- Jonathan Bray , Expert Reviews
Better in some ways than the Z5 Compact, but worse in others, Sony's new compact smartphone fails to move forwards.
- Lanh Nguyen , Android Authority
The Sony Xperia X Compact is designed for people who still want a small phone without a lot of compromises.
- Crisp, bright display
- Comfortable grip
- Easy one-handed use
- microSD support
- Plenty of internal storage
- All-day battery life
- No fingerprint scanner on US model
- Hit-or-miss camera quality
- Odd button placement
If you’re looking for a phone that still fits in your pocket or doesn’t rival the size of the tablet on your nightstand, options seem to get slimmer each year. Sony’s Compact series have always turned heads by offering the classic smaller phone experience with a premium flagship treatment.
The latest entry in the series is out--the Sony Xperia X Compact--and reviews are rolling in. Is this small phone worth its big price tag? Let’s see what reviewers are saying!
In a world of 5+ inch phones, most reviewers loved the smaller 4.6-inch size of the X Compact. While the phone’s shell is made from plastic, few reviewers had any complaints. TechRadar noted, “While it does give off the high-end look it aims for, it collects small scratches and fingerprint smudges a little too easily.” Android Authority was more positive, saying, “It feels good in the hand, partially due to its novel size, but also thanks to the curved edges and polycarbonate material. The X Compact feels sturdy, light and is refreshingly easy to use with one hand.”
Button placement received mixed reviews. While it includes the standard headphone jack and USB-C ports at the top and bottom, Sony opted to put the rest of the controls along one side of the device. Some reviewers felt this made volume changing difficult. Others loved the addition of a dedicated camera button.
Heading around front, you’re greeted by a 4.6-inch Triluminous 720p display. While the resolution is lower than many flagships, so is the screen size. Reviewers all raved about the level of detail and color from the phone. PC Magazine stated, “I had no problem seeing the phone under direct sunlight.”
Inside the phone, Sony went with a six-core Snapdragon 650 processor. Paired with 3GB of RAM, the processor appears to provide snappy performance. TechRadar put the phone through its paces and declared, “Whether you play a game that requires tilt, or one that demands power, the X Compact doesn't break a sweat - even when we thought it would.”
If you’re planning to install a lot of apps and games or take your media collection on the go, the phone’s 32GB of storage should suffice. Reviews found roughly 19GB of space is available after Android and pre-installed apps. Should you need more space, microSD support makes upgrading simple.
The phone run a modified version of Android Marshmallow 6.0.1. Sony has promised a future update to Android Nougat. Reviews on the interface are mixed with some loving the bright colors and added features.
Another area where reviews are mixed is the camera. The 23MP rear-facing camera includes a wide-angle lens and Sony’s 5x Clear Image technology--allowing for reduced detail loss when using the digital zoom. The front-facing 5MP lens is more than enough for selfies or video chat. In good lighting, reviews of the camera are stellar. However, in less ideal environments, reviews get inconsistent. GSM Arena noted, “Image quality on the Sony Xperia X Compact is a mixed bag. For one, the level of detail is very high - in high-intricacy subject matter (foliage, for example) it's hard to rival the 23MP sensor's resolution. All that detail, however, is mixed up with tons of noise and the resulting texture looks unnatural from up close, and not too pleasing.”
Of course, none of these features do any good without the phone being able to keep a charge while using them. Although the phone’s 2,700mAh battery looks small on paper, reviews show it’s more than capable of pulling a full day of battery life with typical usage. Light users might even make it two days. Support for QuickCharge 2.0 and 3.0 ensures quick top ups when needed.
International variants of the phone include a fingerprint scanner. However, the US models do not.
Overall, the biggest issue reviewers had with the phone wasn’t about the phone itself--it was the price. Ars Technica summed up opinions well, saying, “X Compact is a good smartphone, but it's not a great smartphone.” Unfortunately, it carries a “great phone” price tag, so finding similar (or better) features at the same price isn’t hard.
Reviews (7.5/10 Avg. rating)
Small body with great capabilities
Best small Android smartphone
No more high-end
A tiny phone with a camera that will blow you away
A passable mid-ranger, let down by an ugly design
Small size and midrange specs at a high price
A rare step backwards
The Sony Xperia X Compact isn’t a bad phone, but it’s one I find very difficult to endorse. Chiefly that’s due to the handset putting the squeeze on all smartphones in the mid-range to high-end space: the OnePlus 3. Weaker on every metric, except one, perhaps: its size. It’s true that smaller smartphones are hard to come by, and this would be the best out there… except it’s actually a step back from last year’s Xperia Z5 Compact in terms of performance, and aesthetic. Now, in Sony’s defence, the X Compact launches at £90 cheaper th... Full review
Small Android is still good, but not much better
The X Compact is Sony's way of bringing a small handset into its new line of smartphones and is a way for it to bring its advanced camera experience to a compact device. It's a decent handset for those who want a solid Android device with a smaller footprint and also require the flexibility of full photo and video controls. But if you're not interested in the new photo perks, the Z5 Compact is the better option, as it has a longer battery life, a faster processor, and a more durable design. Also, now that the Z5 Compact has been on the market for a while, you can usually get it for less tha... Full review
Small, but not quite as mighty
Great size, long-lasting battery, dependable camera
Darn, there are no reviews yet for this phone.
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