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A Smartphone fit for purpose: Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

Another question that arises in my stream, especially when I am sharing live pictures as I travel on the go, to Twitter, Google Plus etc. ‘What phone are you using Paul’? Well, I must admit I have been experimenting a lot lately to find what I need. For me I have a need list of:

Powerful: My phone is my office. Opening, switching between email, camera, video, photos, and apps – especially Social Media apps, needs to be fast.

Size and durability: I hike and trek up mountains for a living, in all weathers, all terrains. I travel in minus temperatures at high altitudes and in the blistering heat-waves of foreign sandy beaches, so my phone needs to be protected.

Camera: The main tool. For those moments to share ‘live’ where I am and what I am up to. Something compact, not the bigger non-smartphone camera for the big articles later. (Note: All pictures in this post are taken with the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact with no editing, straight from the phone)

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Superior Auto Mode. let the camera know what is best

In the past I have gone for power, bling and size; big HD screen with the speed of a big flagship phone. What I had been finding was that I was letting myself down on size, durability and even the camera quality – There was always something missing. Until, that is, Sony Mobile got in touch and sent me through Sony Xperia Z1 Compact!

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Compact. Whilst the rest of the world is cutting corners making ‘mini’ versions of their flagship phones, taking out a lot of the good elements. I had read that Sony’s Xperia Z1 Compact was refreshing in that it kept most of the great flagship qualities of the larger Z1. I plunged and now have found my happy office 🙂

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Manual settings using the full 20.7 MP

Camera: It still has the 20.7mp camera of the full Z1, no cutting here. And anybody who has used Sony digital cameras and lenses will know this is not ‘just’ a lens/camera with a big number. With the ever-faithful Superior auto in there too, point and shoot means on the phone now, not a middle sized digital camera.

Great in the hands: The 5 inch screens at the moment serve a purpose of course. For me it is just not a priority. Sending a picture tweet for instance, whilst climbing rocky terrain, in minus temperatures, I do not want to be doing thumb gymnastics and having to stop for fear of dropping it. The Compact is a perfect size for me, 4.3-inch screen. Not too small, but reachable everywhere with the thumb. Big bonus for travel and hikes… It is waterproof and dust resistant. Not a gimmick, tweeting from halfway up a mountain in torrential rain is now available to me and I have fully tested 🙂

Kept the power: How did they compact it? It has the same huge processor (Snapdragon 800), it has the same 2GB RAM. Well it’s all unnoticeable to its big sister the big Z1. Reduce the resolution a little on the screen (for it to be unchanged to the viewer for the size), then you can reduce the battery size a little proportionately for less power needed for it. And now I have a phone that is in uber use and lasts me over a day at least between charges.

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Most smartphones I have tried would not handle this shot

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Features I like:

Info-eye: Turn Info-eye on in the camera and take a shot of a place or landmark where you are. The phone will come back with the name of the landmark, a page you can learn more about it from, plus lots things to see and do nearby eg:

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Walkman: My mind ran back to my teenage years when I saw the music player and organiser……… My how things have changed from my walkman of old 🙂 For the longer hikes and climbs I can listen away to all my music, plus, yes the phone has an expansion slot for extra space on a micro SD card.

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Written by Paul Steele

Founder of and avid hiker, climber and trekker. Never liking to sit still and always seeking new adventures around the world. Sharing personal views here and tweeting live via @paul_steele

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