Sony Xperia X, analysis: success needs rebellion, not being something better

In a few days the new Sony Xperia X will hit the market. The Xperia Z family was left behind for history after the Xperia Z5 model from last year and in 2016 it is time to launch a new name for the franchises of the Japanese brand.

At Xataka we have already tested the Sony Xperia X, the intermediate version of a range that currently has three components. We have analyzed from the renewed design to a camera that once again aspires to be a reference, as well as the unknown of the battery, which launches technology so that its useful life is longer. How has the Sony Xperia X entered the noblest area of ​​the upper-middle range?

New Xperia X: video analysis

As usual, we start our analyzes with a complete and very visual test through the video of the Sony Xperia X:

Sony Xperia X: a complicated smartphone to pigeonhole

The Sony smarpthone with a letter as a last name is no longer the company's franchise since the Premium version arrived with the Xperia Z5. It is in this terminal above price that they put all the technology at their disposal. With the Sony Xperia X the same thing happens, because above the Xperia X it is at the level of specifications and price the Xperia X Performance.

Sony Xperia X, technical characteristics Physical dimensions 143 x 69 x 7.7 mm, 152 grams screen IPS X-Reality Triluminos 5 inches Resolution 1080p (441 dpi) Processor Snapdragon 650 RAM 3GB Memory 32GB (with microSD slot up to 200GB)
64 GB version with dual SIM and microSD Software version Android 6.0 with Sony layer Connectivity LTE Cat 6, Wifi ac, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC Cameras 23 MP 1 / 2.3-inch main (f2.0) 1080p video
Optical stabilization and predictive hybrid approach
13 MP (1/3 inch) front with 1080p / f2.0 / Wide 22mm video Battery 2620 mAh (non-removable) Additional features Fingerprint reader
High resolution sound (LPCM, FLAC, ALAC, DSD) Price 629 euros (Pre-Reserve on the Sony website)

I have no doubts, and I am going to tell you so below, that by finish and many factors such as camera or performance, the Xperia X is clearly competing with the best smartphones on the market.

On the other hand, in some aspects such as the resolution of the screen, which remains at 1080p, battery capacity or choice of processor, the Xperia X is slightly behind, just in a medium-high or premium range that together with its price of more than 600 euros, we find it a complex mix to manage and with no apparent clear place.

The Xperia X has a complex mix in its specifications and a price of more than 600 euros, so it is difficult to find a clear place for it

The Sony Xperia X comes with different accessories depending on whether you buy it free or with operators. Only in the second case the MH750 headphones are included, while in both operators and free there is a classic and compact charger, but without fast charging **.

New generation; old but contrasting design

As soon as we take the Xperia X out of the box, touch it and observe it, there is no doubt which terminal we are dealing with. Since the first Xperia Z, Sony has evolved a design idea like no other brand that no one can argue with. He has earned himself the most personality in the sector.

The design of the Xperia X, broadly speaking, has been known for more than 3 years. Here I think Sony has risked by not risking. With the change of name for the new saga, it seems that a deeper design renovation was taking place that would have made it easier for consumers to think that there is an evolution and it is not the same.

And that there are substantial changes in the design of this Sony Xperia X. The two most important are not seen with the naked eye or touch. Curious. The first is the change of construction material. There's a step from glass to metal (very neat aluminum) at the back, but it's hard to appreciate because the frosted Xperia Z5 is almost indistinguishable from the metallic rear of this Xperia X.

The reference design of the Xperia X has two drawbacks: it is not a break with the past and it loses the resistance to water that everyone already associates with a high-end Xperia

Secondly, we have the loss of water resistance, which remains in the Performance model but surprisingly and incompressible, it is removed from this model. At this point this seems very dangerous to me. Whoever has seen me testing the new Xperia X has not hesitated to propose to immerse it or at least wet it because of the idea that has already remained among consumers that the Xperia are above all waterproof. Convincing whoever buys an Xperia X otherwise is not going to be easy for Sony.

Having said all this, if you stop and think about what you have in your hands, then you can appreciate the good work continued over time that Sony has done with its Xperia since it launched the Xperia Z range. The new design is very comfortable in hand, with rounded shapes, pleasant to the touch and a good balance between thickness and weight, without standing out especially in either of these two sections.

MicroUSB has been chosen as the charging port, and the shooting button for photos remains. Of the connections we like that a tray has been chosen that does not need a tool to remove it and is safer than the systems that Sony previously integrated. There we find a place for the nanoSIM card (the version with 64 GB memory will hit the market with a dual SIM system) and the microSD with which to expand the internal memory. You should bear in mind that every time you remove and insert the tray, the terminal restarts.

Improvable is the layout of the volume control, a little in no man's land. On the opposite side and the top would make more sense.

The frames around the screen have been improved on the sides, but they still seem excessive to us at the top and bottom. At least Sony has taken the opportunity to include there two stereo speakers that sound above average in their range but without excessive bragging.

By the way, and since you ask a lot, the Xperia X has an FM radio with RDS and maintains a good audio level through the headphone output, with support for HD audio in different formats, but we advise you to choose good headphones to be able to appreciate this differentiation compared to other terminals that do not take so much care of that section of their smartphones.

What works perfectly for Sony is its fingerprint reader, very fast although you have to press it to identify yourself. Its place on the side start button has the advantage that it allows very natural access when we take the terminal and hold it, but it cannot be used with the terminal on the table. Not at least naturally.

Display: rushing IPS technology

For this Xperia X, Sony has decided to nail the five inches that many consider to be the most balanced in a high-end range and it does so by means of an IPS-type panel. And the most outstanding element of their new terminal has come out.

The theory around the screen of the Sony Xperia X is simple: five-inch panel with 1080p resolution that offers us a density of 441 dpi. For price and aspirations of the Xperia X, it does not seem too much in front of outstanding AMOLED panels and 2K screens.

But the best of the Xperia X's screen is not in that density itself but in the good IPS panel that Sony has managed to integrate, supported by proprietary technologies such as X-Reality and Triluminos.

It is not a screen that stands out for resolution specifications but offers a quality that does not detract from the price and category of the terminal, especially in video and photo playback

Beyond what the figures tell us, the screen of the new Sony Xperia X offers us a very intense and striking color reproduction (we can regulate it with three modes), to which we must add a fairly high brightness (more than 550 cd / m2), and best of all: a contrast that, saving the distances, is an interesting approach to the spectacular nature of AMOLEDs. In video and photography mode it is outstanding.

It is true that the IPS panel is still far from the outdoor visibility of OLEDs with high brightness, but in any case the screen of the Xperia X is perfectly visible in direct light. The minimum brightness is also very prominent, which facilitates the viewing of content in the dark without disturbing the view or especially attracting attention.

Of additions on the screen we have to tell you that the one of the Xperia X we can configure it to activate with double touch, this option works very well, but nevertheless Sony has not dared with one of the fashionable functions of this 2016: the notifications and information on locked screen.

Power and autonomy: don't let the numbers confuse you

What do the numbers of a processor or the capacity of a battery contribute to the final experience with the terminal? In the case of the Xperia X, little.

Let's start with the processor. Sony, despite the price and aspirations of this Xperia X, places a second-tier Qualcomm model. Specifically, the Snapdragon 650, a six-core processor accompanied by 3 GB of RAM. We passed the corresponding pure performance tests and it effectively shows that it is very far from the fantastic figures of the Snapdragon 820 or its own processors such as the Huawei Kirin with which it competes for price.

Sony Xperia X (Snapdragon 650) LG G5 (Snapdragon 820) Huawei P9 (Kirin) Galaxy S7 Edge (Exynos 8) Antutu 78204 125499 97406 112920 Geekbench (Single / Multi) 1503 / 3830 2277 / 4137 1779 / 6491 2117 / 6063

In other tests such as PCMark Work it leaves us a score of 4463, while in 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited it stays at 17305 points.

But if we start using it, the Xperia X leaves us with a very satisfactory and more than enough use experience in demanding daily tasks, including games. Today it would be very difficult for a user to determine which processor this Xperia includes and its difference with the best from Qualcomm, for example.

Sony has managed to balance the contributions on Android with an outstanding experience, but we are left with doubts about when the updates will arrive and how much the serial system occupies

The fluidity of operation that we have experienced is due in large part to the optimization of the layer that Sony puts on Android 6.0. It is not very aggressive although it allows you to apply themes (and quite simple, do not think about radically changing the appearance) and it keeps interesting ideas in the notification and configuration bars.

The multimedia part is once again the best contribution to Google's native services, but we also like the resource and space management that it lets us do with applications.

A subsection in the software part is what the system occupies as soon as the terminal is turned on for the first time. Of the 32 GB, the Android system with customization already takes more than 10 GB (11.75 GB marked us). Quite excessive given that there are hardly a couple of pre-installed applications. Nothing worrying since we have a microSD card slot, but it had to be noted.

See complete gallery »Sony Xperia X interface (14 photos)

The other important figure on the Xperia X data sheet is the battery capacity. They are 2,620 mAh, just if we compare with the competition, and that in our test has left us far from the two days that Sony promises for it.

It is true that Stamina mode continues without equal in the entire market, and for users who want to stretch the battery beyond the day and a half of use, it is a guarantee. But only if you admit limiting the performance and usefulness of the terminal.

Those 2620 mAh remained in the test quite short when we demanded from the terminal. Not skimping on the use of the screen or notifications, in short, not being content with the possibilities of a level smartphone, already caused us to reach the day of use, period. The usual thing has been to end the day with no more than 20% battery, in line with what we have been seeing in many terminals this year, but not in the most prominent ones.

Sony has focused on enhancing the Stamina mode of its smartphones to achieve more autonomy when we do not use the phone. More battery capacity is required if they want to get through the day of use

Something more interesting but that the consumer may not be able to appreciate (and it will not be a determining purchasing factor) is the Qnovo technology that Sony introduces in the batteries of its new terminals so that its useful life is longer than traditional ones by protecting the battery during loads, something interesting in terminals that do not allow the exchange of them and necessary. But I insist, only time will tell us if relevant.

More important to me seems to be the issue of fast charging. Sony includes it (Qualcomm's QuickCharge 3.0) on their Xperia X but nevertheless does not provide a compatible charger as standard with its terminal. You have to buy it separately. In our case, with a classic charging system we have measured a time of half an hour to reach 30% of full charge, and 110 minutes to complete its capacity and leave the battery at 100%.

A camera to capture details and selfies that suffers at night

While the high-end and a good part of the average level are opting for a resolution for their main cameras that is articulated around 12 megapixels (there is an exception that goes up to a maximum of 16 MP), Sony does not give up offering a high resolution that in fact gives it the only clear competitive advantage with its rivals: the level of detail that we can achieve for its more than 20 megapixels of resolution.

No other terminal allows this approach. There is improvement of the processing that does not spoil that detail achieved with megapixels

The sensor has a generous size, 1 / 2.3 inches, the largest in the segment, and brightness of f2.0. With the Sony Xperia X camera in automatic mode it is easy to get balanced photos, with good exposure and color reproduction and where you can admire details and get closer to them like with no other terminal.

Very detailed photos in good light, scandal selfies and very well stabilizing video are the strengths of the Xperia X's camera.

The processing that in previous generations reduced the value of the snapshots has improved, although it still leaves us with clear inconsistencies. In scenes that have been excellently exposed, with a fantastic level of detail it turns out that on the edges the processing is poor at this point in the game.

It also improves the camera of this Xperia X in speed, although we continue with a small delay from the shot until we can see the image that leaves us with a feeling of slowness that does not correspond to the shooting or the focus but that makes shooting various photos in a row is a tedious process. This happens even with 8 MP resolutions.

In speed, the greatest success of the Sony Xperia X is to be able to configure the shot in less than a second after taking it out of the pocket.

On a technical level, the predictive hybrid approach is one of the innovations of the Xperia X's camera. If we activate it, the system will chase an object or subject that we determine to always keep it focused thanks to its movement prediction algorithms.

Broadly speaking, it works, tracking is carried out efficiently and if the movement is not very fast or there are no excessive objects in the scene, it allows us to take well-focused captures. But except for very specific scenes, I think for example about children, it does not seem to us for now a functionality that makes a difference given that there are other tasks of mobile photography that are not at the highest level.

That same system of continuous focusing on an object is used more efficiently in videos. Be careful because we have been surprised that there is no 4K video, so you have to settle for 1080p, although with outstanding quality, especially in terms of stabilization. Here we believe it is the best on the market in this feature.

The weakest point of the Sony Xperia X camera comes with the light shortage. Despite the good size of the sensor and the f2.0 aperture, with so many megapixels the camera suffers to control points of light and collect enough where there is none without spoiling the detail with noise or excessive processing. There is still room for improvement and it is below the best on the market in night scenes.

The interface has come a long way, and it's easy to go from one mode to another by sliding your finger on the screen. The different shooting modes are kept and combining real and artificial images, but they are still very secondary and accessory. There is also a manual mode that, however, has already fallen short enough for what we find in the competition, being able to directly change sensitivity, white balance and compensate the exposure, in addition to the measurement point already within the menus of the application.

Interface and manual controls have lagged behind the competition, and although the processing is more controlled, it still does not stand out in night scenes

Seeing how consumers prefer to use the secondary camera to take photos rather than ask someone to take it with the main camera, we understand the growing prominence that this element is bringing together in a smartphone. And in general, the one that includes the Sony Xperia X is the best we have tested in a smartphone of this level.

See complete gallery »Sony Xperia X (13 photos)

The secondary camera, mainly intended for selfies, dares with a good resolution of 13 megapixels, 1/3 inch sensor, and powered by a 22mm angle that certainly prevents us from juggling so that in the photo we take with it Fit more without resorting to stick-type accessories, stabilization and f2.0 aperture, plus 1080p video recording.

Sony Xperia X: Xataka's opinion and note

Goodbye to the Xperia Z and welcome the new Xperia X. It is what Sony has wanted to transmit us with its new family of smartphones. For them it is the beginning of a step to a more complete ecosystem around the smartphone and the IoT. That's great, but the Xperia X is first of all a phone that we want to get the most out of.

The leap of idea that Sony proposes with its X has been left in the middle in the new Xperia X. The terminal starts from a design with novelties in the finish but before the consumer it remains as little evolved. If you remove the resistance to water, we are going badly.

Its strengths are on the screen and performance. And in both cases they are not pointers by specifications. It does pretend to be the battery and the camera, but in both cases there are inconsistencies that, today and with a price of 629 euros, are unsustainable and a balancing act that is already impossible in almost any range.

You have to bite and be rebellious, and this Sony Xperia X has given us the necessary strength, without this meaning that whoever chooses it feels at any time dissatisfied with global work.


Design8.5 screen Performance8.5 Camera8.25 Software8.25 Autonomy9

In favor

  • Balanced terminal in all sections
  • High level display in brightness and contrast
  • Camera level of detail and video stabilization
  • Speaker and headphone sound


  • Screen resolution below the competition
  • No water resistance
  • Camera inconsistency in edges and night scenes
  • High price if we look at the competition

The phone has been loaned for testing by Sony. Can inquire our policy of relationships with enterprises

Sony Xperia X 32 Gb, Black

Today in amazon for € 144.49

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