Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Australian Hands-On: Smaller Doesn’t Mean Worse

Whenever you see a smartphone come out branded as a “mini” or a “compact” or a “nano”, you immediately assume it has crap specs compared to the original. Sony has done this for years, but the watermark was raised considerably at CES this year with the launch of the Z1 Compact. Smaller doesn’t necessarily mean worse in this case.

The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact more or less has exactly the same specs as the flagship Sony Xperia Z1. It’s packing a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and a 20.7-megapixel shooter.

The only differences are found in the screen — 4.3-inch 720p panel rather than 5-inch 1080p — the battery — 2300mAh not 3000mAh — and the colours of the body — yellow, pink, white and black rather than just the monochrome colours.

It’s still waterproof to 1.5 metres for 30 minutes (in fresh water) and it still has the dedicated camera button on the side for taking photos underwater if that’s your thing.

From a software perspective, it’s exactly the same as well. It runs Sony’s Android UI and (disappointingly) Android 4.3. Sony has pledged to upgrade it shortly aftr launch, but we’ve all heard that one before.

The chassis bears exactly the same shape and feel in the hand as the original Z1, only it’s a bit easier to hold thanks to the smaller form factor. That makes it definitely worth considering if you want a decent Android phone to fit in your tiny hands.

The screen difference is negligible given the size shrink; only when you look up close do you realise the lower resolution.

The best thing about the Z1 Compact is the strategy behind it: Sony has set a high watermark for phones in the last few years with the Z, Z1 and Z Ultra, and now it’s hoping to carry that over into the mid-range category too. With those specs, this one will own that market segment when it’s released.

Speaking of, the Z1 Compact will release on Telstra in February. We’ll update with prices when we get them.

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