Sony Xperia 10 V review: Long-distance runner

Sony Xperia 10 V review - the long-distance runner
Would you rather be Usain Bolt or Mo Farah if you suddenly found yourself stranded in the desert? The answer should be clear - sometimes endurance beats pure speed, and unless you're running away from a cheetah, there's no need to do 100 meters in 6 seconds (the cheetah will get you anyway).
The Sony Xperia 10 V is the Mo Farah of modern smartphones—humble, honest, admirable, and ready to go the extra mile (pun intended). Sony found a great budget niche in 2019 and filled it with the equally great Xperia 10. The company has been perfecting its budget offerings ever since, and the Xperia 10 V now sits on top of that evolutionary tree.

So, without further ado, let's dive deep into the genetics of this long-distance runner.

What’s new about the Sony Xperia 10 V?

  • 1.5x brighter display outdoors
  • 1.6x larger image sensor
  • Front stereo speakers
  • 3 years of future proof battery
  • Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on the front

Table of Contents:

Sony Xperia 10 V unboxing

Barefoot running

Sony is very proud of its Road to Zero initiative, which, in short, has the goal of reaching zero carbon emissions. The retail box of the Sony Xperia 10 V is very Spartan-like; it contains just the phone and nothing else. The box itself is made from 100% recyclable cardboard.

At first, I was pretty skeptical about this idea of removing accessories to save the planet (how about offering 5 years of software support instead, cutting electronic waste, and making people hold on to their phones?) but looking at all the cables and chargers lying around at my house, I'm starting to get the point.

Sony Xperia 10 V specs

Epigenetics unlocked!

The Xperia 10 V has the same gene pool as its predecessor but has unlocked some epigenetic traits that make it even more desirable. If we leave the biology analogy for a second and talk pure specs, the Xperia 10 V now comes with front-firing stereo speakers (a rarity at this price point), a 1.5x brighter display, a bigger main camera sensor, a lighter body (albeit only by 2 grams), and Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on the front.

The phone has the same Snapdragon 695 5G chipset as its predecessor, and the battery is again kept at 5,000 mAh. The memory configuration is 6GB/128GB and...wait for it... there's a microSD card slot supporting cards with up to 1TB capacity. Oh, and the 3.5mm audio jack is still here as well. Thanks, Sony!

You can check the Xperia 10 V detailed specs here.

Sony Xperia 10 V Design and Colors

World's lightest 5G smartphone with a 5,000mAh battery

The statement above is pretty specific, but I'll give Sony credit for trying to keep it on the Xperia 10 V by shedding 2 grams from the overall weight (159 grams vs. 161 grams). You know, to be a long-distance runner, you need to be lightweight! Aesthetically, the phone looks and feels the same as its predecessor - the body is plastic, but it doesn't feel cheap, and the back doesn't bend or creak when pushed down.

The 21:9 6.1-inch screen takes up the front, but now it sits under a slab of Gorilla Glass Victus, which is nice to have. I already mentioned the front-facing stereo speakers, the microSD card slot, and the 3.5mm audio jack. There's a side-mounted fingerprint reader/power button, a volume rocker, and the typical pill-shaped camera bump on the back. The available colors are Black, White, Sage Green, and Lavender

Sony Xperia 10 V Display

Shine on you crazy diamond

The 6.1-inch OLED display of the Xperia 10 V is very bright. I was able to achieve 972 nits in Max Auto, a score rivaling many flagships out there. The resolution is FHD+ (1080 x 2520 pixels), and it's a 21:9 aspect ratio screen without interruptions such as notches and cutouts.

You have some customization options for the display, such as the color temperature, and image quality, but it's basic stuff, and there's no always-on option. Out of the box, the display is fairly well calibrated (for its class), but the glaring omission is the lack of a high display refresh rate - it's capped at 60 Hz.

Display Measurements:

Sony Xperia 10 V Camera

Covering the basics

The Xperia 10 V sports a pretty flexible camera setup, again for its class. There's the main 26mm wide angle lens sitting above a 1/2" sensor (48MP, effectively 12MP with pixel binning), a 16mm ultrawide lens (I assume taken directly from the previous model), and a 54mm telephoto lens. The main camera also sports optical image stabilization for photos and videos.

Images taken with the main camera look pretty decent, especially in good lighting conditions, and there are enough details resolved. One thing to notice is that the Xperia 10 V has a tendency to overexpose the shots just a tad, resulting in softer and somewhat warmer pictures.

The telephoto camera has a focal length equivalent of 54 mm, and that's great if you want to frame a closer shot but can't physically move close enough. The quality is good, and the tonality of the images is very similar to that of the main camera. Again, there's a slight tendency to overexpose the shots, I discovered that if you just snap the photo and skip tapping the screen to focus, you get better results.

The ultrawide camera is more of the same—nothing spectacular, but again, very close to the other two in quality, details resolved, and tonality. This camera produces shots with balanced exposure, and while it probably won't win you any photography awards, it's a solid performer.

It's difficult to tell whether or not the new, bigger image sensor performs better than the one in the previous model in low-light conditions. There's a Night Mode present on the Xperia 10 V, and it works pretty much as expected, stacking images with different exposures to produce a highly detailed HDR night shot. You can turn it on, off, or leave this mode on auto, I found that low-light images look better with the mode turned on, albeit not very natural.

The selfie camera is an 8MP snapper—nothing to write home about—but you can apply some bokeh to your selfies, making them much more pleasing. If you leave the slider in the middle (50% bokeh), you get the best results, in my opinion.

There's a portrait mode on the main camera, and you can apply some computational bokeh via a slider in the menu. If your model is charming enough you can get away with the lack of computational power, but all jokes aside, the Xperia 10 V does a decent job on that front. Just don't overdo it on the blur background side, as it might introduce artefacts in the final result.

Video Thumbnail

On the video front, unfortunately, Sony has decided to keep the Snapdragon 695 which means - no 4K. The recording caps at 1080p@60fps, and while the results in that particular resolution look good, I would've loved to see at least 4K@30fps available. The image stabilization is quite good, too, but the autofocus is rather slow, so you have to wait for it and plan your frames ahead.

Sony Xperia 10 V Performance

Getting the job done

There's a Snapdragon 695 5G chipset inside the Xperia 10 V, the same silicon powers the previous model. Even though the processor gets the job done, I would've liked to see something a tad more powerful and also capable of recording 4K videos.

To be fair, the phone works smoothly without much stutter, and if you notice some, it's probably more to do with the display refresh rate than the processor alone. The synthetic benchmarks show a strange discrepancy in the 3DMark test, the previous model fared much better, which is strange given the same hardware inside both phones.

6GB of RAM is a healthy amount, and you can expand the 128GB of onboard storage via the microSD card slot, so there's nothing to complain about on that front.

The side-mounted capacitive fingerprint reader is a mixed bag, I normally prefer those to their optical or ultrasonic under display counterparts, but all Xperia models have been struggling a bit with fingerprint scanner speed and accuracy over the years.

Geekbench 6
SingleHigher is better
Sony Xperia 10 V895
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G994
Google Pixel 7a1437
Motorola Moto G73 5G908
Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro+959
Geekbench 6
MultiHigher is better
Sony Xperia 10 V2059
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G2765
Google Pixel 7a3461
Motorola Moto G73 5G2284
Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro+2394
3DMark Extreme(High)Higher is better
Sony Xperia 10 V361
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G809
Google Pixel 7a1631
Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro+633
Extreme(Low)Higher is better
Sony Xperia 10 V357
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G805
Google Pixel 7a1095
Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro+628

Sony Xperia 10 V Software

Can you Sense the Side?

The Xperia 10 V ships with Android 13 out of the box, and for those of you who like to rock a clean Android experience, there are little to no tweaks here. Unfortunately, Side Sense is still onboard, it's a tiny little strip that you can activate by tapping twice near the edge of the display. You can use it to launch apps, quickly go to 21:9 split screen mode in order to multitask, and more.

In practice, it's very hard to make this feature work consistently, and most people would probably just turn it off after a couple of hits and misses. Other than that, it's the standard Android experience; there's no fancy pro-grade creator's stuff here, just your basic stuff.

Sony Xperia 10 V Battery

That's Olympic Silver

The previous model topped our battery charts, and I expected the same from the Xperia 10 V. The phone sports the same 60Hz screen and the same Snapdragon 695 processor. The Xperia 10 V won the browsing contest with a mind-blowing score of more than 28 hours. That's 7 hours more than the predecessor.

However, the video streaming test, and the 3D gaming test both returned around an hour less battery life. What gives?

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After analyzing the variables, I reached the conclusion that it's primarily down to the stereo speaker setup (20% louder as well) and the increased brightness of the screen. The results are very impressive, don't get me wrong; it's just that the Xperia 10 IV was able to defend its battery champion title, winning 2 out of 3 categories in this particular battle.

Video Streaming(hours)Higher is better
Sony Xperia 10 V16h 29 min
Sony Xperia 10 IV17h 28 min
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G7h 44 min
Google Pixel 7a9h 7 min
Motorola Moto G73 5G11h 42 min
Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro+9h 40 min
Xiaomi 12T11h 13 min
Web Browsing(hours)Higher is better
Sony Xperia 10 V28h 20 min
Sony Xperia 10 IV21h 20 min
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G16h 11 min
Google Pixel 7a15h 27 min
Motorola Moto G73 5G14h 3 min
Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro+12h 59 min
Xiaomi 12T14h 8 min
3D Gaming(hours)Higher is better
Sony Xperia 10 V9h 17 min
Sony Xperia 10 IV10h 43 min
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G5h 46 min
Google Pixel 7a4h 20 min
Motorola Moto G73 5G5h 36 min
Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro+8h 37 min
Xiaomi 12T8h 45 min

Sony Xperia 10 V Audio Quality

Look at me when I'm talking to you

If you ask me, all smartphone speakers should be front-facing. Not only would this cure any imbalance between the left and right loudspeakers, but it would also result in a much more immersive multimedia experience, AND front-facing speakers are much harder to accidentally cover and mute.

The Xperia 10 V stereo setup sounds really good—loud and defined, but without distortion at max volume. What's even more impressive is that the phone comes with a 3.5mm audio jack, so you can plug in your favorite audiophile headphones, or you can use the LDAC support to get better audio quality wirelessly.

Sony Xperia 10 V Alternatives

It's a cold, cold world

The Xperia 10 V retails for 449 euros, or around 485 dollars. This puts the phone in a very dense spot, full of competitors. The obvious one is the new Galaxy A54 5G midranger from Samsung, clocking in at $449.99. The Galaxy comes with a 120Hz AMOLED screen, a microSD card slot, and a 5,000mAh battery.

For around $500, you can get yourself a Google Pixel 7a and join the G-camp. The new Pixel comes with a 90 Hz screen, flagship-grade performance, Face Unlock, and wireless charging, and it's notoriously hard to beat when it comes to computational photography.

There are a bunch of Motorolas, a couple of Redmis, and even the iPhone SE occupying the same market spot, not to mention the offerings from OnePlus, so it will be very difficult for the Xperia 10 V to compete, even though you're getting a lot of phone for your money.

Sony Xperia 10 V Summary

The Xperia 10 V is a great budget phone. It perfects an already great formula, adding stereo speakers, a brighter display, a slightly better main camera, and keeping the same stunning battery life in a very compact and lightweight package.
There are some omissions worth pointing out, though. The 60 Hz display refresh rate is a thing of the past, even on budget phones. The side-mounted fingerprint reader could use some R&D work, and the price tag is pushing things a bit. The Snapdragon 695 is getting old now, and the lack of 4K video recording and streaming is another blow to the Xperia 10 V.

But overall, if you like the Xperia aesthetics and the 21:9 screen, don't care about refresh rates, and you need a "Mo Farah" rather than a "Usain Bolt", this phone is a great option.

 *Disclaimer: You may notice review scores have changed on PhoneArena! Since September 20th, we have started using a new scoring system. Learn more about the new PhoneArena Smartphone Review Rating system here.


  • One of the brightest OLED displays in this class
  • Front-firing stereo speakers
  • Outstanding battery life
  • MicroSD card slot
  • 3.5mm audio jack, LDAC support
  • Flexible camera system
  • Compact and lightweight
  • IP65/68 water and dust resistance


  • 60Hz display refresh rate
  • No 4K recording
  • Slow fingerprint scanner
  • Outdated chipset

PhoneArena Rating:


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