Sony Xperia X Performance – Sony’s Latest Flagship Phone reviewed

Sony Xperia X Performance

Welcome to my review of the Sony Xperia X Performance. This is Sony’s current flagship phone. Its design is similar to the Xperia Z series as you can see from the photos. My thanks to Clove Technology .

Sony Xperia X Performance

The Key Specifications

– 64 bit quad-core processor – Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
– 3Gb RAM
– Android 6.0.1
– 23MP 1/2.3 rear camera with Predictive Hybrid Autofocus – Lossless 5x Clear Zoom and <0.1 second autofocus
– 13MP front camera 1/3
– Low-light photography: ISO 12800/3200, SteadyShot with Intelligent Active Mode – video stabilisation, Superior Auto Mode, Full HD 1080p Video Recording, Pulse LED Flash
– 5.0″ Inch 1080 x 1920p Full HD display, 441ppi
– LTE Cat 9 support
– WiFi 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n
– Bluetooth 4.2 with apt-x, A2DP
– NFC
– 32GB storage & micro SD support up to 200GB
– Sony 3D Surround Sound technology (VPT), Clear Audio – Sound improvement software, xLoud™ Experience, DSEE HX, High-res audio
– Fingerprint sensor
– PS4 Remote Play
– Battery 2,700mAh
– IP65/IP68
– Dimensions 143.7 x 70.5 x 8.6 mm
– Weight 165g

Phone Basics

Call quality was good. Cellular, bluetooth and WiFi all worked well and the Sony X Performance maintained a good signal strength compared to my Samsung S7. Screen viewing angles were good and visibility in sunlight was average. Battery life was excellent with a day and a half achievable and 5 hours screen on time, despite its 2,700mAh battery. If I had used some of Sony’s power saving modes, a longer battery life could have been obtained. As an example at 71% battery the estimated time remaining is 101 hours. in ultra stamina mode this increases to 240 hours.

The display is adjustable with an option in the settings for image enhancement, X-Reality for mobile or super vivid mode. The white balance is also adjustable. You can also choose which system icons to display in the status bar.

Sony UI is a fairly light skin with the options of themes too. However, Sony does install a number of apps that could be considered bloatware like Facebook, Amazon Shopping, AVG Protection, Kobo eBooks and Spotify. Others might find it useful that Facebook has been pre installed! Within the settings Sony has included options for pressing power button twice to launch camera, tap to wake and glove mode.

The fingerprint sensor/power button was simply excellent. I never once had a failed reading.

Camera

The camera UI is fully shown in my video review, so please check this out. See below. In the meantime,
here are a range of photos from the Sony X Performance.

Sony Xperia X Performance Camera samples

This shot is to highlight an indoor lighting situation. The glass in the door is quite a bit overexposed.

Sony Xperia X Performance Camera samples

Above is a close up of another green plant leaves.

Sony Xperia X Performance Camera samples

From the same plant, but with different sunlight and shadows.

Sony Xperia X Performance Camera samples

A local church. I wasn’t too happy with this overall shot as it is not quite in focus.

Sony Xperia X Performance Camera samples

The above shot in Newquay beach.

Sony Xperia X Performance Camera samples

Slightly better shot of the church.

Sony Xperia X Performance Camera samples

The above shot is in manual mode, using HDR. 8mp.

Sony Xperia X Performance Camera samples

The above shot is another 8mp manual mode, without HDR. HDR in manual mode has to be switched on.

Sony Xperia X Performance Camera samples

And the last photo, manual mode, no HDR but at the full 23mp. Overall, I was not blown away by the image quality due to issues with Sony’s camera app and software. The actual camera sensor showed that it was capable of taking good shots, of not over exposing, being able to deliver good colours and more. This is why DxOMark gave it the number one scoring, due to the brilliant sensor. But the sensor is not the only part of the camera system. My bugbear was that so many shots were not in focus. The camera app had a mind of its own sometimes. I found issues with focusing at infinity and macro. But when the focus was correct, the actual result could be very good. The camera app does include many modes and options but the Sony X Performance does lag behind the competition as the software is too complex and does not get the basics correct. The manual mode only offered white balance and exposure. ISO could only be manually adjusted if you selected the 8mp photo file size.

In terms of video, I used the Sony X Performance to record 2 reviews. See links below. The audio from the video was ok but the video stabilisation did not help smooth out the footage. Selfies from the 13MP front camera were ok. The main problem is the Samsung Galaxy S7 camera outperforms the X Performance by a fair margin due to its good software and hardware working in unison. I also felt the video linked below was a bit jerky in a few spots despite the phone being on a tripod.

Sony Xperia X Performance – Video Sample 1

Sony Xperia X Performance – Video Sample 2

Audio Quality

This is the highlight of the Sony X Performance. It has stereo speakers which due to the water resistance only reach 78db. Plug in wired headphones or use bluetooth headphones and Sony provide a top notch audio nirvana with loads of options to improve your recorded tracks. See video review for more information.

Conclusion

The camera is the disappointment on this phone. However, there is still plenty to like about the Sony X Performance. It is comfortable to hold and easy to use one handed. It has good battery life and superb audio via headphones and bluetooth audio. Its main problem is its competition which for similar or less money, offer a more compelling phone.

My thanks again to Clove Technology for their great service.

Video Review

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