Reviewing Sony Xperia X Compact

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The Sony Xperia X Compact is a rarity — a small phone with a big, terrific camera. That’s 23 megapixels’ worth of snapping power in a body small enough to fit into almost any pocket. And to me, the pint-size X Compact seems a pretty good fit.

Coming in at $449 and £379, the X Compact is large on charm. (No mention has been made of the X Compact coming to Australia, but hope springs eternal. In the meantime, its US price works out to AU$587, converted.) But the odd exclusion of conveniences found on the X Compact in other countries is a real head-scratcher. For example, buyers in Sony’s home country of Japan get waterproofing and a fingerprint sensor, but UK residents don’t get the H2O resistance, and US users get neither.

If you’re an Android fan looking for a small-screen phone, your choices are few. You’d do right with the Xperia X Compact, so long as you can accept the omissions.

If iPhones are just as good for you, the SE sticks to the same pricing scale — though it has a much smaller display. You can also upgrade to the similarly sized iPhone 7 or cheaper 6S — but you’ll definitely pay more.

Design and basics
The screen is 4.6 inches, a filament smaller than the iPhone 7 (4.7 inches).No joke — the first thing you notice about the Sony Xperia X Compact is that it’s small. Or at least, it looks small. But its chunky body and thick bezel mean there’s actually more phone in your hand than you’d guess. Still, the X Compact is wonderful to use one-handed.

You will either love or hate its blocky, flat looks — no camera bump here. In a market dominated by superthin phones made of glass and aluminum, the Compact X’s thick plastic demeanor is refreshingly unique, especially in Mist Blue.

The 720-pixel display is bright and sharp, and it handles direct sunlight like a pro. Battery life was a solid 11 hours, 28 minutes in our video loop tests. Some of that longevity comes from it the fact that it runs Android 6.0.1.

The X Compact handled daily-tasks without a problem — posting social media, messaging and watching the occasional “Carpool Karaoke” video. Gaming (FIFA Mobile, Clash Royale) on the X Compact was a breeze, but made me yearn for a bigger screen.

If you own a PS4, Sony’s preloaded PlayStation app connects you to the console as a remote or even a second screen.