Sony dropped three new devices here at MWC 2016 in Barcelona in the company’s own style. They belong to the upper-mid-range or “super-mid-range” as Sony calls it, a high-end smartphone featuring the new Snapdragon 820 and a more affordable version of the latter with Snapdragon 650, yet keeping most of features and specs the same.
Let’s start with the more “complicated” handset. We say complicated because when we asked the staff over at Sony’s booth about the device, they said it’s definitely going to cost more than most mid-range devices but they still restrain from calling it a high-end handset.
Anyway, it features the same old Sony design but still looks nice if you are not bored of the Omni-Balance design signature, of course. It has sleek aluminum frame with matte plastic on the back that feels pretty good. It houses a 5-inch screen with fairly thin bezels, 1080p resolution with the usual enhancements and X-Reality features. However, the power button is different from what we are used to seeing – it’s not round.
On the hardware front, the device sports Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 650 with six cores, 3GB of RAM, 32GB internal storage with a microSD card slot, and a 2620 mAh battery. It should get you through two days of mixed usage according to Sony. Also, the main camera is 23MP using Exmor RS sensor 1/2.3″ and ISO up to 12800. That’s not the best part, though. The camera’s software offers two brand new features like Predictive Hybrid Autofocus and Fast Capture. The first one predicts the movement of a fast-moving object in order to capture a better photo without the unwanted blurry effect. We found out to be a bit gimmicky, to be honest, as the camera was constantly losing focus on the object. But this might be due to the early samples provided at the booth and we were not allowed to take sample photos because of the buggy software.
The other feature we found it to be more impressive and it worked surprisingly well. You can focus and take a photo straight out of standby mode for just 0.6 seconds. It really works blazingly fast and all you need to do is to just hold the dedicated camera button for a short time and the sensor does all the work. The screen then lights up with the taken photo.
Xperia X Performance
This is a more premium version of the aforementioned Xperia X. It has roughly the same design with slightly curved screen edges, but with a notable difference – the back is covered in sleek brushed aluminum. The dark gray model variant really looks amazing. Also, the power button has a “hidden” fingerprint sensor and the whole chassis is IP68 water and dust-proof. Something the other two models don’t have.
In terms of performance, this one sports the brand new Snapdragon 820 and thus allowing it to shoot 4K video. Also, the chipset is paired again with 3GB of RAM and 32GB internal storage plus a microSD card slot. All other specs remain the same but with a slightly larger battery – 2700 mAh.
And this is the “super-mid-range” phone that sports MediaTek’s MT6755 octa-core 64-bit chipset paired with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of flash storage and a microSD card slot. The battery is 2300 mAh that should support the 5-inch HD display for again two days according to the OEM. The camera is 13MP with 1/3″ Exmor RS sensor but keeps the same cool features as the predictive focus and quick camera launch.
The most intriguing feature here, however, is the slightly altered design that we are not used to seeing from Sony. The back is again made of matte plastic, the frames appear to be metal, not completely sure, though, but the display… well it almost doesn’t have side bezels. It feels pretty good in the hand and looks good too. The power button is again circular and the dedicated camera button is here as well.
We are not sure about the pricing of all three smartphones but are expected to launch this spring or “early summer”.