Sony seems to have gone for a change of strategy with its smartphone range as exemplified by the launch of the new Xperia X series of handsets at the 2016 edition of MWC in Barcelona, Spain.
The new Xperia X range comprises of the bells and whistles X Performance that would serve to be the new Sony flagship phone. Sony has confirmed there is no Z6 in the making to succeed the current Z5. This is followed by the X which has moderate specs while still sharing several key elements of its high-end cousin, the Xperia X Performance.
Sony Mobile said in a statement on Xperia Z series, “The Xperia Z line has reached its culmination – Xperia X series represents a new chapter and evolution of our product strategy. Whilst the Xperia Z series was all about bringing the best of Sony’s advanced technologies to smartphones, Xperia X series is based on bringing smart, adaptive Sony user experiences across camera, battery performance and hardware / software design.”
And lastly, it is the XA which would serve to be the contender in the mid-range segment which is where the volumes lie.
Also, with the new X range, Sony has shifted its focus from launching handsets laden with fancy features that buyers rarely tend to use. Instead, the focus now is to launch mobiles having features that users actually care about. This includes features like the camera and battery apart from the usual performance aspect.
That’s not a bad idea going by what the new X series has come to stand for.
To begin with, the Xperia X Performance is built around the quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor with Adreno 530 to take care of graphics files. It comes with a 3 GB of RAM along with 32 GB of internal storage, with the latter further expandable to 200 GB.
The X Performance also benefits from a 23-megapixel rear camera with f1/2.3 Exmor RS for mobile sensor and predictive hybrid autofocus along with pulse LED flash. A 13-megapixel cam is accommodated on the front.
Upfront, it’s a 5-inch 1080p Triluminos display having a resolution of 441 PPI. Power is sourced from a 2,700mAh battery while the entire thing is encased within a full metal body. In fact, the rear end featuring a brushed metal finish does add some character to the handset.
Also, the X Performance boasts of IP68 levels of dust and waterproofing as well along with stereo speakers.
The X gets oomph from a Snapdragon 650 chipset and Adreno 510. The battery too gets slightly down-rated to 2620mAh though almost everything else remains the same.
This includes the memory, onboard storage, display along with similar front and rear camera setup and full metal body (sans the rear brushed finish though).
The XA comes with the specifications to go with its budget segment positioning. For instance, it’s a MediaTek MT6755 chip that makes up the core of the device and comes with 2 GB of main memory and 16 GB of storage, with the latter expandable to 200 GB via microSD cards.
The camera too gets downgraded to 13 megapixels with Exmor RS for mobile sensor and hybrid autofocus along with an LED flash. An 8-megapixel front facing cam serves selfie shots. The handset comes with a 2300mAh battery.
The XA makes do with a 5-inch 720p display though it’s the almost zero bezel design that catches the attention right away, something that surpasses even its more capable siblings.
All three smartphones run Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and will be available in White, Graphite Black, Lime Gold and Rose Gold color options.
Sony further stated both the X and XA can withstand the occasional splashes of water or submersion for short durations but won’t advertise with any IP ratings for either. Similarly, neither phone will be serviced for water seepage under warranty.
Sales of the new Sony smartphones start from summer 2016, although Amazon Germany already has started taking pre-orders for the same. Prices mentioned stand at €599 for the Xperia X and €299 for the Xperia XA. The Xperia X Performance is not slated for a launch in Germany but is expected to cost no less than €699 in other European countries.
Also, it’s the X Performance and X that is expected to reach US shores but not the XA.