Last year was great for small phone fans, with Apple finally heeding calls for a tiny iPhone with the appropriately named iPhone 12 Mini and Google releasing the Pixel 4a – which has a tiny price to match its diminutive form factor.
According to rumours this week, I’m pleased to see the trend looks set to continue in 2021, where we could see some of the best smartphones ever made make their debut. I’m specifically referring to a recent rumour that Sony may be planning to resurrect its Compact line of smartphones.
The rumour stems from serial tech leaker @onleaks who suggests unnamed sources have confirmed Sony has a new Compact phone in the works that’ll target the same mid-range market as Google’s popular Pixel 4a.
This may not sound very exciting, after all it’s no secret we here at Trusted Reviews haven’t always been the biggest fans of Sony handsets – we even gave the last Compact, the Xperia XZ2 Compact a bit of a thrashing in our in-depth review back in the day – but I can’t help but be excited by the prospect of a new Compact for a couple of reasons.
First, because there is still a massive shortage of good small-form-factor phones despite there being a market for them. This has been articulated by Trusted Reviews readers multiple times. Just look at how irate the below reader is at the lack of small phones!
Todd’s right, he’s not alone. I also miss the ease, skinny jean friendly form factor of a 5-inch or smaller phone, especially when using it for work purposes. Not everyone games or streams video on their phone, and oftentimes flagship handsets giant dimensions make them close to impossible to comfortably use one handed. So the idea of having a small-form-factor phone, with a solid camera, 5G connectivity and one of Sony’s top notch screens is pretty enticing.
The second and main reason I’m excited is that, while we weren’t impressed with the last Compact, the original two were outright amazing. I remember genuinely feeling a tinge of sorrow when I finished reviewing the original Xperia Z1 Compact. After two weeks with the tiny handset as my main phone, the Z1 Compact was the first review unit I’d tested that I genuinely didn’t want to send back.
I felt true sorrow as I switched out the SIM and moved on the next phone in my review in-pile. This was because the handset was the first true small-form flagship, offering the same “omnibalance” design as the full fat Z1 and most of its core specifications. In many ways, this made it one of the most forward thinking handsets of its generation: where the Galaxy Note set the scene for Huawei’s Mate and Apple’s iPhone Max series, the Compact carved a path for the Pixel 4a and iPhone Mini.
Which is why, for me, a new Compact feels like a ‘return of the king’ moment and I can’t help but get excited about the prospect of a new small-form-factor Xperia phone.