Packs in all the superior features of the flagship Z1 in a smaller form factor
The mini version of the Xperia’s flagship Z1, currently available only in Japan as the Z1 f, is already topping the charts there. With comparisons drawn to the iPhone 5s, Sony thought it’s about time the phone hits other markets. Now, the company plans to launch the device in China, followed by other regions, and India has made it to the list too. Sony used CES to give everyone a better look at the phone, where it was announced as the Xperia Z1 Compact. And now the phone has been launched in India for Rs 36,999.
Unlike the Galaxy S4 mini and HTC One mini, it isn’t exactly a stripped-down version of the flagship. In fact, it retains most of the specs found in its elder sibling but comes in a smaller form factor. Let’s take a closer look at the specifications of the Xperia Z1 Compact, to see what’s on offer.
OS – Android 4.3, planned Kitkat update
Just like its elder sibling, the Z1 Compact runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The company has also planned an Android 4.4 KitKat update for the smartphone as soon as it releases. Obviously, there’s a layer of Sony’s proprietary custom user interface on top. Sony has also loaded the device with its Walkman and Playstation companion apps.
Cellular connectivity: LTE, GPRS, HSDPA
The Z1 Compact brings support for LTE. The smartphone comes with 4G support for a range of networks, and also adds in GPRS and HSPA for areas where 4G cannot reach.
Display: 4.3-inch Triluminos capacitive touchscreen with 720p
Here’s the big change why the device is being called the “compact” version. The IPS display, in terms of size, has been cut down to 4.3 inches. The resolution is also stepped down to 720 x 1280 pixels, which means the resolution lowers to 342ppi compared to Z1’s 441ppi. However, the company maintains the other high-end display features of the Z1 including 10-finger multitouch, and shatter proof as well as scratch resistant glass. Along with its patent Triluminos technology, the company has also added X-Reality Engine to the Z1 Compact.
Form factor: Lightweight and weather-proof
The Xperia Z1 Compact is a smaller replica of big brother. It comes with an all-glass front and back, strikingly similar to its older sibling. The Xperia branding on the back, the camera lens in the top-left corner and the large power button on the right-hand edge further heighten the similarities between the two. Though smaller, it is bulkier than the Z1 – 9.5mm thick compared to 8.5mm. So, there are chances that it may not fit comfortably in your palms. On the other hand, it is lighter than its predecessor weighing 137 grams and measuring 127 x 64.9 x 9.5 mm.
Like most other recent Sony smartphone offerings, the Z1 Compact is completely waterproof. That means that the more adventurous among us will be able to drop it in a puddle of water, make calls in the rain and even take it to the shower (reasons need not be specified). Just like the Z1, it also comes with a waterproof audio jack.
Wi-Fi: All the usual suspects
It won’t disappoint you on the Wi-Fi connectivity. Just like the flagship Z1, the device supports Wi-Fi with all bands including “ac”. Apart from that, the smartphone also comes with Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA for content sharing. As with most other current smartphones, Wi-Fi hotspot is also present.
Processor: Snapdragon 800
As we said earlier, this isn’t a toned down version of the Z1. The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC. Packed into the CPU are four Krait 400 cores clocked at 2.2GHz. In addition, the smartphone comes with an Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB of RAM. It will definitely not lack for sheer processing power. The latest processor, apart from coming with improving performance, also brings in native always-on voice command support and an updated version of Qualcomm’s power management solution. So one can expect top-of-the-line performance from the device.
Internal storage-16GB with microSD slot
The Xperia Z1 comes with 16GB of internal memory. In addition, the smartphone also sports a microSD slot that allows for expansion up to 64GB. That should definitely be more than enough to store all the HD videos that you may want to see on-the-move.
Camera: 20.7MP rear snapper, 2MP front facing
The company hasn’t compromised on the camera either. One will find the Z1 Compact come equipped with the same massive 20.7-megapixel camera. The sensor size is similar to what Samsung’s other camera-centric Galaxy S4 Zoom features. So far, the only other smartphone that comes with a bigger sensor is the Nokia Lumia 1020, which comes with a 1/1.5-inch sensor. In addition, the mini Xperia Z1 makes use of a wide angle 27mm f/2.0 G Lens along with a Bionz image processor. Added to the package is a 2 megapixel front facing shooter that can take videos at 1080p.
One will also find smart applications such as Social Live for broadcasting videos live from the smartphone to Facebook and the likes, and Info-eye that helps with information on landmarks or books or food after they have been captured. The Timeshift burst mode will allow users to take 61 images with just one click of the shutter. Users have the option of scrolling back and forth to find the image of their choice. Finally, the AR effect gives a selection of customisable animations to create pictures using the company’s Smart AR augmented reality technology. The company has also built in an open SDK for the smartphone’s camera for other developers to use its features in third-party apps.
Sensors: Accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, compass
The smartphone comes with all the usual suspects seen in recent models. An accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor and a compass are featured in the Z1 Compact.
GPS: A-GPS, GLONASS
Just like all other high-end devices in the market today, the smartphone comes with both A-GPS and GLONASS support thrown in. The latter should significantly reduce the location lock time for users.
NFC and Bluetooth 4.0
The Z1 Compact comes with one-touch NFC support as well as Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP support. This should ensure that data transfer while using the Z1 Compact should not be an issue.
The battery is the other distinguishing factor when it comes to the mini version of the Z1. Due to space constraints, Sony packed in a smaller 2300 mAh battery, which given the smaller 720p display seems ideal. We’ll have to wait and see how long the phone lasts through our loop test to say more at this moment.
The bottom line
Basically, the Xperia Z1 Compact is a powerful smartphone with all the goodies that we see in larger flagships. But, it caters to those who want all these features in a smaller device, and not a hulking phablet. Everyone is not comfortable carrying a 5-inch-plus device around, and this gives them a great option. With this device, Sony puts an end to the notion that mini version has to be weaker. In a nutshell, the Xperia “Compact”, “mini” or f or whatever, you may want to call it, comes across as a worthy contender in the mid-to-high-end segment