Sony Xperia Z6 Compact review
Our Thoughts: We need the Sony Xperia Z6 Compact
We need the Sony Xperia Z6 Compact more than ever and the story leading me to this statement began at the Mobile World Congress in February. Here, Sony announced the new Xperia X series of phones, that will be launched in June.
Update: Sony Xperia X Compact review
When questioned, a Sony executive stated that this new range of phones would replace the Xperia Z range, but Sony later stated that it hadn’t completely written off the possibility of releasing new versions of the Xperia Z series.
However, the smaller Xperia XA has much lower specifications all round, to make it attractive to the budget end of the market. This is a new move, as the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact had the same great spec as its larger cousin, the Xperia Z5.
|Sony Xperia Z5 deals|
And so, we see a huge gap in the market for a new Compact Sony phone that still retains the same camera, processor and features that we will see on the Xperia X and Xperia X Performance.
|Xperia Z5 Compact prices|
It seems pretty clear that we need the Sony Xperia Z6 Compact and here we take a look at how that smartphone could shape up.
Display - What is Compact?
With displays generally getting larger it is difficult to judge exactly what is a compact display. The Xperia Z5 Compact has a 4.6” display, the Xperia XA has a 5” display and in my iPhone SE review I highlighted that this phone will have a 4” display.
|Read the iPhone SE review|
It seems most likely that Sony Xperia Z6 Compact would slot in somewhere between the existing mini Sony phones, probably with a 4.8” display. The display resolution should also be upped from HD (720 x 1080 pixels) to Full HD (1080 x 1920 pixels).
In addition to a better display, Sony will likely colour code the User Interface to match that of the colour of the phone. The new colour range now includes black, white, lime gold and rose gold.
Design - Compact goes on a diet
The Sony Xperia Z5 Compact was a bit of a chunky fellow with a body that was 8.9mm thick and to see the Z6 Compact fall inline with the Xperia XA we will need to see a body that is 7.9mm thin.
This new Sony phone should have an all-metal design with the display protected behind toughened Corning Gorilla Glass. In addition to this there will be IP68 certification for water and dust resistance.
Processor - Qualcomm vs MediaTek
When Sony created the Xperia XA it saved money by opting for the MediaTek Helio P10 processor. For the Sony Xperia Z6 Compact to be a success it would need to keep Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor, which is used by the LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7, in addition to the Xperia X and X Performance.
The Snapdragon 820 is the most remarkable processor around and in comparison to its predecessor it gives 2x the processing performance and 40% improved graphics performance, while using 30% less power.
The processor would undoubtedly be married up with a 32GB internal memory and a microSD card slot, that would support cards with a value of up to 200GB.
Phone Set Up
Getting started - Transfer, upgrade and secure
The first order of set up is to transfer all of the content over from the users old smartphone. Rather handily, Sony has created the Xperia Transfer Mobile feature to do this and it works with both iOS and Android smartphones.
The Sony Xperia Z6 Compact would launch with Android Marshmallow, but depending upon the launch date of this phone, it may already be possible to get a free over-the-air upgrade to Google’s new Android N operating system.
After this, the set up includes pressing the finger on the power button a few times in order to activate fingerprint security.
Sound - Walkman
The Walkman brand may not appear on Sony smartphones but the ethos of the Walkman brand continues regardless. The Sony Xperia Z6 Compact would have Sony’s Hi-Res audio, which restores compressed music files back to recording studio quality.
In addition to this, S-Force 3D will help to project the sound while a minimum 100dB Sound to Noise Ratio ensures clarity, with music being at least 100dB louder than any interference.
Headphone users will not be forgotten and Sony uses a very innovative Virtual Phone Technology to create a cinema or home surround sound experience. This technology was developed by measuring how sounds sound, from different directions, at the point of the ear. This information was then used to create sound algorithms that fool headphone wearers into thinking that sounds are coming from different directions, over 360 degrees.
Apps - Lifelog and more
The Sony Lifelog app is very popular and this will track Xperia Z6 Compact owner’s activities, such as their daily steps, distance walked, calories, heart rate, fitness goals, time spent watching TV and locations visited. Sony mobiles also come with Track ID, What’s New, Weather and the Album app pre-loaded.
Camera & Video
Photography - No skimping on megapixels
When Sony created the budget friendly Xperia XA, it did so through swapping the normal 23MP Sony camera with a 13MP camera, Just like the Z5 Compact we would expect the Z6 Compact to keep the same camera as its larger counterparts, meaning that it should feature a 23MP camera.
This camera would be ready to shoot in under half a second and use a Predictive Hybrid Autofocus to not just lock on to moving objects but actually predict where they will be next, giving focused results no matter where the action goes. It is also likely that the selfie camera will get a boost to 8MP.
Capacity - Same mAh
The Xperia XA has a small 2,300mAh battery while the Xperia Z5 Compact has a better 2,700mAh battery. We would expect the Xperia Z6 Compact to keep the larger option, with usage times improved through more efficient hardware components and a more efficient OS.
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This Sony phone would also feature Quick Charge 3.0, which charges 27% faster than Quick Charge 2.0, while being 38% more energy efficient.
Final thoughts: I have to applaud Sony for creating the Xperia XA, so that those on a restricted budget can get in on the Xperia action. However, we still really need a high spec compact phone and it doesn’t matter whether it is called the Xperia Z6 Compact or the Xperia X Compact, as long as we get one.
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Written by: Michael Brown