Sony Xperia X : User Review

Introduction

Well it’s that time of year again, when people look for new things to buy as Christmas presents for their family and friends (or themselves, if that’s your kind of thing). In spirit of that, I thought I could give my insight of the Sony’s new smartphone, Xperia X.

I bought this phone a couple of weeks ago, since my old Samsung Galaxy S3 wasn’t quite operational anymore. Naturally, as the S3 is a very well received and respected model, switching to the new S7 Edge would be my primary option, but since I was low on budget, and still wanted to be able to run all the newest apps, I chose to go back to the good-old Sony (I owned an older model of Xperia before the S3). The price at which I bought the phone was 650 USD. To some, this might seem a lot, but I have to disclaim, the standard in my country is very different from the rest of the world. For reference, the S7 Edge here costs around 815 USD. Generally, if you want anything that runs on Android Marshmallow, you’ll spend at least 600-ish dollars.

Battery Life & Charging

The Xperia X has a battery that has capacity of 2620 mAh. That’s pretty weak for today’s standards (+3000) and I have to say, it does expire quite fast. For comparison, my old phone would last equally long as the Xperia, and it’s over 4 years old. I guess the only positive side of low capacity battery is the fact that the phone will charge faster as well. Since I’m used to charging my phone every night, this doesn’t stand as a problem for me, but I know that not everyone likes doing that, so you might find it annoying.

On the other hand, it is worth knowing that Sony introduced new technology in the battery design, called Qnovo, which reduces battery degradation over time. This means that in two-three years of using the phone, the battery won’t lose it’s maximum capacity (which is definitely not the case with other brands).

Performance & Design

The first thing worth mentioning regarding the design would be that the volume buttons are on the right side of the phone. It’s quite annoying since every other phone I ever owned placed these buttons to the left side. If you’re used to this, you’ll find it awkward, but probably get used to it after some time.

Another thing that I noticed is that it gets hot really fast. I just use it to browse Facebook and similar apps, and it’s already hot. This could be a problem, especially in the future, if the heat manages to damage some of the inner components.

Other than that, I’d say it runs pretty smoothly for now, as expected from a newly bought phone.

Strength & Durability

Not much to say here, since I only got the device a couple of weeks ago. It hasn’t broken, partially because I keep it safe since it’s new. So far, I haven’t dropped it, so I couldn’t test it’s durability. I have found in specifications that it’s not scratch resistant, so I got myself a protective foil for it, just in case.

I also have to mention that I have a two year warranty for the phone, so if anything happens to it, I can get it fixed/replaced. I’d say this is an improvement since for my older phone I only got a one year warranty.

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Best Features

I have to say that I really like the way phone was designed (except the previously mentioned volume button positioning). It looks simplistic and elegant, just the way a smartphone should look. The screen has a good resolution (1080 x 1920 pixels), which is good for playing games on it and viewing HD videos. It also has a wonderful 23 megapixel (1080 p) camera that is a vast improvement from my Galaxy S3 (8 megapixel). So far, I wasn’t a “photography-oriented” user, but I have a feeling this phone might change that.

Another thing worth mentioning is the UI. Unlike Samsung phones, that have a lot of useless stock apps placed on the home screen, the Xperia offers a nice improvement with a very simple UI, more similar to the one on IPhones. I’ll always say that simpler design is better, and this is a living example. Lastly, I really like the music app, as it allows me to create playlists more efficiently (by directory the song is stored in), instead of the usual, choose-from-list-of-every-song method my previous phones used. It also plays quite nicely, the music doesn’t lag (unlike sometimes on the S3), so I’d say it’s an improvement.

Worst Features

The worst of the features were already mostly discussed in the previous sections. Firstly, the battery duration is very weak for a phone manufactured in 2016. I know this is a problem for all smartphone companies, but the Xperia’s performance in that area is under average. There is also the problem with heating that makes me feel like the phone might explode or melt while I’m using it. And of course, the ridiculous volume button placement.

Other than these, I also have to complain about the fingerprint sensor, as it doesn’t always work too well. It might be that it doesn’t recognize my fingerprint because my hands are sweaty, but that’s not an excuse. I tried the fingerprint sensors on my friends phone in the same conditions and didn’t have this problem. Luckily for Sony, I don’t really care about the fingerprint protection, so this is not a big drawback.

Lastly, I quite often find myself accidentally pressing the camera button instead of lock. I don’t think it makes much sense to have two buttons for camera and locking (especially since you can easily utilize the lock button for screen capture in the camera app). I know I said in the previous section that I like the design, however I think that this button is redundant.

Overall Review

Other than the features mentioned in the previous two sections, the rest of the phone works quite normally and I don’t have much complaints, for now. The Internet browsing is average for a 4G connection, it comes with all the standard Google apps and can run all the latest apps because it has the latest version of Android. The responsiveness of the apps is good, but I expect it to drop after some time, since this is the case with all smartphones.

In conclusion, however, I have to say that cons outweigh the pros and that the rating will suffer because of that. I give this phone a rating of 6.5/10 because a lot of specifications were neglected for a cost of a better design. The battery life is the biggest reason for a low grade mainly because so many people complain about it, and Sony still doesn’t even bother fixing it. However, I have taken into consideration the new Qnovo technology which I really like and hope it becomes a standard in the industry.

Lastly, as someone who cares more about what a phone can do, contrary to what it looks like, I have to say that it bothered me, and I’m not as content as I was when I got my previous phone. I might just resell it soon and get a new one or ask for a refund.

Overall Rating  6.5/10

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