Dell was the first company to launch a smartphone called “Streak” in 2010 that had a 5-inch display. At that time reviews were questioning if anyone was willing to carry a phone that big all the time. Less than 6 years later, people are carrying even larger smartphones, virtually killing the “compactness” concept of mobile phones. And today, a 5-inch screen is now considered as small. However, while Apple seems to be unchallenged leader in this “small” category, the new Sony Xperia X Compact wants to muscle in on iPhone SE territory. So, how compact is the new Sony Compact? Well, it has a 4.6 inch display, so that’s smaller than the iPhone 7. Aside from this, the Sony Xperia X Compact wants to get away with its decently powerful phone at $499 (unlocked) by being compact enough (you can hold it while holding on to a train railing), a 720p resolution display, Qualcomm quick charge 3.0 standard that makes the battery last for a full day on average use, and Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor with 3GB of RAM. It’s not bad actually for a $499 phone, but it could have been better especially when shown side by side with other $500 phones.
For that price everyone knows that you’ll have a smaller screen (not that fun when watching videos), the keyboard is cramped, and you’ll see less on your browser especially when you check your email. So with this alone, people might tend to go over to an iPhone which has far better features. The Sony Xperia X has no fingerprint scanner, not even slight waterproofing, and a massive bottom bezel that feels like wasted space. The volume rocker is also oddly located below the power button on the bottom right side. That is so awkward and a tendency to turn off the phone when mistakenly attempting to touch the volume buttons. Again, for a $500 phone, the camera can’t even beat the iPhone, and Apple’s first generation of iPhones weren’t that big on camera resolutions. By itself the Xperia X has a decent 23-megapixel sensor that keeps daylight details sharp and with nice colors and accuracy. According to HQ Grand Prairie, this new Sony phone was the first smartphone that has a built-in 5-axis image stabilization system which will be used for recording videos.
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But that’s in daylight, so night photography becomes a struggle and with a need to override the default “superior auto” mode and switch to manual mode so the rather powerful camera app can adjust accordingly. For a $499 phone, it’s decent, and it’s still Sony. But for that same price, the more successful iPhone SE gives you a faster chip, more superior camera, better screen, higher-end external build and materials, and a fingerprint scanner, all on a same-sized phone. And speaking of compact phones, remember that even if OnePlus 3, Huawei Honor 8, and ZTE Axon 7 can’t give Apple a run for their money, they all cost around $400 and are almost just as strong across the board as the Sony Xperia X. So, again, people will suddenly have even more choices rather than choosing from just between Sony and Apple.