That Sony has joined the likes of Samsung and HTC in producing a miniaturised version of its latest flagship may not be surprising, but what is notable is that the firm has included the same 20.7 megapixel camera seen on the high-end handset. So how does the Xperia Z1 Compact shape up overall?
Design and build
Sony has taken the form factor of the Z1 and trimmed a little of each side, keeping the overall look of its handset almost exactly the same. The glass front and rear panels remain, as does the metal band around the edge that adds to the handset’s industrial feel.
Covering most of the device’s ports are a number of plastic flaps, making it waterproof, and a physical camera button sits on the right hand side for underwater use. After all, a capacitive touchscreen won’t work underwater and this was something we felt was missing from the original Xperia Z.
Performance and display
The Z1 Compact has a staggering 2.2 GHz quad-core processor that is an excellent spec for a mid-range device. Performance is fluid and the handset should be able to handle the toughest things that a user can throw at it.
With a 4.3-inch display, the Z1 Compact is diminutive but still has plenty of room for showing off visuals. The screen is impressively bright, bringing high-res images to life and Sony’s X-Reality image enhancer appears to work very well even on this mid-range device.
Sony’s UI puts a subtle spin on Android, making just a few stylistic changes to the Jelly Bean software. The minimalist design ethic leaves the interface uncluttered, with the user having five homescreens to play with.
The Japanese firm’s distinctive Walkman and Movies apps are in place, offering vibrant and striking ways of accessing your digital content. In particular, we’re impressed by the animated background of the Movies app, which brings its interface to life.
Along with this, the Z1 Compact allows widgets to be added to the lock screen so that things like emails, calendar entries and a quick launch control for the camera can be shown.
As we mentioned, Sony has taken nothing away from its incredibly high-spec, 20.7 megapixel camera. There appears to be no loss in quality or capability with the jump to the mid-range and the quick tests that we have so far done have yielded some very impressive results.
From what we’ve seen, the Z1 Compact looks to be a serious contender to go up against the Galaxy S4 Mini and HTC One mini. The inclusion of Sony’s high-spec camera is a big bonus and the device’s compact but chunky form factor makes it comfortable to hold. We’ll be doing a full review at a later date, but for now it looks like Sony has done a great job of moving its ideas over to the mid-range market.