Does the Xperia Z1 Compact have a plastic back instead of glass?

by XB on 8th February 2014

in Problems, Xperia Z1

Xperia Z1 Compact_WhiteThere appears to be mounting evidence that the Xperia Z1 Compact does not come with both front and rear glass panels as initially advertised. A number of sources claim that the rear of the handset is not glass but is instead made from plastic.

Pretty much every review out there talks about the handset having front and rear glass panels, but we imagine most media outlets have just towed the company’s line on this rather than looking carefully to see what it is made out of. V3’s review talks about “a polished polycarbonate back and Gorilla Glass front“, but they were the only ones to pick up on it.

Sony Mobile’s own representatives insist it comes with a glass back (see below), but what looks like recent confirmation of this comes in the form of an amended white paper for the handset. The white paper was amended two days ago 6 February and normally any changes to the white paper would result in a version change on page two of the PDF document (see here for an example with the Xperia Z1).

However, this time there was no version change, so is Sony trying to sneakily hide a change? Possibly. As you’ll see below, they did change the wording from the old white paper (PDF), compared to the new white paper (PDF) that the Sony Developer World site now links to.

The wording has changed from the following “Both the front and back are made of durable tempered glass“, to “The front side of the phone is made of durable tempered glass“. You’ll notice Sony has taken away the reference to the back being made from glass. We didn’t notice any other changes putting both documents side-by-side.

Both the D5503 and M51w variants of the Xperia Z1 Compact were changed on the 6 February 2014, with the same amended wording. So, this doesn’t look like an accident to us. Sony has purposely changed the wording and therefore our conclusion is that it is pretty likely that the back is indeed made from plastic and not glass, as initially suggested.

Does this change your view on the handset – for the better or worse? Do you feel misled by the initial indications? If you are a owner, do you disagree with the above and feel that the back is glass? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.

Sony Mobile reps claim that the back of the Xperia Z1 Compact is made from glass…

Xperia Z1 Compact plastic back_2

…however, Sony recently amened the Xperia Z1 Compact white paper removing the specific reference to the back being made from glass

Xperia Z1 Compact plastic back

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