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Handset launched elsewhere worldwide in February

For what its worth, the Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) Xperia Z1 Compact smartphone is now available to U.S. consumers as an unlocked $549.99 USD handset.
 
The phone launched in Europe in February, priced at €550 (~$750 USD), and is sold as an unlocked handset.  Comparatively, the U.S. launch trims a little over a quarter of the price of the international edition.
 
These spec was modest at the the start of the year, but by now looks a little dated:
  • Form Factor
    • Size:   127 x 64.9 x 9.5 mm (5.00 x 2.55 x 0.374 in.)
    • Weight: 137 g (4.83 oz)
  • OS
    • Android 4.4 "Kit Kat"
  • Colors
    • Black
    • White
    • Luscious Pink
    • Lime Green
    • Yellow
    • Red
  • Hardware
    • Screen
      • 4.3-Inch
      • TRILUMINOS In-Plane Switching (IPS) LCD
      • 1280x720 pixels (720p)
      • Tempered Glass
    • SoC
      • Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) Snapdragon 800
        • MSM8974
        • 2.2 GHz
        • 4 cores
        • Krait 400 core design
        • Adreno 330 GPU
    • RAM
      • 2 GB
    • Battery
      • 2,300mAh lithium-ion
    • Storage
      • Internal:16 GB
      • External: MicroSDHC, up to 64 GB
    • Camera(s)
      • Rear
        • 20.7 MP (fixed-focus)
        • Carl Zeiss optics f2.0
        • LED flash
        • 1080p video @ 30 fps
      • Front-facing
        • 2 MP
    • Wireless/Cellular
      • 4G LTE
      • NFC
      • A-GPS+GLONASS
      • FM Radio
      • Bluetooth: v4.0 LE
      • WiFi/WLAN: 2.4/5Ghz a/b/g/n
    • Sensors
      • accelerometer
      • multi-touch input
      • proximity sensor
      • Other
      •  IP55/58 water and dust resistance
First the good -- this Xperia Z1 Compact is one of the best small (3.5 to 4.5 inches) Android smartphones out there.  It's worth noting that the weight and thickness are virtually identical to the iPhone 4 from Apple, Inc. (AAPL).  The camera looks terrific.  And the inclusion of premium perks like waterproofing is nice.

Sony Z1 Compact

However, the processor (Snapdragon 800) and display (720p) are rather pedestrian, given the relatively high price.

Sony Z1 Compact

Sony has struggled to win over U.S. carriers.  T-Mobile U.S., Inc. (TMUS) is the only major U.S. carrier to carry Xperia smartphones, according to CNET.  Sony's response is an intuitive one -- offer handsets unlocked direct to consumers.  But that model is rather foreign to the thinking of U.S. customers who are used to paying for handsets via inflated contract fees.

Sony Z1S Compact
(Sony Z1 Compact is on the right, Z1 S is on the right.)

Still, the device's biggest flaw isn't the lack of carrier support or unlocked sales model.  At the end of the day the glaring problem is a price.  It remains to be seen how many people would be willing to pay $550 USD for a 720p device.

Sources: Sony, CNET



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Not everyone wants a huge phone...
By frombauer on 7/9/2014 5:03:22 PM , Rating: 2
The S5 is too big and heavy for my taste. So there's a market for powerful phones with screens from 4.3 - 4.5 which remained unexplored until Sony came along.




RE: Not everyone wants a huge phone...
By retrospooty on 7/9/2014 5:08:06 PM , Rating: 3
I wouldn't quite call it "unexplored". Android flagships slowly crept up from 4 to 4.3 to 4.5 to 4.7 4.8 and 5, now 5+ inches.

Currently untapped? That works better. The Sony Zx compacts are really the only high end mid size Androids available today.


RE: Not everyone wants a huge phone...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/10/2014 9:20:46 AM , Rating: 2
What is "mid sized" though? The Nexus weights in at 4.7", and it had top-end specs when new.


By retrospooty on 7/10/2014 9:45:57 AM , Rating: 2
I dunno, I would say anything more than 4 and less than 5 inches today is mid sized? Still, the Nexus 4 at 4.7 was 2 years ago. Today, the Nexus 5 is 5 inches and almost 1 year old, due for a replacement and will probably be 5.2". The "mini" versions of the LG, HTC and Samsung high end phones are just low end phones with a smaller body and similar name. The Sony's are the the only mid size high end phones available today.

Not that I personally care, I am going bigger.


RE: Not everyone wants a huge phone...
By Monkey's Uncle on 7/9/2014 5:36:03 PM , Rating: 2
I suppose there is a small place for high-end phones with more portable screens. I think the guys (or gals) buying them might be more of a minority. I see a phone such as this as a niche product that would appeal to those very few that have some sort of need for a very powerful intermediate-sized phone and don't care about battery life.

Heavy processors like the SD 800 need lots of power. Unfortunately when a phone is smallish like this, it can only hold a likewise smallish battery (2300 mAh is pretty tiny). Battery life will suck hard. Compare that to the Samsung Galaxy S5 which has a 2800 mAh battgery and it is easy to see that the Z1 mini will be spending time on the charger much more frequently.


RE: Not everyone wants a huge phone...
By frombauer on 7/9/2014 6:08:02 PM , Rating: 3
My current S3 is large enough in my pocket and difficult to use one-handed since I don't have huge hands. I much more preferred my old S2 in this respect. Actually I think huge screens are better suited for women since they can carry them in their purses... most phablets I see are in women's hands. Quite looking forward to the Z2 compact, could hit the sweet spot for me.


RE: Not everyone wants a huge phone...
By Monkey's Uncle on 7/9/2014 7:29:06 PM , Rating: 2
I'm currently on the S4.

For me it has just the right mix of compute power, screen resolution and battery consumption while being at the absolute upper limit of screen size.

I would consider moving off of that to a Z1 mini if the Z1 had a replaceable battery and it was made by anyone except Sony ( I really do not like Sony).


By retrospooty on 7/10/2014 9:49:07 AM , Rating: 2
"I'm currently on the S4. For me it has just the right mix of compute power, screen resolution and battery consumption while being at the absolute upper limit of screen size."

You should nab a G2. Today, its super cheap. It's faster, better screen, less bloat, better battery life. Better than the S4 all around. All that with a bigger screen and the same size body.


By norazi on 7/10/2014 6:17:22 PM , Rating: 2
I use an s4 google edition and my wife uses the z1 compact so I have personal experience with both. You will not be able to goto the z1 compacts smaller screen. the problem with phones that use onscreen nav buttons (home, back, multitask) is that it takes up a good chunk of the screen. so that nexus5 is actually only a 4.8" screen or so and the z1 compacts screen seems much smaller than 4.3" would suggest... closer in size to the iphone5's 4" screen. if sony had made the bezel smaller on their Z line and squeezed a 4.5-4.7" screen into the current size I would consider it.


By EasyC on 7/9/2014 8:29:48 PM , Rating: 2
Your thoughts on battery life are wrong. The screen takes up the majority of battery consumption. Seeing as the s5 has to power a larger screen with many more pixels, it would probably spend more time looking for an outlet than the z1c... in fact I know it to be true. I'm a heavy user and my z1c has more battery left at the end of a day (50-60%) than my buddy with an s5.


By norazi on 7/10/2014 6:23:36 PM , Rating: 2
check the benchmarks.... snapdragon 800 is a very efficient SoC. My wife's z1 compact gets nearly double the battery life of my galaxy s4 which has a much larger battery and powered by snapdragon 600


Snapdragon 800
By SonyZ1CompactUser on 7/9/2014 1:27:44 PM , Rating: 2
I've been using this phone for 4 months now, and I think it's awesome...

quote:
However, the processor (Snapdragon 800) and display (720p) are rather pedestrian, given the relatively high price.


You realize that 6 months ago the Snapdragon 800 was the best available... And nobody has a 1080p screen in 4.3" yet - especially considering that most Minis from back then didn't even have 720p?




RE: Snapdragon 800
By bug77 on 7/9/2014 1:48:24 PM , Rating: 2
Considering the 801 and 805 are just clock bumps, I don't see the problem either. Quite the contrary, Snapdragon 800+ was found to heavily throttle because of heat when placed in even larger phones. I'm wondering if it isn't too much for a smaller body.


RE: Snapdragon 800
By SonyZ1CompactUser on 7/9/2014 2:11:27 PM , Rating: 2
Well I haven't noticed any throttling on my side since the Android 4.4 OTA upgrade - but then again I don't play much more than a little fruit ninja on the side.


RE: Snapdragon 800
By bug77 on 7/9/2014 6:27:58 PM , Rating: 2
You wouldn't notice unless actively monitoring the CPU frequency.


RE: Snapdragon 800
By Sonicmerlin on 7/9/2014 11:20:28 PM , Rating: 2
The 801 and 805 are literally just hire binned versions of the 800. IOW they are all exactly the same SoC. The author calling it the 800 "pedestrian" is just a demonstration of ignorance.


RE: Snapdragon 800
By retrospooty on 7/10/2014 8:08:15 AM , Rating: 2
"The 801 and 805 are literally just hire binned versions of the 800"

Speed wise- the 801 is a higher binned 800, but it also has some pretty extensive power improvements. The battery life is noticeably better using it over hte 800 (not that the 800 was bad). The 805 isn't even out yet, but it has a much higher end GPU than the 800/801.

"The author calling it the 800 "pedestrian" is just a demonstration of ignorance."

I agree with you there. The 800 is still a very potent mobile SOC.


RE: Snapdragon 800
By retrospooty on 7/9/2014 2:09:37 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, the Snap800 is plenty powerful, especially if only pushing a 1280x720 screen.


RE: Snapdragon 800
By ComputerJuice on 7/10/2014 4:46:51 PM , Rating: 2
Im in the same boat... I bought it from the mfr for $650 in advance. I would love to have had the cheaper price, but it has been easily the best phone ive ever used, and works on every carrier in the world (I travel alot).


The price is a flaw?
By EasyC on 7/9/14, Rating: 0
RE: The price is a flaw?
By Reclaimer77 on 7/9/2014 2:34:08 PM , Rating: 2
The S5 Mini isn't going to be delayed for six months.

You people really should learn to comprehend context.

The Z1 Compact was a great phone when new, but Sony decided to delay it (why?). It's still a great phone today, but it's already "old".

Trying to get full price for a phone that's already been out half a year....yeah good luck with that. I can buy a 5"+ smartphone with an 801 for less than that.

And praise the S5 Mini? I would hardly call it 'praise'. Why are you so against that phone anyway? Sheesh. For the last six months the Z1 might as well have not existed for most of us. Get that?


RE: The price is a flaw?
By danbob999 on 7/9/2014 2:57:15 PM , Rating: 2
Even after 6 months it's still the best 4.3" phone out there.


RE: The price is a flaw?
By SonyZ1CompactUser on 7/9/2014 3:23:19 PM , Rating: 2

quote:
Trying to get full price for a phone that's already been out half a year


quote:
The phone launched in Europe in February, priced at €550 (~$750 USD), and is sold as an unlocked handset. Comparatively, the U.S. launch trims a little over a quarter of the price of the international edition.


quote:
You people really should learn to comprehend context
- Reclaimer77


RE: The price is a flaw?
By Dr3amCast on 7/9/2014 4:43:22 PM , Rating: 2
I'm currently looking to purchase a phone off contract. I would preferably love to own a OnePlus One but it's going to be months before supply can meet demand even after it formally launches to the public. This has left me looking exclusively at the LG G3, and Xperia Z2.

I have my reason for wanting one of these, but I think the price of the Z1 compact does play a role here. In my mind, I can pay $550 for this Z1, or pay not that much more for the newer and improved Z2 (about $65ish on Amazon). To me that's a no-brainer I would just fork over the extra money for the Z2.

I think $499 would have been the sweet spot for this phone. It shares the same cpu/gpu as the Nexus 5, which retails for less with a larger screen, but forgoes water/dust resistance and has a lesser camera.


RE: The price is a flaw?
By EasyC on 7/9/2014 8:34:34 PM , Rating: 2
Ive had the z1c in the states since February. I bought it on amazon.... with prime shipping.

So yes it existed... and yes it was easily attainable. Try searching for it next time.

And I'm against the s5 mini because its slower and just as expensive. It doesn't offer much if anything above the z1c...and Samsung is trying to pass it off as new with a new like price. What part about that can't you comprehend?


720p
By danbob999 on 7/9/2014 1:54:23 PM , Rating: 2
"It remains to be seen how many people would be willing to pay $550 USD for a 720p device."

It could be worse. Some people pay $650 for a 1136x640 device with half the RAM.




RE: 720p
By EasyC on 7/9/2014 2:01:34 PM , Rating: 2
That doesn't count, it's not in the RDF.


RE: 720p
By retrospooty on 7/9/2014 2:07:07 PM , Rating: 2
Yup... If you really think about it the RDF is worth alot more than the additional $100 price. There is at least $300-400 worth of RDF in every iPhone, so in that sense it's a bargain.


For a mini it is a nice phone.
By Monkey's Uncle on 7/9/2014 5:17:22 PM , Rating: 2
Good processor
Good memory
Good screen resolution
Good good camera
More portable than most top tier phones.

There's not a lot to dislike.

IMHO the only things it has against it is:

1 Smallish non-swappable battery. That battery is not enough for that power hungry SoC - and you can't swap it. To me that is a no-go.

2. It is made by Sony. That is a me-thing. I do not like Sony whatsoever for my own reasons.

Beyond those two very personal things, this is a really nice phone.




RE: For a mini it is a nice phone.
By EasyC on 7/9/2014 8:36:46 PM , Rating: 2
Again with the battery life. The battery life lasts longer than you think. See my post above before you keep posting false misinformed information.


RE: For a mini it is a nice phone.
By norazi on 7/10/2014 6:21:00 PM , Rating: 2
snapdragon 800 is not a power hungry SoC... most s800 devices (including this z1 compact) get better battery life compared to s4 or s600 based devices


Screen resolution is fine
By esteinbr on 7/9/2014 1:29:11 PM , Rating: 2
The screen resolution is fine. The lower rez is largely a function of the smaller size. It is still ~340 dpi which is still a fairly high dpi. Sure it's not as high as some other phones but it is also an IPS display and not a AOMLED which often times needs a higher dpi to cover up the fact that it isn't a simple 3 subpixel arrangement and instead often has odd strips or 2 subpixels per pixel.




RE: Screen resolution is fine
By chµck on 7/9/2014 2:19:24 PM , Rating: 2
I'd think that more people would want AMOLED screens on media consumption devices.


By OnyxNite on 7/9/2014 2:46:28 PM , Rating: 3
Sony is expected to launch the the new Z3 and Z3 Compact at IFA in Berlin Sept. 5-10th. Hopefully the Z3s will have some carrier support here in the U.S.




Pedestrian?
By jmunjr on 7/9/2014 1:33:49 PM , Rating: 2
Curious how the processor and display are pedestrian. The 800 is a darn good processor and was one of the best when this phone was first released internationally. The display is great for a 4.5" screen.




Easily found for under $450
By norazi on 7/10/2014 6:19:49 PM , Rating: 2
The international version of this phone has been out forever and you can get them easily for under $450 via online shops. I bought mine for $380 shipped last month on ebay (brand new from a mobile store). Its a VERY impressive phone for ~$400 as I believe it has superior specs compared to a $600 iphone5




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