Update: Barring a few differences, the Sony Xperia X Performance brings most of the same goods as the Sony Xperia XZ, but for a cheaper price.
Not only has this device become cheaper to purchase since it launched, it has also received a welcome upgrade to Android Nougat. This means that it’s secure and stocked with enhanced battery-saving features and multitasking is even easier thanks to the multi-window mode.
Sony Xperia X Performance Full Specification, Features, Price And Release Date
Like the others in the new X series, the Sony Xperia X Performance is really good at waving all the signs of a flagship phone. The eye-grabbing glass and brushed metal design make it enjoyable to look at and its 5.6-inch body fits nicely in one hand.
Underneath the hood, though, there’s a mix of what you’d expect to find in a top-tier smartphone, but with a few unpleasant surprises tossed in.
These shortcomings would be excusable if the Xperia X Performance were the least bit competitive in price with some of recent unlocked movers-and-shakers, like the OnePlus 3 or ZTE Axon 7. But it’s not even close.
At US$699 (about £541, AU$913), this phone just about doubles the price of some more capable options, even costing slightly more than the Samsung Galaxy S7. It’s puzzling.
For a phone positioned near the top of Sony’s offering, the Xperia X Performance is either woefully under-specced, or just too expensive for what you’re getting. How about both?
If you’re hoping for a flagship smartphone that balances power, design and value in equal measure, you’ll be better served by another phone on our best phones list.
- The glass front’s slightly curved edges give off an elegant look
- A 1080p screen that is vibrant, but too low-res for the price
- Its brushed metal chassis fits perfectly in the hand and pocket
If you’re seen one Xperia device within the past few years, you’ve seen them all. The Xperia X Performance falls neatly into that group, but it’s not a bad thing at all.
Minimalists will love the Xperia X Performance for its subtle design touches. In the rose gold review unit provided to TechRadar by Sony, the brushed metal back and edges nicely play off the ever-so-slightly curved front panel.
Located on the bottom right side of the trim, it makes a simple task needlessly difficult. The odd reach even caused the phone to slip out of our hands on occasion.
If you’re looking to get this phone in the US, here’s one more knock against the X Performance: it doesn’t have a fingerprint sensor built-in like its UK counterpart. For whatever reason, it has been omitted, though Sony’s website states otherwise.
Given the fashion-forward look of the Xperia X Performance, it’s a delightful surprise that it’s dust and waterproof with a rating of IP68, which means that it can be plunged under water no deeper than a meter (under five feet) for up to a half hour. So a drop into the sink, a puddle, or even the toilet will be fine (just wash it reeeeally well afterward.)
Inside of the Xperia X Performance, Sony stocks a non-removable 2,700mAh battery. It is, by no means, the largest ever to be fit into this form factor, but it should be enough to power through your day.
After a day of mixed use, which involves texting, streaming music, taking the occasional photo, and some light gaming, the X Performance usually had about 20% remaining. On days with heavier use, the Stamina mode really helped to preserve the battery while we hunted down a plug.
Equipped with QuickCharge 2.0-enabled micro USB port, bringing the Xperia X Performance back from the dead doesn’t take too long. Unfortunately, our review unit arrived opened and without the charger and cable, but we had a QuickCharge 3.0 charger handy to give it a fair look.
At 0%, it took 20 minutes to bring it up to 33%. This is enough power to give you 5.5 hours of use, according to Sony. Of course, that depends on how you use it. After an hour, the charge rate slowed and it had 70% ready in the tank. It takes about two hours to fill it completely, which lags way behind the recharge rate of most current Android smartphones.
During our 90-minute HD video test, the battery dropped 27% at full brightness and volume up. If you’re using an application that involves sensors in addition to the screen, expect the battery life to plummet even faster.
When deciding on a phone, the quality of the cameras, both rear and front facing, are pretty important factors to consider. So, consider this.
Both sensors in the Xperia X Performance are provided by Sony’s own imaging department. Digging into the major details, the rear-facing 23MP Exmor RS sensor offers a fairly wide aperture of F2.0, HDR support, 5x digital zoom, and an ISO of up to 12,800 for pictures and 3,200 for video recording in full HD. You won’t find optical image stabilization or 4K recording here.
The front-facing camera is a 12MP Exmor R sensor that also boasts an F2.0 aperture, and a respectable ISO 6,400.
In addition to snapping normal pictures, Sony has installed several camera applets that can be easily accessed in the app. From there, you can do some typical tricks, like shoot panoramas or add stickers to an image, as well as some cool tricks with the AR function that can insert 3D objects into the environment a la Tango, but without the detailed environment mapping.
You can either quick launch into the camera by holding the shutter button, swipe up from the lock screen, or click into it from the home dashboard. Once you’re inside, flipping between the cameras is as simple as a quick swipe down on the screen.
All said, Sony has provided enough goods on the hardware and software side to make taking nice-looking pictures a relative breeze. But it’s not the powerhouse that is the Samsung Galaxy S7, its closest competitor in terms of price and performance.