Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact are here to spearhead Sony's smartphone lineup

Victor, 31 August 2017

As expected, Sony brought the big guns to this year's IFA. The Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact are both finally official and yes, both are true flagship offers. It seems the Japanese giant has really taken the mission to saturate its flagship lineup to heart.

Starting off with the Xperia XZ1 and its 5.2-inch, FullHD display, it appears to be intended as sort of a runner-up to the XZ Premium. While the panel's resolution might be lower, it is still and excellent TRILUMINOS, X-Reality unit, with HDR support and 138% sRGB coverage. It borrows the cutting-edge Snapdragon 835 chipset and 19MP, Exmor RS, among other things as well. However, it is much more closely related to the Xperia XZ, as a more or less direct successor to its form factor.

Sony Xperia XZ1 from all angles Sony Xperia XZ1 from all angles Sony Xperia XZ1 from all angles Sony Xperia XZ1 from all angles Sony Xperia XZ1 from all angles
Sony Xperia XZ1 from all angles

Speaking of which, the devil lies in the details, and both the XZ1 and its Compact sibling have quite a few interesting new design specifics to boast about. The older three-piece construction has been replaced by a new unibody two-piece setup - metal on the XZ1 and a plastic compound for the Compact. Sony refers to it as a "loop surface".

The XZ1 also comes with Gorilla Glass 5 on the front, a new distinctive antenna design and a choice of four colors: Black, Warm Silver, Moonlit Blue and Venus Pink.

Sony Xperia XZ1 color options Sony Xperia XZ1 color options Sony Xperia XZ1 color options Sony Xperia XZ1 color options
Sony Xperia XZ1 color options

The side-mounted power button/fingerprint reader combo is still an integral part of the formula as well. And despite the design changes, the whole 147 x 73.4 x 7.4mm, 155-gram body is still IP65/68 certified.

In terms of hardware, besides the Snapdragon 835 chip, you also get 4GB of RAM and 64GB of fast UFS storage, expandable via microSD.

An excellent stereo audio setup completes the multimedia experience. Sony boasts a refined S-Force Front Surround setup for a more balanced stereo effect. Of course, you get a slew of other audio goodies, like Clear Audio+ and DSEE HX, to name a few.

Sony didn't skip on connectivity either. The Xperia XZ1 has LTE Cat.16, Dual-Band, MIMO Wi-Fi a/c, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC and a USB 3.1 cable connection, serviced by a Type-C port. Last, but not least, a 2,700mAh battery keeps the lights on, complete with Qnovo Adaptive charging and Quick Charge 3.0.

As expected, Sony's new flagships borrow the excellent main camera setup of the XZs and XZ Premium with a few software improvements sprinkled on top. That means the sharp 19MP, 1/2.3" Exmor RS sensor with a RAM buffer. It enables a slew of advanced features, like 960 fps HD video capture and Predictive Capture. Among the novelties is a smile-based trigger for said predictive capture, and an autofocus burst feature that refocuses between burst shots - a first on the mobile scene. Selfies on the XZ1 are covered by a 13MP, 1/3.06", Exmor RS sensor with a 22mm wide angle, f/2.0 lens.

On to the potentially even more exciting XZ1 Compact, which does mark the official return of the legendary Compact line to its flagship roots. With its 129 x 64 x 9.3 mm, 140 gram body, 4.6-inch display diagonal and decked-out speck sheet - pretty much identical to its bigger sibling - the XZ1 Compact has been a long time coming for small form factor lovers.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact
Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact

For the most part, the XZ1 Compact is indeed a shrunk-down version of the XZ1. The chipset, RAM, stereo audio setup and primary camera are identical on both models. They even share the same 2,700 mAh battery capacity. There are a few notable differences though. For one, the body shares the overall shape and design, but ditches metal for a glass fiber reinforced plastic compound. Don’t worry, though, the side-mounted fingerprint reader and IP65/68 rating are intact. Color options are a bit different as well, and include Black, Snow Silver, Horizon Blue and Twilight Pink.

The display has also taken a hit - resolution is down to 720p, and there is no HDR support on the Compact. The same goes for connectivity: LTE is rated at Cat. 15, despite the identical chipset, and the USB Type-C port is only backed by a USB 2.0 connection this time around. Thankfully, you still get the same impressive Wi-Fi setup, as well as NFC and Bluetooth 5.0.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact
Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact

Finally, the XZ1 Compact also features an interesting twist in the selfie department. It is equipped with an 8MP 1/4" ExmorRS sensor, with a super wide-angle lens on top. It has a FOV of 120 degree or 12.5mm equivalent for impressive group shots. Alternatively, you can also toggle its 80 degree FOV (22mm) mode as well.

In terms of availability, you can expect the Sony Xperia XZ1 to be available globally a week or two into September (likely September 17), bundled with a pair of wireless Sony h.ear on 2 Mini headphones as a bonus. The XZ Compact should be joining its ranks a couple of weeks after. Both will also ship with a fresh new Sony-skinned Android 8 Oreo ROM.


Reader comments

  • Anonymous
  • 28 Sep 2017
  • Ibx

Sony design is impressive on thus metal casing!

  • Anonymous
  • 14 Sep 2017
  • mgK

"so battery is not a problem here" Yeah, not like the screen, radio and other things consume battery as well.

  • Anonymous
  • 06 Sep 2017
  • krW

Yes. Give them excuses to offer less and make a profit off it so that soon that's all companies will do just because fanboys didnt want to admit to faults.

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