Samsung has the Galaxy Mini, HTC has the One Mini and now Sony have entered into the mini market as well with the Z1 Compact. Eschewing the ‘mini’ moniker the Z1C brings together all the lessons learned from a years’ worth of handsets and shoehorns in the best features of the Z1 from last autumn, which itself learned a few lessons from the Xperia Z, and represents probably the finest handset the company have released to date.
Having finally gotten a hands on with device today it straight away feels a lot sturdier in the hand than the Z1 or the Z before it and packs in a 4.3-inch, 720p screen, a 2300mAh, a 2.2GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and the same excellent 20.7-megapixel Exmor RS sensor that graced the Z1. As if that wasn’t enough the Z1C also retains dust and waterproofing ratings and….a dedicated camera button. It’s a very, very nice handset that thoroughly earns its premium feel and price.
Software-wise the phone is launching on Android 4.3 though an update to 4.4 is right around the corner, if the rumour mill is to be believed. Continuing on the software theme, for those of you worried about how much space the operating system will take up on the built-in 16GB of storage, Sony continue to be one of the few manufacturers to provide micro-SD expansion. Drop in a 32GB card, back your photos up to cloud-based services and you’ll barely encroach on the onboard storage.
The Xperia Z1 Compact excels where other ‘mini’ phones fail — bringing the same hardware, features and user experience into a smaller handset, only sacrificing 0.7 inches of screen space. The best things come in small packages and with this device, Sony are effortlessly claiming that statement for their own.