Skip to main content

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

xperia z1s compact vs iphone 5s moto x sony z1
Image used with permission by copyright holder

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
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Xperia Z1 Compact

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 3.07.42 PM
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Moto X 

MotoX
Image used with permission by copyright holder
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.

Editors' Recommendations

AJ Dellinger
AJ Dellinger is a freelance reporter from Madison, Wisconsin with an affinity for all things tech. He has been published by…
Google Pixel 9: news, rumored price, release date, and more
Front and rear profile of leaked Google Pixel 9 renders.

The Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are Google's latest and most powerful devices, but it won't be that way for long. Rumors of the Google Pixel 8a mean this pair of flagships will be supplanted as the latest Google phones fairly soon — but they'll be able to hold on to the title of "most powerful" for a little while longer. The Google Pixel 9 range, while definitely on the way, isn't due to arrive any time soon.

But when it does, it's sure to be a trio of blockbusters. Leaks for the Pixel 9 family have been trickling in at a steady pace, and it seems like Google is planning on making some big changes this time around. If leaks are correct, we expect a new look and some exciting new AI features that go beyond what we've seen before.

Read more
Samsung would hate the way I use my Galaxy Z Flip 5
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 opened up.

I’m sorry, Samsung, but I have sinned.

I really like the Galaxy Z Flip 5, which I’ve recently returned to for a few weeks, but I’m doing something I’m fairly sure Samsung will not approve of. It goes against everything that makes this little phone special. Quite often, I have the Flip 5 unfolded next to me because I’ve gotten tired of opening and closing it.
It folds, right?

Read more
Circular just updated its smart ring to take on the Galaxy Ring
A promotional image showing someone wearing the Circular Ring Slim.

Circular has launched an updated version of its smart ring, the Circular Ring Slim, as it prepares for the world to sit up and take notice of smart rings when Samsung releases the Galaxy Ring in the near future.

While the design remains very similar, there are numerous alterations that may help solve some of the problems we had with the Oura Ring challenger during our review period earlier this year. Let's see what’s new.

Read more