Back around the time of the Galaxy Nexus, I recall a counter-culture developing, calling for an end to the insanity of oversized phones with screens as big as 4.7 inches. They wanted a smaller alternative, built for human hands and human pockets. While the itty bitty smartphone committee might have lost the good fight in a general sense, they now have a few more options, including the Xperia X Compact. Its screen is only 4.6 inches. Hey, it's the principle that counts.
While the phone launched at an unpalatable $500 back in September, it's now available for a much more reasonable price at Amazon and Best Buy. Both outlets are selling the black, blue, and white models for $349.99, much more in line with the more mid-range specs in the device. Amazon's price drop seems to be semi-permanent, not connected to any promotion or sale, but Best Buy says it's a limited offer (and that the original price was $450). The price qualifies for free shipping at both retailers, but Amazon Prime subscribers get free two-day shipping as well.
The Xperia X Compact is a bit of a step down from its more salubrious big brothers. It shares the cylindrical case design and minimal styling, but its 4.6" screen is only 720p, the processor is a Snapdragon 650 downgrade, and the battery is 2700mAh. Still, the 23MP camera is as good as you'll find on any phone in the same price range, and the X Compact is basically the only option under 5 inches that even comes close to a premium design. Grab one if you'd like a nice little unlocked GSM phone.
- Renaud Lepage