Hands-on review: Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

It’s just as powerful as the Z1, but you don’t need a thumb the size of a terrier’s leg [updated with video]
Hands-on review: Sony Z1 Compact

The HTC One Mini and the Galaxy S4 Mini acknowledge that not everyone has enormous hands, but they lack power. Not so the Z1 Compact, which tucks the same high-end specs as its big sister under a dainty 4.3in display.

Small but mighty

To further tickle the fancy of people with small hands - children, ladies and festival folk are obviously the key demographics here - Sony has clad the Z1C, sorry, Z1 Compact, in a range of colours. There’s silver black, a lurid greenish-yellow (‘Lime’, apparently) and a deep salmon pink. In the hand it has a nice premium feel - perhaps a little more chunky than the Z1 (it’s a millimetre thicker, at 9.5mm), but solid and well-made. It has the same waterproofing, with an IP55 and IP58 rating.

The 4.3in screen is 720p rather than the Z1’s 1080p, but in the smaller frame you’ll be pushed to notice the lower pixel density. It uses the same Triluminos and X-Reality tech to provide natural colours and fill in the missing pixels in video, and it looks very nice indeed.

Unlike the HTC One Mini or the Galaxy S4 Mini (or, for that matter, the iPhone 5C), the Z1 Compact isn’t hampered by budget specs. It has the same Snapdragon 800 chip, the same 2GB RAM, the same Category 4 LTE (4G) and the same 20.7MP camera as its more trouser-troubling stablemate. Like the Z1 you can add 64GB storage via a microSD card (there’s 16GB onboard), and like the Z1 it packs some very well-made camera apps. Although we haven’t had time to run it down, the battery is worth a mention: at 2300mAh, it has a much bigger fuel tank than the One Mini (1800mAh) or the S4 Mini (1900mAh).

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact: first thoughts


This phone isn’t really competing with the other Minis. It’s going up against the iPhone 5S in the high-end-but-normal-sized stakes. Accordingly it will probably be fairly expensive when it goes on sale in mid-February, so it’ll lighten your pockets both physically and metaphorically, at the same time.

Still, as the first 'Mini' that isn't mini on the inside, there's lots to like about the Z1 Compact. We'll give it a full going-over as soon as Sony let us.

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