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.
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 XZ||Sony Xperia X Compact|
|Software||Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow||Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow|
|Display||5.2-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels||4.6-inch; 1,280x720 pixels|
|Construction||Metal build||Polycarbonate (plastic) build|
|Processor||Snapdragon 820||Snapdragon 650|
|Storage||32GB/64GB||32GB of storage|
|Fingerprint reader||Globally; not in US||Globally; not in US|