Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Review

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The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is a tiny powerhouse of a mobile directly aimed at attracting those interested in an iPhone sized device.  Unlike other ‘mini’ versions of popular mobiles Sony haven’t dropped the technical spec along with the size. Impressively the Z1 Compact features the same specification as it’s (much larger) big brother, the Z1. This means you get a quad core processor, 20.7MP camera, 4G connectivity, a really sharp display all wrapped up in a waterproof case allowing you to use the phone underwater.

The shape and size of the Z1 Compact has clearly been designed to appeal to those use to an iPhone who don’t want to make the jump to a big mobile but would like a good Android phone. Sony have avoided the cheap feel that high end LGs and Samsung’s suffer from, the Z1 Compact looks and feels like a premium mobile.

It fits really well in the hand and is easy to operate with a single hand. In use it’s really quick, there is no lag when navigating around, apps open quickly, games run smoothly, the performance is everything you want from a mobile.

Sony have done an excellent job at standing out from the Android in several ways. On the hardware front not only is the Z1 Compact waterproof, it also features a dedicated camera button and the volume buttons control the zoom, making this really easy to use as a camera replacSony Xperia Z1 Compactement. Photos and videos taken during the day look excellent, I’ve not had a chance to try it at night just yet.

On the software side Sony have added some additional apps and features, such as access to Sony’s own content stores for films, music and games. They’ve also developed a free mobile management website allowing you to locate your phone (location shown on a map), lock the phone, sound an alarm, wipe the phone or put a message on the screen asking the finder to contact you. Very handy if you happen to misplace your mobile. They have also built in a nice IF/THEN system, for example IF the headphones are plugged in THEN start the Walkman app.

The standout feature for me is the power management features built into the Z1 Compact. As well as Stamina mode, which allows you to specify what apps have data access when the screen is off (for example you still get emails but don’t get Feedly updates), there is also the ability to setup location based rules. This is brilliant for automatically managing WiFi and allows the Z1 Compact to switch WiFi on and off automatically in specific locations, so when you leave the house Wifi switches off, when you get to work it switches on. This approach means the battery life is excellent and will easily last a long day without any concerns about charging.

The included headphones are just OK, they’re actually not as good as the set I had with my previous phone, a HTC One X, as they lack a good bass. It would also have been good if Sony had included a magnetic charger as well as a standard USB charger, this is meant to be a premium phone afterall, a decent set of headphones and a fancy charging cable aren’t that much to ask.

Those niggles aside Sony really have done an outstanding job of compacting a lot of tech into a (by todays standards) tiny package. Judging this just on the hardware and this is a fantastic phone, but add in all the extra software and the phone management website and this is the complete package with a bow on top. A truly outstanding mobile.


Sony Genuine Black Type C USB Data Cable Xperia XZ/Xperia X Compact/Xperia L1 / Xperia XZs/Xperia XA1 / Xperia X Premium Compatible With Other Type C Models (No Retail Packaging)

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  • Official Sony Product
  • Genuine Sony Type C Cable
  • USB Type A to Type C Cable
  • Reversible Connector as USB-C is a user-friendly design that lets you insert the connector the right way, every time
  • For Charging and Data Transfer at high speeds

Sony Xperia Z3 UK SIM-Free Smartphone - Black

£275.00  in stock
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  • High waterproof rating IP65/68
  • 20.7 MP camera and 4K video
  • Up to 2 days battery life
  • PS4 Remote Play
  • Hi-Res audio and Digital Noise Cancelling (DNC) support

Sony Xperia 5 II - 6.1 Inch 21:9 CinemaWide™ FHD+ HDR OLED display 120Hz - Triple lens camera - 3.5 mm audio jack - Android 10 - SIM free - 8 GB RAM - 128 GB Storage - Dual SIM hybrid - 5G - Blue

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  • Real-time Eye AF for humans and animals, plus more innovative technology from Alpha cameras.
  • Game enhancer, ultra-fast performance, a 120Hz refresh rate display and a 240Hz touch scanning rate
  • The perfect size to fit in your hand or pocket yet packed with the very latest Sony technology.
  • 21:9 CinemaWide FHD+ and HDR OLED display with leading colour accuracy.
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G Mobile Platform and reliable 4,000mAh battery.

Mark J Draper is a self-confessed gadget lover who forged a career in the telecommunication and utility industry while maintaining a hobby of writing and filming reviews that are published on YouTube and Reviewify.co.uk.

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