Since then rumors of a Sony Xperia Compact handset have abounded, with each new generation of Xperia phones expected to have a mini sibling - and each new wave coming without said device.
At this point all hope is nearly lost of seeing this Sony Xperia Compact device, but that hasn't stopped people speculating, and lots of tech fans are expecting to see it land alongside the Sony Xperia 1 III line in mid-2021.
We've collected all the leaks below, so you can see what people are saying about the Sony Xperia Compact, and we'll keep this article updated as new credible information comes in.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? A small flagship phone from Sony.
- When is it out? We've no idea - possibly never.
- How much will it cost? Speculation ranges from budget to premium prices.
Sony Xperia Compact release date and price
We've been hearing rumors of a Sony Xperia Compact phone since 2018 - every year the prospect rears its head, only to ultimately not pan out. As such, we can't say with even a shred of certainty that it'll come out any time.
The most recent leaks suggest it could land alongside the Sony Xperia 1 III, likely to be announced in February or March 2021 and released in the months after, but that seems mostly like a guess.
We don't know a rough price either, as some leaks make the phone sound like a flagship, just with a smaller screen, while other leaks portray the phone as a budget device with weak specs, so it's hard to know right now.
News, rumors and leaks
Multiple Sony Xperia Compact rumors point to it having a 5.5-inch screen, broken up by a 'teardrop' notch. The source linked above also suggests it'll have a Snapdragon 700-series chipset, and another says it'll only have two rear cameras, which makes the phone sound pretty mid-range.
That latter leak was joined by unofficial renders:
#SONY is finally about resurrect the #XPERIA "Compact" Series! Here comes your very first look at the first "Compact" XPERIA phone since the #XPERIAXZ2! #VoiceCommunity #OnlyOnVoice@VoiceHQ⭕️Exclusive 👉🏻 https://t.co/YFuvPA4sNA pic.twitter.com/LIcfrqY8p2January 24, 2021
These images show a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, as most Sony phones have, as well as the small body, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a 21:9 aspect ratio.
One rumor explicitly links the upcoming mini Sony phone to the Xperia 1 III line, calling the phone the Sony Xperia 1 III Compact, and saying that it will land alongside a Premium-suffix counterpart.
Those are all the rumors we've heard for the Sony Xperia Compact that didn't turn out to be for an Xperia 5-series smartphone, but as we hear more we'll add them here.
Strangely, there's a sort-of Sony Xperia Compact in the form of the Sony Xperia Ace, launched in 2019 in Japan with a 5-inch screen, but neither that phone, nor any counterpart, has made its way west. That does suggest the brand hasn't totally given up on small smartphones though.
What we want to see
Here are some things we want to see in the Sony Xperia Compact, including possible features and ways it could stand out from other phones.
1. Value for money
Whether you're a Sony phone fan or not, it's hard to disagree that the brand's handsets are pretty expensive. A high-end mini handset from the company would compete with only one compact phone on the market right now - the iPhone 12 mini, which itself is rather pricey too.
So if Sony offered its Xperia Compact for a low price, it would be hugely competitive, being both a tempting Sony phone and the best-value small-screen device on the market.
That doesn't mean we want Sony to skimp on features, just find ways to offer them at low prices.
2. Good rear cameras
Sony phones don't often grace our best camera phones list, but the snappers aren't terrible either. However for the Xperia Compact to have a small body, it would need to drop some internals and features - which likely includes some rear cameras.
Even though Sony likely can't put a full three-camera main/telephoto/ultra-wide combo on its Compact phone, we'd hope photography power is still retained as much as possible, whether that's from improved processing power or using great sensors.
3. Top battery life
Since a compact phone would have a small screen, it's likely battery life would be stellar - big screens often drain charge faster.
As a result, it's likely the Sony Xperia Compact will have top battery life, but we hope it still has a big battery, so the phone could last for two days or more.