Sony Xperia X Performance review: Chief of staff

Chief of staff

GSMArena team, 17 June 2016.

Top-class 5-inch FullHD IPS display

The Xperia X Performance has a 5-inch FullHD dislpay of 441ppi. There's a host of proprietary technologies on board. Triluminous is Sony's trademark for what is essentially a Quantum dot display, a variation of LCD panels that delivers a wider color gamut. The X-reality engine dynamically enhances images and video to provide higher contrast and improved sharpness when viewing multimedia content.

Sony Xperia X Performance review

600 nits of brightness Sony claimed, and our tests very much confirm that it is indeed possible when Adaptive brightness is enabled and the phone is exposed to bright sunlight. High brightness and deep blacks make for excellent contrast in the 1500:1 ballpark, regardless of auto on or off.

The maximum brightness is about the same as on the Xperia Z5 but the screen's contrast ratio has definitely been improved and by a wide margin at that.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Sony Xperia X 0.44 539 1219
Sony Xperia X Performance (max auto) 0.39 595 1526
Sony Xperia X Performance 0.33 482 1461
Xiaomi Mi 5 0.51 628 1227
Huawei P9 0.46 500 1094
Samsung Galaxy S7 0.00 391
Samsung Galaxy S7 max auto 0.00 563
LG G5 0.17 306 1855
LG G5 max auto 0.20 378 1881
HTC 10 0.29 428 1543
Meizu Pro 5 0 321
Meizu PRO 6 0.01 360 40000
Apple iPhone 6s 0.36 536 1481

Color reproduction is fairly accurate, with an average DeltaE of 5.7, similar to the LG G5's 5.6, and better than the Huawei P9 (7.4) and Samsung Galaxy S7 (7.1) in their default modes. A common feature of Sony displays, the bluish whites seem to be here to stay but you won't really notice it unless you have a reference. Overall, it's unlikely to bother you unless you need perfect color reproduction.

A high-quality IPS panel, the Xperia X Performance's display does very well in the sunlight too. It's not in AMOLED territory, but is one of the better LCD's in this respect, according to our tests.

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
  • 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
  • Xiaomi Mi 5
    3.24
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • 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
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • 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
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    1.996
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Meizu m3 note
    1.923
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • BlackBerry Leap
    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
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215

Connectivity

The Xperia X Performance is well stocked on connectivity options. Our review unit is the single-SIM version (F8131 model name), but there's also a dual-SIM one (F8132). The slot in that case is of the hybrid variety though - it's either a second SIM or a microSD card - you can't have all three.

LTE Cat. 9 (450Mbps down, 50Mbps up) is an upgrade over the Xperia X's Cat6. Sony also states that signal reception has gotten 25% more stable than on the Z5 - with better call quality and data throughput at any given distance from the cell tower.

The phone also comes equipped with dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac with 2x2 MIMO antennas. Local connectivity goes on with Bluetooth 4.2 with aptX and Low Energy, and NFC.

The Wi-Fi connection can be used for screen casting - either via Miracast or Google Cast. If you connect a DualShock controller, the Xperia X Performance can become a portable console. It can also connect to your car's stereo system via MirrorLink.

The microUSB 2.0 port lets you charge the phone as well as hook up USB storage and accessories. You'll need to select the data transfer mode every time you connect it to a PC, as it defaults to charge only. Sony has dropped MHL support, so you have no wired way to output an image to a TV.

The Xperia X Performance has no FM radio though, which the plain Xperia X offers.

Sony Xperia X Performance battery life

The Sony Xperia X Performance is powered by a 2,700mAh battery - a modest 80mAh boost over the Xperia X. Last year's Xperia Z5 had a 2,900mAh cell, but a larger 5.2-inch display, while the Xperia Z5 Compact stood at 4.6 inches and 2,700mAh. It looks like Sony isn't too keen on putting excessively large batteries, focusing on efficiency instead.

Premium FullHD 5-inchers with top notch chipsets aren't too common anymore to make a direct comparison. The Huawei P9 has the same resolution as the X Performance, but on a marginally larger diagonal (5.2") and Huawei has fitted a 3,000mAh battery inside. The same goes for the Xiaomi Mi 5 if you round up its 5.15-inch diagonal. Then again the 5.2-inch FullHD Nexus 5X also relies on a 2,700mAh capacity.

The QHD screen resolution camp is represented by the Samsung Galaxy S7 (5.1"), the HTC 10 (5.2") and the LG G5 (5.3"), which all have similar screen sizes. The first two are powered by 3,000mAh batteries, with the G5, which has the largest screen in the group, packing the smallest battery (2,800mAh).

Capacity and screen area alone don't tell us the full story though, that's why we have our own tests. Well, we carried them out on the Xperia X Performance and the results are in.

The Xperia X Performance shows a balanced performance in all our tests with average to good results across the board. The smartphone made it just short of 21 hours on a 3G voice call, around 7 and half hours browsing the web over Wi-Fi and a little more than 8 hours in video playback. The fact that its numbers are so consistent shows that it simply could have benefited from a larger battery.

Sony Xperia X Performance

What that means is that the Xperia X Performance will last you about 2 hours less than the plain X in both screen-on tests. With the displays being identical, we'd guess the powerful Snapdragon 820 is also more power-hungry, at least more so than the S650 found in the Xperia X.

The quick flagship comparison reveals that the Xperia X Performance is tied with the HTC in voice calls, both comfortably ahead of the G5 (17:37) and the P9 (14:53h).

In the web browsing department, the Xperia X is the one that dies first, but the G5's 12 minutes more don't make a world of difference. Only the Mi 5 goes into double-digit hours (okay, well into double-digit hours at 12:50).

There is a bit more of the same for the Xperia X Performance in the video playback test, where it ends up last in the flagship short list. The Huawei P9 (8:46h) and HTC 10 (8:42) don't fare any better, and the Galaxy S7 is the clear winner here (14:50h).

On a positive note, the Xperia X Performance supports Quick Charge 2.0. Strangely, it's not the latest Quick Charge 3.0 seen on the other flagship phones with the Snapdragon 820 but perhaps the reason for that is another new technology the phone comes equipped with. The Xperia X Performance comes with the Qnovo adaptive technology for smart control of the battery charging process much like the rest of the phones in Sony's current smartphone generation.

Qnovo's technology monitors the cell's electrochemical processes in real-time, allowing for minimizing of cell damage and extending the battery lifespan. Qnovo claims the battery should last hundreds of charge cycles more than a conventionally charged battery. This means a year or two of extra longevity and if the battery ages better it will hopefully be able to hold charge better down the line (and this is potentially important for a phone that has its battery sealed).

Sony's Stamina battery saving feature also 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.

The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Reader comments

  • Abhigna

Hi i am using xperia x 64gb in built past 1 yrs but now a days i am suffering there camera not working properly. When i took 6-8 photos countiesly. This mobile indicates device temperature is high so camera is not working until cool down. So please ...

  • Anonymous

Drop your cbrands smartphone more than 10 times and join to compare quality.

  • Anonymous

wow.. i dont know why google drop me in this page. but my opinion is still unchanged. this phone is such an overpriced failure without any good features. kbrands have far more superior devices with the same price. so shameful.. sony can't even beat...