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And mobile 4G performance was also pretty solid, boasting speeds of between 90 and 130Mbps in Sydney’s CBD on the Telstra 4GX network.

We suspect this is a Category 6 device, that said, so if the conditions are right, you could hit speeds as high as 300Mbps, though surfing the web and downloading YouTube videos, you’re unlikely to realise it beyond feeling that the Z5 Compact is certainly fast enough.

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While we had a much more successful run with the Z5 Compact than we did with its sibling, the Z5, and found almost nothing negative to say about the handset, one interesting glitch did pop up: no matter which microUSB equipped thumb drive we would plug into the Compact, it refused to recognise it.

That’s a solid difference from what we found on the Z5, which ran it without problems. And yet here, nothing would load. Weird.

Perhaps it’s one of those “patch later” things that we suspect the Z5 suffers from, though at least it’s not a bug that can ruin your whole experience, so best not to worry. Instead, there’s this thing called the cloud…

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Conclusion

Sony has three mobiles coming this year, and we’ve already checked out one of them, with the Z5 passing through our reviews desk with considerable difficulty. Unlike this review (Z5 Compact), the Z5 was a dog, with huge performance issues, major glaring bugs, and a battery life that refused to get close to what Sony was trying to tell us was possible. The company did tell us that it might have been a preproduction issue and that we could wait, but wouldn’t provide a firm availability date, so we had to go with what we had.

That was unfortunate, as it was a phone we had been looking forward to all year.

Fortunately, the Xperia Z5 Compact appears to be Sony’s saving grace, offering none of the quirks, none of the dilemmas, and pretty much all of that performance, design, and value we had wanted in a phone this year.

Sony’s Z5 Compact also offers something else practically no other phone maker is considering anymore: a small size.

Talking to a lot of people, big may well be “in”, but quite a few people wish phone manufacturers would continue to make smaller devices, and that is something the Z5 Compact definitely is, and Sony has even managed it without making compromises. Highly recommended.

Compact without the compromise: Sony’s Xperia Z5 Compact reviewed
Price (RRP): $849 Manufacturer: Sony
Excellent construction; Perfectly and properly small in a world constantly throwing out big devices; Spec'd to perform, which it does; Upgradeable storage; Can play PlayStation 4 over a network (if you have a PS4 in the home); Supports high-res audio; Resistant to water with a capless microUSB charge port;
Screen hasn't changed much, if any; Camera can sometimes take a few seconds to load; MicroUSB drives won't load up;
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4.8Overall Score
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