Sony Xperia Z1 Compact officially launches in the U.S., costs $549.99 unlocked

9 July 2014, 4:44 am EDT By Alexandra Burlacu Mobile & Apps

The unlocked Sony Xperia Z1 Compact has officially made it to the U.S., as the handset is now available through the company's online store.

The trend of launching a large flagship smartphone followed by a "mini" version has caught on and it's still going strong, and Sony joined the party earlier this year with its Xperia Z1 Compact.

While other "mini" versions of smartphones came with notably watered-down specs compared to their bigger brothers, however, the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact made very few compromises in terms of specifications. Unveiled back in early January at the CES 2014 trade show, the handset drew lots of attention due to its high-end internals packed in a compact form factor, and has raised the bar for what "mini" smartphones can bring to the table.

The smartphone has been available for a while in markets around the world, and Sony has now finally released the Xperia Z1 Compact in the U.S. as well. The handset is now officially available for purchase from Sony's online store, sporting a $549.99 price tag.

Sony has since released a new flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z2, but that handset has yet to make it to the U.S. and a smaller version of it has not launched so far. In fact, recent rumors claimed that Sony may be skipping the Xperia Z2 Compact altogether and go straight for an Xperia Z3 Compact, but it's just speculation at this point.

The Xperia Z1 Compact remains the only mini smartphone in Sony's lineup for now, and interested buyers in the U.S. can now finally get it, six months after its launch. The smartphone is available in black, white, and pink color options.

As previously mentioned, the Sony Xperia Z1 doesn't really compromise specifications in favor of the smaller form factor. As a reminder, the smartphone boasts a 4.3-inch HD display, a powerful quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, the same 20.7-megapixel Sony Exmor RS camera as the Xperia Z1, and a 2,300 mAh battery to keep things up and running.

In addition, the Xperia Z1 Compact is also waterproof, able to withstand being submerged in water for up to 30 minutes, which means that users can take some great aquatic photos without damaging the smartphone. The company marketed the Xperia Z1 Compact as "the best of Sony in a compact, waterproof smartphone," and the handset definitely does not disappoint.

For more information or to purchase the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, head over to the company's online store at this link.

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