The "1-Minute" Review
- The camera performs poorly in most lighting situations
- The camera is slow to focus
- Chunky body
Tired of all those large smartphones? Then the Sony Xperia XZ1 compact might be right up your alley.
Measuring in at 5-by-2.5-by-0.37 inches, the XZ1 compact is small enough to slide into your pockets and use one-handed. It’s on the thicker side when compared to other smartphones in the same price range. Still, when compared to many flagships, it lives up to its compact name.
However, it also has thick bezels around the screen. This is due to the overall construction and layout of various components from the power button to the camera sensor.
While many manufacturers are turning to aluminum and glass for the body, Sony has used a glass fiber woven plastic. While some had no issues with it, others thought the body felt and looked a bit cheap.
It comes with an IP65/68 rating for decent water- and dust-sealing. So, it should survive a brief dunk it a puddle or tub.
For those used to QHD, the 4.6-inch 720p display might be disappointing. But for its size, it provides adequate sharpness. In comparison, the iPhone 8 is only a tad sharper.
Even if it might not claim the title of sharpest screen on the market, the XZ1 Compact makes up for it by offering vibrant colors, excellent viewing angles, and good outdoor visibility. Still, its small screen size might be a detriment for games and movies.
Crammed into this small package is 4GB of RAM and an octa-core Snapdragon processor -- the same guts as found in the standard XZ1. As expected, reviewers found the phone incredibly speedy. Apps opened fast and there were no hiccups or slowdowns when multitasking. Even graphics-intensive games played without a hitch.
Armed with the same 2,700mAh battery found on its larger sibling, the compact ekes more life from it due to its smaller screen size. In real life testing, critics could easily get through the day even with heavy usage.
Sadly, the camera proved to be a weak link for the XZ1 Compact. At 19MP, the rear sensor should capture some beautiful detail. Yet, in practice, the pictures ended up a mixed bag.
While experts could get some impressive photos in good lighting situations, mixed- or low-light images often looked grainy.
They also discovered the autofocus system often struggled in anything but sunny conditions. This combined with a lack of optical image stabilization often led to blurry photos.
Overall, reviewers recommend the XZ1 if you specifically want a smaller phone. Digital Trends states, “If you’re a diehard Sony fan, or have your heart set on s small form factor... XZ1 Compact is worth considering. Everyone else can do better.” Android Authority adds, “In this day and age a small sized smartphone with flagship specs is hard to come by and if one-handed usability is your main priority, you won’t find a phone that does it better than the XZ1 Compact.”
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