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Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Overview
It’s not Mini, it’s Compact; that’s an important difference when it comes to smartphones.
The Xperia Z1 Compact includes the same high-end features as Sony’s flagship, the Xperia Z1, but in a smaller, more manageable frame.
Over the last few years, the trend with Android flagship handsets has been an increase in screen size. To have the very best features, you must have a device with a large screen.‘Mini’ versions of flagships are generally available, but these tend to compromise on the feature set.
With the Xperia Z1 Compact, Sony has created a shift in this paradigm. The Compact offers a top of the range feature set with a 4.3-inch display; there is no compromise on hardware nor software, it truly is a scaled down version of the Z1.
Comparing it to the larger Xperia Z1, the IP rating (water resistance), camera specs, and all of the top-end software enhancements remain the same. One difference is the IPS LCD display, which has been significantly improved for the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact.
Before we go into more detail, here’s a look at the main features that will have you wanting to buy the Xperia Z1 Compact:
20.7MP rear camera, 2.2MP front facing camera
IP55/IP588 protection rating - resistant for 30 minutes in up to 1.5m of fresh water
4.3" IPS LCD TRILUMINOS Display with 342 PPI
Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (upgradable to 4.4 KitKat)
2.2GHz Qualcomm Quad-Core Processor
16GB Internal storage 64GB MicroSD Expansion
MHL, DLNA and Miracast
Sony is a true innovator when it comes to photography - the technology featured in its smartphones is now on a par with that of its compact cameras. Seeing as the Z1 Compact can also take photos underwater, that’s a serious bit of kit to be carrying around in your pocket.
The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact features a 20.7MP Exmor RS sensor, which is accompanied by a huge list of software and hardware enhancements.
Exmor RS and G Lens
The Exmor RS sensor combines with Sony’s G Lens to produce sharp and vivid photos, even in low light. The lens is 27mm wide and has an F2.0 aperture, but if that’s not enough you can attach one of Sony’s CyberShot lenses. Here at Clove the lenses have proven to be a popular accessory among Z1 owners, and the good news is that they are also compatible with the Z1 Compact.
Bionz for mobile is the intelligent image-processing engine that Sony uses to ensure that photos come out looking their best. Auto white balance and auto exposure improve the rich layers of colour and depth, and create the most accurate colour profile possible.
There really are too many software features to list in one go, but half the fun is discovering them once you’ve got your new phone. Here’s a look at some of the headliners to start with:
Superior Auto - Recognises up to 36 different scenes and adjusts your camera settings accordingly, ensuring you are getting the best shot given the light and colour conditions. It even turns HDR mode on and off depending on the picture.
Timeshift - Takes a burst of 61 frames within just 2 seconds. The burst starts before you’ve even pressed the shutter, making sure got a full range of photos to choose from.
Social Live - Use your Xperia Z1 Compact to broadcast live videos on Facebook.
Info-Eye - Lays information over the camera screen when you are out and about so that you can see details for nearby attractions.
AR Effect - Add images and animations to your photos. With themes ranging from oceans to dinosaurs, this is a feature that both kids and adults will love.
The list doesn’t end there. As well as all of the above, the Z1 Compact also includes: 8x digital zoom, red-eye reduction, object tracking, panorama, face detection and more.
Water and Dust Resistance
The IP55/IP58 rating means that your Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is dust and water resistant. You can submerge it in up to 1.5m of fresh water for up to 30 minutes. This creates the opportunity to take some great under water shots - the Compact Z1’s camera still works even when it’s submerged. The dust resistance, whilst not quite as exciting as under water photos, means that you don’t need to worry so much about ruining your phone when out and about, nor working away in a dirty environment.
Plenty of Power
In recent years, it has been unheard of for a device the size of the Xperia Z1 Compact to have so much processing power. It packs a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor and 2GB RAM. It’s the first Android phone to match the size of the iPhone and rival it’s feature set. Many of the other Android handsets that rival Apple’s handset do have superior hardware, but also have much larger screens. The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean but will receive an update to 4.4 KitKat shortly after its release.
Bigger isn’t always better
As we mentioned , the last few years have seen Android manufacturers gradually increasing the size of their flagships. There are many users that prefer a large screen, but there are also those that would like something that’s a bit more pocketable and easier to use one-handed. Sony has done its research and discovered that those that do want a smaller screen do not necessarily want a less powerful feature set, and this has led to the creation of the Xperia Z1 Compact.
Connectivity is an area that tends to suffer when it comes to smaller handsets, but the Xperia Z1 Compact well and truly ameliorates this. To start with there’s plenty of storage - 16GB internal and 64GB microSD expansion. For video sharing there is wired MHL connectivity via microUSB, and there’s wireless sharing thanks to DLNA and Miracast. The Xperia Z1 Compact also comes with NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi (including hot spot functionality), and many more enhancements to compliment all of these features.
One way in which the Xperia Z1 Compact has been improved over the full-sized Z1 is its display, which is simply stunning. It’s got a 1280x720 resolution which, combined with its pixel density of 342 PPI, produces an incredibly sharp and vivid picture.
You’ll probably recognise the name of Sony’s television technology already: Bravia. This technology has been worked into the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, which has a TRILUMINOS display to create a wider palette of colours. This results in more vivid red, blues and greens, and improved skin tones. See the video below for a more detailed explanation.
As well as having Sony’s latest LCD technology, the Xperia Z1 Compact also features its image processing engine, X-Reality. This reduces noise, adds saturation and sharpness, and enhances contrast to produce the best detail possible. The Super Resolution mode will also add pixels missing from videos to ensure that they don’t look granulated on screen. The screen itself is protected by tempered glass, and housed in the sleek one-piece aluminium body.
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Box Contents
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
3 Pin UK Mains Adapter
In ear headphones with ear buds
USB host cable
N.B. The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact was originally marketed throughout January 2014 as being manufactured with a tempered glass back plate. Since initial communication, Sony have made the decision to manufacture the Z1 Compact with a plastic backplate and tempered glass only on the front screen. Clove's description of the product has been altered accordingly and any available official Sony documentation pertaining to the now incorrect materials has been removed and replaced with a more recent version.