Sony Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact hands-on: Tiny upgrades

Sony Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact hands-on: Tiny upgrades

Sony is unveiling a pair of new high-end phones, including a new Compact variant that brings power down to a manageable size.

It’s almost September, which means that Sony is readying another duo of phones for the consumer market. And as Sony is wont to do, these phones are nearly visually identical to the ones that came before it.

Don’t think, from my dour tone, that I don’t respect this decision since Sony appears to be moving in the right direction from a financial perspective, but it’s difficult to view the company’s output as anything more than a by-the-books consideration of what it believes a smartphone should be. In other words, with such consistency comes a bankruptcy of creativity.

This leads to me the two phones on display: the Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ1 Compact. The former is an almost-perfect hybrid of the Xperia XZ from this time last year and the Xperia XZ Premium, which was unveiled at Mobile World Congress in March. The latter, the first to bear the Compact moniker in the XZ line, shrinks the XZ Premium’s qualities even further, and in doing so is sure to find a niche amongst smartphone users exasperated by the “bigger is better” trend in smartphones these days.

Being miniature versions of the Xperia XZ Premium, these phones share much of that phone’s internal specifications, including a Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM and its MotionEye camera technology, though here we have a few software improvements. Speaking of software, these phones launch with Android 8.0 Oreo, and it’s likely that when the XZ1 comes out on September 19 that it will be the first new handset to ship with Google’s new version…

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