One of our favorite phones of this year, the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, has finally gone on sale in the United States half a year after it was initially unveiled. Making its debut at CES in Las Vegas this January, the Z1 Compact lived up to its name by compacting almost everything good and glorious about the Xperia Z1 into a smaller device with a 4.3-inch screen. Even the battery, while physically smaller, lasts almost as long as the Z1's, and the entire 20-megapixel camera is also transported to the smaller device.
It's not unusual for Sony to be releasing its smartphones later in the US than in other markets, however this much of a delay for the Z1 Compact represents a real missed opportunity for the Japanese company. No other Android phone in its size class is able to boast the same combination of specs, waterproof design, and fast performance, and it's regrettable than the Compact still hasn't found an American carrier willing to embrace and distribute it. Now shipping unlocked from the Sony Store for a cent under $550, this Android 4.4 device might still be a worthwhile purchase, but the recent announcement of Android L and the expected upcoming introduction of a Moto X successor make it less compelling than it might have been a few months ago.