Sony Xperia X Review

Call quality

It's not often that we get smartphones that offer decent call quality nowadays, but that's not the case with the Xperia X. The earpiece in particular proved superior to the microphone, transmitting fairly clear (if slightly hissy) voices and offering satisfactory volume. The mic on the other hand is a bit subdued, but audio quality is virtually identical.

That said, ringtone volume, even when maxed out in Settings, is on the low side and we ended up missing quite a few calls that we wouldn't have with some other smartphones. We'd suggest you stay away from the default ringtone and go for something louder—even if artificially boosted. Ringtone quality is less of a priority than actually getting to pick up potentially important calls.

Battery life

Partnering with Qnovo to offer supposedly superior adaptive charging that will allow the 2,620 mAh battery inside the Xperia X to last and stay healthy for longer, Sony claims up to two days of battery life. In our experience, that particular claim is a bit on the far-fetched side, though we imagine it's not impossible if you're a light user and let the X idle a lot.

More realistically, you should expect the Xperia X to last for a bit over a full day of usage. During the review process, we couldn't help but notice that the camera app requires a lot of power, and so do graphic intensive games obviously. If you do a lot of either of those, expect overnight charges to be a must.

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
Sony Xperia X 8h 56 min (Good)
Google Nexus 5X 6h 25 min (Poor)
Huawei P9 6h 51 min (Average)
LG G5 5h 51 min (Poor)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
Sony Xperia X 141
Google Nexus 5X 100
Huawei P9 146
LG G5 76


An edge in a world of round, the Sony Xperia X is a familiarly, but still rather uniquely, designed smartphone that we can't help but feel attracted to. It doesn't look or feel mellow at all, but it isn't overly imposing as are the likes of the HTC 10. It's balanced, really, and comes across as approachable. A nice blend, and a decent job from the Sony design team. We would have loved a more grippy texture for the back, though.

The display is a mixed bag. It offers great brightness and gamma response, but whites are visibly overcast with blue and colors are, throughout, decidedly overstated. You'll either love or hate the latter effect. Thankfully, performance is pretty good and the UI is simple, friendly, and works well. We're no fans of the included SwiftKey keyboard, so we had to get another, but perhaps you won't mind it. As for battery life, it's better than average, but not by a whole lot.

So far, so good, but it's the camera that really disappointed, with recurring issues such as blur, poor detail resolution, and problems with color fidelity.

Re-read the above paragraphs. In today's climate, these don't read “price tag of $549.99 justified”. Not at all, actually. Even beyond the many, many Chinese devices that offer great value, mainstream makers such as Motorola and Google (Nexus) have better propositions. Knock 150 bucks off, and the X might have a fighting chance. As it is, it's just an okay device that costs too much for what it offers—just like the Sony mid-rangers of old. The switch away from the Z series, it seems to us, is therefore nothing more than a branding move and little substance.

Sony can do better.

Software versions: Android 6.0.1; Build number: 34.0.A.1.277; Baseband version: 8976-8976.gen.prodQ-00002-06


  • Attractive, signature Sony design
  • Very bright display
  • Very good system performance


  • The back is very slippery
  • Decidedly overstated color reproduction with the display
  • Main camera has quite a few problems, including poor color fidelity, blur, noise, and lack of detail clarity
  • None of the Big Four will carry it at launch
  • No fingerprint scanner in the US
  • Ultimately, way too costly at $549.99

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