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Sony Xperia X Review

Introduction


Thanks to the diversified nature of its various businesses, Sony may not be in as precarious a position as the likes of HTC or BlackBerry. All the same, it's plainly obvious that the maker has been having trouble in mobile for a while now. Ditching the Z-series of old, Sony is transitioning to an Xperia X branding, and the eponymous mid-ranger is the first of the new line we get to review.

This move, it's supposed to be a showcase of Sony's willingness to get back to the drawing board and re-imagine at least some parts of its mobile offering. And with an asking price of $549.99, Sony is setting the bar for itself and the Xperia X pretty high. Let's see if they pass our test.

Design

A mix of old and new, the Xperia X offers numerous small improvements, along with some big ones

If you've ever held Sony's still reigning flagship, the Xperia Z5, then you'll know just how uncomfortable it is. The frame towards the back cuts into your hand unpleasantly, and the frosted glass is very slippery. With the Xperia X, Sony fixes the former issue, but not the latter.

Sony Xperia X Review
Sony Xperia X Review
Sony Xperia X Review
Sony Xperia X Review
Sony Xperia X Review

In any case, if we're to continue the parallel with the Z5, the Xperia X is different in many small ways. For starters, the glass up front seamlessly flows towards the sides, creating a beautiful effect. The modular corners of old are also gone as the frame is now a singular piece, the Xperia insignia etched onto the left side is no more, and the lanyard cutout has been retired. The only branding on the back left standing says simply “Xperia”—no Sony, and no G Lens cheat sheet next to the camera. Speaking of the shooter, it's bigger than before and protrudes just a tiny bit.

In short, all of the above combines to give us a clean, distinctive, and very attractive exterior. Sure, the aforementioned issue with the slippery back stands, but seeing as how many will go for a protective case, it's probably not too big of a deal.


Sony Xperia X

Sony Xperia X

Dimensions

5.63 x 2.72 x 0.3 inches

143 x 69 x 7.7 mm

Weight

5.36 oz (152 g)

Google Nexus 5X

Google Nexus 5X

Dimensions

5.79 x 2.86 x 0.31 inches

147 x 72.6 x 7.9 mm

Weight

4.80 oz (136 g)

Huawei P9

Huawei P9

Dimensions

5.71 x 2.79 x 0.27 inches

145 x 70.9 x 6.95 mm

Weight

5.08 oz (144 g)

LG G5

LG G5

Dimensions

5.88 x 2.91 x 0.29 inches

149.4 x 73.9 x 7.3 mm

Weight

5.61 oz (159 g)

Sony Xperia X

Sony Xperia X

Dimensions

5.63 x 2.72 x 0.3 inches

143 x 69 x 7.7 mm

Weight

5.36 oz (152 g)

Google Nexus 5X

Google Nexus 5X

Dimensions

5.79 x 2.86 x 0.31 inches

147 x 72.6 x 7.9 mm

Weight

4.80 oz (136 g)

Huawei P9

Huawei P9

Dimensions

5.71 x 2.79 x 0.27 inches

145 x 70.9 x 6.95 mm

Weight

5.08 oz (144 g)

LG G5

LG G5

Dimensions

5.88 x 2.91 x 0.29 inches

149.4 x 73.9 x 7.3 mm

Weight

5.61 oz (159 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display

Very bright, with impressive gamma response, but ultimately color-incorrect

If you're after trendy technologies such as Quad HD AMOLED screens, the Xperia X will disappoint—but not entirely. Sporting a 5-inch panel, it's an IPS LCD make with “just” 1080 x 1920 pixels. But if you're after the typical “AMOLED” effect, meaning obviously overstated colors, then you're in luck.

The Xperia X's screen is, indeed, not at all color correct. All your primaries and secondary are off target, with Red and Green being the worst offenders. Blue, on the other hand, dominates over them in turn, resulting in a very high color temperature of over 8,200K. In practice, white and the many shades of gray are decidedly bluish, which is annoying.

Onto a more positive note, both maximum and minimum brightness are just excellent, ensuring great experience whether it's midday or dead of the night. Gamma is also on target, and it's actually rare that we get as accurate response. Makes the above-mentioned shortcomings even harder to stomach, unfortunately.



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105 Comments

Scarambay unregistered

Bwhahaha! I knew this was going to get a score no more than 6. Classic PhoneArena! XD

abdoualgeria

Posts: 928; Member since: Jul 27, 2015

You want to score it 9 ??

donrox

Posts: 196; Member since: Jul 18, 2014

Reviewing a phone in a single day. Not including a battery test. I don't think the X deserves a 9, but the 6 makes it seem like the rating has been decided even before starting to review the phone. IMO all sony phones over here are getting a rating based on prejudice rather than an actual thorough review. such a shame!

marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Its deserve a good 8. The camera is clearly defective the test unit we had when the sony rep came by did not end up in ugly picture like this in fact the picture where amazing. including 32 gb as base storage on a mid range phone is also something VERY positive. 8.0 or 7.5 minimum. deserved.

ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

Cons: - Its not an iPhone

yyzamin

Posts: 373; Member since: Aug 26, 2015

Cons: - Looks like every other Sony phone for the last 5 years!

marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Not an iphone or a samsung you mean.

Andrewtst

Posts: 696; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

PhoneArena is really kind already. Such price with middle range spec give scores of 6 is given face already.

sgodsell

Posts: 6528; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

If any of the people at phonearena had a technical background, then they would have know that the Xperia X's CPU is the new SD 650 with 2 cortex-A72 cores, and 4 cortex-A53 cores. An A72 core is faster and more power efficient than a A57 core that is found on both the SD 808 and SD 810 SoCs. Plus the 650's A72 cores can sustain the high speeds without throttling down, unlike the 808 and 810 which do heat up and need to throttle down when they get to hot. To tell you the truth. I wish they would have put the new 650 in the Nexus 5X. BTW all the benchmarks show that the 650 is faster than a 808, plus it's GPU is faster than the SD 810. But it's the ignorant public like you Anfrewtst that think if a number is lower, than it has to be worse. But this is clearly not the case. Even Qualcomm claim that their SD 650 is faster than a SD 808.

TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

So near, and so far... Even you are right that the 650 is better than the 808... nowadays the compertitors are Kirin 950 and up, not the failure SD 808 and 810 were. The issue is that SD 820 is FAR better than 650, among other things because it is built on 16nm instead of 28nm. Asking for the price of a flagship and putting the SoC of a midrange is a failure IMHO.

sgodsell

Posts: 6528; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

See that's just it. You think the SD 650 is mid range. But when you compare it to others. It holds its own quite well to other high end processors. The SD 810 is a fast Processor with its 8 cores and 530 GPU. All the reviews of smartphones using it, show this to be true. Even the 808 is fast. Look at the G4, Nexus 5x, and many others that use it. It's just that the 650 is better. Even though the 650 is using 28nm. The nm is really for the power consumption, and indirectly it can affect speed. The smaller the nm, then the lower the consumption of energy. It's still faster than A57 cores because of the A72 cores. Arm clearly stated this. You find older Intel i5 processors made with 32nm, and they are faster, but also consume a lot more energy.

TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Yes, but again, SD 810 and 808 are LAST YEAR SoCs, and nowadays only worth of medium/high phones, not flagships. So if you put a price for a phone as if it is a flagship, you should put a SoC that can compete with that. And the SD 650 just can not compete with CURRENT high end SoCs. EG> Geekbench SD 650 SC: 1300 Geekbench SD 820 SC: 2100 IMHO that's not in the range of "It holds its own quite well"

sgodsell

Posts: 6528; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

So I guess the iPhone 6/6s is midrange too, because it came out last year as well right. So why doesn't it have a mid range price?. Your logic is completely flawed. Then you try to bring up the worst metric of a single core geekbench 3 test. There is no app or OS that uses a single core. Plus the 650 scores higher than the 808. https://m.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/40zx6p/snapdragon_650_vs_808_vs_helio_x10_specs_benchmark/

cheetah2k

Posts: 2082; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

The iPhone 6/6S isn't even worthy of mid range specs. More like a Samsung J series $99 phone....

TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

If you ignore that the single thread performance is one of the most important metrics in CPU benchmarking, I think we can end the conversation here because I prefer not to patronize you. Now let us check that metric for the iphone 6s: Geekbench SD 650 SC: 1300 Geekbench A9 in the 6S: 2500 And that is just an example, you can do that wit multithread, with GPU results, etc... the SD 650 fails short in every metric compared with the 2016 SoCs (Exynos 8890, SD 820, Kirin 950) or even last years A9. The SD 808-810 failed last year, and the SD 650 does not compete with those failures, but with the new processors.

perry1234

Posts: 586; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

@sgodsell , you forget one important fact while comparing the pricing of Xperia X and iPhone 6s. Apple develop their own OS , their own CPU and assist in the development of GPU. All these ,on their own ,add to the cost of the device. Sony on the other hand , gets a ready-made CPU from Qualcomm and ready-made FREE software from Google. They just as some fine touches on the s/w side and a little optimization (if any) on the hardware side. So there is absolutely no reason to price their mid range device so very high.

marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

SD820 phone usualy cost more than this. i would say this phone clasiffy as high mid ranger. Phone price come from more than just hardware because otherwise iphone would be mid ranger thats are super overpriced. Also ppl need to start testing the phone and using them before speaking. So many liar say the SD615 in moto x play is slow. Well why i can play game like Real racing 3 and world of tank whitout stutter and slow down? RR3 run at 60 fps steady world of tank between 41 and 60 fps. Its also butter smooth for internet navigation and UI usage. Only place i saw it to be slower is opening app its take 1 second more than current gen flagship. So if its waterproof and made with quality material the price is not so bad. Sure could be better if 50-100$ less but its not thats high compared to what some OEM do.

TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

I am no saying it is slow, a SD 615 is very well in range of the SD 801 of my Nexus 5 and I am quite OK with it. But I am already searching for a replacement, and SD 6XX are not in my list, because they are slower than the latest SoCs and I tend to use my phones a lot and for a long time so I prefer to by them "as future proof as possible" if such thing exists. I know most of SD820 cost more than $550, but there are also several options for less, and that is where this phone has a problem. I am of the opinion that there is not really such a thing as a bad phone, there are just bad prices for a phone. And IMHO this one should be at least $100 cheaper.

Furbal unregistered

You can get a 128gb nexus 6p new for $50 cheaper. This phone has no legs to stand on

techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Classic scoring when it comes to Sony phones.. Not surprise though. The only cons of this phone is the price. Everything else is in between a mid range and a flagship device in terms of performance, camera, audio and baterry life.

sharks

Posts: 236; Member since: Feb 16, 2013

I knew the sh*tstorm was gonna happen with the new Xperia... as with all Xperias really. Sony should just give up at this point. At least it tried something new and apparently this was the ultimate effort with the new X series which turned out to be worse than the Z series.

medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

Screen is belong to lower end phone Inaccurate color and low contrast. I might consider this phone if it had Amoled.

uzimafioso

Posts: 467; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

Not true. Sony includes a RGB control panel in display settings. Just move the R and G sliders to around 125 each and you get great 6800K color temp and if you want precision you can move it up to 155 150 respectively

marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Yeah its even better than Samsung way of doing it because you can really change them to your liking and not just preset like on S7 ect. But SamsungArena did not want to give the full capacity of the phone so they just take what come out of the box but in Samsung review they talk about the feature to change color accuracy... funny no?

medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

And that slider can hurt contrast even more. I'm fine with slight inaccurate color but contrast is my first priority, which mean I would never go back to lcd..

Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3920; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

It's not the flagship so who cares.

Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3920; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Even the guy's at anandtech don't like the X so farhttp://www.anandtech.com/show/10381/the-sony-xperia-x-preview

phoneclown

Posts: 9; Member since: May 12, 2016

I mean, what would you score it?

Rydsmith unregistered

The price single handedly kills this phone.

T-rex unregistered

Oops! Somebody did not get invited to japan last month

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Xperia X
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 23 MP / 13 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 650, Hexa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2620 mAh(14h 3G talk time)

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