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 (£449 at Apple) or cheaper 6S -- but you'll definitely pay more.
Design and basics
No joke -- the first thing you notice about the Sony Xperia X Compact is that it's small. Or at least, it looks small. The screen is 4.6 inches, a filament smaller than the iPhone 7 (4.7 inches). 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.