Today at CES, Sony announced the Xperia Z1 Compact. This phone finally fills a slot that has been ignored in the Android device space, which is a phone that is easily used with one hand for the vast majority of people, and is also a high end flagship. While the Moto X also fits in this space, its SoC made it decidedly mid-high range, much like the Xperia S was at its debut.

As always, specs are what determine where a product slots in the high/mid/low ranges, so it’s well worth going over them.

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact


MSM8974, 2.15 GHz, Snapdragon 800


4.3”, 1280x720 IPS LCD

Rear Camera

20.7MPx, 1/2.3” sensor, F/2.0 aperture, 27mm equivalent focal length, “G lens”

Front Camera





2300 mAh, 3.8V, 8.74 Whr


16GiB internal NAND, microSD slot


127 x 64.9 x 9.5 mm, 137g

Compared to the Xperia Z1, the only notable downgrade would be the battery capacity and slightly thicker design, both non-issues as the smaller screen and lower resolution help to greatly reduce the battery consumption and the increased thickness is offset by the greatly reduced size. Based upon first impressions, the display is noticeably higher quality than the one found in the Z1 as well. But otherwise, the Z1 Compact retains the same camera, IP58 rating, SoC, RAM, and NAND.

Sony also launched the Z1S, a variant of the Xperia Z1 for T-Mobile US. The only notable changes are for radio bands and a bump to 32GiB for internal storage. The Z1S will be available for preorder January 13th, with sales beginning on January 22nd. The Z1 Compact will go on sale globally in February.

Source: Sony

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  • BedfordTim - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - link

    Just what the world needed, there must only be 20 or so identical phones from other manufacturers. Why not something no one else makes like a slider keyboard phone? I still miss my HTC Touch Pro 2.
  • dishayu - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - link

    Erm, I think you're being sarcastic in your first sentence, but it's actually very true. There are literally no great android phones which are small enough for single handed operation. And neither is there a single "small" android phone with a SD800 (or even SD600) in the market today. The screen is perfect at 720p resolution. The UI and games on Adreno 330 will absolutely fly without the unnecessary pixels in 1080p screens.

    Z1 compact is totally THE phone to buy right now (unless of course it has some unexpected flaws).
  • flyingpants1 - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - link

    LOL. Sorry but no. A 4.3" screen is ridiculous, the Moto X is almost identical in size and has a 4.7" screen - and it feels minuscule in the hand. How useful is S800 really going to be on such a comparatively tiny device? I mean who's going to want to use it all the time? Besides three of you on anandtech.

    You mean it's the best SMALL phone to buy right now. Like for people with tiny hands, or people switching from iPhone.

    I've always wanted a small flagship and prayed for an end to the screen size race, but it's too late for me now. After using an S3, N4 and N5 I simply cannot go back.. I'm afraid to even try the Z Ultra..
  • JoshHo - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - link

    Motorola definitely has a bigger screen for similar size, and but it isn't exactly clear-cut in this case. SoC, display, battery life, camera, UI/software features, and industrial design/in hand feel are all places where the two phones trade blows.
  • mathew7 - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - link

    "How useful is S800 really going to be on such a comparatively tiny device? I mean who's going to want to use it all the time? Besides three of you on anandtech."

    How about these people?

    I don't need my phones full CPU power 100% of the time. But the 5% of the time when I do it's very annoying (Razr I user). Especially since when I do need it, I need it to be fast.
  • FreeFlyFreak - Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - link

    I signed your petition.
    I want a high end spec phone, with a 4.3-4.7" screen, that includes a user replaceable battery and an SD card slot.

    Such a phone does not exist!
    Surely I cannot be the only one with these requirements.
  • dishayu - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - link

    Moto X is great, but it isn't exactly high-end... It's a mid range phone which punches above it's weight. It has a worse camera, isn't water proof, uses a worse SoC, for starters. It also doesn't have a card slot (although personally, it's not a concern for me if I have 16GB or upwards storage) or USB OTG . Moto X is thicker and still has a smaller battery. Z1 Compact is properly high-end in every regard.

    I bought an HTC One at launch, last year and as much as I love everything else about the phone, I still think it's too big. For the record, I thought the One S was the perfect size and this is almost exactly the same size as the One S (same screen size too), so it works perfectly well for me. And i'm sure there are plenty of other people in the same boat as well.
  • Spuke - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - link

    My money is on this being a "test the waters" product. I had a 4.65" screen phone and a 7" tablet. After getting my 5.2" screen phone, I sold my tablet as it sat collecting dust. I don't have big hands and can EASILY use my phone one handed. I think those that say you can't do that with a big phone have never used one.
  • flyingpants1 - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - link

    I wasn't comparing phones, just screen size. 4.3 should not exist anymore when 4.5 or 4.7 fit in the exact same profile.
  • dishayu - Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - link

    Fair enough. It does have thick bezels.

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