Performance and Storage
The Xperia Z1 Compact also outdoes the Galaxy S4 Mini when it comes to performance, aided by increased levels of RAM and twice the amount of cores.
Sony has fitted the Z1 Compact with a quad-core 2.2GHz CPU and 2GB RAM putting it ahead of the dual-core 1.7GHz S4 Mini with its 1.5GB RAM.
In day to day usage the Galaxy S4 doesn't appear to suffer. Loading times of basic apps like messaging or calendar were nigh on identical, and both devices were smooth when scrolling between home screens.
All the extra cores in the Sony really come into their own when trying more intensive games. Loading times of Sonic Dash for instance were faster, and while most games ran effectively on both, the graphical prowess of the Z1 Compact is significantly higher.
Storage is also going to be an issue, especially if you're planning on watching a lot of movies or downloading a lot of apps. The Xperia Z1 Compact comes slightly better equipped with 16GB instead of the 8GB internally found in the Galaxy S4 Mini.
Both handsets support microSD though, meaning that an extra 64GB of storage can be thrown their way.
Price and colours
The big kicker when it comes to looking at the Z1 Compact and the S4 Mini is the difference in price. Packing in larger and higher power innards does mean that the Z1 Compact comes with a more premium price tag.
SIM free the Galaxy S4 Mini is a lot cheaper, available at around £250, and to get your hands on the Z1 Compact will set you back around £430-£450 SIM free.
Both the Xperia Z1 Compact and Galaxy S4 Mini also come in a range of colours meaning that the traditional black or white handsets are no longer the only kids on the block. Whilst neither can claim to have a smorgasbord of colours they do at least offer something a little different.
Sony has made the Xperia Z1 Compact available in black, white, lime, and pink whereas Samsung has left the S4 Mini to compete in black, white, orange, pink, or purple coloured overalls.
Both manufacturers have also added something to help differentiate themselves. The biggest of these on the Z1 Compact has to be the waterproof nature. This means that you can take photos underwater or text in the bath should the mood catch you.
Sony has also allowed access to the PlayStation mobile store which adds a little extra over and above the offerings that come with the Google Play store. Connect up your PS3 controller through a (purchased separately) USB cable and you no longer need a bog-standard Bluetooth controller.
It doesn't come with an IR blaster like the Galaxy S4 Mini does, so the Z1 Compact can't become a TV remote- it's a function that's useful on occasion, but not something you'd buy the phone for solely.
Both the Galaxy S4 Mini and the Xperia Z1 Compact are smaller screened phones, proving that you don't need to buy a 10000-inch screen phone in order to get a decent mobile experience.
Sony does this with a HD screen for watching movies, and high powered innards that make mobile gaming a real pleasure. It has also thrown in a high powered camera to help take some decent shots when out and about.
Samsung has taken a totally different route, downsizing its flagship in more ways that just size. This means that the Galaxy S4 Mini comes with smaller insides that are perfect for day to day use and for casual gaming but can struggle if you throw very intensive tasks its way.
Those wanting a flagship experience in a smaller package need not look any further than the Xperia Z1 Compact, as while the S4 Mini offers a decent experience at a reduced price it will always disappoint in returning true flagship performance.