88

A good thing in a small(ish) package

88

There's no point in beating about the bush: Sony's "mini" flagship is what companies should have been doing all along. If you want a top-spec Android phone, but don't want a finger-stretching screen, this isn't just your best option; it's your only option right now. To call it a good all-rounder might sound like we're playing it down, but with the camera, software, display and processor all putting in equally solid performances, there isn't one aspect that stands out above the others. Yes, there is the odd software kink or minor design feature (fluff-attracting glass!), but even then, we're mostly playing a game of fault-finding.

Of course, you could also argue that Sony missed the opportunity to improve on an already good phone (the Z1), given that some months have passed since the Z1 was first released. Instead, Sony was content to take that flagship and simply scale it down. That, it has undoubtedly achieved with aplomb. Even if the Z1 Compact isn't the smaller phone you were after, you should still be glad that it exists, because at the very least, it might inspire the competition to up their "mini" game -- and that can never be a bad thing.

Critic reviews

9.2
11 reviews
  • Reception and call quality
    10
  • Display
    9.2
  • Battery life
    8.9
  • Camera
    7.9
  • Ease of use
    7.3
  • Design and form factor
    9.0
  • Portability (size / weight)
    8.5
  • Media support
    8.0
  • Durability
    8.1
  • Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.)
    7.2

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User reviews

9.2
9 reviews
9.0
Engadget Jan 30, 2014

Even if the Z1 Compact isn't the smaller phone you've been waiting for, you should still be glad it exists: at the very least, it might inspire the competition to up their "mini" game. And that can never be a bad thing.

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9.0
CNET Jan 28, 2014

With its powerful processor, great camera, decent screen and gorgeous, waterproof design, the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is the best small Android phone around.

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10
Pocket-Lint Jan 29, 2014

Sony has got the Xperia Z1 Compact right: it's packed with power, is well designed, and delivers a first class experience. We have no reservations in recommending it because it's certainly the best Android device at this size.

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9.0
PC Advisor Jan 28, 2014

We love what Sony has done with the Xperia Z1 Compact. Finally consumers have the choice to buy a high-end smartphone without being forced to use a large screen. The fact it's cheaper than most flagship devices makes it one of the best smartphones around.

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10
What Hi-Fi Mar 25, 2014

Proof that good things can come in small packages. If you like a smartphone that’s easy on the hand, then this is a good choice.

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9.0
phoneArena Jan 23, 2014

At the end of the day, the Xperia Z1 Compact is not only a great Android smartphone, it's simply a great phone, all things considered. Sony has made the bold move of venturing where few Android manufacturers have dared to go so far. Let's see how well it's going to work out for them!

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9.0
TechRadar Jan 30, 2014

The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is the perfect device for those who think that some of the leading smartphones are just too big, but still want the best specs on the market.

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9.0
TrustedReviews Feb 5, 2014

It’s not the smallest or lightest phone on the market but it exudes quality and class in every area. In the Xperia Z1 Compact Sony has created a truly mighty mini.

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8.0
Digital Versus Feb 20, 2014

With a gorgeous display, exemplary responsiveness and good battery life, it can proudly stand up to the competition. All that's really missing is a better camera function, because this one doesn't really cut it.

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10
Expert Reviews Feb 7, 2014

It's fast, splashproof, has a great screen and a long battery life. The camera is the weak point here from our perspective, as it was on the Z1, and it's here that the iPhone 5S surpasses it.

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10
Stuff Jan 30, 2014

Specs or smallness? The Z1 Compact does everyone a favour and gives you both in one phone. That leaves just one last burning question: Why has it taken this long?

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First Looks

product preview
Engadget Jan 6, 2014

Our impressions, from the short time we had with the handsets, are that this is a promising step from Sony. The Z1 compact feels just as well-built as its larger counterpart, and the user experience is, obviously, much the same.

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product preview
SlashGear Jan 10, 2014

When you've got glass and metal making up the vast majority of the build of a smartphone, the smartphone feels expensive. Better than expensive, the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact feels like the company that made it took the time to perfect it.

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product preview
TechRadar Jan 6, 2014

... Sony may have entered the 'compact phone' market just at the right time - to the point where I'd worry about anyone wanting the Z1 any more.

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product preview
TrustedReviews Jan 10, 2014

Sony is giving people what they want – a flagship spec Android phone with a hand-friendly size. The range of four-colours is sure to enthuse those who like their phones to be fashion statements and the Z1 Compact retains the Xperia waterproof USP.

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product preview
phoneArena Jan 7, 2014

In the end, the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is an exciting product, offering outstanding specs in a compact form factor that frankly cannot be matched at this point.

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product preview
T3 Jan 13, 2014

Our first impressions of the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact were good - and it's manageable form factor means that we actually found it easier to handle than the flagship Xperia Z1.

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product preview
Android Central Jan 6, 2014

While other manufacturers' "mini" smartphones tend to sacrifice hardware muscle in order to pack everything into a smaller, it's impressive that Sony has managed to cram the same internals into a smaller body.

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product preview
The Verge Jan 6, 2014

Though 4.3-inch phones were once considered large, the Z1 Compact feels endearingly diminutive by modern standards. It’s incredibly easy to handle.

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9.0
DrEther DrEther

I've had this phone for almost a month, with previous phones being the Xperia X10, and Xperia S. Compared to the S (since they are a similar form factor), the screen is much improved, with a superior camera. The OS (4.4) runs fluidly, and the battery life is again much improved (almost twice as...

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10
bluequartz bluequartz

This compact flagship phone shows other phone manufacturers how to not cut corners while delivering a superb portable package. You lose a little in screen estate but gain so much more in terms of battery life and portability. Finally, opting for a smaller phone doesn't mean opting for lesser...

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10
LonelyBob LonelyBob

Overall The top specs CPU and RAM in the smaller form is what I picked this phone for. I'm not a fan of large smartphones, this phone fits nicely in my pocket but matches other Android devices in terms of specs, that is rare to find in a smaller physical Android device.

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How it stacks up

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