The last couple of years has seen a lot of churning in the smartphone industry and one of the brands that’s taken a serious hit has been Sony. Though no longer a volume player, it has a grip on the water/dust proof devices segment, which is significant in the southern parts of India. Now the company is offering top-end smartphones without this USP. Will the gamble pay off?
Sony Xperia X
From a design perspective, the Sony Xperia X looks like any other Xperia, though with some features that makes it seem like its come from the Z5 lineage. Despite the 5-inch screen, this phone is as easy to grip as a 4-inch phone, and that might be just another USP in these times when every phone is so large. The Indian version of the phone will be dual-SIM with LTE in both slots.
Specs: 5.0-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) display | Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 | 3GB RAM + 64GB storage, further expandable up to 200GB | 23MP rear camera + 13MP front camera | 2620mAh battery | Android 6.0 | Sony Xperia X full specs
Price: Rs 48,990
What is good?
The Xperia X has a pretty neat design. Though it looks clearly like an Xperia phone, this design language is still contemporary. The phone fits in your hand easily and I think the fingerprint scanner on the right side is the best execution of this technology till date — Sony debuted this with the Z5. There is a dedicated camera button, which you can use to click a picture even when the phone is locked. Sony claims this is the fastest photo option on any smartphone.
Sony has introduced some new colours with this phone. And there is an interesting design tweak in the lock screen having the same colour tone as the phone. With the superb Triluminous display, experiments like these work and really stand out.
The phone performs reasonably well with multitasking and gaming. You will not have much to complain. Though running Android M, Sony doesn’t seem to have pushed the integral UI much, and it looks more or less like an Xperia would have last year.
I guess a lot of people will be looking at this phone seriously for its 23MP rear camera. It also offers a relatively large mobile image sensor, and a wide angle lens along with the quick launch option in the dedicated camera button. For me, the best feature is the predictive hybrid auto-focus though.
The camera predicts how and where the subject will move and keeps it in focus all the time. Being someone who clicks a lot of flowers, this is a cool feature to have. The phone also offers one of the better digital zooms in a smartphone.
What is not good?
The Xperia X is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650, which despite being a good processor seems out of place in a phone with this price tag. The value conscious India buyer will have this at the back of their mind. Also, for a top-end phone the benchmarks put this one with last year’s devices.
Xperia flagships have had heating issues for sometime now. And that could be the reason the X does not have an IPV standardisation, to offer it more avenues to dissipate heat. Despite this, the X does feel more than warm at times.
Should you buy?
I love the camera on the Sony Xperia X and the phone does not have a lot of flaws. However, that does not justify this price. With what is inside the phone, it feels a bit like an old superstar who still wants to romance the young starlets and charge a premium for it.
When phones half its price are powered by top-end processors, a top-end phone featuring a mid-range processor will just not impress the Indian buyers. The only hope here is that the good camera helps them make some sacrifices about the other specs.