Xperia X Compact now on sale, Xperia XZ pre-orders start

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The long-awaited time for Sony fans in the US has finally arrived. The company's Xperia X Compact mini-flagship is finally available for purchase. At least for those opting for unlocked models bought off Amazon. In the meantime, the Xperia XZ is also available for early birds, with shipping starting on Sunday. But although Sony's real 2016 champions has indeed finally landed, or will in a few days, in the US market, they might be just as controversial as their predecessors, which didn't exactly receive a hero's welcome in the long run.

The first three Xperia X smartphones, particularly the Xperia X Performance, were mostly described as disappointing. Or at the very least, their high price tags didn't match expectation or performance. They definitely didn't do as well as their contemporaries, even from the early 2016 batch. Based on a leaked slide, there might be a reason for that. It is only know that Sony is putting out its real flagships, in small and big sizes.

The Xperia X Compact follows Sony's tradition of putting out a mini premium smartphone for each generation, and it doesn't disappoint, at least on paper. It is a mid-range smartphone, no getting around that fact, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650, has 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage, and a 4.6-inch 720p screen. It does, however, stand tall in the area where Sony does best, cameras, with nearly the same 23 megapixel sensor as the more premium Xperia XZ, including the combination of three AF technologies (Predictive Hybrid, Laser, and RGB color plus IR).

The Xperia XZ, on the other hand, aims for the best of the best, save for the 1080p 5.2-inch screen and 3 GB of RAM. That includes a Snapdragon 820, 32 or 64 GB of RAM, and, on top of the high end main camera, a 13 megapixel f/2.0 front camera.

Despite those formidable specs, however, US buyers might be getting the short end of the stick yet again, with models that have their fingerprint scanners disabled, hopefully via software only. While there could be ways around this puzzling misfeature, it requires users to bend over backwards for something that is mostly expected in modern smartphones these days,even mid-range ones.

Price might still be a sticking point, though some would argue that, this time, it is at least warranted. The Sony Xperia X Compact goes for $499.99 while the Xperia XZ starts at $699.99.

Xperia X Compact (Black), (Blue), (White)

Xperia XZ Pre-Order (Blue), (Black), (Silver)