Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact in test – Ergonomics-Kraftpacket

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact in the test: Ergonomics-Kraftpaket with Android 8.0

tl; dr: The Xperia XZ1 Compact is exactly the Android smartphone, after which many often scream: a compact device with the equipment of a high-end smartphone. Sony has successfully implemented this approach and is already delivering the XZ1 Compact with Android 8.0 Oreo. This deserves an award in the ComputerBase test.

Xperia XZ1 Compact in comparison

After two years of pause, Sony is back with a compact high-end smartphone under 5 inches. The Xperia XZ1 Compact is the smaller but not weaker offshoot of the Xperia XZ1. Both smartphones were introduced to the IFA 2017 just a few weeks ago. In the test, ComputerBase is focusing on the Xperia XZ1 Compact, but the Xperia XZ1 can also be found in the diagrams.

The two models differ primarily in the display: 4.6 inches stand 5.2 inches opposite. As with previous Compact models, Sony has reduced the resolution of the smaller model from 1.080p to 720p. In addition, the Xperia XZ1 Compact has less memory and a different front camera installed. The downsizing does not affect the battery: Both smartphones come with 2,700 mAh.

Apart from that, the Xperia Z1 Compact also features the powerful Snapdragon 835 from Qualcomm (test) as well as the 960-FPS camera shown in the Xperia XZ Premium (test), which has been extended by a 3D scanning function in the new XZ1 series ,

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact Sony Xperia XZ1
(upon publication)
Android 8.0
display: 4.60 inch
720 x 1.280, 319 ppi
TFT, Gorilla Glass 5
5.20 inches
1.080 x 1.920, 424 ppi
TFT, HDR, Gorilla Glass 5
Service: Touch, fingerprint sensor, status LED
SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
4 × Kryo 280, 2.45 GHz
4 × Kryo 280, 1.90 GHz
10 nm, 64-bit
GPU: Adreno 540
710 MHz
R.A.M: 4,096 MB
Storage: 32 GB (+ microSD) 64 GB (+ microSD)
Camera: 19.0 MP, 2160p
LED, f / 2.0, AF
Secondary camera: No
Front camera: 8.0 MP, 1080p
display flash, f / 2.0
13.0 MP, 1080p
display flash, f / 2.0
Secondary front camera: No
↓ 42.2 ↑ 5.76 Mbps
LTE: Advanced Pro
↓ 800 ↑ 150 Mbps
Advanced Pro
↓ 1,000 ↑ 150 Mbps
WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS: 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac
Wi-Fi Direct
Bluetooth: 4.2 LE
tracking Systems: A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo
Other Standards: USB 2.0 Type C, NFC USB 3.1 Type C, NFC
SIM card: Nano SIM
Battery pack: 2,700 mAh
permanently installed
Size (W × H × D): 64.0 x 129.0 x 9.30 mm 73.4 × 148.0 × 7.40 mm
protection: IP68
Mass: 140 g 155 g
Price: from 598 € from 691 €

Design and processing

With dimensions of 64 × 129 × 9.3 millimeters (W × H × D), the Xperia XZ1 Compact positions itself between iPhone SE (test) and iPhone 7 (test). For an Android smartphone this is incomprehensibly small, especially in the high-end segment. The construction depth is noticeably thicker than with the normal XZ1, but the ergonomics still look the same. Due to its angular construction, the smartphone is very easy to grasp and thanks to the small dimensions, it is very handy. Because the display measures only 4.6 inches, even the most remote screen corners can be reached without the thumb.

The processing of the smartphone is excellent, in terms of material choice, the normal XZ1 but a little better. The XZ1 Compact only has the upper part and the lower part made of aluminum, the sides and back are made of polycarbonate. The front protects Gorilla Glass 5. The hardware of the XZ1, however, is in a unibody made of aluminum. The IP68 certification, to protect the inside from water and dust, but carry both smartphones. Fumble-like covers for sockets and card slots are no longer available in Sony’s smartphones.

The fingerprint sensor integrates Sony into the on and off switch in the frame. This can be achieved either with the left index finger or the right thumb. The sensor works quickly and with a high hit rate. However, a fingerprint sensor on the front still remains the measure of all things, which requires more space, the Sony face the still thick edges purely outwardly completely would have. On the table, such a variant is still the best. Not completely convincing the relatively small and inaccurate volume rocker, which in the competition is up to twice as large.

Small display is bright

If you filter the price comparison for high-end smartphones with a maximum of 4.7 inches, off the Apple smartphones only the Xperia XZ1 Compact and the old Xperia Z5 Compact appears. This shows how unique the Xperia XZ1 is currently on the market. The fact that Sony at 4.6 inches the resolution remains as before at 1.280 × 720 pixels and has not moved to Full HD is absolutely justifiable. From a normal viewing distance of 40 to 50 centimeters, this results in no loss of quality, only those who look very closely can see that it is not a full-HD panel.

To the brilliance of a current OLED display from Samsung or the display quality of the very good IPS display of the iPhone 7 (test), Sony does not approach the XZ1 Compact, but the picture quality is good through the bench, although the representation is a bit too cool is adjusted. This gets the big Xperia XZ1 better. In the Android settings can be counteracted. In addition, there are also Sony picture profiles, which allow a particularly powerful or natural setting of the colors.

Nevertheless, the small display overall looks good, which is mainly due to the immense brightness, which is not activated even after a boost of the automatic regulation. At any time, over 630 cd / m² can be requested via manual control. The Xperia XZ1 Compact is ideal for outdoor use even in summer. The contrast ratio of more than 1,300: 1 is meanwhile only a medium-sized standard, but on its own the value is still a good result. The entire smartphone industry has developed positively on this point in recent years.

3D scan camera with 960 FPS

Sony’s hardware highlight in the Xperia XZ Premium (Test) and XZs was a new camera sensor with integrated buffer memory, which allows to record in slow motion with 960 FPS. The problem: only 125 MByte are sitting directly in the sensor, so that with a slow-motion with 960 FPS only 184 milliseconds can be stored. What happens particularly quickly and accordingly needs such a slow-motion, can not be better captured. However, the results are still spectacular.

For the Xperia XZ1 (Compact), a 3D scan function has been added, which is started via Sony’s Android app “3D Creator”. Sony does not need a second lens or a time-of-flight camera. Using the new function, faces, heads, whole persons and other objects can be captured three-dimensionally and saved as an OBJ file for processing in 3D programs or for printing with 3D printers.

The object has to be photographed from several perspectives, the app giving the correct angle for each shot, so that hardly anything can go wrong. After many shots that are shot automatically, the process is complete and a 3D view is rendered and displayed in the gallery.

The feature works best with very good illumination, a quiet hand, and a person who is standing firmly in position for long periods of time. If there is uneven illumination of the object or fast movements with the camera, the app complains, but allows a reorientation and continuation of the scanning process. With heads, the 3D Creator does well, with the graphics card placed on the table or the Nintendo Mini Classic on a tripod, the whole thing did not work very well. A briefly fun thing is the feature anyway. However, it should not be decisive for the purchase of the XZ1.

Because in everyday life, the image quality of the camera is more important in normal photos. Here, Sony’s RGB sensor proves to be reliable again in the white balance and is well suited to different lighting situations. Also the color image succeeds the smartphone again in a vivid way. The XZ1 camera is not free from weaknesses, as the Xperia XZ Premium (test) in June has shown.

Sony has once again struggled with a relatively high noise, which on the smartphone screen is not yet noticeable, but especially on the PC in the 100 percent view is recognizable. Moreover, the dynamics capture is not particularly high; often image areas are too dark because Sony refrained from a subsequent brightening or this process just does not get well enough.

The camera of the Xperia XZ1 (Compact) is, nevertheless, the best smartphone camera Sony has so far delivered. As a market leader in the field of camera sensors for smartphones one expects from Sony however more. The competition brings similar solutions from Sony often better quality. The new camera is good, but not more.



I'm an avid gamer and a bit of a Ninja when it comes to gadgets and technology. When I'm not busy with the latest Android and iOS games.

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