Sony Xperia X: For $550, we expect a lot more phone

IDG.TV | Jun 6, 2016

The Xperia X is a curiously flawed, mid-range phone with a high-range price.

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Hey, Android fans, remember Sony?

That's right: They're still making Android smartphones. But instead of calling them the Xperia Z series, they've now opted for the letter X. Is it nod to a group of crime-fighting mutants?

Hardly.

Meet the Xperia X, Sony's first smartphone release in a long time. But with a mid-range processor and decidedly cheaper build than Xperia phones of the past, the X is not the most groundbreaking.

This smartphone, powered by a six-core, 1.4GHz Snapdragon 650 processor, is Sony’s flagship. Still, it pales in comparison to some of the other mid-tier competitors. With 3GB of RAM, the phone *is* capable enough for games and web browsing, but just know that it gets scalding hot when it’s churning through a game or loading something memory-heavy. In particular, I really felt the heat when I was playing around with augmented reality effects in the camera app.

Speaking of which, let's talk about that 23-megapixel rear-facing camera. By default, the Xperia X shoots in 8-megapixels, so you'll have to dig into the camera settings to bump up the resolution. On auto mode, these high-res shots take a while to snap. You'll notice a bit of a delay between the time you tap the shutter button to when the phone actually archives the picture you just snapped. Don't bother with that camera shutter button on the outside of the Xperia X, either. It’s awkward to hold and requires a bit of a balancing act.

And if you were hoping for added security, you're out of luck. Sony weirdly disabled the fingerprint scanning abilities of the recessed power button in the U.S.

There are more strange things about the Xperia X that make me wonder where Sony’s taking its smartphone division. Is it just here for show? Or does the company actually plan to make an impact on the Android world with its handsets?

I can say that while the Xperia X is a nice try at re-entering the smartphone market, its $550 starting price tag should probably steer you otherwise.
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