The Xperia Z1 Compact Sony is about 1mm thicker than the Z1, but we easily forgive the extra bit of bulk when it lets the phone pack-in a decent 2300MAh battery.
That’s a smaller battery than the Z1's, but the smaller, lower-res screen offsets the difference. It's the same-size battery as the 5-inch Full HD Nexus 5, and manages to last a good deal longer than that phone.
We easily managed a heavy day of use (excluding gaming) with battery saving mode on and still went home in the evening with more than 20 per cent to spare. Usage included two hours of 3G browsing, several hours of GPS navigation, 50 photos taken, an hour of calls, texts and two hours of watching on-device video all on 75 per cent brightness. Used more sparingly we managed to get almost two days of use from it. It offers impressive stamina.
While a 30 minute blast adds 25 per cent of battery life from empty there is a note of caution – if you decide to live on the edge and turn Stamina Mode off and play a couple of hours of a 3D game you’ll struggle to last a full day.
The Z1 Compact's call quality is excellent. You can hear the person on the other end of the line, and they you, as clear as a bell, even when on a noisy train or walking down a windy main road. It uses a second noise cancelling mic to help out in situations like this.
Wi-Fi signal is also strong, but we did notice that signal was randomly dropped on occasion even when we were not mobile. This only lasts for a few seconds and never occurred during a call but did while 3G browsing a few times.
The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is the best small Android phone on the market. It’s also one of the best Android phones, full stop.
If you find 5-inch phones a bit of a handful, the Compact will be right up your street. It is superbly designed, has an excellent screen, stonking performance and even a memory card slot. It also comes with one of the most impressive party pieces any phone has to offer – it’s waterproof to 1.5m. Add that it costs a reasonable £430 (as much as £120 less than its 5-inch brother) and you have a very compelling proposition indeed.
If a Full HD 5-inch phone is a must, consider the Nexus 5 for £130 less or the older Galaxy S4 for around the same price. The S4 has a slower processor while the Nexus 5 has an inferior camera and no microSD.
It’s not the smallest or lightest phone on the market but it exudes quality and class in every area. In the Xperia Z1 Compact Sony has created a truly mighty mini.
Next, read our best phones round-up