Xperia Z1 Compact vs. iPhone 5S vs. Moto X: Battle of the small phones

xperia z1s compact vs iphone 5s moto x sony z1

On the show floor of the CES 2014, the Xperia Z1 Compact from Sony stood out. It’s a bit surprising considering it’s a smaller phone that showed up right in the middle of the wave of huge handsets. But the Xperia Z1 Compact has the power of a bigger phone – the Xperia Z1 – crammed into its more pocket-friendly frame. And don’t let the trend of bigger devices fool you – some of our favorite phone still measure in under that 5-inch benchmark that seems to be a standard. The Xperia Z1 Compact looked good under the lights of CES. Does it look as good when compared to phones in it’s same weight class? We compare the newest Sony handset to the iPhone 5S and Moto X to find out.

 

iPhone 5S

iPhone5S

Xperia Z1 Compact

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 3.07.42 PM

Moto X 

MotoX
Size 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 (mm) 127 x 64.9 x 9.5 (mm) 129 x 65 x 10.4 (mm)
Weight 112g 137g 130g
Screen 4.0-inch IPS LCD 4.3-inch 720p Triluminos Display 4.7-inch AMOLED
Resolution 1136×640 pixels 720 x 1280 pixels 720×1280 pixels
OS iOS 7 Android 4.3 Android 4.4
Storage 16/32/64GB 16GB 16/32GB
SD Card Slot No Yes No
Processor Apple A7 with 64-bit architecture Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 X8 chipset, 1.7GHz dual-core
RAM 1GB 2GB 2GB
Connectivity Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, HSPA+ Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, HSPA+ Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, EV-DO Rev.A
Camera Front 1.2MP, Rear 8MP Front 2MP, Rear 20.7MP Front 2MP, Rear 10MP
Bluetooth Yes, version 4.0 Yes, version 4.0 Yes, version 4.0
Battery 1570mAh 2600mAh 2200mAh
Gimmick Fingerprint Sensor  Water and dust proof Customization
Charger Lightning connector Micro USB Micro USB
Marketplace Apple App Store Google Play Store Google Play Store
Price $200+ $N/A $200+
Review 4.5 out of 5 Hands On at CES 4 out of 5
Availability AT&T, Sprint, T-Mob, Verizon First Quarter 2014 AT&T, Sprint, T-Mob, Verizon

The Processors

When it comes down to specs, you’re hoping to be able to compare devices side-by-side and take a look at their similarities. But that becomes a little more difficult with a couple of these devices. The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact uses the Snapdragon 800, the latest and greatest from Qualcomm, the darling of the mobile processing world. As far as the traditional approach to the mobile processor goes, the Xperia Z1 Compact is at the top of the curve.

The chipsets of the iPhone 5S and Moto X branch off in their own directions, which makes a direct comparison a little more challenging. The Moto X features its X8, an octo-core chipset with a Snapdragon processor at its heart and other processing units dedicated to specific tasks. In all our use and in benchmarking tests, the X8 seems to handle its duties efficiently and performance is solid. Apple introduced the latest of its chipset with the iPhone 5S, and the A7 made the phone the first to feature 64-bit architecture. As almost always seems to be the case with Apple products, the iPhone 5S runs smoothly and scores well in its performance marks. It has an upper hand by being the first to what will likely be the future of phone processors with its 64-bit architecture.

The Camera

Obviously one of the most glaring differences for these devices occurs when looking at the camera. The front-facing lenses aren’t all that different, with the Xperia Z1 Compact and Moto X both sporting a 2-megapixel lens and the iPhone 5S not too far behind with its 1.2-megapixel lens. But then we flip the phones over and Sony blows its competitors away. A 20.7-megapixel rear-facing camera more than doubles the Moto X (10MP) and the iPhone 5S (8MP) and makes for a killer feature for photography buffs. Nokia phones are usually the go-to when it comes to the camera, but Sony is making a push of its own in the category.

The Xperia Z1 Compact is ready to be Sony’s go to device. A more traditionally sized phone in comparison to some of the monstrous devices out there daring you to try to fit it in your pocket, the Xperia Z1 Compact is equipped to be compared with some of the most powerful phones out there and has its own claim to fame with its 20.7MP camera. It might not be future-ready like the iPhone 5S and it’s 64-bit architecture or trendy and customizable like the Moto X, but it’s a flagship phone with it’s own thing going for it, and that’s something Sony needs.

Product Review

The Xperia 10 Plus feels great in your hand, but you'll still want to put it down

There has never been a better time to buy a smartphone with an unusual design, and one of the cheaper models out there vying for your attention is the Sony Xperia 10 Plus, with its 21:9 aspect ratio screen.
Mobile

Waze vs. Google Maps: Which map app should you be using?

Waze and Google Maps are two of the most popular apps for those looking for turn-by-turn navigation, yet there are some notable differences to point out. Here, we examine both to decide which offers the best feature set.
Mobile

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best affordable phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget…
Photography

Panasonic Lumix S1R vs. Sony A7R III: Which pixel-shift powerhouse is better?

The Lumix S1R and Sony A7R III are different in design, but similar in performance, and both offer pixel-shift high resolution modes which pull even more detail out of their already high-resolution sensors. Here's how they compare.
Apple

WWDC 2019 Complete Coverage

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference is a key tech event each year, and for Apple fans, it will be one of the two best times of 2019 (along with "new iPhone day," of course). For the last few years, Apple has debuted much of its…
Mobile

Whether by the pool or the sea, make a splash with the best waterproof phones

Whether you're looking for a phone you can use in the bath, or you just want that extra peace of mind, waterproof phones are here and they're amazing. Check out our selection of the best ones you can buy.
Mobile

Walmart drops a killer deal on the Apple iPad Mini 4 tablet

The Apple iPad still reigns supreme in the tablet market, and the pint-sized 7.9-inch iPad Mini is the perfect everyday carry companion. Now’s the perfect chance to score a deal on the last-gen iPad Mini 4 before it’s gone for good.
Mobile

Google Creative Lab’s new AR experiment helps you learn how to draw

Google's Creative Lab developed an experiment called Drawalong AR that could make it easier for aspiring artists to follow YouTube tutorials. The experiment essentially leverages Google's ARCore to create a virtual tracing paper.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Mobile

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Mobile

Solve a galaxy of problems with a simple reset of your S10

If your Samsung smartphone is acting up, then you may want to try resetting it. We'll show you how to overcome simple issues with a soft reset and also how to tackle bigger problems or prep it for sale with a factory reset.
Mobile

Step into Childish Gambino’s musical universe with the Pharos AR app

Childish Gambino seems to be on a mission to take over everyone's smartphones. Now you can experience his musical and visual universe through his new Pharos AR app, available on Android now and iOS soon.