So this is the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact, it’s the smaller version of the regular XZ-1 but it doesn’t lose out on the specifications and for the most part offers the same experience as the XZ-1 with very few compromises. The phone features the same hardware, the same specs the same camera and the same software. There are few key differences between the XZ-1 and the Compact one the most obvious is the design and its design.
The XZ-1 Compact has a flatter, more boxy and rectangular design and has closer resemblance to older Sony phones. Whereas the standard XZ-1 was still a rectangular slab overall features aggressive tapers and curves. The other difference is in the phone’s build material, while the XZ-1 has the all metal body the Compact version switches that to mostly plastic but it does have some metal on the top and bottom portions of the phone.
Despite the plastic build the phone doesn’t feel cheap in the hand and has a satin like finish so it’s not slippery and doesn’t attract any fingerprints. It not the prettiest or most forward-looking design but if you are a Sony fan you’re probably not going to have any complaints. The main attraction to XZ-1 compact is the smaller size and compared to every other smartphones released in 2017 this thing feels extremely tiny even with the chunky bezels.
It feels refreshing and kind of cool to use a smartphone that fits so easily in the palm of your hand and it’s nice to be able to reach every corner of the screen without having to shuffle your phone or use the other hand.
A smaller phone obviously means a smaller screen and that’s one of the downside of this phone too. Watching videos and playing games can feel a little bit cramped since you don’t have a whole lot of screen to work with. It’s a 4.6-inch IPS LCD 720p resolution covered with corning Gorilla glass 5, after using the qHD displays you can notice the difference but 720p resolution work perfectly with smaller screen. It’s sharp enough for reading text or browsing the web, you also get vibrant colors and good viewing angles with the power of Sony’s Triluminos Display and X-Reality Engine.
There’s 32GB of storage on-board and a micro SD card slot for extra and like most phones in 2017 its IP68 certified against water and dust. There’s a fingerprint sensor embedded in the side mounted power key but sadly not in the model released in the US. The Guts showed up by Sony is by providing the flagship specs with Snapdragon 835 chipset and 4GB of RAM and as expected the phone performs really well in daily use. It’s fluid and responsive, fast to load app and games and since there’s a less strain on the processor because of the 720p resolution, it boosts the performance.
Despite being smaller in form size it still has the 2700mAH battery as in the XZ-1 but battery life if significantly better again because of the smaller and 720p display, it last for at least 2 days with medium to heavy usage. With standard Quick Charge 3.0 you are again ready with a quick top-up.
Everything else is pretty much identical to the regular XZ-1. For starters there’s 3.5mm headphone jack with support for Sony’s proprietary audio technology that will upscale the compressed music codecs to give you a closer to high-resolution sound and support for other high-resolution audio formats too. The phone also front facing stereo speakers, so while the top and bottom chin are pretty big for this purpose.
It also has the same 19-MP Exmor sensor at the back with 5-axis image stabilization, 4k video recording and slow-motion video at 960fps which is really impressive. The image quality are pretty decent with pleasant looking colors and good detail under good lights. The dynamic range lacks details in the shadows and not having OIS hurts image quality in low-light as they look over-processed and not as sharp as they could.
The front facing camera is at 8-mp instead of 13-mp on XZ-1 but it’s still perfectly fine for taking selfies and it’s a wide angle so it’s easy to fit more into the frame. The new and standout feature with this camera is the new 3D scanning capabilities, with this you can scan people’s faces, food or anything you want. These 3D images can be used as wallpapers turn into Gifs and share to social media. The scans are very accurate and can be printed off through a 3D printer.
On the software side the XZ-1 Compact runs Android 8.0 Oreo out-of-the-box and most if not all the features of Oreo remain intact like notification dot, picture-in-picture, improved visual tweak, better auto-fill API, etc. It has Sony’s usual skin on top but the experience is pretty close to stock Android as it is free from bloatware.
Now this the Sony XZ-1 really didn’t gather any great number of buyer because of its outdated boxy look and bigger bezels and chin and the price tag too.
The XZ-1 Compact is due to launched in November, with a price tag of 41,000/- INR approx. Many will feel this is a lot, when you can get more features by paying lesser than this, but it is how much you value the one-handed comfortable usage and the flagship specifications in this size, and yes if you are a fan of Sony’s premium looks, powerful media house and durability. Let’s wait for this performance in the market too.
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