Over the past few years, Sony's version of Android smartphones have been categorized into two: the Xperia Z series which offer a super-high end specs and the mid-level phones like the Xperia C and Xperia M series. Though its premium handsets have been generally decent, the Japanese company was yet to establish its competitiveness in the emerging mid-to-high-end gap which are the stronghold for Motorola and OnePlus handsets.
This changed with the release of the Xperia X at the MWC event in Barcelona. Xperia X embraces Sony's core design language and set of features while transforming into a more pocket-friendly alternative.
On the external side, the Xperia Z follows a few of the design approaches found on the Xperia Z series, most notably the recent iteration of the OmniBalance design language. At the front panel, it embodies an attractive 5-inch Full HD display and a front speakers set-up. The back is constructed with metal taking a break from the company's typical rear glass panel designs. A metal-effect polycarbonate trim frames the entire body of the phone. The simple design of the X adds a more ergonomic feel compared to many Z-series phones.
The soft curve of the glass at the edges plays part in this, causing an effect which some manufacturers refer to as 2.5D glass. This offers a more natural feel for the human grip compared to other Xperias' sharper edges. The Xperia X has a 5-inch display and minimal bezels on the horizontal which gives it ease-of-use on hand.
At the back, it is integrated with Sony's 23 MP Exmor RS sensor which is an upgrade from the sensor version equipped in the Xperia Z5 series, which makes it a capable shooter on any level. However in the X series Sony has incorporated it with motion-tracking autofocus functionalities, which combine hardware and software capable of tracking moving objects, keeping them in focus even while they are in erratic motion. Moreover, Sony has moved up to a Sony sensor of 13 MP at the front for even crispier selfies.
As for the key specifications, the Xperia X is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 650 CPU. This is Qualcomm's latest mid-range SoC which is more powerful and employs the low powered Cortex-A53s along with the faster ARM Cortex-A72. On top of this, it is backed up by a new and robust Adreno 510 GPU. Overall, you get significantly improved performance and possibly extended battery life in contrast to other Snapdragon 615 powered Android phones in the mid-level. The Xperia X pairs its processor with a huge 3GB of RAM, along with a 32GB or alternatively 64GB of internal storage, with microSD support for memory expandability.
For a cutting edge smartphone option, the Xperia X Performance takes influence from the X in terms of display, design, camera as well as the form factor and pastes it with a Snapdragon 820 chipset and capabilities of water resistance. Sony representatives revealed that, apart from the internal changes, the two devices are practically identical.
Furthermore Sony promises a two days of extended battery life on the Xperia X, thanks to its battery capacity of 2,620mAh. And akin to the Z5 series, a fingerprint scanner is mounted on its side for improved security.
When it comes to the software, unsurprisingly, the Xperia X runs on the latest Android version, the 6.0.1 Marshmallow. While Sony's UI has seen some enhancements with much brighter colors, improved Material Design influence, and more modern wallpapers and icons that are much lighter. You get a near-vanilla Android experience, sprinkled with Sony apps and functionalities linked into the company's services and content. The only noticeable difference is the visual revamping spotted on many of the apps.
In conclusion, the Xperia X series seem like worthy additions to Sony's smartphone lineup. Details on the pricing for the Xperia X and the X Performance are yet to be revealed. However, the device is scheduled to launch in the US this summer while UK carriers such as Vodafone and Three have already begun announcing their plans to range the device.
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