Sony Xperia X Compact – Performance
While previous entries in the Compact line were filled with top-of-the-range silicon, the Xperia X Compact is far more modest beneath that plastic body.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 650 CPU provides the grunt, backed up by an Adreno 510 and 3GB of RAM. It’s a mid-range setup, but one that manages to get the job done.
It also means that the Xperia X Compact isn’t quite capable of matching the performance of the raft of cheaper options offering better specs, notably the OnePlus 3. Don’t let that worry you, however; I’ve been impressed by how well this dinky handset performs.
There’s obviously a performance benefit to be had from not having to push that many pixels around a small display, but lag and jerky animations are virtually non-existent.
Both basic (think Dots) and more intense (Real Racing, Modern Combat) games are smooth, with the only real issues surfacing when you try to play games that clearly aren’t properly optimised for mobile. On both the Xperia X Compact and the Xperia XZ – the current Sony flagship – Just Drive Simulator stuttered constantly and looked pretty poor.
Also included is 32GB of onboard storage, expandable by microSD, and a set of decent front-firing speakers. Volume is loud, if a little tinny, but it’s fine for alarms and YouTube videos. Call quality is great, with the mics picking up my voice clearly, even in testing surroundings.
Sony Xperia X Compact – Software
Considering the Sony Xperia X Compact was officially announced before Android 7.0 Nougat was released, it isn’t fair to mark it down for not being fully up-to-date. Sony says the update is coming, though, but we have no details on a time frame as yet.
So you have a phone running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, but with Sony’s very likeable custom interface on top. It has the overall look of a Nexus device, but with slight tweaks to the menu and icons, plus a much deeper set of customisation options. You can alter themes, switch out the icons, and generally make this phone yours.
It’s a quick, fluid interface that doesn’t introduce annoying animations or pesky hoops through which you have to jump. In other words, it isn’t like a certain skin from Huawei. It even has the Google Now pane stuck to the left-most homescreen.
I still prefer the default vertical scrolling method used for the App Drawer, which Google introduced in Marshmallow, but it won’t take you more than a few days to become accustomed to this new method.
How we test phones
We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.