Feeds
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

Little pink handjob: Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact

Sometimes size really doesn’t matter

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Review For the last 18 or so months, if you'd wanted a high-end Android smartphone you’ve had to make do with something a bit on the large size. The HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, LG G Flex, Nokia 925, Sony Xperia Z1 all have one thing in common: they are big old Hectors compared to Apple’s iPhone 5S.

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is easy on the eye and very well made

Of course, all those handsets I’ve listed have larger screens than the iPhone. But what if you want a cutting edge, powerhouse Android blower in a form factor closer to what Apple has to offer? Enter Sony with a device whose name couldn’t be more descriptive if it tried: the Xperia Z1 Compact is exactly that. A compact Xperia Z1.

To cut to the quick, Sony hasn’t entirely managed to make the Z1 Compact as small or as light as the iPhone 5S. At 137g it weighs 25g more and is 3mm taller, 6.5mm broader and 2mm thicker. But then it has got a larger screen than the iPhone, 4.3 inches compared to 4.0. It’s a sharper display too. Sure, it only has 720 x 1280 pixels but spread across a 4.3-inch diagonal, that results in a pixel density of 342ppi compared to the iPhone’s 326ppi.

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

Very pink, and a very nice camera

You could argue that in keeping with its “same but smaller” ethos, the Z1 Compact should have a 1080p display like its big brother. Yet I find on screens below 4.5 inches (actually, I’d push that number as high as 4.7), the difference is very nearly imperceptible. By demanding a higher resolution you are just making the chipset push more pixels around in the name of spurious bragging rights.

Now when I reviewed the Xperia 1 proper and waxed lyrical about the screen, several readers came down on me like a ton of bricks for not being more critical of the screen’s viewing angles. Having revisited the Z1, I’ll grant they had a point. A small point, but a point none the less.

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

2MP web cam and open 3.5mm audio jack

With that in mind, I’m happy to report that the Z1 Compact’s Triluminous LCD panel seems to have addressed this particular issue. It’s still not absolutely as strong as the iPhone 5’s IPS panel or the new Motorola Moto X’s AMOLED screen in the Viewing Angle Chase from Kempton Park, but you have to hold the Z1 Compact at a deliberately absurd angle to detect even the slightest hint of contrast shift.

In all other regards – contrast, colour saturation and brightness – the Z1 Compact’s screen is every bit as good as the Z1’s, and that means very good indeed, and there’s even an option to manually adjust the display’s white balance. In a nutshell, it’s the best Sony has ever fitted to an Xperia smartphone and it’s one of the best smartphone screens around full-stop. The only area where it is bit middling is legibility in direct sunlight.

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

Lovely on-off switch and small camera button

Physically, the Compact holds true to the current Xperia Z design language. The excellent, easy to find, use and behold chrome-effect power button sits in the middle of the right-hand side with the volume rocker conveniently placed just below. You also get a handy physical camera button further down the same side, although it could do with being rather larger.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Next page: Flappy nerds

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport
Breaches screening rules cos Apple SCREEN ROOLZ, ok?
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
A moment of brilliance? UPnP for Internet of Stuff lightbulbs
Thus doth tech of future illuminate present, etc
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
The British Museum plonks digital bricks on world of Minecraft
Institution confirms it's cool with joining the blocky universe
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.