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Xperia X Compact vs Xperia Z5 Compact: What’s the difference?

We compare Sony’s new Xperia X Compact with last year’s Xperia Z5 Compact, to see what the difference is and which mini mobile is best for you.

Last year’s excellent Xperia Z5 Compact is one of our favourite mini mobiles thanks to its hand-friendly design, dependable camera tech, vibrant screen and solid specs. In fact, we still love the phone a full year after its launch – check out our long-term Z5 Compact review to see why.

Twelve months later, Sony has launched a new dinky handset, the Xperia X Compact, which is basically a squished version of the existing Xperia X. But how does the new Xperia X Compact compare with Sony’s Xperia Z5 Compact, and should existing owners upgrade? Here’s our full X Compact vs Z5 Compact comparison review to show you what the difference is.

And check out our round-up of the best mini mobiles to get more ideas of great phones for one-handed use.

Xperia X Compact vs Xperia Z5 Compact: Specs

Phone Sony Xperia Z5 Compact Sony Xperia X Compact
Weight 138g 135g
Screen size 4.6-inches 4.6-inches
Screen resolution 1280×720 HD 1280×720 HD
Water resistant? Yes No
Fingerprint sensor? Yes Yes
Processor Snapdragon 810 Snapdragon 650
Memory 3GB 3GB
Storage 32GB 32GB
MicroSD? Yes Yes
Cameras 23MP, 5MP 23MP, 5MP
4K video recording? Yes No

Xperia X Compact vs Xperia Z5 Compact: Design

Both of these mini Xperias are 4.6-inch handsets, making them two of the smallest Android phones that you can buy in 2016. They fit the hand perfectly despite their chunky frames, and are ideal for one-handed use.

Neither Compact sports the same shiny metallic design of the larger Xperia smartphones, so instead you get a plasticky finish. However, both the Z5 Compact and the X Compact are reassuringly rugged and you can pick them up in bright colours, to really stand out from the crowd. We’re quite taken by the pink Z5 Compact, while the ‘mist blue’ X Compact is just as alluring.

The Xperia Z5 Compact is water resistant, able to survive a dunking in fresh water – something that was sadly stripped for the Xperia X Compact. However, both phones sport a fingerprint sensor, built into the right edge. This is equally responsive on either handset, providing a solid layer of security.

Xperia X Compact vs Xperia Z5 Compact: Screen and media

There’s essentially no difference when it comes to those 4.6-inch screens. The Xperia X Compact and Z5 Compact both boast a 720p HD resolution, which makes for sharp, clear images at all times. Colours are pleasingly vibrant and on top brightness you’ll have no trouble using these mini mobiles outdoors.

Hi-Res audio support is also a bonus on both Xperias, so your music sounds awesome no matter which phone you pick. And if you prefer to carry around your movies and tunes instead of streaming on the go, good news. The X Compact and Z5 Compact both support microSD memory cards, for quick and easy expansion.

Xperia X Compact vs Xperia Z5 Compact: Performance and battery life

When it comes to performance, there actually isn’t much difference between the Xperia X Compact and Z5 Compact, despite that twelve month gap.

Last year’s Xperia Z5 Compact packs a Snapdragon 810 processor, one of the most powerful chipsets of 2015, which can still run the latest games and apps without trouble. Meanwhile the Xperia X Compact uses this year’s Snapdragon 650. This also gives a smooth everyday experience, helped by Sony’s performance monitoring tool, which shuts down unused apps automatically.

In our AnTuTu benchmarking tests, the Xperia X Compact scored 78224. The Z5 Compact wasn’t far behind, with a score of 56216.

Battery life is solid on the Xperia Z5 Compact, giving a day and a half of life between charges. We managed the same result consistently on the new Xperia X Compct too, stretching close to two full days with restraint. And the Xperia X Compact has the advantage of Knovo’s smart new battery saving feature, which helps to preserve performance over the handset’s lifetime by preventing overcharging.

Xperia X Compact vs Xperia Z5 Compact: Cameras

The Xperia Z5 Compact can take great photos thanks to its dependable 23-megapixel camera, but the Xperia X Compact is a step above, boasting Sony’s latest imaging features.

The 5-axis image stabilisation, for instance, helps to eliminate blurry photos caused by hand shakes and general motion. That’s particularly useful in low light situations, something also combated by Sony’s new laser-guided autofocus.

You can shoot 4K video on the Z5 Compact and the results are seriously good. You get plenty of detail packed into every frame and audio quality is also dependable. The X Compact maxes out at Full HD sadly, but it’s still capable of capturing crisp video – while Sony’s SteadyShot image stabilisation helps to cut out any judders from hand movements.

Both phones sport a decent 5-megapixel front-facing camera too, so you can snap a gorgeous selfie and share it with the world.

Check out our Xperia X-Range hub to see more on Sony’s 2016 mobile phones.

Video: Xperia X Compact vs Z5 Compact