Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact full review

Sony's latest smartphones from the Xperia series - the Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ1 Compact - have now gone on sale in the UK. If you’ve been wanting to get a new smartphone and are not sure which of this two models will be the better fit for you, here are the main differences between the XZ1 and XZ1 Compact.

Sony’s newest phones have lots of similarities, especially in design (they resemble most Xperia phones). The XZ1 Compact is, of course, a smaller version of Sony’s newest flagship. The XZ1 measures at 148 x 73.4 x 7.4 mm while the XZ1 compact is at 129 x 64 x 9.3 mm, considerably smaller. The Compact is also a little thicker, but, because of its size, remains lighter in weight (155g to 140g).

The materials used differ from one model to another. While metal was used for the XZ1, the XZ1 Compact has a plastic body with metal finish, making it chunkier. However, Sony’s ‘loop surface’ is present on both, giving the phones a unibody design, but also making the top and bottom sides curvier than on previous Xperia models.

The XZ1 and XZ1 Compact are both protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and are also water and dust resistant (IP68 certified).

Both models are available in similar colour ranges: Pink, Black, Silver and Blue, but the shades differ (the XZ1 offers Warm Silver while the XZ1 Compact comes in Snow Silver). The camera and button layout is the same on both phones, and the fingerprint sensor is also present on both.

In terms of price, the XZ1 Compact is of course cheaper than its larger counterpart. The XZ1 costs £599, available to buy from Sony and Carphone Warehouse. The XZ1 Compact is a whole £100 less expensive, starting at £499. It is also available to buy from Sony and Carphone Warehouse. 

Sony Xperia XZ1 vs Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact: Features and Design

As mentioned, the Xperia XZ1 Compact is considerably smaller than the Xperia XZ1, which also affects the screen size. The XZ1 Compact offers a 4.6in screen with a 720p HD display. This may seem like a major downgrade compared to the XZ1’s 5.2in screen and 1080p panel, but truthfully, 720p performs great on a smaller screen.

In terms of video quality, though the resolution is indeed inferior on the Compact, both phones benefit from Sony’s Triluminos display, which reinforces the colours and provides greater quality. However, unlike the Xperia XZ1, the XZ1 Compact is not HDR compliant, which is a disappointment.

Both phones are equipped with a primary camera very similar to the one we find on Xperia XZ Premium: a 19Mp camera which comprises plenty of new and interesting features such as the Super Slow Motion tool ([email protected]) and the ‘Smile Capture’ mode. It also offers an ‘Autoburst option’ as well as predictive capture, which makes it easier to obtain great results.

The XZ1 Compact’s front camera is only 8Mp, which makes it inferior to the 13Mp camera you can find on the XZ1, something you might want to remember if you take a lot of selfies. To make up for the pixel difference, the XZ1 Compact gives you the opportunity to take super wide selfies with a 120 degrees field of view in one picture. You can easily switch back from super wide to wide.

Both models also offer an interesting new feature: a 3D scanning option. The primary camera lets you scan real-life objects to be used as stickers in conversations with your friends, or as background photos. If you have access to a 3D printer, you will even be able to print them.

As far as performance is concerned, Sony managed to equip both phones with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, the best processor currently available, backed by 4GB of RAM. The XZ1 and XZ1 Compact are powered by the same 2,700mAh battery, which means the XZ1 Compact will probably have a stronger battery endurance, thanks to the inferior 720p display.

The XZ1 Compact will be available with 32GB of storage while the XZ1 offers 32 or 64GB, but both enable storage to be expanded up to 256Gb thanks to the MicroSD slot.

Sony Xperia XZ1 vs Sony Xperia Xz1 Compact: Specs

Specs Sony Xperia XZ1 Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact
Operating System Android 8.0 Oreo Android 8.0 Oreo
Display 5.2in full-HD (1920x1080) HDR display 4.6in full-HD (1920x1080) display
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Memory 4GB RAM 4GB RAM
Storage 64GB plus microSD support 32GB plus microSD support
Connectivity USB-C 3.1, X16 LTE, 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS USB-C 3.1, X16 LTE, 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS
Audio High-resolution audio, stereo speakers, 3.5mm audio jack High-resolution audio, stereo speakers, 3.5mm audio jack
Camera 19Mp Exmor RS primary, 960fps slo-mo video, 13Mp selfie 19Mp Exmor RS primary, 960fps slo-mo video, 8Mp selfie
Fingerprint Scanner Yes, integrated to power button Yes, integrated to power button
Waterproofing IP65/68 IP65/68
Battery 2,700mAh 2,700mAh
Weight 156g 143g



Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact: Specs

  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 4.6in full-HD (1920x1080) display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32GB storage plus microSD support
  • USB-C 3.1, LTE, 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS
  • High-resolution audio, stereo speakers, 3.5mm audio jack
  • 19Mp Exmor RS primary, 960fps slo-mo, 8Mp selfie
  • Yes, integrated to power button
  • IP65/68
  • 2,700mAh
  • 143g