Sony Xperia X hands on review

Manny Pham
June 9, 2016

Sony isn’t a stranger to premium devices, the Xperia Z5 may have been fundamentally flawed and it seems to have been reincarnated into the Xperia X.

We finally got our hands on Sony’s new flagship device the freshly branded Xperia X. In what seems to be a rebranding carousel among manufacturers, Sony have dumped the ‘Z’ moniker in attempt to bring back the X factor of their flagship line of smartphones.

The Xperia X sits firmly in the mid-range with decent specs and full HD screen. But there’s a kicker, it has impressive cameras on paper, with a front-facing camera that would usually belong on the rear-facing camera of a mid-range device. We’ll get to that later.


From a design perspective Sony seem to have played it safe, sticking to a design language they know full and well. The Xperia X screams “Sony device” with its rectangular design and thickness. Around the office we’ve been calling it the baby Z5, despite the fact there is the Z5 Compact. The Xperia X actually slots in awkwardly between the Z5 Compact (4.6-inches) and the standard Z5 (5.2-inches) like a rotund stranger on the tube, with its 5-inch screen.

We applaud Sony for smoothing out the edges of the Xperia X, it doesn’t feel like you’re carrying around a pointy glass kitchen table in your pocket, as it did with the Z5. Very comfortable in the hand and easy to slide in your pocket.

Interestingly Sony has taken off the signature water-resistance we’ve become accustomed to. It’s a bit of a downgrade, seeing as the Xperia XA and XA Ultra will be sporting the feature.


During Mobile World Congress, Sony were showing off the Xperia X’s new Predictive Hybrid focus with colourful remote control balls in a maze. A fancy name for the camera’s ability to remain focused on moving objects. At the moment we’re finding the Predictive Hybrid focus to not be all its cracked up to be. A bit finicky and struggles to keep up with moving objects.

As for the actual camera, we’re seeing the same shooter on the Z5 in this new mid-ranger. It is 23-megapixels with a f/2.0 sensor, the exact same as the Z5. On paper you can expect bloody great pictures, but that wasn’t always the case in our test. Unfortunately Sony hasn’t improved the awful camera app, manual controls are deep in the settings, which makes no sense.

The front-facing camera is the highlight here, sporting an impressive 13-megapixels with the f/2.0 sensor. It’s a selfie camera that belongs on the rear of a mid-range device, and it’s bloody awesome.


Scrolling through the Xperia X is nippy with no visible lag, thanks to the newly build Snapdragon 650 processor and 3GB of RAM. Android Marshmallow is here overlaid with Sony’s Xperia UI.

Sony seem very confident about the non-removeable 2,620mAh battery. Checking the battery status in the settings revealed we had over 200 hours of battery life left, and that’s not even in ‘Ultimate Stamina Mode.’

Its a bug if anything as we only managed to get at maximum, a day and a half of life out of the Xperia X.

Early verdict

Sony has produced a device that seems to be a solid smartphone that’s just a bit too familiar. From what we gathered it’s a lower spec Z5 with a turbo boosted front-facing camera.

With a massive price tag of £459 we’re wondering is it worth the money? It has a decent screen, decent specs and decent camera. That’s all it is currently, just decent. Hopefully we can find a reason to justify purchasing the Xperia X in our full review.

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