Sony Launches Xperia X Series — All You Need to Know
In a bit of a surprise announcement, Sony has unveiled a “new look Xperia brand” with the Xperia X series of smartphones. Fitting along with the current theme of MWC 2016, these new Xperia devices are made more capable with the addition of smart accessories, giving us “ambient connected devices capable of changing the way users interact with the world”.
Starting off, the devices launched are the Xperia X, the Xperia X Performance and the Xperia XA. All of these devices will be available in Dual SIM variants in addition to the normal Single SIM variants, so Sony is offering a choice to those who prefer.
The Xperia X series smartphones fit in with Sony’s unified design concept, and as such, can be easily recognized as being one with the Xperia pack. The X series notably includes a curved glass display on a metallic frame, giving the devices the premium look and feel of top tier flagships.
While the Xperia X, the Xperia X Performance and the Xperia XA may look and sound similar, they do have differences on the inside and outside as well. Here’s a quick comparison table listing the specs of all three devices:
|Xperia X||Xperia X Performance||Xperia XA|
|Display||5″ FHD 1080×1920|
IPS LCD Triluminos
|5″ FHD 1080×1920|
IPS LCD Triluminos
|5″ HD 720×1280|
|Dimensions||142.7 x 69.4 x 7.9 mm||144.8 x 71.1 x 7.6 mm||143.6 x 66.8 x 7.9mm|
|Weight||153 g||165 g||137.4 g|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 650||Qualcomm Snapdragon 820||MediaTek Helio P10 MT6755|
|GPU||Adreno 510||Adreno 530||Mali-T860MP2|
|Storage||32GB, 64GB (for Dual SIM variant)||32GB||16GB|
|Microsd||Upto 200GB||Upto 200GB||Upto 200GB|
|Rear Camera||23MP, f/2.0, Predictive Hybrid AF, LED Flash||23MP, f/2.0, Predictive Hybrid AF, LED Flash||13MP, Hybrid AF, LED Flash|
|Front Camera||13MP, f/2.0,|
22m Wide Angle Lens
22m Wide Angle Lens
22m Wide Angle Lens
|Fingerprint Sensor||Yes, Side Mounted||Yes, Side Mounted||No|
|Battery||2620 mAh||2700 mAh||2300 mAh|
|Fast Charging||Qnovo Fast Charging||Qnovo Fast Charging||Qnovo Fast Charging|
|Android Version||Android 6.0 Marshmallow||Android 6.0 Marshmallow||Android 6.0 Marshmallow|
Talking about the peculiarities of each device, the Xperia X and the Xperia X Performance feature some interesting camera technology. Not only do these sport hybrid autofocus in the form of PDAF, they also feature Predictive Autofocus, which was developed in close collaboration with Sony’s α camera engineers. This new tech lets one choose their subject and then predicts its motion, which promises to deliver blur-free imagery of even moving subjects.
The Xperia X Performance, as its name implies, is a performance-oriented device and bears a chip that can bear all of that load. The Snapdragon 820 present inside the X Performance means that the device is capable of giving competition to flagships of 2016, despite not being a completely top-tier flagship device either. The Xperia X on the other hand, bears the Snapdragon 650 (which is the renamed Snapdragon 618), so performance wise, the device is placed in the mid end. The same can be said about the Xperia XA as well, thanks to the Helio P10.
All the three Xperia X devices also come with Qnovo Adaptive Charging Technology, which boasts to be a breakthrough as far as smartphone batteries are concerned. Qnovo promises reduced charge times, but also promises an increase in battery lifetimes, which is something that rival Quick Charge tech does not promise. The new Xperia will have drastically better battery lifetimes of around 800 charge cycles before the battery starts to lose capacity, which is a significant increase against the standard 500 charging cycles that one assumes in today’s smartphones.
The Xperia XA does have one distinguishing factor: it sports an edge to edge display, bearing virtually no side bezels. The screen size is also a manageable 5″, so it will be interesting to see how practical and useable a bezel-less display is on a normal sized device instead of a phablet.
The Xperia X series smartphones have a little in them for every need. Sony has not released any pricing or availability details for these, but based on Sony’s past records, the devices will ask for a slightly premium price when compared to its competitors.
A lot of the focus, again, was on the connected devices aspect to the smartphone. Sony has provided us with more concepts and even a working product of how connected devices will enrich and enhance the smartphone experience in 2016.
Firstly, there is the Xperia Ear, which is a wireless earpiece that utilizes Sony’s voice technology. The earpiece will provide useful information such as the weather, your schedule and even the latest news. The device can also work with verbal commands, which you can leverage for a more complex hands-free experience. There’s also the RM-X7BT in-car Bluetooth commander which enables wireless music streaming and uses Sony’s voice tech to activate smartphone functions whilst driving.
Sony also gave us a preview of a few concepts that they are working on. The Xperia Eye is a 360 degree camera which can be worn; the Xperia Projector is a projector which will respond to touch gestures as well as voice, allowing for smartphone like interaction; while the Xperia Agent is a personalised assistant aimed at enhancing everyday life. These are still concepts with no release date attached to them.
The Sony Xperia X, Xperia X Performance and the Xperia XA will be available in White, Graphite Black, Lime Gold and Rose Gold colors. Sony mentions that the devices will be available from Summer 2016, which translates into June-July for us outside of the USA. This is a very surprising move by Sony as the devices may not be as lucrative in the ~4 months from launch till public release. Even the Xperia X Performance, which packs in the SD-820 with a 5″ display may get a competitor which the public can buy earlier.
The Xperia X series devices have certainly surprised us in early 2016. We hope that Sony keeps a manageable and affordable pricing scenario on all of these, which would be crucial for their success.
What are your thoughts on the Xperia X, Xperia X Performance and the Xperia XA? Would you like a top-of-the-line smartphone in a smaller screen size? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!