Mobile Phones Guide

Specs Compared: Sony Xperia Z1 Compact vs. Apple iPhone 5S vs. Nokia Lumia 1020

Specs Compared: Sony Xperia Z1 Compact vs Apple iPhone 5S vs Nokia Lumia 1020

How the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Punches Above Its Weight

Miniature versions of flagship smartphones generally come with watered-down specs such as a slower, less advanced processor, less RAM and weaker imaging hardware. This is evident in the string of releases from ASUS, HTC and Samsung where the PadFone Mini, the One Mini, and the Galaxy S4 Mini are not as well equipped as their larger counterparts.

Sony apparently doesn't believe in that; it unveiled the Xperia Z1 Compact at CES 2014 last month, which is a 4.3-inch variant of its flagship Xperia Z1. How different is the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact from the other "mini" flagship devices? Well, here's a quick overview of the specs:

Mini Flagship Smartphones Compared
  ASUS PadFone Mini HTC One Mini Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
Launch SRP
  • From S$399
  • From S$688
  • From S$698
  • From S$798
Latest Price
  • From S$399
  • From S$510
  • From S$525
  • From S$630
Operating system
  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with ASUS ZenUI (upgradable to Android 4.4 KitKat)
  • Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with HTC Sense 5
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
Processor
  • Intel Atom Z2560 dual-core 1.6GHz
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 dual-core 1.4GHz
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 dual-core 1.7GHz
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core 2.2GHz
Built-in Memory
  • 1GB RAM
  • 1GB RAM
  • 1.5GB RAM
  • 2GB RAM
Display
  • 4-inch / 800 x 480 pixels / IPS+
  • 4.3-inch / 1280 x 720 / Super LCD 2 Display
  • 4.3-inch / 960 x 540 pixels / Super AMOLED
  • 4.3-inch / 1,280 x 720 pixels / TRILUMINOS™ Display for mobile with X-Reality
Camera
  • Rear: 8-megapixel with F2.0 aperture
  • Front: 2-megpaixel
  • Rear: 4-megapixel HTC UltraPixel with BSI, HTC ImageSense 2, f/2.0
  • Front: 1.6-megapixel
  • Rear: 8 Megapixels
  • Front: 1.9 Megapixels
  • Rear: 20.7-megapixel with Sony Exmor RS® for mobile image sensor
  • Front: 2-megapixel
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 (EDR + A2DP), micro-USB
  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.0 with aptX, DLNA, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v4.0 LE, NFC, IR LED (Remote Control), micro-USB 2.0
  • Wi-Fi (2.4/5Ghz) a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA, NFC, MHL support
Storage Type
  • 8GB internal storage
  • micro-SD support up to 64GB
  • 16GB internal storage
  • 8GB internal storage
  • micro-SD support up to 64GB
  • 16GB internal storage
  • micro-SD support up to 64GB
Battery
  • 1,170mAh
  • 1,800mAh
  • 1,900mAh
  • 2,300mAh
Dimensions
  • 124.42 x 61.44 x 6.3~11.2mm
  • 132 x 63.2 x 9.25mm
  • 124.6 x 61.3 x 8.94mm
  • 127 x 64.9 x 9.5 mm
Weight
  • 116g
  • 122g
  • 107g
  • 137g

 

Best 4-inch Smartphones from Android, iOS and Windows Phone Compared

As seen in the comparison above, the Xperia Z1 Compact is the first of its kind to come with flagship worthy specs. More importantly, consumers now have another choice in the under 5-inch premium smartphone category beside the iPhone 5S and Nokia Lumia 1020. How good are its specs compared to the other two smartphones? Let's take a look: 

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact vs Apple iPhone 5S vs Nokia Lumia 1020
  Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Apple iPhone 5S Nokia Lumia 1020
Launch SRP
  • From S$798
  • From S$988
  • From S$999
Latest Price
  • From S$630
  • From S$800
Operating system
  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
  • iOS 7
  • Windows Phone 8
Processor
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core 2.2GHz
  • Apple A7 64-bit dual-core 1.3GHz
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core 1.5GHz
Built-in Memory
  • 2GB RAM
  • 1GB RAM
  • 2GB RAM
Display
  • 4.3-inch / 1,280 x 720 pixels / TRILUMINOS™ Display for mobile with X-Reality
  • 4-inch / 1,136 x 640 resolution / IPS
  • 4.5-inch / 1,280 x 768 resolution / AMOLED
Camera
  • Rear: 20.7-megapixel with Sony Exmor RS® for mobile image sensor
  • Front: 2-megapixel
  • Rear: 8-megapixels with autofocus and dual warm/cool LED flashes
  • Front: 1.2-megapixels FaceTime HD camera
  • Rear: 41-megapixels with Carl Zeiss Tessar lens, xenon flash and optical image stabilization
  • Front: 1.2-megapixel
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi (2.4/5Ghz) a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA, NFC, MHL support
  • Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n) (802.11n: 2.4 and 5 GHz), 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS & GLONASS, Lightning connector, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v3.0, NFC, micro-USB 2.0, 3.5mm audio connector
Storage Type
  • 16GB internal storage
  • micro-SD support up to 64GB
  • 16 / 32 / 64GB internal storage
  • 32GB internal storage
Battery
  • 2,300mAh
  • 1,560mAh
  • 2,000mAh
Dimensions
  • 127 x 64.9 x 9.5 mm
  • 58.6 x 123.8 x 7.6mm (W x H x D)
  • 130.4 x 71.4 x 10.4mm
Weight
  • 137g
  • 112g
  • 158g

 

In terms of specs, the Xperia Z1 Compact is better than the iPhone 5S and Lumia 1020 in some aspects.

  1.  IP55 / IP58 ratings

    If placed in a harsh environment exposed to elements of weather (rain and dust), the Xperia Z1 Compact is more likely to come out unscathed compared to the other two phones.

    Realistically speaking, Xperia Z1 Compact users have nothing to fear in a sudden downpour of rain or after an accidental spill of water as long as the port covers are closed.
     
  2. Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core 2.2GHz processor

    While the Snapdragon 800 processor is not the latest from Qualcomm, it is found in almost all the flagship devices released last year such as the new ASUS PadFone Infinity, LG G2, Nexus 5Nokia Lumia 1520, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 with LTE+.

    If you've noticed, the devices mentioned above have screen sizes of at least 5 inches. As such, this is the first time the processor is used in a 4.3-inch smartphone. With a lower resolution display to handle (compared to its large screen brethren), more processing power can be devoted for more critical tasks such as gaming.

    Apple on the other hand, has leapfrogged the competition by introducing the 64-bit A7 chip in the iPhone 5S. While the capabilities of the A7 chip are not fully utilized today, it is laying the foundation for what Apple plans to do in the coming years which may include more complex apps and the next generation portable computing devices.
     
  3. MicroSD card slot

    Consumers are doing more things on their smartphones such as taking pictures, recording videos, streaming videos, reading e-books, listening to music and much more. All of these tasks require massive amounts of storage. Although the Xperia Z1 Compact comes with 16GB internal storage, you can easily increase the total storage capacity to 84GB via the microSD card slot.

    The iPhone 5S only comes in 16, 32 and 64GB models with no support for memory cards. Similarly, the Lumia 1020 only has 32GB internal storage space. The absence of a memory card slot certainly limits the amount of multimedia files you can load on your phone.

     
  4. 20.7-megapixel Sony "G" Lens camera

    The 13-megapixel rear camera in the Xperia Z1 Compact is the same as the Z1, which means you get the same 1/2.3-inch image sensor, f/2.0, single LED flash and digital image stabilization.

    It is obviously outclassed by the 41-megapixel rear camera of the Lumia 1020, which has a bigger image sensor at 1/1.5-inch, a xenon flash and optical image stabilization. The 8-megapixel rear camera of the iPhone 5S can hold its hold too with its sensor size of 1/3-inch and dual warm/cold LED flash.

    Depending on the firmware of the Xperia Z1 Compact, the imaging performance may or may not differ from that of the Xperia Z1. We've done a detailed camera phone shootout between the Xperia Z1 and iPhone 5S, explored the imaging capabilities of the Lumia 1020 in the review and a head-on comparison with the Xperia Z1.

    Nonetheless, it is still rather impressive that Sony is able to pack the same imaging hardware in a more compact form factor without having the bulge like the Lumia 1020.
     
  5. A larger battery

    The Xperia Z1 Compact has the largest battery capacity among the three phones compared. While Xperia devices are not known for their battery performance, it remains to be seen if the Z1 Compact can buck the trend and exceed our expectations.

 

 

Availability and Pricing

The Xperia Z1 Compact is scheduled for a global launch this month, but Sony Mobile Singapore has no information on when the device will be available here. If you are interested in getting one, head over to Sony Singapore website to pre-register to receive updates on the Xperia Z1 Compact.