Analysis of the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact: the Return of the Powerful Compact

After the last year’s experiment in the medium compact class with the Xperia X Compact. Sony has decided to return to Xperia XZ1 Compact. If Sony deserves the consequence to return in 2017, or if the XZ1 is going to be another tremendous failure, we will tell you in this analysis.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact – Availability and Price

Since the introduction of the Xperia Z3 Compact in 2014, the IFA is important for Sony. Every year he brings his flagship to the IFA stand. Unfortunately, last year with its 4.6-inch screen terminal disappointed its fans, because the Xperia X Compact came with a rather middle-class hardware.

In 2017 Sony returns with Xperia XZ1 Compact to its origins in compact quality Smartphones and it is that in such a manageable size, it is practically the same hardware as in the Xperia XZ Premium. The expensive and versatile hardware of the XZ1 Compact is noticed again in its price. Xperia X Compact came out with a market price in 2016 of 450 euros, while the Xperia XZ1 Compact costs 599 euros of output.

Who looks for a powerful smartphone of concentrated size, will not currently have more alternative in the Android world than the Xperia XZ1 Compact. As of autumn, it will be available in black, silver, blue or pink.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact – Design and Finishing

Sony remains true to its design with the Xperia XZ series. Its 4.6 inches are a wide size, compared to current trends. But according to Sony, it is impossible to modify it, for the components and its internal positioning. Only with the side fingerprint detector integrated with the power button 1.5mm depth is required and behind the edges above the screen, in addition to the speakers is the Motion Eye camera, 19Mp, with the triple sensor.

In the area under the screen, there is a second speaker and a USB port type C. Sony has learned from the past and has positioned the PCB board, that is, the semiconductor board, L-shaped, to keep as far as possible the main processor of the camera sensor. It also integrates a Heat pipe (a small metal tube that dissipates heat), so when we record in 4K quality, both the camera sensor and the Snapdragon 835 have enough capacity to dissipate the heat.

It is a pity that they have not considered the Premium concept in the case again. Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact comes in matte plastic, reinforced with carbon wires for greater stability. The use of carbon wires is not an economic solution, but a technical one. Thus, it is not necessary to build the many antennas outwards, but they can be hidden inside. That’s why the Xperia XZ1 Compact with LTE Cat.15 achieves a maximum download speed of up to 800 Megabit per seconds.

In XZ Premium only the lower and upper margins are metallic. Xperia XZ1 Compact, however, obtains again the standard protection for dust and water IP65 / 68, which was not seen in the last year model.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact – Screen

The screen of the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact does not offer the same quality as a traditional high-end Smartphones offered. Its 4.6-inch IPS panel dreams of offering 4K resolution and HDR quality like it’s found on TVs. Honestly for these screen diagonal dimensions is more than enough HD resolution offered which is the maximum brightness if it is to boast about 600 nits and is also protected by a Gorilla Glass 5.

The screen has proven to be more than good. It is bright enough to be readable in direct sunlight, as well as highly adjustable to adapt to darker environments. The biggest advantage of the XZ1 Compact screen is the diagonal of the screen. With 4.6 inches you can drive very easily with just one hand. At a time when the screens have reached the limits of the hand, a small phone is a relief.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact – Software

The software has been a pleasant surprise since Sony put Android 8.0 Oreo versions in both the XZ1 and XZ1 Compact. Sony still has its own personalization layer, so you cannot launch the application drawer by swiping from below; on the contrary, it still has its button with the application drawer.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact features
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The interface of Sony is quite simple to use and very intuitive, although it has some complicated things like its application for the camera. Another example is the new 3D scanner for your Motion Eye camera that works as an application completely independent of the camera.

View Video Review

3D Creator – A new world of possibilities on Xperia


Sony 3D Creator Review: Scan your head with the Xperia XZ1


Fortunately, Sony learns from its own past and incorporates in this range the latest Android version available and finally allows you to change the resolution of the video without having to look for the 4K mode in the Add-ons of the camera. Thanks, Sony!

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact – Performance

Both models, XZ Premium and XZ1, have the same power, which is what you can expect from the Premium class. Sony has reduced RAM on its ZX1 Compact. With the Snapdragon 835 processor, it has 4G RAM and all three models have a UFS memory. The only difference then with respect to XZ1 is the size of the internal memory, in the Compact model it is 32GB, although it can be extended by microSD card up to 256GB.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact cutting edge tech
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According to the technical characteristics, the XZ1 Compact can compete with the smartphone of the high range. As we see in the Benchmarks has nothing to envy the competition and is more up to the task.


Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact: Benchmarks

SONY XPERIA XZ1 COMPACT35414794409851823649565715516
LG V3035854523388241921635462005042
SONY XPERIA XZ135474555380141832640665376297
SAMSUNG GALAXY S831743217273301983640261354644

On a day-to-day basis, the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact flies through the menus without any lag. Its lower resolution (although it maintains a good density of pixels) helps it to be faster compared to other smartphones with more points to represent, which affects the calculation. Sony has brought a true compact but without sacrificing power. If you’re looking for a small and lightning fast phone, the Sony XZ1 Compact is, without a doubt, one of your options.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact – Audio

In terms of sound quality, Sony has always played in the first league. No wonder, since the past and present of the Japanese group, has a great affinity for music with Sony Music and the old Walkman brand. The Xperia XZ1 Compact is a small ghetto blaster thanks to its stereo front speakers. Like the rest of smartphones, the XZ1 Compact does not have a decent sound box to offer powerful bass, but in relation to the size, it sounds pretty good.

Sony Mobile equips the Xperia XZ1 with the latest sound that is currently on the market: Bluetooth 5.0, aptX HD, High-Resolution Audio and LDAC. In order to take advantage of all this sound quality with the XZ1 Compact, good headphones are still necessary. Therefore, if you have a delicate ear, you will enjoy using the XZ1 Compact.

For calls, the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact supports Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and WiFi calls, although these options depend on your network operator. 

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact – Camera

Xperia XZ1 Compact has the same camera as XZ Premium. The harvard of the Motion Eye camera is not touched, but the Software. Predictive triggers are triggered when smiling when a person is recognized. In addition, there is a predictive hybrid autofocus, so that in a series of shots to an object in motion it does not defocus. With this adaptive autofocus, you can make up to 10 photos per second. Sony has adapted this trick also to its 8MP front camera. It has 2 focal lengths, 12.5 mm with an angle of 120º and 28 mm with 80º, that with trim (crop) and interpolation create the image. All this is to be able to make a selfie when the luminosity does not accompany.

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This Sony camera can convert the Motion Eye camera, with a dedicated application, to a 3D scanner. 3D objects can be created with faces, heads or objects. These digital 3D objects can be shared in various ways, from images to GIF, to MP4 videos. Since Sony stores, 3D objects as.OBJ files for 3D objects, you can transform the images you have created into three-dimensional tangible objects with almost all current 3D printers. If there is any failure in this process, we have to wait again for the final test to know.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact selfie camera
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Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact – Battery

The screen, the front camera and many other parts of the hardware are the same for both Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact, which can be seen in the IFA 2017. The same happens with the battery, with a capacity of 2,700mAh. Both can be loaded adaptively with Qnovo technology and support Quick Charge 3.0. Since the screen resolution is lower, the XZ1 Compact model takes longer to download than the XZ1 version with a 5.2 inch full HD display.

Although the Xperia XZ1 Compact supports Quick Charge in the box we found a normal charger. If we want to use this quality we will have to acquire a new charger compatible with Quick Charge 3.0.

In terms of autonomy, we have a good performance. In the PCMark battery test, it lasts up to 6:35 hours with 100% brightness. If we lower it to 50% the autonomy goes up until 2:30 p.m. In terms of usability we have a full day and with some demands until we reach the end of the day with around 30% current.

We love that Sony from the Xperia X incorporates Qnovo’s adaptive charging technology into its phones. In the configuration, you can find it in the section of the battery. When enabled, the software will monitor the load and set a night cycle to reach 100 percent just before the alarm sounds. It is normal for the battery to charge as quickly as possible and, as soon as the charge level decreases only slightly, the charging cycle starts again. This is not optimal if we charge the device at night. With Qnovo technology the battery life in Sony Xperia devices will be longer.



screen4.6" HD Display, TRILUMINOS™ Display for mobile, X-Reality™ for mobile
SIMSingle - Nano SIM
OSAndroid 8.0 Oreo
ProcessorQualcomm ®  Snapdragon™ 835 Mobile Platform
Storage32GB UFS internal memory
Storage ExpansionYes (up to 256GB)
Rear camera19MP Motion Eye™ camera,1/ 2.3” Exmor RS™ for mobile memory stacked sensor,Pixel Pitch 1.22μm, 25 mm wide Sony’s award-winning G Lens F2.0, BIONZ™ for mobile image-processing engine,960 fps Super slow motion video,Predictive Capture (motion / smile),Autofocus burst,x8 Digital Zoom,0.6 sec Quick Launch & Capture,Low-light photo: ISO 12800,Low-light video: ISO 4000,Predictive Hybrid ,Autofocus,Anti-distortion shutter,Triple image sensing technology,SteadyShot™ with Intelligent Active Mode (5-axis stabilization) ,4K recording
Dimensions65mm x 129mm x 9.3mm
Frontal camera8MP, 1/ 4” Exmor R™ for mobile image sensor,18mm super wide-angle for 120 degrees field of view (adjustable),Low-light photo: ISO 3200,Low-light video: ISO 1600,SteadyShot™ with Intelligent Active Mode (5-axis stablization)
Battery2700mAh - Quick Charge 3.0), Smart Stamina, Qnovo Adaptive Charging, Battery Care, USB Power delivery
ConnectivityGSM GPRS/EDGE (2G),UMTS HSPA+ (3G),LTE (4G) Cat15 with up to 800Mbps download speed,A-GNSS (GPS + GLONASS, WiFi Miracast, Bluetooth ®  5.0 wireless technology,DLNA Certified
WaterproofYes (IP65/68: up to 1.5 meters deep for 30 minutes) with corning Gorilla Glass 5
Fingerprint readerYes
USB Type-CYes
3D CreatorYes
Google CastYes
SoundHigh-Resolution Audio (LPCM, FLAC, ALAC, DSD),DSEE HX™,LDAC,Digital Noise Cancelling,Clear Audio+ Stereo speaker with S-Force Front Surround, Stereo Recording,Qualcomm ®  aptX™ HD audio,Automatic Headphone Optimisation, Virtual Phones Technology

Conclusion on Xperia XZ1

Sony has achieved with the Xperia XZ1 Compact of 4.6 inches a product without equal. Almost no competitor has a smartphone of this size with this equipment of the highest range. There’s almost nothing to complain about this powerful little one. Although the screen only has a width of 720p, thanks to its diagonal of 4.6 inches, the density of points remains above 300 dpi as in any screen Retina of Apple. Only the quality of the camera, despite the Super Slow Motion and the new 3D scanner, does not reach the level of the best phones of the year 2017.

If you are looking for a smartphone that combines compact dimensions and features of a high-end phone, the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact is what you are looking for. Currently, there is no other alternative available for the Xperia XZ1 Compact on Android.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact Review


Value for Money

Sony has achieved with the Xperia XZ1 Compact of 4.6 inches a product without equal. Almost no competitor has a smartphone of this size with this equipment of the highest range. There's almost nothing to complain about this powerful little one. Pros ✓Very good autonomy ✓Perfect finishes ✓Good performance ✓Android 8.0 Nougat series ✓Good soundCons ✕Photo quality

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User Rating: 5 ( 2 votes)
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