Android phones are big — “big” in the sense that they’re hugely popular and “big” in the sense that it many cases, they’re physically gigantic. Various vendors have recently added smaller devices to their lineups, often carrying “mini” in their monikers, but these devices aren’t just smaller versions of their flagship counterparts, they’re also almost always stripped of some power and several key features. When, then, might Android fans finally have an opportunity to buy a device like the iPhone 5s, which is small but also high-end and extremely powerful? The answer is finally here: February.
Sony on Monday evening unveiled two brand new versions of its flagship Xperia Z1 smartphone. The first is the Xperia Z1S, which we covered earlier on BGR. The second is the Xperia Z1 Compact.
Note that Sony chose “compact” rather than “mini” to describe its new phone. “Mini” phones are typically dumbed down versions of flagship handsets and Sony wanted to take particular care in expressing the fact that there’s nothing dumb about the Z1 Compact.
Key Xperia Z1 Compact specs include a 4.3-inch TRILUMINOS HD Display with 720p resolution and a pixel density of 340 ppi, a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, a 2,300 mAh battery, a 20.7-megapixel that Sony says is the best on the planet in a compact phone, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and an IP58 waterproof rating.
Sony’s new Xperia Z1 Compact will begin rolling out globally in February. The company’s full press release follows below.
Sony introduces Xperia™ Z1 Compact – the world’s best premium compact smartphone
6th January 2014, CES, Las Vegas – Sony Mobile Communications (“Sony Mobile”) today redefines the premium smartphone market with the introduction of Xperia Z1 Compact, offering the very best of Sony technologies from its flagship Xperia Z1, in a stylish new compact size.
“With the addition of Xperia Z1 Compact our global range of premium products is now broader than ever and offers our customers a wider choice.” said Kunimasa Suzuki, President and CEO, Sony Mobile Communications. “Xperia Z1 is a no-compromise feature-packed smartphone with a beautiful yet durable design. With Xperia Z1 Compact, we bring all of these premium features and performance, into a smaller size to give you the ultimate compact smartphone.”
The world’s best camera in a compact smartphone
Xperia Z1 Compact sets a new standard in premium smartphones. It features Sony’s proven camera technologies to deliver the same level of performance and quality that you would find in a conventional compact digital camera – all in a beautifully crafted compact smartphone. The 20.7 megapixel camera phone is matched with 1/2.3-type CMOS image sensor Exmor RS for mobile, Sony’s award-winning G Lens and intelligent BIONZ™ for mobile image processing engine resulting in superb photo quality.
Thanks to this unique combination of technologies, you can capture beautifully sharp and bright images even in low light conditions when a flash won’t do. High shutter speeds and 3x clear image zoom prevent shots from being blurred while allowing you to capture from a distance, so that you never miss the moment. Superior Auto helps you shoot perfectly, with intelligent scene recognition technology to capture incredible images in an instant with no complicated settings. And because it’s both waterproof and dust-resistant, this durable and versatile smartphone fits neatly into your life, so you can use it anytime, anywhere.
Unique social camera apps to enhance your camera experience
The Xperia Z1 Compact comes pre-loaded with a suite of innovative Xperia Camera Apps to take your photography experience to a new level:
- Timeshift burst: Captures an impressive 61 frames in just two seconds so you get the perfect shot first time, every time.
- Info-eye™: An innovative visual search using your camera to provide information on landmarks, books and wine amongst others.
- Social live: Broadcast your videos live via Facebook and get your friends’ comments right on your screen for the ultimate interactive sharing experience.
- AR effect: Have some creative fun with your pictures with SmartARTM augmented reality animations
In addition to these great pre-installed social camera apps, there’s a whole range of extra apps for you to enjoy including Wikitude Places, Evernote, VI Sports and more. Simply go into your camera viewfinder, turn on Superior Auto and then click on ‘+Apps’ to see all the latest apps to enhance your smartphone experience.
Beautiful and durable design
Xperia Z1 Compact includes all of the features of the acclaimed Xperia Z1, but offered in perfectly palm-sized proportions. Featuring Sony’s stunning OmniBalance design, this dust-resistant and waterproof (IP55 & IP58) beauty is both sleek and durable from every angle. And with the dedicated camera button, you can even take photos or videos underwater. The Xperia Z1 Compact takes the style stakes a step further offering a choice of vibrant colour finishes including white, black, lime and pink to suit your individual taste. A clever design refinement is the new Glove Mode4 that lets you use your Xperia Z1 Compact even while wearing gloves, making it even easier to use your phone, no matter what the weather.
World’s best battery performance in a premium compact smartphone5
Xperia Z1 Compact offers ultra-fast performance and breathtaking graphics, thanks to the latest Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 800 processor with 2.2 GHz quad-core CPU and 4G LTE for amazing speed. The Xperia Z1 Compact also includes a 2300 mAh battery which provides outstanding, class-leading battery performance, despite its compact size.
Sony’s Battery STAMINA Mode helps you stay connected for longer, as it automatically turns off functions to save power when you don’t need them and restarts them when you do. So now you can leave the charger at home and never have to worry running out of power when you need it most – the Z1 Compact takes everyday demands in its stride.
Enjoy the best colour and sharpness
Built with Sony’s latest BRAVIA® TV technologies optimized for mobile, the Xperia Z1 Compact incorporates a 4.3” TRILUMINOS™ HD Display for mobile, for a wider palette of rich, natural colours. Sony’s exclusive X-Reality™ for mobile is an intelligent super resolution technology that finds and reproduces any lacking pixels, so you’ll always be able to enjoy the clearest and sharpest videos.
Sony’s media applications
Xperia Z1 Compact offers seamless access to both online and offline entertainment with these integrated Sony’s media apps:
- PlayMemories Online6 – a cloud-based image and video service that is integrated into the Album application. A new ‘All Sync’ feature enables users to instantly auto-upload all of their photos without storage limitation7.
- “WALKMAN” and Movies applications provide access to more than 22 million songs on the “WALKMAN” app through Music Unlimited8 and more than 150K movies and TV series on the Movies app through Video Unlimited8 from Sony Entertainment Network.
- TrackIDTM TV9– enhances your TV-viewing experience as it lets you search, share and explore information from broadcasted TV shows such as cast & crew, biographies, filmography or show related Tweets.
Switching to Xperia has never been easier
Xperia™ Transfer Mobile makes it easier than ever to switch from your existing Android or iOS handset to Xperia. It’s the simple and easy way to seamlessly transfer your contacts, photos, bookmarks, apps, messages and much more from your old smartphone, swiftly and securely. And better still, no PC is required – simply transfer directly from phone-to-phone using NFC or the supplied cable10.
Unrivalled ecosystem of companion products and smart accessories
Sony offers the most comprehensive range of innovative companion products and accessories to give you new ways to use and enjoy your smartphone. With 132 NFC enabled one-touch connected products – including TVs, headphones, audio speakers, tablets, and more – it has never been easier to connect and enjoy your content across multiple devices.
Key smartphone accessories to enhance your Xperia Z1 Compact experience include:
- QX100: High-performance ‘lens-style’ cameras designed for mounting on smartphones and operated through the smartphone screen.
- SmartWatch 2: Use as a second screen for Xperia Z1 Compact. Read messages, handle calls, easily access notifications – all from your wrist. Trigger the Xperia Z1 Compact camera shutter.
- DK32: Magnet charging cradle that offers a perfect viewing angle as you talk, watch and listen whilst charging your smartphone.
- SBH-80: Stereo Bluetooth Headset in a unique neckband-style design crafted from premium materials and supporting NFC, HD Voice and aptX.
The Xperia Z1 Compact will launch globally from February 2014.