Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact review

25 September 2017
The Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact is a rare breed - it's small on the outside, but big on the inside. Packed with all the latest hardware and having only a small screen to power, Sonyís latest super-mini may very well be the performance champion to beat. But whenever there is a superhero, there is a villain lurking in the shadows. So yes, the Compact has its own battle to fight thatís not all about size or speed.

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  • Anonymous

Good specs but very thick

AnonD-633729, 27 Sep 2017Sony should rename their xperia series to brick series, eg., bri... moreHey, your fav Note 8 is a brick too. Havent you noticed?

  • essense

GSMA is surely one of the better sites with proper reviews, proper tests and no Apple-bias. But there are still some things GSMA (and most other tech sites) ignore in a review. I also notice, GSMA used to fight the good fight for removable batteries and list a sealed battery as a con. But the way things are going, can't blame GSMA for giving up. That said, the XZ1 Compact has some incredibly commendable stuff that is more praiseworthy than bezels, metal, benchmarks and pixel density.
1) 108 Hours endurance. Ten years after the iPhone, one would think, smartphones would get even more efficient. But the only thing that has happened is power banks getting popular. Sure, the endurance rating is highlighted, but doesn't get the credit it deserves.
2) 4.6 inch screen. A year or two ago, the gripe with people who liked small phones had was that there were no flagship small phones. Today, there are simply no small phones. There's this, the iPhone SE (too small) and the Samsung Galaxy A3 (bigger than the Compact). The world needs more one-handed, compact phones.
3) Plastic body. Metal is all great and premium till it gets its first ding or scratch. And that scratch is most probably because the premium surface slipped from your fingers. There is no point of beauty and premium-ness if it has to be covered by an ugly case.
4) SIM/SD card eject tray. When Steve Jobs held aloft the first iPhone, he said, God gave us the greatest stylus -- our finger. So you didn't need one hand to hold the phone and the other to operate it. The irony is ten years later, we are back at needing two hands. And also special, tiny pins to do routine things like changing the SIM or memory card. I travel a lot internationally. Which is why I still use a plastic 2013 Moto G. Remove back cover, put in local sim, put back cover. While people around me have forgotten or misplaced or are asking around for that tiny ejector pin in their premium, metal slim phones. I know people who have gone without a local sim in a foreign land because they didn't have that tiny 'prick'.
Such things make the XZ1C unique. A reflection of our times that we have more computing power in our palms than probably NASA had over half a century ago. But instead of looking at durability, utility, longevity, we are down the road where fragility and lack of access to the insides of your device are considered an asset. Good thing to see the XZ1C has these things covered, whether reviewers highlight them or not.

  • Anonymous

I already have been using this for a couple of days now and boy it lasts 1 day and a half non hardcore usage.

AnonD-175235, 26 Sep 2017Now tell me if your A series will not degrade on battery life af... moreI'm highlighting xz1 compact battery life, not the A

dice, 27 Sep 2017wonders why the UI hasnt changed since a long time. The current ... moreMaybe sony make their ui to modern at the time, for example, take samsung TouchWiz at the jellybean day and compare it to today ui style, it will seem so bland, while if you take sony jellybean ui, and compare it to today standard, you will see it follow the checkbox

  • Surficial

AnonD-700950, 27 Sep 2017it scores well just like the oled screens. and 1080p is impossib... moreIf sony is listening, they should release a 64gb hybrid dual sim version, shouldn't take too much to develop.

  • dice

wonders why the UI hasnt changed since a long time. The current UI looks exactly similar to the UI of my old Xperia L, which had Jelly bean in it.

  • AnonD-635604

The battery life is killing...ouch

  • taiyo

I have had z3c for just over two years bought used and I love the size of it and I looove android. All other phones are tooo big and now I can finally upgrade. Plus, those pink and blue colors are gorgeous.

Although I am super hyped for this I have to wait to get it. More apps need oreo support before I get it. Hopefully no serious pitfalls are discovered in that time.

  • AnonD-700950

Anonymous, 26 Sep 2017If it had a 1080p oled screen and wireless charging I would buy ... moreit scores well just like the oled screens. and 1080p is impossible on 4.6 screen anyways. if you want small compact device you must forget FHD on them , as if it matters aynways ?

I doubt you will notice the difference between FHD and 720p using 4.6 inch screen.

However , If sony chooses to go zero bezel design ? They can make a 5 inch phone the same size and then not only FHD is possible , also 4K screen on 5 inch display.

Lets hope that the next compact phone comes without those bezels ...

The only thing stopping me from getting this phone is the stupid 32GB or storage. that mistake killed the phone.

and I dont care about wireless charging. Qualcom fast Charging 3 is more important than slow wireless charging.

  • AnonD-633729

Sony should rename their xperia series to brick series, eg., brick XZ, brick XZP, brick XZ1, etc.

  • Mike

love this Compact so much, Sony

  • Anonymous

Lex79, 26 Sep 2017Your right, Sony have done wonders regards 4K video recording. I... moreHere is another phone that makes great video

V30 vs $ 50,000 Red Weapon

Lex79, 26 Sep 2017Your right, Sony have done wonders regards 4K video recording. I... moreXZ Premium can use AR effects and record 4K literally forever without overheating to the point where it just ran out of storage and had to stop recording in a test. All new Sony phones with SD835 of newer should not suffer from overheating at all.

Finally the first phone to truly beat the Z3C.

Surficial, 26 Sep 2017Ouch. Maybe a teardown will reveal if it has a graphite heat pl... moreSony confirmed the use of a heat-plate and pipe on the XZ1C during their conference at IFA.

  • AnonD-697839

AnonD-703446, 26 Sep 2017So now for the big question: which color to get?I would get the twilight pink :)

  • Surficial

Lex79, 26 Sep 2017Your right, Sony have done wonders regards 4K video recording. I... moreOuch.
Maybe a teardown will reveal if it has a graphite heat plate in that's so effective in the xz premium.

  • acristo

Well, you mentioned P10's advantage "bigger battery" where it behaves much worse than XZ1 Compact. What's the point of mentioning this then?