Sony Xperia X Compact review: Small and brave

Small and brave

GSMArena team, 17 September 2016.

Synthetic benchmarks

The Xperia X Compact is powered by the same Snapdragon 650, found in the Xperia X. While that seems logical, the Compact moniker used to mean the current Qualcomm top-end model, but you won't find the Snapdragon 820 here.

Sony Xperia X Compact review

This midrange SoC is no slouch, though. Its CPU is built up of 2 powerful Cortex-A72 cores clocked at 1.8GHz, and another 4 Cortex-A53 cores limited to 1.4GHz. The GPU is Adreno 510. Unlike last year's Z5 Compact, the X Compact comes with 3GB of RAM, as much as the XZ flagship and the X Performance.

We've had the Snapdragon 650 visit at the office on a number of occasions, including the Xperia X itself, so we have a general idea what to expect in terms of benchmark performance. All previous devices, however, had 1080p displays, so it would be interesting to see just how much better the chipset will fare with the X Compact's 720p resolution.

That said, we'll be starting with CPU performance, as usual, and we'll be looking at some GeekBench 3.0 scores. Apparently, the Snapdragon 650 has been tuned differently on the X Compact, as in the single-core test it delivers a noticeable bump in performance compared to the plain X. A score above 1500 is more like the norm here though, looking at the two Xiaomis.

In the multi-core test, the X Compact manages to edge ahead of the Z5 Compact, which has a Snapdragon 810 - that's the difference a year makes in the development of midrange chipsets.

GeekBench 3 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6s
    2542
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    2273
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    1543
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    1536
  • Sony Xperia X Compact
    1513
  • Sony Xperia X
    1367
  • Xiaomi Mi 4s
    1254
  • Huawei nova
    941

GeekBench 3 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    5460
  • Huawei nova
    4911
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    4427
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    3861
  • Sony Xperia X Compact
    3848
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Compact
    3796
  • Sony Xperia X
    3796
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    3695
  • Xiaomi Mi 4s
    3147
  • Apple iPhone 6
    2924
  • Alcatel Idol 3 (4.7)
    1447

Antutu gauges overall performance, and according to the latest pre-6 version of this benchmark, the X Compact pulls ahead of the Z5 Compact as well. The X Performance is still in the lead, but the iPhone 6s is behind, though we're not sure just how well this lends to cross-platform comparisons.

In Antutu 6, the gap between the Snapdragon 820 and 650 grows wider, perhaps because it puts more emphasis on graphics performance. The differences between the four S650 devices we've tested are marginal. We have no Antutu 6 results of the Z5 Compact, unfortunately.

AnTuTu 5

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    71378
  • Sony Xperia X Compact
    65305
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Compact
    61481
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    59074
  • Alcatel Idol 3 (4.7)
    22321

AnTuTu 6

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6s
    129990
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    116217
  • Sony Xperia X
    77537
  • Sony Xperia X Compact
    76731
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    76186
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    74488
  • Huawei nova
    65021
  • Xiaomi Mi 4s
    59850

Another indication of all-round performance comes from Basemark OS II 2.0. The X Compact is again a smidgeon ahead of the X, and substantially behind the X Performance. What's more important is that the X Compact significantly outperforms the Xperia Z5 Compact from last year.

Basemark OS 2.0

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6s
    2195
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    2179
  • Sony Xperia X Compact
    1738
  • Sony Xperia X
    1714
  • Xiaomi Mi 4s
    1545
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Compact
    1440
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    1426
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    1362
  • Huawei nova
    1218
  • Alcatel Idol 3 (4.7)
    572

Raw graphics performance on the Xperia X Compact is understandably not on par with the X Performance - in Basemark X the Snapdragon 820-powered device scores nearly twice as high as the X Compact. The Z5 Compact is also in a different league, compared to this year's Compact.

Basemark X

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    28450
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Compact
    23703
  • Apple iPhone 6
    17054
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    15487
  • Sony Xperia X Compact
    15415
  • Sony Xperia X
    15087
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    14717
  • Xiaomi Mi 4s
    12990
  • Huawei nova
    10511
  • Alcatel Idol 3 (4.7)
    1578

Moving on to GFXBench, in the offscreen 3.0 Manhattan test, the X Performance does about 3 times as many fps as the X Compact. In the onscreen version, rendered at the devices respective resolutions, the X Compact (Snapdragon 650, 720p display) doubles its score, but is still roughly 30 percent behind the X Performance (S820, 1080p) and the Z5 Compact (S810, 720p). Here, the Xperia X stands no chance with a combination of the weaker S650 and FullHD resolution.

In the more intense 3.1 Manhattan, the ratio between the various Xperias is kept, with the notable exception of the Z5's excellent onscreen result.

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    41
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    39.5
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Compact
    25
  • Apple iPhone 6
    17.7
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    15
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    14
  • Sony Xperia X Compact
    14
  • Sony Xperia X
    14
  • Xiaomi Mi 4s
    13
  • Huawei nova
    10
  • Alcatel Idol 3 (4.7)
    1.8

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6s
    53.6
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Compact
    39
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    38
  • Apple iPhone 6
    29.2
  • Sony Xperia X Compact
    29
  • Sony Xperia X
    15
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    15
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    14
  • Xiaomi Mi 4s
    12
  • Huawei nova
    10
  • Alcatel Idol 3 (4.7)
    2.7

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    30
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Compact
    18
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    9.4
  • Sony Xperia X
    9.2
  • Sony Xperia X Compact
    9.1
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    9
  • Xiaomi Mi 4s
    8.1
  • Huawei nova
    6.3

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia Z5 Compact
    38
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    31
  • Sony Xperia X Compact
    21
  • Sony Xperia X
    10
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    9.4
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    9
  • Xiaomi Mi 4s
    7.9
  • Huawei nova
    6.5

A few conclusions are in order, but the short version is that the Xperia X Compact is doing fine with the Snapdragon 650. The X Performance, well, outperforms the X Compact across the board, despite the adverse effects of the higher-res display. The X Compact is on par, or better than the Z5 Compact in all tests, but intense 3D gaming, where this year's model still performs adequately.

Reader comments

  • kacy

My sony xperia gets heated up whenever i start my phone camera. I cant use the back camera!! Any advice???

  • Big bear

Oh yeah! Plastic phones FTW! And Compact ! And... It is a Sony! I'm No fan boy, bit I have always liked Sony products, from stereo to phone. My gf has this one before. It is really Sturdy but the camera is No Good.

  • No SONY No PARTY

Awesome