Sony was the standard-setter in compact flagships and it earned itself quite a fan base with this move. And indeed, the first Compact smartphone was a wish come true - the latest flagship chipset, great screen and design, great camera and water-proofing - a no-compromise package behind a small 4.3" screen.
Today the Compact lineup is getting a refresh with the Sony Xperia X Compact. It's another mini flagship, but its heritage could send the wrong message, so let's clear some things out first.
The Xperia X Compact may share some DNA with the XZ, but it is not a smaller version of the latest flagship. It's exactly what the name suggests - a Compact flavor of the Xperia X. This means we will be getting a mini edition of the Xperia X with the same Snapdragon 650 chipset, the same attention to detail in design, and the same lack of water-proofing.
Luckily Sony decided to opt for the new looped design it chose for the Xperia XZ and it suits this small fella even better. Since the Xperia X Compact has to accommodate a rather big battery and powerful hardware inside a small body, the X Compact is rather thick at 9.5mm. But thanks to the rounded profile and screen the phone looks and feels a lot thinner!
Sony says the Xperia X Compact body material was ceramic inspired, which is sugar-coating the word plastic. Yes, it's high quality plastic, with great polish and finish that feels premium, but it's plastic. And this has two benefits for the Compact - it's very lightweight and there is no need for an antenna strip at the back.
Indeed, the Xperia X Compact has the perfect looped design interruption-free. The premium ceramic-inspired polish, combined with the exquisite shape, put the Xperia X Compact among the better looking smartphones today.
Handling the Xperia X Compact is a pleasure, especially for the fans of smaller handsets. The excellent build, beautiful design, pleasant touch, and lightweight construction cement the premium feel coming with the X Compact.
The Xperia X Compact is a follow-up on the Xperia X, and it's powered by the Snapdragon 650 chipset with a hexa-core CPU and 3GB of RAM. This SoC put behind a 4.6" 720p display delivers the same performance as a Snapdragon 820 behind a 1080p matrix and that's blazing-fast.
The X Compact's 4.6" display may have a lower 720p resolution, but it's still quite a treat with its excellent contrast, viewing angles, and colors. Sony is a great display maker and the X Compact has one of its best pieces. The screen bezels are there, rather big, though.
So, the Xperia X Compact borrowed the design from the Xperia XZ, but it isn't the only thing it got from the flagship. It also employs the new main camera with all its goodies - the 23MP Sony IMX300 sensor with Triple Sensing Autofocus (color + phase + laser detection). The SteadyShot Intelligent Active Mode is also available stabilizing the picture by five different axes. The new camera app with manual shutter control is also there.
There is no 4K video on the Xperia X Compact and instead of the new 13MP selfie camera, the X Compact features a 5MP front facer.
Other shared specs are the USB Type-C port and the adaptive fast charging overnight - the phone is capable of Quick Charge 2.0, but when left on a cable overnight it will charge the last 10% of your battery gently until morning.
There are no surprises around the Xperia X Compact - it's compact alright. The front is mostly screen plus the two speakers, while the back is all one piece, beautiful and unspoiled.
The left side has the SIM and SD slots hidden behind a cap, while the right packs the three keys - power, volume, and camera shutter. The power/lock key has an embedded fingerprint sensor, just like most of the new Xperia phones.
Sony will be positioning the Xperia X Compact somewhere between the Xperia X Performance and Xperia X, which means the phone will be priced at least €500. It will launch just days after the IFA expo, so we'll know more about the pricing very soon.