Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, Little Big


Sony Xperia Z1Usually, when a company decides to release a “mini” version of a high-end Smartphone, along with the downsizing in terms of weight and size comes a downgrade in specs and hardware; obviously, all these determine a lower price tag for the “midget”.
But Sony is maybe the first major smartphone manufacturer that delivers a “mini” version of a flagship smartphone and doesn’t let the compact size to get in the way of state of the art performance.
Unlike Samsung’s Galaxy Mini range, Sony chose the “compact” denomination for their little Xperia Z1 and that’s no accident folks. Because Sony Xperia Z1 Compact runs on the Snapdragon 800 SOC (system on chip), which is actually in the “high end” tier, rather than in the upper midrange droid-comfort zone.
In the last two years, the Android market was flooded with droid flagships, which became enormous in size, leaving those in search for a humanly-sized top-notch smartphone with no other choice but defect to Apple’s iPhone or to buy “last year’s” technology in the form of a “mini” droid version of some sort.
Until today, no other droid manufacturer managed to create a mini-version of a high end device that was worthy of its “family” name. Now, Sony decided to break the ice with the Xperia Z1 Compact, and they done a Hell of a job too.
If you’re not a fanatic of huge screens, you will be in awe when looking at the latest creation of the Japanese company. The Z1 Compact is just a tad bigger than the iPhone 5s and it runs on the latest SoC available on the market, comes with a fantastic camera and looks awesome. Let’s take a look at the specs, shall we?
Measuring 127×64.9×9.5 mm, the Compact version is 17 mm shorter and some ~9 mm narrower than the original Z1. Maybe it doesn’t sound like much, but it makes a world of difference when it comes to handling the device, not to mention its excellent pocketability. I must tell you that the Compact is a bit thicker than the Z1, but it doesn’t matter in real life usage. Weighing 137 grams, the Smartphone feels solid and reliable.
In terms of design and build, Sony did an awesome job too; the front and the back of the Xperia Z1 Compact are covered in glass and there’s an elegant metal frame running all around the smartphone. The phone has a cool two-tone design, looking as premium as it gets.
Sony Xperia Z1 bigThe controls, ports and sensors are just the same as in the Z1; the back panel is fixed/the battery is non replaceable and the smartphone comes with 2 cameras: the main 20 megapixels with LED flash, featuring a wide 27mm Sony G lens with a fast F/2.0 aperture and a secondary front facing 2 MP shooter capable of recording full HD 1080p videos. It’s worth mentioning the Exmor RS back illuminated sensor in the main camera that is 70% bigger than a regular sensor.
The display is a 4.3 inches wide Triluminous unit, powered by Sony’s X reality engine with 720p resolution, resulting in an excellent 342ppi pixel density. The screen comes with great contrast and impressive blacks, being vivid and sharp, with crisp colors and impressive viewing angles.
The Xperia Z1 Compact is powered by a 2300 mAh battery that performs admirably under stress, being able to offer a cool 65 hours endurance rating.
The smartphone runs on Android 4.3 featuring Sony’s latest user interface, with proprietary widgets, the Walkman player and all sorts of cool apps.
The OS is powered by a high end Snapdragon 800 chipset, showing off stellar performance (on par with the iPhone 5s actually) thanks to its quad core Krait 400 CPU@2.26 GHz, 2 GB of RAM and the Adreno 330 GPU. Needless to say that everything runs buttery smooth on this state of the art platform, especially since the screen is 720p; Sony did an awesome job here.
When it comes to phonebook, messaging and text input, everything is top notch, as in any other Android running device; augmented with Google Now, the Z1 Compact is a real performer, communications wise. The video player plays almost everything and the Walkman music player, powered by Sony’s xLOUD and ClearPhase is as good as it gets on a mobile device.
The smartphone comes with an FM radio with RDS and social networking.
Sony Xperia Z1 back sideThe camera is basically the same as the one in the Z1, the highest resolution shooter available on a droid and on par with Lumia’s 1520 PureView camera. This baby uses the wide angle G lens powered by a Sony BIONS image processor, being packed with the latest high-tech stuff Sony has to offer on a mobile device. Needless to say that this is an impressive camera phone, and it also takes full HD videos @1080p resolution.
In terms of connectivity, the Z1 Compact performs great, offering quad band 2G and penta band 3G, LTE cat 4 connectivity,42 MBs HDSPA and 5,76 MBs HSUPA, along with dual band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac with DLNA and Wi-Fi Direct + Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC.
The Z1 Compact is excellent at web browsing, being powered by Google Chrome, that uses the WebKit rendering engine, featuring a minimalist user interface.
For business users, the phone comes with OfficeSuite 7 viewer for Word, Excel, PDF and Power Point, enhanced by Google Drive. Needless to say, the Z1 Compact is fully integrated with Facebook and Google+ apps out of the box. Also, you can use the smartphone as a navigation device, thanks to its A-GPS sensor powered by Google Maps with Street View.
Bottom line, the Sony Xperia Z1 plays in a league of its own, being a compact high-end Smartphone, the first of its kind and virtually without a real competitor. It offers everything a high-end Android Smartphone should offer plus a water resistant body, being basically a midget droid on steroids.
Sony Xperia Z1 closed


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