Sony’s response to the watered-down “Mini” versions of other brands is the Xperia Z1 Compact. While smaller in size, it is by no means weaker in hardware. In fact, it’s almost the same as the flagship Xperia Z1 launch several months ago.
The Xperia Z1 was among the best handsets during the last quarter of 2013. It had almost everything that all other flagship handsets boast of plus a little bit more in the weather-proofing department.
So before we share with you this quick review of the Z1 Compact, go read up on our Xperia Z1 review first.
The Xperia Z1 and Z1 Compact shares the same design signature, including water-proofed and dust-proof casing. While the Z1 has a 5-inch display, the Z1 Compact only has 4.3 inches. That’s a significant size difference but considering that around two years ago, 4.3 was the norm.
With the smaller form factor, the Z1 Compact has better handling, good grip and comfortable on the hands. The placement of the ports are almost the same — power button and volume controls on the right side along with the dedicated camera button; the water-sealed cap for the microSD card slot, micro-USB port and the micro-SIM slot are all on the left side.
The 4.3-inch display also looked more richer and vibrant on the Z1 Compact compared to the original Z1. While the screen resolution is now down to just 720p (1280×720 pixels), the display quality is still very good.
Here’s the complete hardware configuration of the Xperia Z1 Compact.
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact specs:
4.3-inch IPS LCD Triluminous display @ 1280×720 pixels, 342ppi
Qualcomm MSM8974 Snapdragon 800 2.2 GHz quad-core CPU
1/2.3-inch 20.7MP Exmor RS CMOS image sensor
27mm wide angle and bright F2.0 aperture
BIONZ for mobile image processing engine
16GB of internal storage
up to 64GB via microSD
HSPA+, LTE 150Mbps
WiFi a/b/g/n, WiFi Hotspot
GPS with aGPS support, GLONASS
IP55/58 dust and water resistance
Android 4.3 Jellybean
Note that due to the smaller size, the battery capacity is also reduced significantly compared to the Z1.
Benchmark results are also impressive with Antutu scores reaching 33,442 points and Quadrant at 21,523 points. Vellamo scores are 2,688 and 1,187 for HTML5 and Metal, respectively. Nenamark 2 got a final score of 59.6fps.
These are almost the same scores we got from the Xperia Z1 before.
Since the Z1 Compact comes with the new LTE chip, it’s supposed to reach up to 150Mbps. Of course that’s just the theoretical speed. We tested it out using our Smart LTE microSIM and got these results.
Not the fastest we’ve seen around but we got up to 14Mbps at one time in SM MOA. What’s a little weird though is that we’re getting better results at H+ than on LTE (could be the areas where we tested it).
Then, there’s that same 20-megapixel camera that took really good photos and videos both above and under water, in broad daylight or under low light conditions.
Here’s a sample video we took from last time.
Tick on the HD settings to see the full 1080p video.
Battery life is something that we were not impressed with with the previous Xperia Z series. There was a significant improvement with the Z1 compared to the Z but the Z1 Compact inherited its battery life from the Z and not the Z1. It’s decent but not that great. More on that on our full review in a week or two.
We liked the Xperia Z1. We could not really say the same with the Z1 Compact. It certainly has its target market — those who yearn for a powerful handset in a not-so-huge form factor. That being said, it’s either you’ll love that combination or you’ll just settle for the original Z1 altogether.
The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is not yet officially released in the Philippines but Widget City is already selling units for a listed price of Php23,760 (see listing here).