UPDATED ON: 2023-02-16

I’m not a big fan of Sony smartphones. Yeah, their products almost always packed with technology, but in terms of engineering ideas and realization things they suck pretty badly. Same point of view regarding their photography division.

But nevertheless I’m using Sony XZ1 Compact as my main portable web gateway on daily basis. Using it due to ultra-compact size and no alternatives available. It’s a 2017 flagship, based upon Snapdragon 835 CPU and paired with 4Gb of RAM.

XZ1 is one of those ultra-rare cases when Sony hit the spot. They’ve managed to built such beauty, which provide enough performance and packed in very small casing. Today‘s trend is shovel-shaped mega huge smartphones, which can be barely called as portable devices. Giant plate-boards with almost zero ergonomics and support of comfortable handling. I don’t even want to talk about modern smartphone trends like ugly notches and curved waterfall reflective screen edges prone to fall damage and how unpractical they are. As you see, such weird things can happen easily, when design process is not guided by engineers, but dumb marketing people are in the place.

As for photo camera: it is pretty shit. Especially if we compare it with [Nokia PureView 808] , which I’m using in 2021 as main GSM phone + HiFi camera/audio player on-the-go. So, no surprises here. Oh, that was not fair. Ok-ok, at least XZ1 camera is sufficient for draft pictures of texts, valuable information and graphical sketches.

GPS is decent. Not so fast, but acceptable. Note that XZ Compact series suffers from poor GPS reception. It looks like that root cause of this issue are weak electrical contacts and in the wake of this you may experience long detection of location. To speed it up just squeeze left bottom of the device with two fingers [see the header picture]. And in most cases you are good to go.

I run into this issue only with one copy of XZ1 Compact. Second one was free from this defect.
But there are several mentions about poor GPS reception on forums [here] and [there] .

No long ago I used XZ1 in conjunction with [LineAgeOS] to prevent intrusion of ugly google, but recently switched to a stock [Android 8.0] with google services blocked by means of iptables-based firewall. Simple deletion of g services won’t play nice. Too many applications already rely on this monster company. So, some of services were disabled and some of them firewalled. I find this solution pretty reasonable.

Android 8.1 brought to them machine learning, with a help of which they can mine your personal data in a more efficient manner. Every next version of this operating system increases number of unstoppable [undeletable] services. With each next release your devices becomes more theirs than yours. Very similar situation if we compare it with Windows 7 ► Windows 10 migration. So, Android 8 is a last sane operating system for mobile phones.

I don’t see any restrictions in using “obsolete” Android 8. Every single application, which I need is working flawlessly.
Security “specialists” may take a hike. Yeah, like this.

And what about apple you may ask? Nah. I don’t play games with companies, which sell your data, spy on you, and count your devices as theirs.
And I don’t play with companies, which are selling “air”, in a greed rush for money.

In conclusion I would like to confirm that XZ1/XZ2 Compact series are for one-hand navigation geeks.
It’s for people who value ergonomics and convenience.
You know what I’m saying about. Yeah, you know it, for sure.

Also, there is more recent XZ2 compact model, a tad bigger one.

[x] Someday I will give it a go, but for now it’s on the shelf waiting for it’s golden hour.

Tried XZ2 Compact and was not impressed: more bulkier than XZ1, feeling of ergonomics is lost. Tad better CPU and camera, but this is not i’m after. Staying on XZ1 Compact.