Sony Xperia 10 Plus review

GSMArena team, 13 March 2019.

Vanilla Android Pie

The Xperia 10 Plus boots Android Pie, and it's a slightly more Google-ish variation than the one we saw on the Xperia XZ3 last year. What we mean is that now you can have the pill navigation (which Sony calls 'Swipe up on Home button') in addition to the classic nav bar. You can find the setting in the display menu, and enabling it makes the 10 Plus behave almost precisely like a Pixel phone.

Swipe up setting - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review Homescreen - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review App drawer - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review Folder view - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review Notification shade - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review Notification shade - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review
Swipe up setting • Homescreen • App drawer • Folder view • Notification shade

There are unique Xperia bits on top, however - ones that are meant to help out with the tall aspect of the display and the extreme overall height, particularly on this larger 6.5-inch model (the 6-inch Xperia 10 non-Plus is naturally easier to operate). Chief among those is one-handed mode.

Sony Xperia 10 Plus review

It's not a new thing, it's just that being able to shrink the UI and bring it closer gets a new meaning on a phone of the 10 Plus's proportions. A quick double tap on the Home button does just that and even makes the notification shade almost conveniently reachable with one hand - good luck with that on the full-screen UI.

One-handed mode - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review One-handed mode - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review One-handed mode - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review One-handed mode - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review
One-handed mode

Then there's Side Sense - a custom drawer-like interface that can be triggered by tapping twice on a handle located on the side of the screen. You can move the handle up and down, adjust its size, and have it on either side or both sides. The menu itself is sort of a take on the Android Pie recent apps interface, which is notably missing from its intended location as a row in the app drawer.

Side sense on the XZ3, where it debuted, was a bit more powerful and for example, you could use it to take a picture when in the camera app. This functionality is gone now, but in all fairness, it's unlikely to be missed. You can, however, disable the handle from showing up over apps on a per-app basis.

Side sense - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review Side sense - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review Side sense - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review Side sense - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review Side sense - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review Side sense - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review
Side sense

An inherent benefit of an extra long display is the ability to show more items in long lists - that includes boring stuff like the settings menu, and marginally more fun stuff like, say, Instagram.

Another good use for a 21:9 screen is showing two apps in two larger-than-average halves of the said screen - if only Google hadn't completely ruined the mechanics of going into multi-window with Pie.

There's a downside to the unusual aspect too, in that some apps may not be able to display properly in it. We ran into this with one of the benchmarks we do, but not the more common apps you're likely to use. Even so, the possibility for incompatibility is there.

Settings (almost all of them) - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review Instagram (1 extra row) - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review Multi- window - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review and in landscape - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review Incompatible app - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review
Settings (almost all of them) • Instagram (1 extra row) • Multi- window • and in landscape • Incompatible app

Sony also notably handles its own multimedia display and playback. Album features both photo and video support, can connect to the cloud and local network services and is pretty good at organizing galleries and doing the occasional light edit on a shot.

The Music app is simple and well organized, without lacking any important features. All the while, it looks very appealing with large format album art (and automatic art download) and a flat design. It also features Google cloud integration. There are also various options to tweak sound including the DSEE HX up-scaler and the Automatic optimization which work with wired headphones. Others, like aptX HD, are compatible with Bluetooth devices.

Album app - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review Photo Editor - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review Music app - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review Audio settings - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review Audio settings - Sony Xperia 10 Plus review
Album app • Photo Editor • Music app • Audio settings

Synthetic benchmarks

The Xperia 10 Plus gets its computing power from a Snapdragon 636 chipset - a fairly popular solution in the midrange. However, for the 'super mid-range' that Sony wants to call the 10 Plus's market position, a 660 or even a 710 would have been a much better fit. It's not that the 636 is a bad SoC, there's just not much 'super' about it. The handset is equipped with 4GB of RAM for most of the world and 6GB in China. We have a non-China 4GB version for testing.

Sony Xperia 10 Plus review

Starting out our benchmarking routing with GeekBench, we're witnessing a predictable performance from the Xperia with single-core results within single digits of competitors with the same internals. The 10 Plus is significantly more powerful under single-core loads than S630 phones (last year's XA2 Ultra and XA2 Plus) but lags behind Snapdragon 660 devices and the Kirin 710-packing Honor 8X. The Xiaomi Mi 8 SE excels in this test with its Snapdragon 710 posting a 40% higher score than the Xperia - now that's super midrange.

GeekBench 4.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 8 SE
    1890
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    1650
  • Nokia 7 plus
    1634
  • Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
    1628
  • Meizu 15
    1620
  • Honor 8X
    1618
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
    1611
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    1560
  • Oppo F9 (F9 Pro)
    1497
  • vivo V11
    1457
  • Nokia 7.1
    1344
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro
    1342
  • Sony Xperia 10 Plus
    1340
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    1334
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    882
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    882
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra
    866
  • Sony Xperia 10
    848
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
    839

A similar distribution of powers can be observed in the multi-core test only here the Oppo F11 Pro with its Mediatek Helio P70 takes the lead ahead of the S710-powered Mi 8 SE. The Xperia is again towards the lower end of the pack, though it is still a step up from last year's models, if that's the way you prefer to look at it.

GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Oppo F11 Pro
    6020
  • Xiaomi Mi 8 SE
    5908
  • Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
    5894
  • Nokia 7 plus
    5893
  • Meizu 15
    5877
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
    5763
  • Oppo F9 (F9 Pro)
    5673
  • Honor 8X
    5651
  • vivo V11
    5535
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    5411
  • Nokia 7.1
    4975
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro
    4933
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    4927
  • Sony Xperia 10 Plus
    4780
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    4225
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra
    4198
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    4160
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
    4144
  • Sony Xperia 10
    3985

Over in Antutu, the Xperia 10 Plus posts one of the better scores for its chipset configuration, so that's got to count for something. It's still no match for the higher-end Snapdragons that can be found for the money.

AnTuTu 7

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 8 SE
    170218
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    150218
  • Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
    143257
  • Nokia 7 plus
    140820
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
    140500
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    139075
  • Honor 8X
    137276
  • Meizu 15
    125444
  • Sony Xperia 10 Plus
    120573
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    117829
  • Nokia 7.1
    117175
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro
    115605
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    90918
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    90263
  • Sony Xperia 10
    89697
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra
    89110
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
    86374

Graphics performance is another area where the Xperia shows its weakness compared to better-equipped rivals. Thanks to the more it needs to render, it's even lagging behind last year's models with the 630 chipset in onscreen benchmarks. If you're into heavy gaming, you'd be better off looking for a Snapdragon 660 or 710 powered phone.

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 8 SE
    23
  • Nokia 7 plus
    15
  • Meizu 15
    15
  • Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
    15
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
    15
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    15
  • vivo V11
    14
  • Honor 8X
    14
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    14
  • Oppo F9 (F9 Pro)
    12
  • Nokia 7.1
    10
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro
    10
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    10
  • Sony Xperia 10 Plus
    10
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    9.9
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    9.8
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra
    9.7
  • Sony Xperia 10
    9.6
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
    9.5
  • Oppo F5
    7.1

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 8 SE
    22
  • Meizu 15
    15
  • Nokia 7 plus
    14
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
    14
  • Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
    13
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    13
  • Honor 8X
    13
  • vivo V11
    12
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    12
  • Oppo F9 (F9 Pro)
    11
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra
    10
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    10
  • Nokia 7.1
    9.7
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro
    9.7
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    9.7
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    9.3
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
    9.1
  • Sony Xperia 10 Plus
    8.4
  • Sony Xperia 10
    7.8
  • Oppo F5
    6.8

GFX 3.1 Car scene (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 8 SE
    13
  • Nokia 7 plus
    9.1
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
    9.1
  • Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
    9
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    9
  • Meizu 15
    8.8
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    8.5
  • vivo V11
    8.2
  • Honor 8X
    7.6
  • Oppo F9 (F9 Pro)
    7.5
  • Nokia 7.1
    6.3
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro
    6.3
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    6.3
  • Sony Xperia 10 Plus
    6.3
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    5.6
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    5.6
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
    5.5
  • Sony Xperia 10
    5.4
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra
    5.4
  • Oppo F5
    4.2

GFX 3.1 Car scene (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 8 SE
    12
  • Meizu 15
    9.2
  • Nokia 7 plus
    8.6
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
    8.3
  • Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
    8
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    7.7
  • vivo V11
    7.4
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    7.4
  • Honor 8X
    6.7
  • Oppo F9 (F9 Pro)
    6.5
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra
    6
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    6
  • Nokia 7.1
    5.9
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro
    5.9
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    5.9
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    5.2
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
    5.1
  • Sony Xperia 10 Plus
    5
  • Sony Xperia 10
    4.3
  • Oppo F5
    4

On a positive note, the Xperia 10 Plus showed no signs of overheating, only slightly warming up after repeated benchmark runs. Throttling wasn't an issue either and results only varied slightly between runs. Overall, the phone is a good daily performer, but there are better options for more demanding mobile gaming.

Reader comments

  • MA

do you still have that water proof sony

  • Rolo

Can you tell me which cell is better than Xperia 10 plus and with more fixtures, thanks

  • kyaw naing

I am alway like SONY.