Compact Phones

Sony is bringing back compact phones: Xperia Compact to launch soon

Been waiting for compact phones? Sony is bringing one out, but no ETAs yet.

With smartphone sizes increasing every year, people have no option but to buy them without a second thought. But deep inside they actually crave compact phones. A small percentage of the Android users prefer smaller, more compact phones as opposed to the larger phablets.

You can read our last year’s compact phone guide here

Nowadays, we can see phablets going into the 7 inch category, and of course being packed with larger batteries and faster charging support. But not all of the android users prefer those large giant screens staring at them in the face everyday while being unable to fit in their trouser pockets.

Back in the day, some smartphone makers would launch smaller versions of their premium flagships. Samsung had its Galaxy mini while Sony would have its Xperia Compact. Large screens, however, soon became the norm and those smaller premium phones vanished. Until now, that is, when the trend seems to be reversing direction, paving the way for the Xperia Compact’s possible return.

The return of the Xperia Compact

The last compact phone from Sony was the XZ2 compact which released in 2018. After that, it’s been radio silence from Sony. At this point all hope is nearly lost of seeing this Sony Xperia Compact device, but that hasn’t stopped people speculating, and lots of tech fans are expecting to see it land alongside the Sony Xperia 1 III line in mid-2021. Now, the Japanese manufacturer is breathing new life into the series with the return of the Xperia Compact.

While almost all Android manufacturers ditched compact designs, Apple didn’t. The iPhone SE is an example. Apple even launched an iPhone 12 mini for those compact phone lovers, and they’re enjoying it very much. Imagine a Chinese android phone maker going compact with the latest snapdragon 700 series chip. It would be a game changer.

Multiple Sony Xperia Compact rumors point to it having a 5.5-inch screen, broken up by a ‘teardrop’ notch. The source linked above also suggests it’ll have a Snapdragon 700-series chipset, and another says it’ll only have two rear cameras, which makes the phone sound pretty mid-range.

Strangely, there’s a sort-of Sony Xperia Compact in the form of the Sony Xperia Ace, launched in 2019 in Japan with a 5-inch screen, but neither that phone, nor any counterpart, has made its way west. That does suggest the brand hasn’t totally given up on small smartphones though.

That latter leak was joined by unofficial renders:

Xperia Compact Design and Specs

The new device, according to noted phone leaker OnLeaks, who has also posted renders of the upcoming phone over at Voice, would feature dimensions of 140 x 68.9 x 8.9 mm (5.5 x 2.71 x 0.35 inches), making it just a bit bigger than the iPhone 12 mini (which measures 131.5 x 64.2 x 7.4 mm or 5.18 x 2.53 x 0.29 inches).

Part of the reason for its bulk is the presence of thick bezels all around. The Xperia Compact seems to borrow a lot of the design details from older Sony phones, including rear cameras that seem to be flushed flat against the glass back of the phone. Fortunately, that also means some staples of the past, like a 3.5mm headphone jack, will be here.

The upcoming phone is said to have a 5.5-inch screen and the images show that there is a waterdrop notch for the front-facing camera and a significantly thick bezel at the bottom. The display is flat and there is no mention of it having a high refresh rate.

Sony has put two cameras on the back of the phone and they are arranged vertically in an elongated pill-shaped housing along with the LED flash. Save for the camera and the Sony logo, there is nothing else on the back panel.

The 2021 Xperia Compact doesn’t have its fingerprint scanner under the display but on its side where it doubles as the power button. There is an extra button other than the volume rocker and power button on the right side of the phone. We want to believe this button is either a dedicated Google Assistant button similar to that of the Xperia 5 II or a shutter key which the Xperia 5 II also has.

The SIM card tray is on the left and from the design, we can see that it doesn’t need a pin to be opened. We hope other manufacturers can emulate Sony in this regard. The 2021 Xperia Compact has an edge over Apple’s small-sized iPhones and that is the audio jack at the top. There is a USB-C port at the bottom that is flanked by a slit for the speaker on one side and the microphone hole on the other.

This leaves us with so many unknowns such as the processor, battery capacity, and screen resolution. There is also no info about the price and launch date. Hopefully we will know more about the phone details in the coming weeks, or months. While Xperia is doing a magnificent job bringing back compact phones, it would be helpful to see manufacturers start creating mini versions of their phones so that those demanding compact phones aren’t forgotten.

Kiran Fernandes

Kiran is your friendly neighbourhood tech enthusiast who's passionate about all kinds of tech, goes crazy over 4G and 5G networks, and has recently sparked an interest in sci-fi and cosmology.

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