Sony Xperia Z1 Compact vs Sony Xperia Z1: What's the difference?

There have been a few smartphone manufacturers creating "mini" versions of their flagship handsets, and Sony is the latest to join the party, but it isn't a case of déjà vu here.

Rather than take the Xperia Z1 and reduce the size and the specs, as many others have done to create the smaller option, Sony's "compact" version of its flagship offers very similar specs to its bigger brother, just smaller in size. We've pitched the Xperia Z1 Compact up against the Xperia Z1 to see where the differences lie.

The Xperia Z1 Compact is smaller with a lower resolution display

As you would expect from the name, the Xperia Z1 Compact is smaller and lighter than the Xperia Z1. It is slightly thicker than the flagship model but we are talking a millimetre so this isn't likely to be a deciding factor.

The Xperia Z1 Compact features a 4.3-inch display and measures 127 x 64.9 x 9.5mm with a weight of 140g, while the Xperia Z1 hits the scales at 169g and measures 144.4 73.9 x 8.5mm with a 5-inch screen.

In terms of resolution, the Xperia Z1 offers 1920 x 1080p, while the Xperia Z1 Compact has a lower 1280 x 720p IPS display. Therefore, when it comes to pixel density, the Xperia Z1 Compact offers a 341ppi screen while the Xperia Z1 produces a 440ppi display, meaning the Xperia Z1 will offer a sharper and clearer image compared to its smaller version.

Same processor and storage options

The day-to-day running of both devices should also deliver the same smoothness and speed as both the Xperia Z1 Compact and the Xperia Z1 come with the 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset and 2GB of RAM.

READ: Sony Xperia Z1 review

You'll also find the same storage capacity on both models, with the Xperia Z1 Compact and Xperia Z1 offering 16GB internal storage and microSD support for a further 64GB.

Same 20.7-megapixel camera

The camera was marketed as one of the headline features for the Xperia Z1 when it launched in September 2013 and the company has brought the same 20.7-megapixel sensor to the Xperia Z1 Compact. The front-facing camera is also the same on both models, with a 2-megapixel snapper present giving 1080p video.

You will find all the same camera functions as on the Xperia Z1 on the Xperia Z1 Compact, including burst mode, 8x digital zoom, smile shutter, red-eye reduction, screen recognition and HDR for both picture and film, so there is no difference in camera.

Smaller battery on the Xperia Z1 Compact, but same connectivity

Where you will find a difference is the battery, with the Xperia Z1 Compact holding a reduced battery capacity of 2300mAh compared to the Xperia Z1's 3000mAh. This is because of the device's smaller size and is the same battery found in the Xperia Z.

The Xperia Z1 offers up to 14 hours talk time and up to 880 hours standby, while the Xperia Z offers up to 11 hours talktime and up to 550 standby. We expect similar figures for the Xperia Z1 Compact if not better, given the newer Qualcomm chipset it contains.

All the connectivity options available on the Xperia Z1 are also available on the Xperia Z1 Compact, including NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi, plus both devices run on Android 4.3.

The Xperia Z1 Compact has more colours and is cheaper

There are a few more colour options with the Xperia Z1 Compact compared to the Xperia Z1. The Xperia Z1 Compact will be available in pink, lime, black and white, while the Xperia Z1 comes in black, white and purple so if you want a purple one, you'll need to stick with the Xperia Z1 for now.

In terms of price, the Xperia Z1 Compact will cost you £449 SIM free, whereas the Sony Xperia Z1 is now listed as £479 SIM free.

Conclusion

Sony says the compact name is to represent that the phone is a compact version of the Xperia Z1 rather than a mini version, and it definitely seems to have achieved this.

If you are looking for a smaller, lighter version of the Xperia Z1 that is a touch cheaper and offered in a few more colours, then the Xperia Z1 Compact is certainly worth your attention.

You might get a slightly smaller capacity battery, but given that you get the same power and flagship features of the Xperia Z1 including the waterproofing, we think this is easily forgiven. The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact might just be the mini phone we've all been waiting for. However, for only £30 more, you get that 5-inch, higher-resolution display.