Sony Xperia X review: Rated X

Rated X

GSMArena team, 20 May, 2016.

Display

The Sony Xperia X brings a Bravia, Triluminos, X-Reality display (hey, the names match!), 5" big with 1080p resolution. Sony won the sharpness wars with its 4K Xperia Z5 Premium, so the Xperia X is free to go for quality instead of bragging rights of a QHD display.

All those brand names really stand for an IPS LCD built on the Quantum Dot technology. It generates colors in a different way than vanilla LCD's and you can tell - even if you're used to AMOLED, the saturated colors of this screen look spell-binding.

Sony Xperia X review

Despite their surreal appearance, Sony managed to keep color reproduction fairly accurate - the display scores an average deltaE of 4.0 - that's more than the best in this regard (the Galaxy S7 and iPhone 6s), but it's still better than quite a few devices (the Xperia Z5, LG G5, and Huawei P9). It's really the white balance that's off (it has a blueish tint), the rest of the color reproduction stays mostly under a deltaE of 6. The biggest deviation was 9.4.

There are sliders to adjust white balance, but you need to have a calibration tool as you really can't do much by eye.

Sony also worked to improve contrast and the Xperia X scores 1,200:1, better than the 1,000:1 the Z5 managed and the 800:1 of the Xperia M5. This was largely done by improving the black levels, which are still on the high side. Even so, in the dark, you can get the brightness as low as 4.9 nits, a boon for late-night notifications when a bright screen would blind you.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Sony Xperia M5 0.63 527 839
Sony Xperia Z5 0.59 583 986
Sony Xperia X 0.44 539 1219
HTC One A9 - 366
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) 0.00 421
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) max auto 0.00 601
Huawei Honor 7 0.32 450 1398

Sony does image post-processing in its gallery. You can turn it off, switch to X-Reality mode or go all in with Super-vivid mode (delivering self-described "surreal" images).

These modes sharpen images, boost contrast and (in super-vivid mode) enhance colors. You can get a side-by-side comparison to help you make your choice too.

The sunlight legibility marks a small improvement over the Xperia Z5 and M5. It's on par with, say, LG G5, but behind some mid-range AMOLED-packing phones.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Microsoft Lumia 950XL
    3.837
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    2.378
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Acer Liquid X2
    2.084
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Meizu MX
    1.221

The Display settings have a few additional perks. You can enable double-tap to wake (off by default), Glove mode (for cold winters) and Smart backlight control (keeps the screen on while you hold the phone).

Connectivity

The Sony Xperia X comes in single- and dual-SIM versions, ours is of the single-SIM kind.

For mobile data, LTE Cat. 6 (300Mbps down, 50Mbps up) along with HSPA as a fallback (42.2Mbps/5.76Mbps). You also get dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac (the Xperia M5 lacked ac), Bluetooth 4.2 with aptX and Low Energy, NFC and FM Radio with RDS (we know it's important to some people).

The Wi-Fi connection can be used for screen casting - either via Miracast or Google Cast. This goes great if you connect a DualShock controller, the Xperia X becomes a portable console. For cars, MirrorLink can connect to your head unit.

The microUSB 2.0 port (yep, no Type-C action from Sony in the foreseeable future) lets you charge the phone as well as hook up USB storage and accessories. MHL is not supported, there's no wired way to connect to to a TV.

Battery

Ask any Xperia owner about battery life and you'll hear good things. But the Sony Xperia X comes with a sealed 2,620mAh battery. Is it enough? That's the same capacity as the Xperia M5 and actually a bit less than the Xperia Z5 Compact (2,700mAh).

Note that the Xperia X is the first phone to launch with a Qnovo battery. It supports fast charging (Quick Charge 2.0 in this case)), but the company behind it claims it has a longer life and will last hundreds of charge cycles more than a conventional Lithium battery (especially one that's being fast-charged). This means that a year or two after you buy it, the X will continue to offer solid battery life while an aged regular battery will not be able to hold much charge (and this is important for a phone with a sealed battery).

Additional improvements, including a new chipset, help the Endurance rating to a good 67 hours. Not the best we've seen (Z3 Compact was a wonder), but we think it's actually an improvement over the Xperia Z5.

It comes down to the testing procedure - we used to set the brightness slider to 50% (which for the Z5 meant a low 90nits), but now we test all phones at 200nits. The only test the Xperia X loses compared to the Z5 is the browser test, but we think at equal brightness the Z5's lead will shrink.

Sony Xperia X review

In comparison, the LG G5 scored 60h (50h with Always On screen), HTC 10 did 66h, Sony Xperia Z5 73h, Huawei P9 75h, Samsung Galaxy S7 80h (49h with Always On).

Sony's Stamina battery saving feature comes standard here. It has two modes: regular Stamina, and Ultra Stamina. The first disables non-essential features like GPS and vibration, and takes performance down a notch, but the Xperia does remain a smartphone.

Ultra Stamina is for absolutely dire occasions when you don't expect to be able to find a power outlet for a prolonged period of time. Enable that and it's back to basics where you get a single homescreen with access to the dialer and contacts, text messages, camera and clock.

You can read more about the Xperia X battery life in our blog post.

Reader comments

Xperia x is very good quality phon. But one things suffered me so much. I can't make any local call when my i stay in my connected wifi area. Even others also can't making call to my cell !! And Network signal buffering suddenl. My current oper...

  • Anonymous

worst phone i ever used, issues with user friendly setups, hard to reboot and hard reset not so happy with the camera. sony really dont care about services

  • ussy

The Sony Experia X is quite smart amazing phone with slick and portable design good camera and the battery 🔋 is awesome sweet phone friendly user for any affordable buyer . Keep it 👆 up