Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact now on sale in US

The 4.3-inch smartphone goes for about $550 unlocked and is ordered directly from Sony.

The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact CNET

The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is now on sale in the US, after launching overseas earlier this year.

The 4.3-inch water- and dust-resistant smartphone sells for about $550 unlocked and comes in black, white, or pink.

Sony has had a difficult time gaining traction with US customers, as the electronics company and many others have had to fight against Apple and Samsung Electronics, which now dominate the smartphone market. Sony also has struggled to garner support from US carriers, with T-Mobile being its only major backer recently.

With a lack of carriers, Sony has been trying to sell unlocked phones directly to consumers -- as it's doing with the Xperia Z1 Compact -- but it has had mixed results, as many US consumers are used to subsidies that lower the upfront cost of their phones.

Featured Video

This Nokia virtual-reality camera costs $60,000

Good VR doesn't come cheap, as evidenced by Nokia's Ozo 360-degree video camera. Meanwhile, Swatch's next smartwatch has mobile payments, and Blocks lets you build your own smartwatch.

by Bridget Carey