Sony's Xperia X Compact is basically the newest version of the Z5 Compact that hit the US earlier this year. But just because it's a newer version of the (comparatively) tiny handset doesn't mean it's an upgrade in every way. Sony is pushing the camera sensors in the X Compact and the flagship-level XZ, as well as new features like five-axis image stabilization and HDR photo mode. Sony knows cameras, so we know the shooter in the X Compact will at least be competent. However, it has to be good enough to encourage photography buffs to shell out $499 for this unlocked handset while delivering solid performance across the board as well.
Look and feel
The X Compact is cut from the same cloth as the Z5 Compact. It's a little brick-like handset that measures 5.0 x 2.56 x 0.37-inches, and its diminutiveness at first struck me as cute, but then became somewhat frustrating. My daily smartphone is an iPhone 6—not even the big 6 Plus—and everything about the X Compact felt small to me. I became frustrated with things like the onscreen keyboard in particular; my fingers would often miss keys or hit the wrong ones while typing out messages at my normal texting speed. But size is a matter of taste, and the X Compact's smallness is part of the point—I like something a little bigger, but if you want a smaller Android phone, this is still one of just a few options.