C 2018
Notebookcheck

Sony Xperia X Smartphone Review

Manuel Masiero, Tanja Hinum (translated by Martina Osztovits), 08/02/2016

Ambitious. The Sony Xperia X aims to be a top smartphone and a photo artist in one device. Although the 5-inch Android system brings many features and high performance, is cannot fully meet its high, self-imposed claims.

For the original German review, see here.

Contrary to expectation, Sony did not introduce the successor of the Xperia Z5 at the Mobile World Congress 2016, but rather, replaced their flagship with the X series. Now, the Xperia X competes as the new top model. With a diagonal of 5 inches, it is one of the smaller smartphones. Users will not have a hard time to adjust to a new design, since it is very similar to its direct predecessors. In effect, it looks like a smaller edition of the 5.2-inch Xperia Z5.

The 152 g (~5.4 oz) light Xperia X is powered by a Snapdragon 650 hexa core processor, which has 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage available. In addition, Sony offers a "performance" edition of the Xperia X. While the latter is slightly heavier with 163 g (~5.7 oz), it brings higher performance thanks to a Snapdragon 820 SoC. Hence, it might be even more interesting for smartphone gamers. With an official price of 699 Euros (~$783), the Xperia X Performance is 100 Euros (~$112) more expensive than the Xperia X, which was already offered in on-line shops for 480 Euros (~$534) at the time of testing.

Sony has put a lot of effort into the cameras of the Xperia X. Apart from a primary camera with an imposing resolution of 23 MP, the webcam also boasts of a high resolution with 13 MP. In addition, the primary camera features a so-called predictive autofocus, which can follow moving objects and therefore, avoid blurring. Is it the ideal selfie smartphone? We will find out.

In our review, the Xperia X had to bear up against other premium smartphones including the Apple iPhone SE, the Google Nexus 5X, the Huawei P9, the OnePlus 3 and of course the Sony Xperia Z5.

Sony Xperia X (Xperia Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
3072 MB 
Display
5 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 441 PPI, LCD, glossy: yes
Storage
32 GB eMMC Flash, 32 GB 
, 19.8 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: headset jack, Card Reader: Micro-SDHC/-SDXC, 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: accelerometer, barometer, compass, gyroscope, magnetometer, pedometer, motion detection sensor, proximity sensor, DLNA, Miracast, Wi-Fi Direct, App2SD
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2, GSM (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz), UMTS (800, 850, 900, 1700, 1900, 2100 MHz), LTE (Band 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 19, 20, 26, 28, 38, 39, 40, 41), HSUPA up to 5.76 MBit/s, HSDPA up to 42.2 MBit/s, LTE Cat 6 up to 300 MBit/s download, 50 MBit/s upload, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 7.7 x 143 x 69 ( = 0.3 x 5.63 x 2.72 in)
Battery
2620 mAh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Camera
Primary Camera: 23 MPix f/2.0, video recording up to 1080p, LED flash, autofocus
Secondary Camera: 13 MPix f/2.0, video recording up to 1080p
Additional features
Speakers: stereo speakers, Keyboard: virtual, Keyboard Light: yes, USB cable, modular power supply, headphones, quick start guide, Xperia apps, Google apps, AVG protection, SIM toolkit, FM radio, 24 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
152 g ( = 5.36 oz / 0.34 pounds), Power Supply: 25 g ( = 0.88 oz / 0.06 pounds)
Price
599 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Sony has wrapped the 152 g (~5.4 oz) light and 7 mm (~0.3 in) slim Xperia X in a chassis made of aluminum and plastic, available in four colors; Lime Gold, Graphite Black, White and as in our test model, Rosé Gold. Thanks to the rounded corners and edges, the slightly curved Full HD display and the low height of 7.7 mm (~0.31 in), the smartphone sits well in the hand, but has lost some quality compared to its Xperia Z5 predecessor. Furthermore, the plastic border and the visible and noticeable gaps between the glass and the frame are not quite perfect. The smooth metal back with the engraved Xperia logo in its center feels significantly higher-quality to the touch. The power button doubles as a fingerprint sensor and can, therefore be used for fast and secure unlocking of the smartphone. In addition, there is a camera button on the right side, which launches the camera app and releases the shutter.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

The Sony Xperia X uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 MSM8956 as the central processing unit. The ARM based mid-range SoC features six CPU cores, two fast Cortex A72 cores (1.8 GHz) and four frugal Cortex A53 cores (1.2 GHz). The SoC is supported by its integrated Qualcomm Adreno 510 GPU, a generous 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of nominal storage capacity, of which the operating system (Google Android 6.0) occupies about 12 GB. Thus, about 20 GB is free out-of-the-box or after recovering factory settings.

In theory, you could insert SDXC cards with up to 2 TB into the MicroSD slot. However, memory cards higher than 256 GB are not yet available in stores. The smartphone is capable of App2SD. In addition, it can move photos, videos, and music files from the internal storage to the MicroSD card in order to free up space on the former.

The micro USB 2.0 port does not support USB-OTG or MHL. On the other hand, the smartphone can connect via NFC and Bluetooth 4.2 and supports Wi-Fi Direct. Furthermore, a fingerprint reader and an FM radio are on board. The latter can be used with the included headphones, which doubles as an antenna.

Left: nano SIM slot, micro SD slot
Left: nano SIM slot, micro SD slot
Right: shutter release button, volume control, power button/fingerprint sensor
Right: shutter release button, volume control, power button/fingerprint sensor
Top: headset jack
Top: headset jack
Bottom: USB port
Bottom: USB port

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Software

The Xperia X runs the latest Android V6.0 Marshmallow. Sony has pre-installed the usual apps, including Google apps, the malware protection AVG Protection Pro, an FM radio, Spotify, and the music recognition tool TrackID. Overall, the software covers all the important fields without appearing overloaded. However, it is not possible to uninstall the pre-installed apps.

Communication & GPS

inconsitent transfer rates, Iperf client
inconsitent transfer rates, Iperf client
drops in the transfer rates, Iperf server
drops in the transfer rates, Iperf server

Apart from GSM and UMTS connections, the Xperia X supports LTE (Cat.6). Provided you have a compatible nano SIM card with a suitable rate, this makes maximum transfer rates of 300 MBit/s download and 50 MBit/s upload possible. Thereby, the smartphone provides a wide LTE frequency range with a total of 17 bands, which allows a very flexible use.

The integrated Wi-Fi module with the 802.11-a/b/g/n/ac support covers the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz band. The average transfer rates to our reference router (Linksys EA8500) from a distance of 1 meter (~3 ft) are very good with 244 MBit/s (sending) and satisfactory with 205 MBit/s (receiving) in the 5 GHz band. Overall, the Xperia X is on par with the Huawei P9 in terms of Wi-Fi transfer rates. The OnePlus 3 is faster than both of them with transfer rates of up to 286 MBit/s in a Wi-Fi network.

Networking
iperf Server (receive) TCP 1 m
OnePlus 3
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
286 MBit/s ∼100% +17%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
249 MBit/s ∼87% +2%
Sony Xperia X
Adreno 510, 650 MSM8956, 32 GB eMMC Flash
244 MBit/s ∼85%
iperf Client (transmit) TCP 1 m
OnePlus 3
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
256 MBit/s ∼100% +17%
Sony Xperia X
Adreno 510, 650 MSM8956, 32 GB eMMC Flash
219 MBit/s ∼86%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
205 MBit/s ∼80% -6%
GPS test: outdoor
GPS test: outdoor
GPS test: in a building
GPS test: in a building

The Xperia X determines its current position with GPS and GLONASS. This worked with a precision of a few meters in buildings and outdoors in our test. We checked whether the precision is also that high in everyday use with our 12 km (~7.4 mi) bicycle route. The Xperia X performs well compared to the professional Garmin Edge 500 navigation device, even though there are sometimes slight deviations from the route. However, this is complaining at a high level: The position fix is definitely precise enough for everyday app use.

Sony Xperia X - route
Sony Xperia X - route
Sony Xperia X - tunnel
Sony Xperia X - tunnel
Sony Xperia X - turning point
Sony Xperia X - turning point
Garmin Edge 500 - route
Garmin Edge 500 - route
Garmin Edge 500 - tunnel
Garmin Edge 500 - tunnel
Garmin Edge 500 - turning point
Garmin Edge 500 - turning point

Phone & Voice Quality

As usual for Android, the phone app can be used intuitively and provides all the important functions. Apart from a large keypad, it features a contact list including favorites, a call log, and an answering machine. The voice quality was flawless during calls from the smartphone to fixed-line or other cellular networks. In addition, it convinces during hands-free communication via the speakers, which also worked trouble-free in our test.

phone app: contacts
phone app: contacts
phone app: keypad
phone app: keypad
Many settings can be configured, ...
Many settings can be configured, ...
... among others an answering machine.
... among others an answering machine.

Cameras

Not only are the camera specifications of the Xperia X impressive on paper, but also quite impressive in practice. Let us start from the beginning: The primary camera features a resolution of 23 MP and takes images with up to 5220x4140 pixels in 4:3 format. In 16:9 format (5984x3366 pixel), the resolution decreases to "only" 20 MP. As with the primary camera, the 13 MP webcam (4160x3120 pixels) can record videos in up to 1080p resolution (main camera: up to 60 fps, webcam: 30 fps) and is supported by optical video stabilization. The Xperia does not take 4K shots, but on the other hand, it comes with a LED flash. There is even a dedicated camera button on the right side of the case, which does not only launch the camera app, but also releases the shutter.

The 23 MP main camera features a 1/2.3" Exmor RS sensor with 24 mm wide-angle lens. Thanks to its predictive autofocus, it can track moving objects in order to prevent blurring. In order to focus on a certain region, you simply need to touch the corresponding spot on the display. This almost always worked well in the test. Only occasionally, the camera acted arbitrarily. For example, it occasionally increased the focus window of its own accord. The 13 MP webcam is more than sufficient for selfies, but it cannot keep up with the main camera in terms of image quality. Nevertheless, the capabilities of the webcam are more than sufficient for everyday tasks.

At a first glance, the Xperia X produces good quality images in daylight. At a closer look, image details such as edges and color transitions appear slightly fringed due to relatively heavy in-camera sharpening. The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and the OnePlus 3 perform significantly better in this respect. The fact that the Xperia X lacks an optical image stabilizer for photo shots becomes apparent when taking close-up photos as blur is slightly more evident here. Overall, the camera performance is remarkable, but not as outstanding as claimed by the manufacturer.

Shot with the front camera
Shot with the front camera
Shot with the front camera
Shot with the front camera
Shot with the front camera
Shot with the front camera
Shot with the webcam
Shot with the webcam

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3

In addition to our test snapshots, we checked sharpness and colors under defined test conditions. In order to do this, we take as format-filling pictures as possible of the ColorChecker Passport and our test chart without post-processing them. The Xperia X makes colors slightly too bright, but this is not an essential flaw. Due to heavy in-camera sharpening, lines and edges appear slightly fringed in some places, but the image sharpness is good overall. The sharpness decreases slightly towards the edges, but very good system cameras also exhibit this effect.

Photo of the ColorChecker colors. The lower half shows the reference color.
Photo of the ColorChecker colors. The lower half shows the reference color.
Detail of the test image (center)
Detail of the test image (center)
Test image (click to open original)
Test image (click to open original)

Accessories & Warranty

The Xperia X comes with a USB cable, a modular power adapter, headphones, and a quick start guide. Sony offers several accessories for its smartphone in their online shop, including various covers, in-ear headphones, a Bluetooth headset, and a docking station. The Xperia X comes with a 24-months warranty.

Input Devices & Handling

The Full HD touchscreen of the Xperia X responds very precisely to inputs of up to the edges and fingers glide easily on the smooth surface. Up to 10 commands are recognized simultaneously. Thanks to a special mode that can be enabled, this also works with gloves. The fingerprint sensor hidden in the power button works fast and reliably. Up to five fingerprints can be stored. As recommended, the user should only gently touch the power button when scanning a fingerprint, since otherwise the screen lock becomes activated. It is convenient that not only you can unlock the smartphone via fingerprint, but also authorize purchase and app access.

The simple virtual QWERTZ keyboard uses Google's personalized word suggestions. In addition, the keyboard can be configured in detail. For example, you can change the layout, specify the keyboard size and choose whether a number row is displayed.

Virtual keyboard in landscape mode ...
Virtual keyboard in landscape mode ...
... and portrait mode.
... and portrait mode.

Display

Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid

The 5-inch LCD of the Xperia X features a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels and delivers a slightly higher pixel density than its Xperia Z5 predecessor (441 PPI vs. 424 PPI). With an average of 392 cd/m², it is more than bright enough for all kinds of smartphone use. In addition, it is supported by a brightness sensor, which automatically adjusts the display brightness to the ambient light. However, display characteristics such as the high black value of 0.68 cd/m² and the modest contrast ratio of 594:1 are not entirely pleasing. The predecessor performs significantly better in both aspects.

389
cd/m²
393
cd/m²
383
cd/m²
398
cd/m²
404
cd/m²
379
cd/m²
407
cd/m²
404
cd/m²
372
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 407 cd/m² Average: 392.1 cd/m² Minimum: 4.83 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 404 cd/m²
Contrast: 594:1 (Black: 0.68 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 7.1 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 9.7 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
Gamma: 2.23
Sony Xperia X
LCD, 1920x1080, 5
Huawei P9
IPS-NEO, JDI, 1920x1080, 5.2
Sony Xperia Z5
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.2
Google Nexus 5X
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.2
Apple iPhone SE
IPS, 1136x640, 4
OnePlus 3
Optic-AMOLED, 1920x1080, 5.5
Screen
53%
23%
54%
39%
21%
Brightness middle
404
582
44%
669
66%
503
25%
603
49%
419
4%
Brightness
392
563
44%
624
59%
498
27%
579
48%
431
10%
Brightness Distribution
91
91
0%
85
-7%
97
7%
93
2%
84
-8%
Black Level *
0.68
0.38
44%
0.68
-0%
0.38
44%
0.88
-29%
Contrast
594
1532
158%
984
66%
1324
123%
685
15%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
7.1
4.4
38%
7.96
-12%
2.09
71%
1.8
75%
4.1
42%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
13.2
7.4
44%
3.5
73%
12
9%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
9.7
4.8
51%
10.95
-13%
2.12
78%
2.3
76%
3.3
66%
Gamma
2.23 99%
2.2 100%
2.61 84%
2.27 97%
2.21 100%
2.1 105%
CCT
9502 68%
6175 105%
7402 88%
6621 98%
6955 93%
6550 99%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
77.78
62.13
89.38
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
99.44
96.74
100

* ... smaller is better

Color precision (sRGB, disabled image optimization)
Color precision (sRGB, disabled image optimization)
Color space (sRGB, disabled image optimization)
Color space (sRGB, disabled image optimization)
Grayscales (sRGB, disabled image optimization)
Grayscales (sRGB, disabled image optimization)
Color saturation (sRGB, disabled image optimization)
Color saturation (sRGB, disabled image optimization)
Color precision (sRGB, image optimization mode: X-Reality)
Color precision (sRGB, image optimization mode: X-Reality)
Color space (sRGB, image optimization mode: X-Reality)
Color space (sRGB, image optimization mode: X-Reality)
Grayscales (sRGB, image optimization mode: X-Reality)
Grayscales (sRGB, image optimization mode: X-Reality)
Color saturation (sRGB, image optimization mode: X-Reality)
Color saturation (sRGB, image optimization mode: X-Reality)
Color precision (sRGB, image optimization mode: Super-Vivid)
Color precision (sRGB, image optimization mode: Super-Vivid)
Color space(sRGB, image optimization mode: Super-Vivid)
Color space(sRGB, image optimization mode: Super-Vivid)
Grayscales (sRGB, image optimization mode: Super-Vivid)
Grayscales (sRGB, image optimization mode: Super-Vivid)
Color saturation (sRGB, image optimization mode: Super-Vivid)
Color saturation (sRGB, image optimization mode: Super-Vivid)
Image optimization modes
Image optimization modes

Subjectively, despite the not entirely perfect image characteristics, the Xperia X produces crisp colors. Both are possible since the smartphone applies a trick. With "X-Reality", it uses one of a total of the three image optimization modes by default, which increases the saturation in photos and videos. The "Super-Vivid" mode adjusts colors even more, while a simple "off" switches image optimization completely off.

When you scrutinize the display with the X-Rite i1Pro 2 colorimeter and the CalMAN software, it becomes apparent that images are very flashy with the disabled image mode. The color temperature is always too high. Thus images appear slightly too "warm". Color and grayscale precision also leave much to be desired, which manifests in too high DeltaE values. However, the colorful image is not really disturbing. In contrast, it is quite suitable for what the Xperia X aims to be - a photo and selfie smartphone.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
46 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 21 ms rise
↘ 25 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 98 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.7 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
65 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 38 ms rise
↘ 27 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 97 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (41.1 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8716 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The LCD of the Xperia X appeals with a high viewing angle stability. While the display content in particular appears slightly darker in flat angles, the legibility remains unchanged and high. The smartphone also deserves a good rating in outdoor use. The display is more than sufficiently bright for outdoor use. Only its glossy surface is troublesome here.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles
Outdoor
Outdoor

Performance

Together with the integrated Qualcomm Adreno 510 graphic chip and 3 GB of RAM, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 MSM8956 hexa-core processor ensures fast operation under Android 6.0. When you compare the Xperia X with similarly equipped smartphones, it is, for example, on par with its Xperia Z5 predecessor and the Google Nexus 5X. However, none of these smartphones can keep up with the best three, the Huawei P9, the Apple iPhone SE, and the OnePlus 3, in the synthetic benchmarks and browser tests.

The Xperia X uses a conventional flash memory and is therefore a solid mid-range in terms of read and write performance. Data transfers are neither particularly fast nor especially slow, but slightly faster than its closest pursuers, the Xperia Z5 and the Google Nexus 5X. However, the Xperia X cannot boast in terms of read and write performance of micro SD cards. With a data throughput of 17.7 MB/s, the smartphone is nowhere near exploiting the full potential of the micro SD reference card Toshiba Exceria Pro M401 (read: up to 95 MB/s, write: up to 80 MB/s).

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
77650 Points ∼31%
Huawei P9
95743 Points ∼38% +23%
Apple iPhone SE
126969 Points ∼51% +64%
OnePlus 3
142090 Points ∼57% +83%
Geekbench 3
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
3853 Points ∼10%
Huawei P9
6522 Points ∼17% +69%
Sony Xperia Z5
4414 Points ∼12% +15%
Google Nexus 5X
3530 Points ∼9% -8%
Apple iPhone SE
4386 Points ∼12% +14%
OnePlus 3
5645 Points ∼15% +47%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
1484 Points ∼30%
Huawei P9
1767 Points ∼36% +19%
Sony Xperia Z5
1325 Points ∼27% -11%
Google Nexus 5X
1246 Points ∼25% -16%
Apple iPhone SE
2533 Points ∼52% +71%
OnePlus 3
2398 Points ∼49% +62%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
1486 Points ∼34%
OnePlus 3
1912 Points ∼43% +29%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Graphics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
1354 Points ∼9%
OnePlus 3
4804 Points ∼32% +255%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
1381 Points ∼18%
OnePlus 3
3595 Points ∼46% +160%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
10801 Points ∼14%
Huawei P9
15517 Points ∼20% +44%
Sony Xperia Z5
11442 Points ∼14% +6%
Google Nexus 5X
12451 Points ∼16% +15%
Apple iPhone SE
13717 Points ∼17% +27%
OnePlus 3
21771 Points ∼28% +102%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
21087 Points ∼4%
Huawei P9
21577 Points ∼5% +2%
Sony Xperia Z5
37738 Points ∼8% +79%
Google Nexus 5X
22180 Points ∼5% +5%
Apple iPhone SE
44059 Points ∼9% +109%
OnePlus 3
34023 Points ∼7% +61%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
17404 Points ∼8%
Huawei P9
19854 Points ∼9% +14%
Sony Xperia Z5
24980 Points ∼12% +44%
Google Nexus 5X
18898 Points ∼9% +9%
Apple iPhone SE
29538 Points ∼14% +70%
OnePlus 3
30241 Points ∼14% +74%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
30 fps ∼2%
Huawei P9
40 fps ∼2% +33%
Sony Xperia Z5
49 fps ∼3% +63%
Google Nexus 5X
37 fps ∼2% +23%
Apple iPhone SE
80.3 fps ∼5% +168%
OnePlus 3
89 fps ∼5% +197%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
33 fps ∼7%
Huawei P9
43 fps ∼9% +30%
Sony Xperia Z5
49 fps ∼11% +48%
Google Nexus 5X
38 fps ∼8% +15%
Apple iPhone SE
59.2 fps ∼13% +79%
OnePlus 3
60 fps ∼13% +82%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
9.2 fps ∼2%
Huawei P9
18 fps ∼3% +96%
Sony Xperia Z5
24 fps ∼4% +161%
Google Nexus 5X
16 fps ∼3% +74%
Apple iPhone SE
40 fps ∼7% +335%
OnePlus 3
47 fps ∼9% +411%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
15 fps ∼4%
Huawei P9
19 fps ∼5% +27%
Sony Xperia Z5
26 fps ∼7% +73%
Google Nexus 5X
17 fps ∼5% +13%
Apple iPhone SE
58.1 fps ∼16% +287%
OnePlus 3
46 fps ∼13% +207%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
4.6 fps ∼1%
Huawei P9
10 fps ∼2% +117%
Sony Xperia Z5
16 fps ∼3% +248%
Apple iPhone SE
28.1 fps ∼5% +511%
OnePlus 3
31 fps ∼6% +574%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
10 fps ∼6%
Huawei P9
11 fps ∼6% +10%
Sony Xperia Z5
18 fps ∼10% +80%
Apple iPhone SE
57.9 fps ∼33% +479%
OnePlus 3
30 fps ∼17% +200%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
4379 Points ∼33%
Huawei P9
7058 Points ∼53% +61%
Sony Xperia Z5
5184 Points ∼39% +18%
Google Nexus 5X
4324 Points ∼33% -1%
OnePlus 3
7101 Points ∼54% +62%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
774 Points ∼45%
Huawei P9
1029 Points ∼59% +33%
Sony Xperia Z5
675 Points ∼39% -13%
Google Nexus 5X
769 Points ∼44% -1%
Apple iPhone SE
1226 Points ∼71% +58%
OnePlus 3
1112 Points ∼64% +44%
Graphics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
1581 Points ∼10%
Huawei P9
1583 Points ∼10% 0%
Sony Xperia Z5
3095 Points ∼19% +96%
Google Nexus 5X
2038 Points ∼13% +29%
Apple iPhone SE
4175 Points ∼26% +164%
OnePlus 3
4813 Points ∼30% +204%
Memory (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
1408 Points ∼29%
Huawei P9
2627 Points ∼55% +87%
Sony Xperia Z5
865 Points ∼18% -39%
Google Nexus 5X
1115 Points ∼23% -21%
Apple iPhone SE
1032 Points ∼22% -27%
OnePlus 3
2052 Points ∼43% +46%
System (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
2564 Points ∼21%
Huawei P9
3930 Points ∼32% +53%
Sony Xperia Z5
2360 Points ∼19% -8%
Google Nexus 5X
1730 Points ∼14% -33%
Apple iPhone SE
5179 Points ∼42% +102%
OnePlus 3
3537 Points ∼29% +38%
Overall (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
1450 Points ∼24%
Huawei P9
2025 Points ∼33% +40%
Sony Xperia Z5
1437 Points ∼24% -1%
Google Nexus 5X
1318 Points ∼22% -9%
Apple iPhone SE
2287 Points ∼38% +58%
OnePlus 3
2496 Points ∼41% +72%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
8388 Points ∼17%
Huawei P9
11783 Points ∼24% +40%
Sony Xperia Z5
8627 Points ∼17% +3%
Google Nexus 5X
8202 Points ∼17% -2%
Apple iPhone SE
16550 Points ∼33% +97%
OnePlus 3
9155 Points ∼18% +9%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
3677 ms * ∼6%
Huawei P9
2922.6 ms * ∼5% +21%
Sony Xperia Z5
5693.1 ms * ∼10% -55%
Google Nexus 5X
4733.8 ms * ∼8% -29%
Apple iPhone SE
1708.9 ms * ∼3% +54%
OnePlus 3
2920.7 ms * ∼5% +21%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
50.92 Points ∼15%
Huawei P9
68.4 Points ∼20% +34%
Sony Xperia Z5
37 Points ∼11% -27%
Google Nexus 5X
45 Points ∼13% -12%
Apple iPhone SE
118.76 Points ∼36% +133%
OnePlus 3
54.4 Points ∼16% +7%
AndroBench 3-5
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
12.82 MB/s ∼15%
Huawei P9
24.83 MB/s ∼28% +94%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
17.67 MB/s ∼18%
Huawei P9
55.05 MB/s ∼57% +212%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
10.26 MB/s ∼6%
Huawei P9
47.45 MB/s ∼29% +362%
Sony Xperia Z5
11.46 MB/s ∼7% +12%
Google Nexus 5X
12.21 MB/s ∼7% +19%
OnePlus 3
18.23 MB/s ∼11% +78%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
36.28 MB/s ∼21%
Huawei P9
39 MB/s ∼23% +7%
Sony Xperia Z5
3.59 MB/s ∼2% -90%
Google Nexus 5X
24.8 MB/s ∼14% -32%
OnePlus 3
137.62 MB/s ∼79% +279%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
117.38 MB/s ∼49%
Huawei P9
72.19 MB/s ∼30% -38%
Sony Xperia Z5
115.48 MB/s ∼48% -2%
Google Nexus 5X
98.64 MB/s ∼41% -16%
OnePlus 3
153.3 MB/s ∼63% +31%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Sony Xperia X
184.33 MB/s ∼21%
Huawei P9
281.26 MB/s ∼31% +53%
Sony Xperia Z5
219.84 MB/s ∼25% +19%
Google Nexus 5X
245.19 MB/s ∼27% +33%
OnePlus 3
408.71 MB/s ∼46% +122%

Legend

 
Sony Xperia X Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 MSM8956, Qualcomm Adreno 510, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei P9 HiSilicon Kirin 955, ARM Mali-T880 MP4, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Sony Xperia Z5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 MSM8994, Qualcomm Adreno 430, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Google Nexus 5X Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 MSM8992, Qualcomm Adreno 418, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Apple iPhone SE Apple A9, Apple A9 / PowerVR GT7600, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
OnePlus 3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash

* ... smaller is better

Games

Even if Sony does not like to hear this: The Xperia X with its Qualcomm combination from Snapdragon 650 MSM8956 and Adreno-510 GPU is rather mid-range than premium in terms of smartphone performance. However, this does not reduce gaming fun: The Xperia X can also run graphically demanding games such as “Asphalt 8: Airborne” or “Dead Trigger 2” smoothly. In the latter, the smartphone even achieves a fast 50 fps with high detail level. Just as expected by gamers, the smartphone sensors and the touchscreen immediately react to inputs.

Even demanding games such as Asphalt 8 ...
Even demanding games such as Asphalt 8 ...
... and Dead Trigger 2 run smoothly.
... and Dead Trigger 2 run smoothly.
Asphalt 8: Airborne
 SettingsValue
 high30 fps
Dead Trigger 2
 SettingsValue
 high60 fps

Emissions

Temperature

With a maximum of 40.3 degrees Celsius (~105 degrees Fahrenheit) under full load, the temperature increase of the Xperia X is absolutely fine. The phone still feels slightly too warm after prolonged use, since it only has a few cool spots due to a quite consistent temperature increase. However, this is significantly less serious than the heavy throttling. The smartphone gets too warm after 9 runs of the battery test from GFXBench. As a consequence, the SoC throttles and the performance falls significantly. The performance loss continues until the test ends (30 runs).

GFXBench battery test
GFXBench battery test
Max. Load
 40.3 °C
105 F
40.3 °C
105 F
40.3 °C
105 F
 
 39.8 °C
104 F
40.2 °C
104 F
39.7 °C
103 F
 
 39.2 °C
103 F
38.9 °C
102 F
37.8 °C
100 F
 
Maximum: 40.3 °C = 105 F
Average: 39.6 °C = 103 F
35.3 °C
96 F
37.5 °C
100 F
38.5 °C
101 F
35.7 °C
96 F
37.5 °C
100 F
38.1 °C
101 F
34.1 °C
93 F
37.4 °C
99 F
37.6 °C
100 F
Maximum: 38.5 °C = 101 F
Average: 36.9 °C = 98 F
Power Supply (max.)  35.3 °C = 96 F | Room Temperature 21.4 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260
The hotspots on the top side...
The hotspots on the top side...
... and the underside
... and the underside

Speakers

Pink noise diagram
Pink noise diagram

The up to 82.9 dB(A) loud stereo speakers of the Xperia X generate a powerful sound and do not even distort at maximum volume. As the pink noise diagram shows, the frequencies are not rendered in a particularly linear way. Bass is hardly audible. Apart from this, the sound is surprisingly clear. In addition, there are extra functionality such as an equalizer, dynamic normalization, surround sound effects for headphones and speakers, the sound enhancer DSEE HX, and Clear Audio + for the frequency balance.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2026.632.426.62527.231.327.23128.531.728.54034.72634.75047.539.447.56329.336.229.38026.228.626.21002725.42712524.621.324.616023.423.323.420031.222.531.225040.222.440.23154921.34940055.918.455.950060.717.560.763065.417.565.480069.217.269.2100071.616.871.6125070.417.370.4160066.317.466.3200073.216.673.2250075.217.375.2315074.717.674.7400072.717.672.7500069.117.769.1630065.717.465.7800062.417.762.41000060.917.960.91250060.318.160.3160005518.155SPL8329.883N50.61.350.6median 62.4median 17.7median 62.4Delta11.21.611.234.429.632.434.42729.531.32728.125.831.728.131.432.22631.445.74539.445.72929.636.22926.324.428.626.325.726.725.425.724.321.621.324.328.923.423.328.939.229.622.539.249.94022.449.957.846.221.357.859.450.218.459.462.452.417.562.466.655.317.566.667.454.817.267.468.853.716.868.871.955.817.371.973.55617.473.575.357.716.675.376.758.817.376.779.36117.679.381.263.517.681.278.160.617.778.174.657.517.474.674.357.117.774.372.85617.972.868.85118.168.860.942.218.160.987.970.529.887.96825.51.368median 68.8median 54.8median 17.7median 68.811.38.11.611.334.243.535.434.229.238.729.729.238.336.729.538.329.934.329.729.935.747.939.735.727.739.133.927.727.330.428.527.3312528.23129.623.32629.636.724.820.636.744.829.420.744.847.834.820.647.854.236.92154.254.43818.454.458.743.418.758.763.747.217.963.767.852.218.667.871.457.217.571.470.356.616.970.369.655.817.469.669.255.116.269.266.551.816.966.566.550.717.566.569.352.117.269.375.556.717.775.576.456.917.476.474.65517.674.667.948.817.667.957.741.717.857.754.741.417.954.783.266.329.883.25419.51.354median 66.5median 48.8median 17.8median 66.59.3101.69.340.136.832.440.1382731.33834.330.631.734.334.529.72634.544.138.139.444.140.529.736.240.53331.428.63326.827.625.426.826.924.421.326.93724.823.33745.529.522.545.551.636.222.451.657.341.721.357.359.746.618.459.766.452.517.566.468.45217.568.469.952.517.269.971.853.816.871.872.554.817.372.575.256.917.475.278.459.716.678.477.659.717.377.678.260.817.678.281.363.817.681.378.561.817.778.575.958.817.475.976.259.417.776.274.357.517.974.370.354.818.170.354.437.618.154.488.671.129.888.67325.81.373median 70.3median 53.8median 17.7median 70.311.910.41.611.9hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseSony Xperia XHuawei P9Apple iPhone SEOnePlus 3

Frequency diagram in comparison (checkboxes at the top are checkable/uncheckable!)
Value 1: Pink Noise 100% Vol.; Value 2: Audio off

Energy Management

Power Consumption

With a maximum power consumption of 1.75 watts when running idle, the Xperia X is pleasingly frugal. Under high load, the smartphone requires up to 7 watts, which is still moderate. The Xperia X supports Qualcomm's QuickCharge functionality, but only when combined with a compatible power adapter such as the optionally offered quick charging device UCH12. With the included power adapter, it takes about 3 hours for a full charge from empty.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.13 / 0.25 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.56 / 1.69 / 1.75 Watt
Load midlight 6.01 / 7.03 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Gossen Metrahit Energy

Battery Life

If you take the Xperia Z5 predecessor as reference, not only the battery life of the Xperia X is not better, but slightly worse. However, apart from in the idle benchmark, the differences are not big. In addition, the battery runtimes of the Xperia X are really nothing to sneeze at. 7:14 hours in the realistic Wi-Fi test is as good a value as 3:33 hours under full load. However, the Xperia cannot quite measure up to the competitors. The OnePlus 3 is the unrivalled leader with the longest stamina by far.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
20h 40min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
7h 14min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
8h 38min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 33min
Sony Xperia X
2620 mAh
Huawei P9
3000 mAh
Sony Xperia Z5
 mAh
Google Nexus 5X
 mAh
Apple iPhone SE
1624 mAh
OnePlus 3
3000 mAh
Battery Runtime
15%
13%
15%
26%
48%
Reader / Idle
1240
1514
22%
1669
35%
1775
43%
1274
3%
1338
8%
H.264
518
568
10%
600
16%
555
7%
759
47%
847
64%
WiFi v1.3
434
569
31%
438
1%
412
-5%
673
55%
840
94%
Load
213
206
-3%
213
0%
245
15%
207
-3%
268
26%

Pros

+ elegant chassis
+ fingerprint sensor
+ 20 GB free storage space
+ Android 6.0
+ WiFi 802.11ac and LTE
+ high voice quality
+ good camera
+ bright display
+ high system performance
+ good battery life

Cons

- expensive
- no 4K video recordings
- throttling under full load
- poor micro SD transfer rates
- non-removable battery
- quick-charge power adapter only for a surcharge

Verdict

In review: Sony Xperia X. Test model provided by Notebooksbilliger.de
In review: Sony Xperia X. Test model provided by Notebooksbilliger.de

The Sony Xperia X does a lot of things right, but cannot entirely live up to its self-imposed claim of being a top smartphone. Nevertheless, there are many arguments in favor of the 5-inch Android phone. It features an elegant case made of aluminum and plastic, which also feels premium to the touch, even though the chassis cannot keep up fully with its Xperia Z5 predecessor. On the other hand, the phone comes with a bright and viewing-angle-stable Full HD display, a fingerprint sensor, the latest Android 6.0, 20 GB of free storage space, good communication features, and the fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 MSM8956 as its nerve center. Many prospective buyers might be surprised that is only a mid-range SoC despite the upper-class price. Our test model costs 480 Euros (~$534). This is slightly too much. Finally, the Xperia X does not differ that much from the Xperia Z5, which is much cheaper now.

The Sony Xperia X is a rock-solid, yet quite expensive smartphone, which can, unlike its high-end Xperia Z5 predecessor, only be considered as a mid-range model.

The two cameras with 23 MP and 13 MP are the main selling point. Both have a fast shutter release, can record 1080p videos (main camera: at 60 fps), and deliver above average image quality. In addition, there are useful features such as the predictive autofocus, which improves the sharpness when recording moving objects. Nevertheless, the performance is not good enough for top photographing, since the odd flaw becomes visible at a closer look. All things considered, the Sony Xperia X is a rock-solid smartphone - no less, but unfortunately also no more than that.

Sony Xperia X - 07/28/2016 v5.1
Manuel Masiero

Chassis
85%
Keyboard
70 / 75 → 93%
Pointing Device
94%
Connectivity
46 / 60 → 76%
Weight
92%
Battery
90%
Display
82%
Games Performance
39 / 63 → 61%
Application Performance
52 / 70 → 75%
Temperature
87%
Noise
100%
Audio
71 / 91 → 78%
Camera
74%
Average
75%
85%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Sony Xperia X Smartphone Review
Manuel Masiero, 2016-08- 2 (Update: 2018-05-15)