A few years back, I heard NVIDIA CEO Jen Hsen mention how smartphones would transition into super phones. And he described these 5-inch or bigger devices with the processing power of a computer. While I knew this was inevitable, I was, and still am happy with my iPhone that fits and operates with one hand. I’ve always found single handed devices much more comfortable to hold and use and thus prefer them. But when it comes to Android, I pretty much have to decide between performance or convenience. That is until now. At CES, Sony revealed the Xperia Z1 Compact.
While there have been a couple of shrunken models of high-end devices such as the HTC One Mini and Galaxy S4 Mini, manufacturers of these devices have sacrificed specs heavily to achieve smaller form factors. But looks like that was not the option for engineers at Sony. The Z1 Compact features the same quad core processor, the same 20MP camera and the same water-proof premium chassis found on the bigger Xperia Z1.
I played around with the Z1 Compact at CES and it fits great in your hands. The size and weight are not too far off from the iPhone 5S while offering a much faster processor, better camera and a bigger screen with higher resolution. Like the Xperia Z1, the Compact comes with 16GB built-in storage and a micro-SD slot. Expect all the radios as well such as LTE, 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0.
Obviously, to make the device smaller, Sony has reduced the screen size from 5-inch to 4.3-inch and has also lowered the resolution from 1080×1920 to 720×1280, however the PPI is still impressive at 342 which continues to show sharp text and graphics on the screen. Sony has also used an IPS panel with wider viewing angles- one of the few complains I had with the Xperia Z and Xperia Z1.
The second sacrifice that Sony had made is on the battery capacity which has gone down from 3000 mAh to 2300 mAh. However with the smaller, lower res screen, the Compact utilises less power as well and from what Sony has told us, the Compact offers an almost similar battery life than the Xperia Z1. Sony mentioned that in their internal tests utilising identical workloads, they tested the Z1 Compact against the iPhone 5S, the HTC One Mini and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and the Z1 Compact came on top with 41 hours with the iPhone 5S a distant second at 28 hours.
The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact will be releasing in the UAE and KSA in February this year at a price tag of AED 2399. It will be available in four colours- lime green, hot pink, black and white. Expect a full review at that time.