Sony’s take on its Xperia X lineup is a bit different from what we’ve seen in the past. Instead of going all guns blazing to compete against flagships from Apple, Samsung, HTC and LG, Sony has decided to tone things down with the new Xperia X series. With declining smartphone sales, the company is cutting down costs which clearly shows in the latest Xperia flagship – the Xperia X Dual. It’s not really what you’d call a flagship when its comes to innards, but still, has enough high-end hardware. At a price of around Rs. 48,900, it’s certainly out there to give the big boys a run for their money.
But is the new Sony Xperia X Dual a smartphone worth the hefty price tag, let’s find out?
- Sony Xperia X
- Wall charger
- USB Cable
- User Manual
Build and Design:
The Xperia X rocks the same omni-balance design we’ve seen in the past. It looks like a rectangular slab and feels quite hefty for a 5-inch phone. And unlike last year’s Xperia Z5 decked with metal sides and an all-glass finish, this one gets an aluminum finish on the back and plastic on the sides.
But by no means, it isn’t an attractive looking smartphone. The brushed metal black and smooth contours lend it a minimal and elegant look. The volume rockers, the power button, and the Quick Launch camera button are all housed on the right and are easily accessible.
The fingerprint scanner is also housed on the right that doubles as a power button. It is easily accessible but given the small size of the button; there were issues unlocking the device. I usually prefer fingerprint scanners on the back as its best the spot to house a fingerprint scanner. In this case, it’s not the quality of the fingerprint sensor, but the placement that leads to issues. Waterproofing flaps have been largely phased out which means the Xperia X is no longer certified waterproof.
Apart from these nuances – the phone looks good, rocks an ergonomic design and is rather easy to get along with. It’s comes in 4 attractive colour options which include Graphite black, White, Lime Gold or Rose Gold.
Unlike last year’s flagship which rocked 4k resolution, Sony has decided to stick with a 5-inch full-HD display which has a pixel density of 441ppi. The general screen quality is good, with enough brightness levels to handle bright sunlight; though colors appear a bit overblown and less natural than they actually are. For instance, reds appear a bit too flashy making them look a bit gimmicky.
Overall, the display of the smartphone is decent though nothing remarkable. And given the phone’s price, a 4K screen should have been included.
Sony has switched gears with the Xperia X by using a mid-range hexacore Snapdragon 650 processor instead of the speedier Snapdragon 820 chipset found on flagships. It’s still a pretty high-end chipset, but for a phone with a Rs. 48,000 price tag, you’d expect some more juice. Bundled with the Snapdragon 650 is 3GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in storage.
That being said, I have no complaints about the phone’s performance. Overall performance is snappy, and it took no time to open new apps or while switching between already opened apps. And equipped with a fairly high-end Adreno 510 GPU, the Xperia X can run graphically intensive games like Mortal Kombat X and DeadTrigger 2 at maxed out settings. I did not come across any odd lag or stutters while playing these games and the phone handles them like a pro.
In terms of synthetic benchmarks, the phone racked up 73180 points in Antutu, while in Geekbench 3, it managed to pull-off a single-core score of 1490 and a multi-core score of 3865 points.
While the battery performance is acceptable though nothing outstanding. The 2620 mAh non-removable can eke out an entire day of moderate usage at max, while heavy users might find the need to charge it occasionally. It does support Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 technology, though our review unit came with the standard 7.5W Sony charger in the box.
The phone features dual-SIM 4G connectivity, a hybrid SIM slot, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC. Signal strength is good as the phone easily latches onto nearby Wi-Fi networks while call quality seems fine. I did like the placement of front-facing speakers. It’s great while playing games or watching movies as the sound is aimed right at you without any distortion.
Overall, the Xperia delivers fairly good performance but it’s not the beast you’d expect out of a smartphone that costs around Rs. 48,900, which doesn’t seem to justify the hefty price tag.
Coming on to the phone’s cameras, the Xperia X comes with a 23MP primary camera along with a 13MP front-facing cam for selfie enthusiasts. The rear camera belts out good pictures packed with plenty of detail and good color accuracy in well-lit conditions.
Images taken in low-light conditions also turn out to be decent but nothing impressive. There is a good amount of details and color reproduction, though you still get to see an occasional grain popping up in low-light. Shots taken indoors were mostly clean and crisp.
The phone gets full HD video recording at 60 fps. Video quality is good, and the digital image stabilization ensures the videos come out clean even while you’re in motion or during shaky hand movements.
Surprisingly, the phone’s ability to capture macro shots fell short of my expectations. As they came out slightly blurry every time I was trying to get that perfect macro shot. The camera also has a tendency to overexpose images at times to get brighter images — which has an adverse effect on the image quality.
Overall, the phone’s primary camera is pretty decent but lacks the consistency in performance you’d expect out of a phone that costs Rs. 48,000. It also appears a bit sluggish while processing images, which did not happen while using the LG G5.
That being said, the phone’s front-facing cam hides some of the flaws of the primary camera unit. The 13MP shooter on the front is surely going to please selfie aficionados. It’s probably one of the best selfie cams I’ve come across. Images look clean, crisp with a lot of detail and good color reproduction.
The software experience on the Xperia X is pretty similar to what we’ve seen in the past with the likes of the Z5 Compact and Z5, besides Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It retains the same drop down notifications panel and quick access to Settings you’d find on stock Android.
You get the usual battery savings mode – Stamina and Ultra Stamina, which helps the phone’s battery fetch you that extra mile. Though there are a lot of pre-installed apps which I barely used, and most of it cannot be removed. The only apps that I found useful were the PlayStation app, Amazon’s Kindle along with the Sketch app which lets you create doodles.
The phone’s software works well for the part. It’s fast, responsive and doesn’t fiddle much with the overall Android experience. Though I would have preferred a cleaner layout, as the screen does look cluttered and cumbersome with the immense amount of bloatware. Among them, I found Sony Liv seemed to be utterly pointless as it constantly bugs you with notifications and it seems as if you’re forced to subscribe for these services.
- Ergonomically designed
- Solid overall performance
- Excellent selfie camera
- up to 256GB of expandable memory
- Awkward placement of fingerprint scanner
- Slightly bulky
- Mediocre battery
- No waterproof rating
- No bundled earphones
Sony’s latest flagship gizmo is more confusing rather than intriguing. No doubt it belts out a solid performance across the board. But when compared to Sony’s last year’s offerings like the Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact that were packed with high-end innards, this one seems rather bleak. It doesn’t really get flagship-like specs but is out there to compete with the big boys. Things do not seem to make sense here, and Sony has indeed goofed it up big time with its latest Xperia X.
At a price of Rs. 48,900, it isn’t really a smartphone that gives you the performance or specifications to rival the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S7 or the LG G5. Hopefully, Sony announces price drops for the smartphone in the coming months if the Xperia X has any chance to be a success in India.
If you’re willing to shell out that much money, it’s better to go for high-end smartphones from the likes of Samsung, HTC or LG. While if you’re looking for a more value packed device – the OnePlus 3 is a great buy, which can now be bought without the rather infuriating flash sales model.