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Sony's latest small phone is the Xperia X Compact

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James Vincent

If you’re still interested in small phones, Sony continues to be the place to look. As it’s done in years past, it’s putting out a 4.6-inch version of one of its top devices. This time around, it’s called the Xperia X Compact.

As the name suggests, it’s a shrunken-down version of the Xperia X, itself a relatively underwhelming smartphone that combines a high price with sluggish performance. The X Compact includes a 4.6-inch 720p display, powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 650, 3GB of RAM, and up to 32GB of storage. Sony hasn’t announced any pricing yet, but if history holds here, it’ll likely be a bit cheaper than the X.

Sony's Xperia X Compact will be available in three colors: "stylish white," "universe black," and "mist blue;" but obviously everyone should want the pale blue one, because it looks wonderful, and the other two just look like generic smartphones. Sony says the Xperia X Compact also includes a ceramic finish, rather than the metal found on its new XZ flagship.

Sony Xperia X Compact Sony

Following the trend, the X Compact will have the same camera as the newly announced Xperia XZ, which is now Sony’s flagship phone. Both phones have a 23-megapixel sensor with support for Sony’s predictive autofocus, which tracks where objects are moving to keep them in focus.

That’s been on Sony phones in the past, but it’s now being enhancement in two ways. The first is laser autofocus, which should make for faster and more precise focusing. The second is an RGBC-IR sensor, which has pixels dedicated to capturing all visible and infrared light, rather than just reds, greens, and blues, like a traditional sensor. That’s being used to assess a location’s lighting and adjust white balance accordingly.

Sony describes the phone as "oozing camera excellence," which sounds gross, but is probably meant as a good thing. This phone also comes with a fingerprint sensor, but like other Xperia phones, it’s exclusive to certain regions for some very strange reason. The X Compact also makes the switch over to USB-C, from the Micro USB on prior Xperia phones, which is a nice change.

Like the Compacts before it, the X Compact looks like it’s bound to be a fine, if underwhelming, addition to Sony’s Xperia series. It’s a glimmer of hope for fans of small phones. But so far it doesn’t sound like a huge improvement over the X that came before it. Sony is planning to launch the Xperia X Compact globally at some point in September.