Sony Compact phones are a special breed. What Sony Mobile does is take their flagship product and squeeze it into a compact smartphone size. This is probably the only mobile brand still dedicated to providing compact premium smartphones.
The term “compact phone” is used to describe not just any kind of small phone, but specifically a premium phone that has a compact size – usually 5 inches and less. By default, modern high-end smartphones have a motto – be powerful AND be big. As such, power users who prefer handier phones have been abandoned by all but one Android phone makers.
Sony Mobile is that one brand that still caters to that need or preference. Every year, the brand launches one compact smartphone. For years, the default screen size of Sony Compact phones was 4.5/4.6 inches. In 2018, we saw that go up to 5 inches. Rumours say that the 2019 compact smartphone from Sony will feature a 5.7-inch FHD+ 21:9 display.
Which is fine. Personally, I define today’s compact smartphones as those with a scren of less than 6 inches in size. With a 5.7″ display, the rumoured upcoming Sony Compact phone for 2019, known for now as Sony Xperia 4, falls squarely within my definition of a compact smartphone.
If you are interested in compact phones with flagship build quality, features and performance, I have a definitive list of all Sony Compact smartphones from the last 5 years. Five years is enough to go back to if you atre shopping for a compact today. They are all flagships and so all still have solid specs even by today’s standards.
All Sony Compact phones from 2015 to 2019
Sony Xperia 4 (2019)
This is a rumoured device and won’t be official for a while, but we are told it will be a compact version of the 21:9 aspect ratio Xperia 1. It is expected to be announced with a 5.7″ FHD+ display, Snapdragon 710 processor, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, a rear dual camera setup, and a 2800 mAh battery.
Sony is rebranding its Compact line up, it seems, as the term “Compact” is missing from the Xperia 4’s name. Personally, I prefer that the tag be retained. It helps you immediately identify which model is a compact smartphone.
Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact – 2018
The Xperia XZ2 has a 5″ IPS LCD display with Gorilla Glass 5 protection, Snapdragon 845 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, a 19MP rear camera, and a 2870mAh battery with 18W quick charging (Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3.0).
This 2018 Sony Compact phone shipped with Android 8 Oreo from the factory but is getting Android 9 Pie update.
The Xperia XZ2 is made of glass in front, with an aluminium frame sandwiched betwee that and the plastic back. A fingerprint reader is located at the back and like all Sony flagships, the phone has an IP68 water/dust resistant rating.
Price? $379 only.
Sony Xperia XA2 – 2018
Sony made another compact smartphone in 2018 – the Xperia XA2. Yes; it doesn’t have the “Compact” tag on it either, but with a 5.2″ display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 and a Snapdragon 630 processor, it is close enough, so we are listing it here.
Take those photos with the 23MP rear camera. RAM is 3GB, storage is 32GB, and the battery is of 3300mAh capacity and supports 18W fast charging as well. This is a very respectable compact smartphone. What will delight bargain hunters even more is the very pocket-friendly price tag.
Price: $195 only.
Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact – 2017
Take the XZ2 Compact, replace the SD845 with an SD835 chip. And instead of a 64GB storage, put in 32GB, and you would almost have Sony’s 2017 compact smartphone, the Xperia XZ1 Compact. It has a modest 4.6″ display of 720 x 1280 pixels resolution and an old school 16:9 aspect ratio. There is a 2700mAh battery with 18W quick charging.
In other words, the XZ2 Compact was an incremental update to the XZ1 Compact from 2017. But this configuration will still deliver impressive performance today.
Sony Xperia X Compact – 2016
If you are really on a budget and want a compact smartphone, the Xperia X Compact, launched in 2017, is a good place to look. With a 4.5″ display, 23MP camera, 3GB of RAM, 32GB storage, and a 2700mAh battery with 18W quick charging.
The processor is a mid-range affair – a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 – so you may not get full premium performance, but it is as close as it gets.
Sony Xperia Z5 Compact – 2015
The last Sony Compact phone – and the least – on our list (do you see my rhyme?) is the 4.6″ Xperia Z5 Compact from 5 years ago. There is a Snapdragon 810 under the hood, along with 2GB of RAM. Storage space is 32GB. There is a 23MP rear camera, a 2700mAh battery and 18W fast charging.
If you are really, really on a budget for a compact premium phone….the Xperia Z5 Compact will meet your budget – if you can still find it on sale.