Sony has been brave and bold by creating a truly top spec phone with a relatively small 4.3-inch screen in the Z1 Compact. Unlike the HTC One Mini or Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini the Compact does not scrimp on performance, screen quality or camera specs. It looks just like its big brother the Xperia Z1 with a tough aluminium frame sandwiched between two toughened glass panels. The glass on the back scratches a little too easily but other than that it’s a handsome design and comes in four colours including funky lime and pink. It shares most of its insides with the Z1 too. The Snapdragon 800 processor is very fast and we found that it performed very well whether we were browsing with multiple tabs open or playing 3D games. The 20.7 megapixel camera is also the same, unfortunately this wasn’t very good on the Z1 and it isn’t very good on the Compact either. Surprisingly for the number of pixels it packs the pictures it produces lack detail and dark shots are overly processed leading to your subject sometimes having skin more like a Barbie doll than a human. There are no complaints about the screen though. Even though it’s 720p rather than full-HD it is sharp, colourful and bright. In fact it’s a much better screen than on the Z1 and colours look more accurate than they do on competitor phones. It’s perfect for watching a tv show or movie although the onboard speakers are ok rather than spectacular. Just like most recent Xperia products the Z1 Compact is dustproof and waterproof for up to 1.5m meaning you won’t be too worried about dropping it in the bath or getting it sandy on a beach. It’s a really nice touch and separates the Sony phone from the competition. At 450 pounds the Z1 Compact is cheaper than similar specced competition and is undoubtedly the best small Android phone on the market. In fact it’s one of the best phones out there full stop.
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