It’s been a while since Sony had a new flagship line of smartphones, with the Japanese manufacturer’s Z series of devices being capable but never really catching on with consumers. Enter the X series and specifically, the Xperia X. On paper, it’s a somewhat decent device that makes full use of the capable hardware that it sports to deliver a mobile device that’ll check the standard boxes for anyone looking for a new handheld.
And yet, it’s not enough. In an industry where the biggest players around all sport some experimental ideas or technology, the Sony Xperia X is showing up to this pool party without anything to add to the technological buffet. While the Samsung Galaxy S7 has a bold sense of design, Huawei is tinkering with a phenomenal camera and LG is playing around with modular tech, Sony doesn’t offer anything that we haven’t already seen before with the Xperia X.
You could say that it lacks the X-factor.
And that’s a right shame, because the Xperia X feels superb to hold. It may not have a fingerprint sensor like other smartphone heavyweights do, but the metal back, crisp five-inch screen and curved bevels scream Sony design influences while being far hardier than other devices available right now. Polycarbonate sides complete the look, which has as few edged protrusions as is humanely possible with the hardware today.
And I like that. The Xperia X feels comfortable, while hitting that sweet spot between having enough heft to feel like there’s something valuable in your hands and yet isn’t too heavy to double as an impromptu session of arm curls whenever the DA decide to ask you to vote for them. All the buttons you’d need in a smartphone are available: Volume, power, camera and a headphone jack with a Micro SD and SIM card slot on the left hand side.
So what’s powering the Xperia X? A very clean and efficient Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system that is surprisingly super-light on bloatware, 3GB of RAM and a middling Snapdragon 650 processor.Of course, it’s not the size that counts but how you use it. At least, that’s what I’ve been told. Here’s how the Xperia X did with the Antutu benchmark:
And a few basic 3D Mark tests.
It’s not bad, but it’s not exactly going to melt your face off either. On a more practical level, running a few visual-heavy games like Suicide Squad and several apps in the background didn’t result in the phone slowing to a crawl, as it ably handled that content. So right now, it has enough chops to get the job done. Is it future-proofed for what’s still to come? That remains to be seen.