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- 2,700mAh battery lasts longer than ever thanks to efficient Snapdragon 650
- Camera hardware produces mostly sharp results and the software is intuitive
Like the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact, the X Compact features a 2,700mAh battery. For a phone its size, it's a good amount of juice and can keep the phone going with very minimal use for well over two days.
If you're a moderate to heavy user, as most people are these days, the X Compact will likely last you through the day. We found that on a day spent gaming, hopping on a few video calls and using Google Allo frequently, battery carried on into the next day, but barely. You'll probably still just want to fill it up at night.
Compared to previous Sony phones, the X Compact shows superb battery retention, even after viewing an HD movie for 90 minutes. It only dropped down to 84%, which is a testament to the more efficient ARM Cortex-A72 cores used here.
Moving onto the camera, what we have here also isn't changed all that much from what was packed into the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact - not that it's a bad thing. The main camera shoots 23MP photos with 5x optical zoom, but it has been switched from the Exmor RS to the Exmor R, which is more skilled at low-light shooting.
Other notable differences over the last iteration is the added 5-axis image stabilization and HDR photo mode. Unfortunately, 4K video recording has gotten the axe in favor of 1080p (FHD) video at 60 frames per second (FPS).
In our time with the phone, we found that the photos shot with the auto mode came out highly detailed with accurate colors and contrast. A few examples that you'll see on the next page are over-exposed in auto mode, but that is easily remedied by the manual mode - that is, if you have the patience to adjust the settings for each photo.
The front-facing camera runs on an Exmor R sensor as well and can shoot 5MP pictures with its 25mm lens that has an aperture of f/2.4. You won't see the low-light prowess coming through on this selfie cam, but it's still a pretty serviceable camera when you need it.
Touching lightly on the camera software, it's intuitive and fun to use. Switching between the front and rear cameras is as simple as swiping across the screen, and Sony's well-placed shutter button loads the camera app in a snap. It even lets you do a half-press to get things in focus before committing to a shot. Sony's camera app is on par with Samsung and LG's in terms of its ease of use and feature list.
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Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.