All eyes will be on Berlin next month for the IFA 2013 conference, during which a number of brand new smartphones will be officially announced and unveiled in front of a media audience for the first time.
While plenty of hype has been generated by returning ranges like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, a good deal of attention has been given to the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact in the run-up to its announcement at this event.

The Sony Xperia Z1 Compact features some of the most impressive hardware specifications around, according to a variety of rumours and leaks. Also known as the Honami during development, this device will be able to take on current kingpins like the HTC One and even Sony’s own Xperia Z. What to know what the new Sony Xperia Z1 Compact features? Here is a quick round-up of some of the anticipated capabilities of the Sony Honami smartphones, with more details to follow after the September launch.

PlayStation Integration

Although the Xperia Z1 Compact may be getting its first public showing soon, it is not likely to go on sale until a little later in the year. This would put it nicely in line with the impending arrival of the Sony PlayStation 4, which is set to get a release date at some point in November.

Sony has dabbled with combining the PlayStation gaming experience with its portable smartphones in the past, although it has left the real interaction between the home console and a secondary device to its range of PSP and PS Vita handheld gadgets. This could change with the release of the PS4 and the Xperia Z1 Compact, because the PlayStation mobile experience needs to evolve if it is to remain competitive and a selling point in its own right.

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While it seems unlikely that the Xperia Z1 Compact will be able to ape the PS Vita’s purported ability to play PS4 games thanks to streaming, this handset should get access to the PlayStation back catalogue of older titles and could allow for users to interact with their favourite games in new and exciting ways. Microsoft has paved the way for this with SmartGlass and the Xbox 360, so Sony would be foolish to neglect its own gaming hardware.

Photography

Aside from its five-inch 720p display, the major feature of the Xperia Z1 Compact will be its rumoured 20.7 megapixel camera, which will have one of the highest resolution sensors on the market. This camera will be able to capture high resolution still images of an excellent quality, but more importantly will also be one of the first phones to offer compatibility and capabilities related to the 4K Ultra HD standard.

The Xperia Z1 Compact is thought to use the Snapdragon 800 quad core processor from Qualcomm, giving it enough grunt to be able to handle twice the resolution usually made available via 720p HD. This should make it a particularly future-proof device which is able to prepare users for the 4K Ultra HD resolution that will gradually invade living rooms over the next few years. Given that the PS4 console is also 4K-ready, it will be an even better partner for the Xperia Z1 Compact than it would seem.

Audio

At the moment HTC is the clear frontrunner when it comes to smartphone audio, with its Beats brand and technology helping to make music lovers swoon over its handsets. Sony is fighting back with the rebirth of its Walkman capabilities, which have already been seen on board the Xperia Z.

The success of Beats Audio is all about the use of equalisers, which is the kind of software-based tweaking that can be achieved on any phone irrespective of the actual hardware that it possesses. With sound enhancements built into the Walkman app and associated media playback features on the Xperia Z1 Compact, it should be able to level the playing field.

Of course the Sony Xperia price point given to the Z1 Compact upon its launch might play an important role in determining how successful it becomes. If it is roughly the same cost as existing flagship devices like the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4, then it will be able to trump them thanks to its high-end hardware, but if Sony’s asking price is too steep then fewer consumers might be convinced enough to part with their cash.

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