A consumer checks out smartphones (Reuters)
A consumer checks out smartphones (Reuters)Reuters

On Thursday (20 February), Sony launched the much anticipated mini version of the company's flagship smartphone Xperia Z1 dubbed as 'Xperia Z1 Compact' in India.

The suffix 'Compact' in its nomenclature simply translates to its smaller size and everything else inside the phone is fully loaded with top-of-the-line features.

Unlike rivals Samsung and HTC who have stripped down specifications of their smaller flagship smartphones (Galaxy S4 mini and HTC One Mini) to the wire, Sony has succeeded in incorporating monster specs to call it the true mini flagship phone, which is capable to taking on the Apple iPhone 5S in the small-screen smartphone segment.

In a price-conscious market like India, the cost of the device plays a decisive role in the minds of consumer's thought process. Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact is certain to have an impact on the Apple's marquee handset iPhone 5S, prices of which start at a whopping ₹53,500.

Here is brief description of stand-out features of Apple iPhone 5S and Sony Xperia Z1 Compact:

Display, Design and build quality:

Apple's premium iPhone 5S flaunts a hand friendly rectangular candy-bar body with full metallic finish and features 4.0-inch widescreen retina display with 1136x640p resolutions having pixel density of 326 ppi.

On the other hand, Sony Xperia Z1 Compact comes with the amalgamation of metal, glass and tough plastic. It sports aluminum chassis around the edge, durable tempered glass coating on the display and high-rigid plastic sheet on the rear-side with water-resistant and dust-proof IP67 certifications giving a edge over expensive iPhone 5S.

Apart from sturdy outer body, Xperia Z1 Compact houses HD (720 x1280p) screen boasting pixel density of 340 ppi and Sony's proprietary TRILUMINOS display technology with X-Reality for mobile picture engine and BRAVIA Engine 2.

Processor, RAM & Storage:

In this aspect, Apple iPhone 5S beats not only the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, but all smartphones in the market as it boasts the most advanced 64-bit architecture based A7 chipset (All the contemporary handsets ship with 32-bit based CPU). Apart from that, iPhone 5S also houses an additional co-processor M7 to take care of the motion related functions of accelerometer and gyroscope, thereby reducing the load on the main CPU as well as increasing the efficiency of the battery.

It packs 1GB RAM and is available in three storage variants 16GB/32GB/64GB (no-microSD card support) in the market.

Sony's mini flagship smartphone comes with faster Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 series quad-core processor, which can clock 2.2GHz CPU speed. It is backed by the 450MHz Adreno 330 graphics engine with sumptuous 2GB RAM and 16GB storage. One advantage of Xperia Z1 Compact is that it houses a microSD slot capable of expanding up to 64GB.

Operating System:

In this department, Apple iPhone 5S and Sony Xperia Z1 Compact score more or less the same points, as they run on the world's top two OS platforms- iOS and Android. Both the platforms account for more than 90-percent market share and boast of million plus applications and games.

However, Apple's iOS is more secured than open eco-system Android, which is prone to have hidden malwares and spyware in certain apps featured in the Google Play store.

Apple iPhone 5S ships with v7.0 iOS (latest v7.0.4 is available), whereas the Xperia Z1 Compact runs on the Android v4.3 Jelly Bean (KitKat update is awaited).


Apple iPhone 5S houses an improved 8.0-megapixel camera with wider f/2.2 aperture, Dual-LED flash support called as True Tone, full HD video recording, 3X zoom and a 1.2-megapixel secondary camera capable of recording HD 720p video.

On the other hand, Sony Xperia Z1 Compact boasts a 20.7-megapixel camera with LED flash, ½.3 aperture, HDR, 8 X zoom, Sony Exmor RS mobile image sensor and award-winning G Lens and the intelligent BIONZ for mobile image-processing engine, which are found in expensive DSLR cameras. Even the front 2.1-megapixel camera is capable of snapping full HD (1920x1080p) video.


Sony Xperia Z1 Compact's price is hovering around ₹37,000 at multiple online stores, which is way less than the Apple iPhone 5S, which costs ₹53,500 for 16GB model, whereas 32GB and 64GB models are priced ₹62,500 and ₹71,500 respectively.


Sony Xperia Z1 Compact:

Pros: water-proof body, amazing camera features.

Cons: Though it boasts of snapdragon 800 series chipset, it is still trivial compared to Apple iPhone 5S' 64-bit architecture A7 processor.

Apple iPhone 5S:

Pros: finger-print sensor on the home button, and the 64-bit A7 chipset with M7co-processor is undeniably the coolest feature of the iPhone 5S.

Cons: Expensive price-tag and limited memory space.

Key specifications of Apple iPhone 5S vs. Sony Xperia Z1 Compact:


Apple iPhone 5S

Sony Xperia Z1Compact


4.0-inch widescreen retina display with 1136x640p resolutions

Pixel density: 326 ppi (pixels per inch) 

4.3-inch display HD (720x1280p) screen with TRILUMINOS display technology, X-Reality for mobile picture engine, Sony BRAVIA Engine 2

Pixel density: 340 ppi (pixels per inch)


iOS v7.0, (new v7.0.4 update rolled out)

Android v4.3 Jelly Bean (is expected to receive KitKat update)


New generation 64-bit Apple A7 processor (up to twice faster than the previous generation chipset-A6), and M7 motion co-processor

Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 series quad-core processor with 2.2GHz CPU speed (chipset: MSM8974)


PowerVR G6430 (quad-core graphics)

Adreno 330




Storage capacity

16GB/32GB/64GB (no microSD card slot)

16GB, expandable up to 64GB


8.0-megapixel camera with Dual-LED flash support called as True Tone, f/2.2 aperture, full HD video recording, 3X zoom

Front: 1.2-megapixel camera, HD 720p video recording

Main: 20.7-megapixel camera with LED flash, Sony Exmor RS mobile image sensor, HDR , 8 X zoom,

Front: 2.0-megapixel camera with full HD (1080p) video recording


Around 1570 mAh;

Talk time: up to 10 hours (3G)

Standby time: close to 250 hours

2,300 mAh;

Talk time: up to 18 hours;

Standby time: up to 670 hours


3G and 4G-LTE

3G and 4G-LTE


Finger-print scanner on Home button, improved voice-search feature Siri, Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n, 2.4GHz & 5GHz), MIMO, Bluetooth v4.0,A-GPS, GLONASS, digital compass

Water-resistant and dust-proof IP55/IP58 certifications, NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v4.0, micro-USB v2.0,


123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm

127.0 x 64.9 x 9.5 mm


112 g

137 g


Space Grey, Silver White & Gold

Black, white, yellow and pink


16GB-₹53,500, 32GB-₹62,500 and 64GB- ₹71,500