Xperia X Shows Overheating while Video Recording, Cannot Record 4K Video

Xperia X Shows Overheating while Video Recording, Cannot Record 4K Video

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A few days ago, YouTube user Damir Franc uploaded a video showing a huge problem with the camera on his Sony Xperia X unit. In the video Damir has his X next to a Galaxy S7, both recording at 1080p at full screen brightness.

Less than 4 minutes into the recording, the Xperia X notified Damir and the viewers that the phone is too hot, and features such as Face Detection, Auto See Recognition, and Auto Focus have been disabled. When Damir picks the Xperia X up to see how it reacts to motion, it is very obvious that the phone is struggling to keep a stable framerate, resulting in a stuttering viewfinder. After nine minutes of continuous recording, the Xperia X shut the camera off, and displayed a message letting us know it was time to let the phone cool off.

After the Xperia X has stopped recording, Damir picks up the Galaxy S7 to show that it is still working just fine, with no lag whatsoever. When using a temperature probe, Damir shows that both the Xperia X and Galaxy S7 were at 40°C. This isn’t too different from the heating handicaps that were present on the Xperia Z3+/Z4, which left many users with a bad taste in their mouths.

This isn’t the only handicap that the Sony Xperia X cameras face, however. It has been confirmed by a community manager at the Sony Support Forum that neither the Xperia X or the Xperia X Performance support 4K recording. The processor on the Xperia X is a Snapdragon 650 with A72 cores and 28nm process size, which does not suggest the issue at hand is due to a lack of processing power. Furthermore, the X Performance is equipped with a Snapdragon 820, which is expected to perform much better than the 650, and highly unlikely to face to same issues as the Xperia X. This is a sad turn of events given that 4K recording has been around since the 2013 Galaxy Note 3, which had a Snapdragon 800 chipset — far older and slower than modern-day high-class SoCs. It has also been present in all of the Xperia Z phones since the 2014 Xperia Z2 with a Snapdragon 801.

The Xperia X not having the ability to record in 4K is a little surprising. Similar phones such as the Redmi Note 3 with the same 650 processor are able to record in 4K (the MIUI camera app does not support it, though), and aren’t suffering from the same heating issues. But the X Performance not having 4K recording ability is quite curious. The Galaxy S7 variant with the same processor has 4K recording, but capped at 10 minutes. It is also curious to note how the S7 Exynos variant can record 4K with no limitations whatsoever, with the counter in the viewfinder suggesting it can reach at least an hour.

We will reserve full judgement until we can do our in-depth testing at XDA for a full review. We hope that this is not a widespread issue, but seeing 4K turned off by default does sadden us, especially knowing that the SoCss employed do support said functionality.

Do you think this is a problem related to the processors at hand, or just a problem with the Xperia X line’s camera software? Drop a comment and let us know what you think.