Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Review – Pocket Starship

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Review - Pocket Starship

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Review – Pocket Starship

There has been a huge gap in the smartphone market in recent years. A gap that was created because of the onslaught of huge Android flagships that left consumers wanting small but powerful smartphones completely hopeless. Mini versions of these flagships were released but they never quite cut it. Now though, we have a real pocket rocket in our hands, and it’s the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact. Not to be confused by those misleading ‘mini’ phones, the Z1 Compact is a serious bit of kit and is here to make a big splash.

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact – Design


While almost always lacking in the hardware department, Sony smartphones have impressed us with their fantastic industrial design. And the Xperia Z1 compact is no exception. It makes use of a metallic rim running along the sides of the body and a glass covered back. Needless to say, it’s a bit of a looker. And the only small Android smartphone that might give iPhone users second thoughts before buying on looks alone. The glass back is prone to smudges however, so it’ll take some effort from the owner to keep the Z1 Compact in shining condition.

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Display

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact – Display


Sony smartphones have traditionally struggled when it comes to displays. They had the right ingredients but the end results were disappointing. And that was largely due to the horrendous viewing angles. Now though, Sony have done it right. The Z1 Compact might sport the old 720p resolution, but the quality of the display is top notch. Based on the X-Reality technology, the display offers great contrast, colors and finally, viewing angles. It’s right up their with the likes of the HTC One, and the lower resolution really doesn’t count against it. In fact, the lower resolution gives it a massive boost in performance and battery life.


Sony have gone all-in with the Xperia Z1 Compact. That’s because this little pocketable smartphone packs a serious punch. Underneath that petite body is a Snapdragon 800 SoC, which is definitely not a slow chip. The performance is actually quite similar to that of the A7 in the iPhone 5s. And thanks to the lower resolution, this smartphone is capable of playing even the most demanding of 3D titles effortlessly. Power users will not be disappointed with the Z1 Compact.

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Camera Sample

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Camera Sample – Courtesy: CNET


The Xperia Z1 Compact sports a 20.7 megapixel Exmor-RS sensor with optics from Carl Zeiss. Needless to say, the Z1 Compact is quite capable at taking good photos. Those 20.7 megapixels aren’t just a marketing gimmick. The fine detail picked up the sensor is higher than the detail in most 13 megapixel sensors on the flagship smartphones of today. There is some noise but it’s only present in the really dark areas of the photos. The video is impressive as well, with the only annoyance being the overly enthusiastic auto-focus system which can’t seem to decide on what to focus in a scene.

Battery Life

The Sony Xperia Z1 compact comes equipped with a 2300mAh battery. That may not sound much, considering the normal Z1 has a 3000mAh unit but once you factor in the smaller display, things start to look better. And tests show that that really is the case. With a 20 hour talk-time on 3G, the Z1 Compact returns impressive endurance results.


If you ever wanted a modern smartphone with top of the line specs and a smaller display, the Sony Xperia Z1 compact is the phone for you.