Sony Xperia Z1 Compact crams in high-end specs for £439

Sony's new Xperia Z1 Compact is exactly what it says on the tin -- just as good as the Z1, but packed into a smaller body and out in the UK next month.

Nick Hide Managing copy editor
Nick manages CNET's advice copy desk from Springfield, Virginia. He's worked at CNET since 2005.
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After years of banging on about Samsung short-changing punters with its rubbish Galaxy S Minis, it's a delight to see a company other than Apple taking small-screened phones seriously. Sony's new Xperia Z1 Compact is exactly what it says on the tin -- just as good as its flagship Z1, but packed into a smaller body.

Out in the UK next month and available to pre-order now, the Z1 Compact is a 4.3-inch pocket rocket, with a 20-megapixel camera, 4G and a beefy quad-core processor. Like its big brother, it's waterproof too, and runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

While the screen isn't the Full HD of last year's most thumb-stretching blowers, its 720p display is more than a match for the iPhone's retina resolution, with a density of 340 pixels per inch.

Here it is next to the full-size Z1:

Available in black, grey, lurid pink and sickly lime green, Phones4U has it up for preorder for free on contracts from £29 per month, with a free Sony wireless speaker thrown in. If you want it SIM-free, Unlocked Mobiles has it for £439.

That puts the Z1 Compact a cut above other cut-down phones such as the HTC One Mini, which you'll find for around £365, or the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, which is even cheaper at £253.

Those are less powerful devices, however, with dual-core processors. HTC's effort has the same 720p screen as the Z1 compact, and the same camera as the proper HTC One, but the S4 Mini cuts corners all the way around.

You can read our full hands-on first take with the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact here, and see Luke getting to grips with the colourful little fella in our video:

What do you make of Sony's new diminutive device? Has it hit the nail on the head? Is £400+ too much? Cram your thoughts into our comments box below, or stretch out on our reasonably sized Facebook page.