Sony’s latest box of tricks is a return to the form for the Compact line, squeezing all of the goodness offered up by the flagship Xperia XZ1 into a smaller box of tricks. Here’s how to get the most out of the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact.
Sony’s screen-pinning feature is great if you’re willing to hand your phone around to your mates to show them one of its cool features, like that new 3D Creator app but don’t want them snooping elsewhere when your back is turned.
To switch it on, just pop into the ‘Lock screen & security’ section of the settings menu and switch on the ‘Screen-pinning’ option at the bottom of the list. You can then pin apps from the app switcher and unlock them again by tapping both the back and app switching keys simultaneously.
Depending on how you set it up, the Compact will also ask for your PIN, pattern or fingerprint to confirm the unlock.
Customising the launcher
There are a host of tools to tweak and change the look and feel of the XZ1 Compact’s user experience, all found within the launcher’s settings menu. To get at them, long-press on a blank area of one of your desktops, then tap ‘Settings’ and simply fiddle with the options.
You can disable the Google Feed or app recommendations, alter icon size and appearance, and more.
If you want to keep some apps quiet without locking your whole phone down into do not disturb mode, dive into the ‘Apps & notifications’ settings, tap ‘Configure notifications’, then just ‘Notifications’ and you’ll then be able to toggle notification behaviours for each app installed on your Compact, just by tapping on them and adjusting the toggles.
The 4.6-inch 720p HD Triluminos display on the Compact may not offer the same high dynamic range viewing experience of its bigger brother but it still benefits from Sony’s X-Reality engine and a Dynamic Contrast Enhancer.
If those extras still aren’t enough for your tastes, the phone gives you plenty of control over sculpting the visuals further. The ‘Quality’ section of the ‘Display’ settings includes tools to tweak colour gamut and contrast, which is where you’ll find Sony’s signature ‘Super-vivid mode’, as well as impressively precise adjustment options for the screen's white balance too.
Like all of Sony’s latest handsets, the XZ1 Compact packs in the excellent Xperia Assistant to help teach you all about your phone. It’s here that you’ll also find Xperia Actions: a range of customisable behaviours that you can schedule to alter the setup of your phone automatically.
To access it, either pin the Xperia Assist widget to your homescreen or dive into the ‘Assistant’ option in the Settings menu. From here you’ll find Xperia Actions, in which lies a host of tools grouped into common use-cases like ‘Good night’, which enables flight mode, halts notifications, dims your screen and optimises battery performance.