Introduction


Sony's got a new breed of smartphone in town, with the Xperia X lineup arriving to offer shoppers a variety of feature and performance options (with an emphasis on camera capabilities and battery life), all tied around a unified design. Of all those new models, the Xperia X Performance comes in as the best-equipped of the bunch, though as we noted in our recent review, even it's not without its trade-offs.

While Sony's no doubt looking to steal a little market share from its Android competition, any smartphone that wants to make a name for itself is going to have to survive comparison to Apple's iPhone juggernaut. We already put the standard Xperia X up against Apple's reigning flagship, and now we're giving the same treatment to the Xperia X Performance, as it goes head-to-head with the iPhone 6s.

Design


The look and feel of metal-enclosed smartphones is hard to beat, with a premium aesthetic that plastic simply can't touch. Apple's really been nailing the metal construction for a while now, while Sony is turning its attention back to the material after a stint working with glass. The good news is that the Xperia X Performance looks like a million bucks, and its lack of antenna lines is an improvement over Apple's design.

That said, Apple implementation is more than a little bit better overall. For one, the iPhone's metal extends around the phone's edges, so your fingers are always in contact with it; Sony bows out for its edges and goes with a metal-looking plastic. And while Apple's back panel feels nice and solid, Sony's gives the impression of a thinner, less resilient metal sheet.


As for buttons, Apple gets points for its physically separate volume keys and mute switch, while Sony delivers a really low-mounted volume rocker that's in an easy-to-reach spot (if you're right-handed), as well as an always-welcome camera shutter button. Buttons on the iPhone 6s tend to be clickier overall, while those of the X Performance feel a bit shallow.

Unfortunately, Sony's recessed power button takes a bit of getting used to, and we're still sore that the US edition of the Xperia X Performance ditches the integrated fingerprint scanner – an area where the iPhone is the clear winner.


Sony Xperia X Performance

Sony Xperia X Performance

Dimensions

5.67 x 2.76 x 0.34 inches

144 x 70 x 8.7 mm

Weight

5.82 oz (165 g)

Apple iPhone 6s

Apple iPhone 6s

Dimensions

5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches

138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm

Weight

5.04 oz (143 g)

Sony Xperia X Performance

Sony Xperia X Performance

Dimensions

5.67 x 2.76 x 0.34 inches

144 x 70 x 8.7 mm

Weight

5.82 oz (165 g)

Apple iPhone 6s

Apple iPhone 6s

Dimensions

5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches

138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm

Weight

5.04 oz (143 g)

See the full Sony Xperia X Performance vs Apple iPhone 6s size comparison or compare them to other phones using our Size Comparison tool.


Display



Both the Xperia X Performance and iPhone 6s offer some powerfully bright displays, and while the panels are configured a little differently – Apple going with a 4.7-inch screen in a 750 x 1334 resolution, while Sony choosing a 5.0-incher at 1080x1920 – the initial experience isn't far off between the two.

When we start really analyzing screen output, though, Apple starts taking a clearer lead, delivering a phone whose display boasts superior color accuracy. Sony's way off especially when it comes to green hues, and the screen's white balance tends towards the too-cool end of the spectrum.

And while it's a tune you've no doubt heard over and over by now, we've got to give credit to the iPhone 6s for its force-sensitive touch screen. Similar functionality is slowly creeping over to the Android side of the tracks, but Sony's not there quite yet.



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