Sony Xperia X Compact release date, news and features

The Sony Xperia XZ might be Sony's big new flagship, but sometimes smaller is better, as the Sony Xperia X Compact, unveiled alongside the XZ at IFA 2016, aims to prove.

This is a little phone with big ambitions, shown by its near-flagship specs, including a premium build, a high-end camera and plenty of RAM.

You'll be able to buy the X Compact soon, and to help you decide if this is the mini for you, here's everything you need to know about it.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The latest small phone from Sony
  • When is it out? From early September
  • What will it cost? A lot probably, but less than the Xperia XZ

Sony Xperia X Compact release date and price

The Sony Xperia X Compact goes on sale globally from September, and more specifically from September 5 in the UK, so it's only a few days away, but so far pricing for the phone hasn't been confirmed. The Xperia Z5 Compact launched at $500/£429 (around AU$660) and a similar cost for the new model is likely.

We'll update you with the exact pricing and the release dates for areas other than the UK once we know them.

Sony Xperia X Compact design and screen

Even a brief glance will tell you that the Xperia X Compact is a Sony phone, but it is slightly different from what's come before.

Xperia X Compact

There's a ceramic-like material on the back, rounded sides and a flat top and bottom. At just 129 x 65 x 9.5mm and 135g the phone is as compact as the name suggests, making it easy to hold and use one-handed. The X Compact will be available in white, black or blue, but sadly there's no waterproofing here.

There's a 4.6-inch 720 x 1280 IPS LCD display on the Sony Xperia X Compact, giving it a pixel density of 319 pixels per inch. So it's not the sharpest screen around, but it's almost a match for the iPhone 6S and the small size is increasingly rare to see, especially combined with good specs.

Sony Xperia X Compact camera and battery

The camera is often a big focus for Sony and that's no exception here, with the Xperia X Compact sporting a 23MP sensor on the back, complete with 5-axis image stabilization, to keep your shots blur-free, as well as better white balance control than previous Xperia handsets and a laser autofocus for speedier focusing.

Xperia X Compact

The camera also launches fast, with Sony claiming it can go from standby to capture in just 0.6 seconds, so you never miss a snap.

On the front there's just a 5MP sensor, but this is still in line with big name phones like the Samsung Galaxy S7.

For battery you get a 2700mAh unit, and there's clever tech included which allows the battery to learn your charging habits and adapt accordingly, so it doesn't wear out as fast.

For example, if you usually stick your phone on charge overnight and unplug it at 7AM the X Compact will race up to 90% charge and then leave the last 10% until just before your alarm goes off. The phone also supports Quick Charge 2.0, so you can juice it up quickly when you need to.

Sony Xperia X Compact OS and power

The Xperia X Compact runs Android Marshmallow out of the box, but we've heard from a Sony spokesperson that it will be updated to Android Nougat ASAP. Of course the operating system is overlaid with Sony's own UI, so you're not getting stock Android.

The X Compact isn't quite a flagship, but it's reasonably powerful, with 3GB of RAM (up from just 2GB on the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact) and a hexa-core Snapdragon 650 processor, which has two cores clocked at 1.8GHz and four running at 1.4GHz.

That's a mid-range processor and actually a step down from the Snapdragon 810 powering the Xperia Z5 Compact. It also makes the phone less powerful than the Sony Xperia XZ, so don't think of this as a flagship handset in a smaller package.

Sony Xperia X Compact other features

There's a fingerprint scanner built into the power button on the right edge of the handset, or at least there is in some regions – it's not clear yet whether the US will get the scanner, as it was missing from the Xperia Z5 in the US.

Xperia X Compact

The other major feature of the Sony Xperia X Compact is its USB-C port. Along with the Xperia XZ this is the first Sony phone to use the new charging technology, which allows you to plug your cable in either way around.

There's also plenty of storage on offer, with 32GB built in and a microSD card slot allowing for expansion by up to 256GB more.

Like many other Sony handsets, the Xperia X Compact also supports PS4 Remote Play and high-resolution audio.

  • Check out all the other news from IFA 2016