Nearly 10 years ago, Sony’s flagship Xperia Z series used to attract many loyal users with impressive phone models. However, in February 2016, Sony ended the Xperia Z series and replaced it with the Xperia X series.
While Sony hasn’t left the flagship market, the new Xperia X phones still feel like they’re lacking compared to the Z5 series, the last of the Xperia Z series. Let’s take a look back at the first three Xperia Xs, to See why they can’t really succeed the Xperia Z.
The Sony Xperia X Performance is the most powerful of the Xperia X with the Snapdragon 820 chipset, a much-needed upgrade over the pathetic Snapdragon 810 that the Z5 and Z5 Premium used. However, Sony is keeping the RAM capacity at 3GB, while competitors like Samsung, LG, HTC are moving to 4GB.
It had a 5.0-inch 1080p screen, which was considered the average screen size at the time and was 0.2 inches smaller than the Z5’s screen. Additionally, the Galaxy S7, LG G5, and HTC 10 all have 1440p displays.
The omission does not stop there, the main camera of the Xperia X Performance continues to use a 23MP sensor but loses the ability to record 4K video, although the chipset supports that feature and the camera on the Z5 does too.
The device is still dust and water resistant according to IP68 standards. The back still uses aluminum material, but Sony uses a plastic frame instead of using a more advanced aluminum material.
It feels like Sony is faltering with the Xperia X Performance, or just making a half-hearted effort with its most powerful smartphone at the time.
Along with X Performance, we have the Sony Xperia X, a mid-range product that caters to a wider audience. It also has the same 5.0-inch 1080p IPS LCD screen as the X Performance, the same 23MP camera, and essentially the same battery capacity (just 80 mAh less, 2620 mAh versus 2700 mAh).
The difference comes mainly from the chipset, the Xperia X uses the Snapdragon 650 chip instead of the Snapdragon 820. Apart from the chip, the Xperia X has the same amount of RAM and storage as the X Performance (but uses the slower eMMC 4.5 instead of the eMMC. 5.1).
With such a difference, it is unclear whether Sony’s intention is to make the Xperia X look more powerful or make the X Performance look weaker in the eyes of users.
The feeling that something is missing in the X series is getting stronger and stronger. It does not have a Premium version and there is no Compact version either.
Instead, we have another 5-inch phone, the Sony Xperia XA. This is clearly a low-end product with a 720p IPS LCD screen and a Helio P10 chip, combined with just 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. The camera has been downgraded to a 13MP sensor, but can at least shoot 1080p video like the other two Xperia X phones.
Despite its similar size, the XA has a smaller battery with a capacity of only 2,300 mAh. Sony takes the slim edges as a highlight to advertise the XA, but the top and bottom bezels are so thick that there is no difference in size when held in the hand.
Finally, let’s talk about the price of this trio. In Europe, the Xperia X went on sale extremely late at the end of June with a price of 600 EUR. For comparison, Samsung’s Galaxy S7 costs 700 EUR, the higher end S7 edge is 800 EUR.
The price of the Xperia X Performance is 700 EUR, just 100 EUR more than the Xperia X. However, the X Performance did not have a smooth launch. Initially, Sony will not have plans to open the sale of this version in Germany and the UK. They changed their mind and sold in Germany. Then Sony changed its mind again and launched the phone in the UK for £600.
As for the Xperia XA, the device costs 280 USD / 300 EUR – a bit high for the European market, but a good price for the US, especially when in this market Sony offers a free 64 GB microSD card with machine.
Sony Xperia seems to have had a bad time in 2016, but then things gradually got better. Sony launches Xperia XA Ultra, an interesting phone focused on selfies. And finally users have the X Compact, and a product reminiscent of the Z series is the “Xperia XZ”.