance etc. in the manual mode. Also the camera support full HD videos recording at 1080p. The steady shot option is preferable for videos and gives really good results. The sound of the videos is loud and clear given the good reception of the microphone.

    OS and User Interface:

    The Z1 compact runs on android 4.3 with the Sony specific UI. The UI is very similar to the Xperia handset, though if you are no so familiar with Sony handsets you would find some differences compared to other android smartphones. Typing with the swipe mode on the keyboard was not really my favorite moments; It took me a long time to get used to it. Ignoring this part, there are some really good options in the phone like you can view all the running apps on pressing the double square button which helps a lot. Also below this screen you can see few utilities and shortcuts option too.

    As mentioned before multitasking is smooth and you can switch to other apps without having to shut down the one you were using. The phone offers a glove mode, seen in other high end smartphones too, which makes the screen sensitive to the slightest touch. Which means you can surf through your handset using your gloves. The compact Z1 is expected to get the android 4.4 KitKat in a few weeks. While most of the new devices are shipping the android 4.4 already, Sony should ensure the update at the earliest to avoid disappointment among the users.


    Sony Xperia Z1 compact is the best option you have if you are looking around for good stuff that fit into your little palm. It’s not just the size of the phone but the performance in terms of camera, display, processor and battery is also splendid. The 20.7MP camera is one of the best you can find, apart from the Nokia Lumia’s 1020 PureView. Also battery life as you must have reviewed by now is decent. Also the build quality is really strong and looks premium, unlike the other plastic body smartphones.

    The only issue you may find is the cost, since it slightly expensive compared to the other mini phone is in the market. If you don’t go into very minute details then the phone is just an all-rounder and a good option to grab.

    • Premium build quality
    • Xperia Flagship specifications
    • Better battery backup
    • Impressive Camera Quality
    • Waterproof packaging

    • Old Jellybean OS
    • Bit overpriced
    • Poor Camera quality in low light environment
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