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Gadget Review – Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact Review Small But Potent

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact Review Small But Potent

Hey there, Alex here. This is the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact. Its basically a smaller version of the
more expensive Xperia XZ1 but with a couple of compromises. But before you write it off, Im just going
to say this now.

This is my favourite phone from Sony this
year, and heres why. If youve been following all the new phones
released this year, youll know that its a pretty amazing
year for smartphones. Tons of great stuff from most of the mainstream
manufacturers. And when you compare those devices with the
new XZ1, it doesnt really stand out.

I cant even say that its a huge upgrade
over the XZ Premium earlier this year. But when you look at the XZ1 Compact, there is no other Android phone like this. This form factor, combined with a really solid
hardware package and feature set, makes it a pretty amazing phone for anyone
who likes compact devices. Lets start by talking about design.

The matte finish combined with the curves
round the edges makes the phone feels great in the hand. The back may look like metal, but its some sort of plastic. Im not sure how well this finishing will
hold up over time though. Its also not a particularly inspiring or
modern looking phone, since its nothing we havent seen before
from Sony.

With 2017 being all about the death of the
bezels, the thicker bezels on the XZ1 Compact might
disappoint some folks. While I dont deny that they make the phone
look older, I dont think its something that affects
the usability of the phone. Especially on such a compact device, it looks
just fine. Which brings us to the display itself which
is a 4.6 720P screen, which doesnt sound like much.

But put away all the numbers, and the mumbo
jumbo marketing terms. Just take a look at the display yourself, and what youll find is a screen that has
good viewing angles nice colours, and good outdoor visibility. On the hardware side of things, another thing worth mentioning is the louder
output from the pair of speakers on the phone. Ive always found the speakers on previous
Compact devices a little soft for my liking, but Im happy to say its finally loud
enough here.

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Its not the cleanest sound, but for such a small device, Im not complaining. Just to round up a few more things on the
hardware side, the fingerprint sensor is really quick and
responsive. You still get a two-stage shutter button,
the headphone jack is still here, and yes, the phone is rated IP68 for water
and dust resistance unlike its predecessor, the X Compact. Then we move on to the one of my favourite
aspects of the phone, which is the impressive amount of performance
this phone has.

Not just speed, but also how long the battery
lasts. Specifications wise, other than the lower
amount of storage, its pretty much the same package as the
XZ1, even down to the battery capacity. With lesser pixels to push around, the phone is fast and responsive most of the
time, and lasts me a day of heavy use easily. Its really refreshing to be able to get
great battery life on a small phone.

I did notice some stutters and apps crashes
every now and then, but Im pretty sure its due to Android
Oreo being so new. The XZ Premium I tested earlier with the same
chipset has no such issues at all, and Im seeing the same type of issues on
the Google Pixel with Oreo. So while I do love that this is one of the
first phones you can buy with Android Oreo out of the box, its not all rainbows and butterflies. I dont really have much else to say about
Android Oreo though, since in day to day usage, it doesnt feel dramatically different to
me compared to Android Nougat.

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I do want to talk about Sonys software
experience though. Its still using the older style of app
drawer and horizontal sliding pages, which looks a little dated to me. Over the past few generation of devices, they
have also been removing features from their launcher, like the very useful double tap to wake or
sleep feature. Which makes me wonder why they even bother
with a launcher at all.

Other than minor tweaks to some of the icons,
some additional apps that can be easily disabled, and some smaller features like the Xperia
Actions to automate some basic tasks, its mostly stock Android, which I do like. Something worth mentioning too is the battery
care technology and Qnovo adaptive charging. Instead of focusing on charging quickly, it
focuses more on the life span of the battery in the long run. These are built-in batteries after all, and
can be a pain to replace.

To further push that point forward, or perhaps
to cut a bit of cost, the included charger does not support fast
charging. Camera wise, were looking at a very similar
package as the XZ Premium. So a 19MP motion eye camera at the back which
supports the capture of 960fps slow motion videos. Those are still extremely fun to play with
if you have the patience to time it perfectly.

I noticed some tweaks to the camera app to
simplify and enhance the experience too, but image quality wise, its largely similar
to the XZ Premium. Image processing can be a bit on the heavier
side, but the overall shots are mostly pleasing
to look at if you dont pixel peep. Its pretty much just point and shoot most
of the time. Its not the best camera around, but its one that I still enjoyed using.

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The front camera is now an ultra wide angle
camera, with the option to crop in for a more normal
looking selfie. It looks decent in good lighting, but it really
struggles in poorer lighting. The XZ1 or XZ Premium will probably fare a
bit better here with better front camera hardware. Then for video captures, steadyshot is as
steady as usual.

One of the new and interesting features is
actually the ability to do 3D scanning for faces, and then either print them out with a 3D printing
service, or you can actually create augmented reality
characters to play with. The latter might not be that useful, but I had a really fun time playing with this
feature with a friend of mine. I just wished that the scanning process was
a lot less finicky. It can be really tricky to get a proper scan.

But yeah, I wouldnt call this a deal breaker
feature though. What we have with the XZ1 Compact is a truly
unique Android phone in the market, and its one that is genuinely nice to use. It has a few compromises like the ones I talked
about earlier, but they are mostly due to space constraints, or to keep the cost of the phone a little
lower. In Singapore at least, the pricing this time
round is a lot more reasonable than previous Sony devices.

So if youve been looking for an android
flagship phone that is compact, this is as good as it gets for now. Thanks for watching my review of the Sony
Xperia XZ1 Compact. If you liked it, be sure to give me a thumbs
up and subscribe to the channel. Thanks, and see you guys on the next one..

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