Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Sony's Xperia X Compact offsets its unbelievably tiny screen with an enormous camera (hands-on)

Downright adorable at 4.6 inches, the utterly pocketable Sony Xperia X Compact promises camera prowess with the same 23-megapixel shooter as Sony's top-tier phones.

Jessica Dolcourt Editorial Director, Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt's career with CNET began in 2006, and spans reviews, reporting, analysis and commentary for desktop software; mobile software, including the very first Android and iPhone apps and operating systems; and mobile hardware, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of practical advice on expansive topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Expertise Team leadership, audience engagement, iPhone, Android, iOS, tips and FAQs.
Jessica Dolcourt

Sony's Xperia X Compact is a phone of contrasts.

It packs the same 23-megapixel camera as the higher-end Xperia XZ that Sony announced alongside it, but in an itty-bitty body. How tiny? The X Compact's 4.6-inch display looks positively peewee compared with the XZ's 5.2-inch screen. The pro: It's seriously palmable and easy to use one-handed. The con: Its small screen is harder to read. There's less room for your fingertip taps, too.

Just how small is Sony's 4.6-inch Xperia X Compact?

See all photos

Another thing you should know: The phone's body is made of glossy plastic instead of the XZ's metal, though I didn't mind. It makes sense for the phone type, but it's important that the price be right. It doesn't have the waterproofing of some more top-tier Sony phones.

Still, the X Compact doesn't feel like a throwaway device. In addition to identical cameras, the two new Xperias have nearly the same battery capacity -- 2,700mAh versus 2,900mAh -- as well as the same USB-C charger port and same 3GB of RAM. That's pretty generous for a small phone that I expect to come in at a budget price -- but we don't have anything official yet. In some senses, Sony's generosity could wind up making the X Compact the better deal.

Sony starts selling the small handset in September (on September 25 in the US).

Sony Xperia XZSony Xperia X Compact
Software Android 6.0.1 MarshmallowAndroid 6.0.1 Marshmallow
Display 5.2-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels4.6-inch; 1,280x720 pixels
Construction Metal buildPolycarbonate (plastic) build
Rear camera 23-megapixel23-megapixel
Front-facing camera 13-megapixel5-megapixel
Processor Snapdragon 820Snapdragon 650
Storage 32GB/64GB32GB of storage
Battery 2,900mAh2,700mAh
Fingerprint reader Globally; not in USGlobally; not in US
Waterproofing IP68None