Sony Xperia X Compact Review
Sony’s latest line of Xperia X smartphones finally gave birth to a compact device called the Xperia X Compact — no surprises there. However, this is not like the previous Z Compact phones wherein they squeezed flagship specs in a smaller package. Instead, the internals are toned down while the form factor mirrors that of the Xperia XZ’s. How does it perform on a daily basis? We find out in this full review.
Design and Construction
The X Compact comes in a fairly simple package like most Xperia smartphones. Everything you need for a new smartphone is already inside including a pair of quality earphones, a USB Type-C cable, and a travel charger. It’s good to have the charger and cable separated like always as USB Type-C cables are not that common as of the moment. Of course, you get the smartphone with its stickers so you can peel them on your own.
The handset has a 4.6-inch display which is smaller than most smartphones today hence the “Compact” title. For comparison, the flagship Xperia XZ has a screen size of 5.2 inches. When it comes to its physique, the similarity to the XZ is uncanny with its all black hue and glossy finish.
Aside from the display, of course, there’s also a 5MP front-facing camera, a couple of helpful sensors, and a pair of stereo speakers. According to Sony, it has a scratch-resistant glass on the front treated with an oleophobic coating to repel those nasty grease marks. Still, it easily catches fingerprints during our time with it.
The right side is a familiar sight, especially for those who’ve owned a Xperia device lately. Sony still loves to place a dedicated shutter key for better camera shooting. The volume rocker is here as well and it’s positioned way lower than other smartphones since it doubles as a zoom key. The larger power button has an integrated fingerprint scanner so you can unlock your phone in a jiffy.
Going to the left side, we have a removable card tray that’s easy to access. It doesn’t use pins as it just needs to be pulled from the frame. It accepts a nano-SIM and microSD card but is not a hybrid tray, sorry.
On the top, we have the 3.5mm headphone jack and the secondary microphone for noise cancellation. You’ll also notice the rounded edge of the handset that’s different from previous squarish Xperias. This helps a lot with the grip of the phone.
Down at the bottom is the USB Type-C port. It’s reversible so you don’t have to guess which way is up. We don’t see any pinhole for the main mic which leads us to think that it’s hidden in the lower speaker grille on the front side.
At the back, you’ll see the simple yet sophisticated look of Sony’s design. As we’ve mentioned earlier, it has a glossy finish and it continues to the rear unlike the matte finish of the Xperia Z5 Compact. Squeezed at the top left area is the primary 23-megapixel f/2.0 camera along with its Laser AF and LED flash. The NFC logo is printed just below the Xperia logo just so you know where to tap the phone when pairing.
Design-wise, the phone is indeed a compact version of Xperia XZ sans the metallic body. However, since it has a smaller form factor, it makes handling the device a lot easier and is a nice breather from all the phablets we have today. It’s light, compact, and easy to pocket which could be what others are looking for. For those who still prefer the size of a 5.5-inch and beyond, this isn’t the (An)droid you’re looking for.
Display and Multimedia
While the flagship Xperia XZ has a modest Full HD display, the X Compact features a lower resolution of HD or 720p. It is somehow disappointing at first since a lot of phones in this range have at least 1080p resolution. Although most users won’t see the difference since it only has a 4.6-inch panel. You will notice some pixels, though if you look closely.
Other than the resolution, it has a bright and colorful enough display thanks to Sony’s proprietary enhancements and Triluminos technology. The front-facing stereo speakers also do their job well and do suffice for casual watching of videos. Although if you’re to watch a full-length movie, we think the screen is too small to enjoy even more so when you share content.
OS, UI, and Apps
The Xperia X Compact is running on Android’s 6.0.1 Marshmallow and is slated for an upgrade to Android 7.0 Nougat. This brings a drawer to house all your apps with the icons looking flat and neat. Carrying a 32GB worth of internal storage, there’s ample space for your media but if there is a need to expand, users may do so with the use of a microSD card which allows up to 256GB of extra space.
It comes with certain pre-loaded apps like Xperia Lounge, PlayStation app, Lifelog, News, Movie Creator, Sketch, and Amazon Shopping.
Overall, UI navigation is a smooth sailing affair for the Xperia XZ and jumping from app to app is speedy with no lags.
Carrying a 23-megapixel shooter that uses a 1/2.3-inch Exmor RS sensor with Triple image-sensing technology, the X Compact produced decent shots which are not surprising for Sony. Its predictive hybrid auto-focus also performed well and allows the user to just aim and shoot at sceneries. However, when the subject is moving, the images produced is still a hit and miss.
At night, its camera produces better low-light shots than other phones but be prepared to see digital noise. This is usually the tradeoff in these instances and it’s up to the user if he/she is fine with it. Personally, I can tolerate it but only up to a certain degree. Check out the sample shots below.
We also have some sample videos taken during the day and at night.
Performance and Benchmarks
What’s inside is similar to the Xperia X handset, which is the true parent if we’re to talk about the specs. It’s got a Snapdragon 650 hexa-core processor, Adreno 510 GPU, 3GB of RAM, 32GB internal storage, and most of the what the Xperia X has.
Although downgraded from the XZ’s Snapdragon 820, the X Compact still proved to be a capable everyday handset. There are some slight lags when jumping from one app to the other but we saw no apps crashing or anything of the sort. Overall, multitasking is very much welcome thanks to its sufficient 3GB RAM.
It’s also important to note that the X Compact is not certified as a dust- and water-resistant device which is a bit of a bummer as it’s what we’ve always expected of Sony handsets.
Just like the XZ, this phone has impressive fingerprint scanning performance which is quick and responsive when unlocking the device. It actually surprises people as the sensor is unassuming and doubles as the lock button.
Here are the benchmark results that we ran on the X Compact for comparison’s sake:
- AnTuTu: 77,609
- Quadrant Standard: 32,711
- Vellamo: 2,597 (Multicore), 2,563 (Metal), 5,080 (Chrome Browser)
- 3DMark: 881 (Sling Shot ES 3.1)
- PCMark: 6,145 (Work Performance 1.0)
Additionally, you may take a look at this side-by-side specs comparison against last year’s compact variant:
|Xperia X Compact||Xperia Z5 Compact|
|4.6-inch IPS LCD @ 1280 x 720 pixels, 323ppi||4.6-inch IPS LCD @ 1280 x 720 pixels, 323ppi|
|1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 hexa-core processor||2.10 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor|
|Adreno 510||Adreno 430|
|3GB RAM||2GB RAM|
|32GB internal storage||32GB internal storage|
|Expandable via microSD, up to 256GB||Expandable via microSD, up to 256GB|
|23-megapixel PDAF rear camera w/ LED flash||23-megapixel PDAF rear camera w/ LED flash, 4K recording|
|5MP front-facing camera||5MP front-facing camera|
|4G LTE||4G LTE|
|Wi-Fi 802.11ac||Wi-Fi 802.11ac|
|Bluetooth 4.2||Bluetooth 4.1|
|GPS w/ A-GPS, Glonass||GPS w/ A-GPS, Glonass|
|FM Radio||FM Radio|
|Fingerprint scanner||Fingerprint scanner|
|2700mAh Li-Ion battery||2700mAh Li-Ion battery|
|Android 6.0 Marshmallow||Android 6.0 Marshmallow|
|129 x 65 x 9.5 mm||127 x 65 x 8.9 mm|
|135 g||138 g|
Connectivity and Call Quality
Connectivity-wise, there’s a Cat. 4 LTE present along with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. We’ve tried pairing it with a speaker through NFC and it works like a charm. 4G connection was fairly stable but of course, that depends in your location.
Using it for calls is also what you’d expect with good call reception for both ends.
We subjected it to our usual benchmarking test through PCMark’s Work 1.0 Battery Test and it managed to last for 10 hours and 24 minutes. On the other hand, playing a video continuously on Airplane mode and brightness/volume set to 50%, it was able to last for 9 hours and 32 minutes before its battery got drained. We charged the phone from 0% and its 2700mAh battery reached 71% after exactly an hour of being plugged in.
This is actually a good performance and our video loop test ushered almost the same result as the Xperia XZ with its Full HD display and 2900mAh battery.
The Xperia X Compact features the same sexy body of its flagship model — only smaller. It’s a bit of a fingerprint magnet unlike the previous series but is fairly tolerable as long as you don’t mind wiping the body of the handset every once in a while.
It is still a decent performer despite sporting a lower-tier Snapdragon processor. Overall, multitasking is not a problem although we experienced occasional hiccups.
The phone has no waterproofing which is very un-Xperia-like but we guess the company dropped this feature to lower the price.
This unit is from Widget City which lists the Xperia X Compact for Php22,000 (see page here). It is available in white or black color but I personally prefer the attractive appeal of the black variant.
Sony Xperia X Compact (F5321) specs:
4.6-inch HD Triluminos display @ 1280 x 720px, 319ppi
1.8GHz Hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 650
Adreno 510 GPU
32GB internal storage
Expandable up to 256GB via microSD
23MP 1/2.3” Exmor RS rear camera with Triple image sensing technology, Predictive Hybrid AF
5MP 1/3.06” Exmor RS f/2.0 front camera
LTE Cat 4
Single SIM (Nano)
GPS w/ A-GPS
Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
2700mAh non-removable battery
129 x 65 x 9.5 mm
- Small form factor makes for easy handling
- Physical camera shutter button
- Fast autofocus for still subjects
- Decent battery life
- No dust and water resistance