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Sony Xperia XZ1 vs XZ1 Compact: Little or large, which is best?

Sony has just pulled back the velvety curtain on its new flagship phone, the Xperia XZ1, as well as a super-cute Compact version which boasts many of the same specs and even a bonus camera feature. Here’s how the two stack up.

The Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact are two of the most exciting smartphones to launch at IFA 2017 so far. Sony’s mobiles offer flagship specs, superior camera tech and that usual sleek design, in a standard or pleasingly dinky size, depending on your personal preference.

So what’s actually the difference between the full-sized Xperia XZ1 and the mini XZ1 Compact? Is it just a case of one is bigger than the other, or do the specs, camera tech and other features differ too? Here’s our full Xperia XZ1 vs XZ1 Compact comparison so you know the full skinny.

Check out our guide to the best Sony phones for our favourite Xperia mobiles right now.

Sony Xperia XZ1 vs Xperia XZ1 Compact: Specs

Phone Sony Xperia XZ1 Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact
Weight TBC TBC
Screen size 5.2-inches 4.6-inches
Screen resolution 1920×1080 Full HD 1280×720 HD
Water resistant? Yes Yes
Fingerprint sensor? Yes Yes
Processor Snapdragon 835 Snapdragon 835
Memory 4GB 4GB
Storage 32GB 32GB
MicroSD? Yes Yes
Cameras 19MP, 8MP 19MP, 8MP

Sony Xperia XZ1 vs Xperia XZ1 Compact: Design

The Xperia XZ1 rocks a 5.2-inch screen, which is relatively tiny compared to some of the massive blowers emerging these days – Samsung, we’re looking at you, boyo. That means it slips into a pocket or bag without putting up a fight, even though the bezels surrounding the screen aren’t exactly slender. It looks the biz with its snazzy new unibody metal design and can be used one-handed without too much fumbling.

However, when it comes to portability, the Xperia XZ1 Compact is the king. This is another of Sony’s 4.6-inch mini mobiles, and one of the smallest smartphones you’ll find from any manufacturer in 2017. One-handed use is a doddle, although that sleek metal construct is replaced with a glass fibre-woven plastic. Still, this material is apparently used in space according to Sony, so should prove suitably rugged, while you get the same cool colour selection as the standard XZ1. It’s all about the pink, right?

Both phones are fully water resistant, to survive a short dunking in liquids, and of course you get that brilliant edge-mounted fingerprint sensor to quickly unlock your chosen handset. The XZ1 also boasts three individual antenna, distributed throughout the edges to provide strong connectivity no matter how you clutch it. Meanwhile the XZ1 Compact still manages to pack antenna in the top and bottom edges, despite its miniature size.

Sony Xperia XZ1 vs Xperia XZ1 Compact: Screen and media

Sony has served up a Full HD IPS display on the Xperia XZ1, with full HDR support just like the Premium model from earlier this year. You’ll be able to enjoy 1080p HDR content from Netflix and Amazon Prime Video on launch, with a wide colour gamut and brilliant contrast for more realistic visuals. This is bumped down to a 720p IPS panel for the Xperia XZ1 Compact, although the smaller screen size means images are still pleasingly crisp. No HDR support of course, but both phones offer up Sony’s Super Vivid mode for a bit of boosted vibrancy, as well as image enhancement for video playback. Both models also support Hi-Res audio, as well as DSEE HX music enhancement to make crappy compressed tracks sound a bit better.

As for storage, both Xperias offer microSD expandability, so you can cram loads of movies and music onto these flagships.

Sony Xperia XZ1 vs Xperia XZ1 Compact: Features and OS

All three of Sony’s new Xperia phones come packing Android Nougat, primed for an upgrade to Android Oreo at the end of 2017. You can expect the same slick unified design language, where Sony’s swishy desktops are tailored to match your chosen handset colour. Both of these handsets also support PS4 Remote Play, to stream your PlayStation gaming session to the smaller screen – much smaller in the case of the Compact.

Sony Xperia XZ1 vs Xperia XZ1 Compact: Performance and battery life

When it comes to performance, there’s nothing between these new Sony flagships. The XZ1 and XZ1 Compact both boast the premium Snapdragon 835 chipset, which is supremely powerful as well as energy efficient. That means smooth-as-butter performance at all times, even when blasting through demanding Android games and editing your media. However, while the XZ1 Compact only comes with Cat 15 LTE support, for up to 800Mbps peak download speeds, its bigger brother goes with full Cat 16 support for up to Gigabit LTE connectivity.

As well as sporting the same processor tech, the dinky Compact also somehow rocks the same 2700mAh battery as the standard-sized XZ1. We’re hoping to get longer battery life as a result, with the smaller screen to power. Here’s hoping for at least two days. And of course you get all the same battery saver features and the rest.

Sony Xperia XZ1 vs Xperia XZ1 Compact: Cameras

Both Sony blowers rock a best-in-class 19MP rear camera, which can capture great-looking photos even in pretty dark conditions. Sony’s Superior Auto mode takes the stress out of shooting, although you get full manual controls as well. And you can shoot up to 4K resolution video with either Xperia, complete with SteadyShot stabilisation.

Sony has brought the brilliant Super Slow Mo feature over from the Premium, which allows you to record short snippets at 960 frames-per-second. You also have Sony’s new 3D scan app, which can capture an impressively accurate 360-degree representation of someone’s head or any random object you come across. And both phones support the new predictive smile auto-capture feature too.

However, the dinky XZ1 Compact actually boasts a camera feature that its bigger bro doesn’t have. Although both phones pack an 8MP selfie snapper, only the mini model offers a choice between standard 80-degree shooting or a new wide-angle 120-degree effort. Good news if you have too many mates to fit in a normal shot.

Check out our in-depth camera hands-on for all you need to know about these updated shooters, as well as our Xperia XZ1 hands-on review and Xperia XZ1 Compact hands-on review.

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