Saturday, 16 July 2016

Sony Xperia X Mobile Phone Review

I was given the new Sony Xperia X to review via Mumsnet and Sony.


I was surprised to have received a rose gold Sony X.  I just assumed it would be black,  it is a lovely colour - a very subtle metallic pink hue, very girlie!

The phone itself feels a nice size and is lively and slim to hold, it is the same size as my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.  It was easy enough to set up,  I already have an android phone so I am used to the interface. I downloaded the Xperia app on my samsung to transfer all my apps and contacts etc, it was so easy to do.  I looked forward to testing the camera as that is my 'thing' and was the reason I had gone for my current phone.

On first impressions it looks and feels like a good quality phone and the touch screen is responsive.  The only thing I don't like so far is the fact there isn't a hard 'home' button like on the iPhone and Samsung.  This home button is via the touch screen at the bottom.


Photography is my thing, the Sony Xperia X has a brilliant camera on paper:
  • 23MP camera with Predictive Hybrid autofocus - Xperia X's object tracking technology helps your subject stay in focus even when moving
  • 13MP front camera for low-light selfies
  • Super fast - from standby to capture in less than 0.6 seconds
I liked the idea of the standby to capture feature, Sony feel their X Moment is important.  "An X Moment is a split second in time that means something to you that’s here and then gone. It could be a baby’s first steps, achieving a personal goal, a sporting achievement, your dog’s whimsical expression, or just a random flash of happiness and hilarity. It’s a moment that you’d love to capture perfectly that’s all too missable if you, or your phone isn’t up to the job."  Using the #WhatsYourX hashtag Sony want to see as many brilliant X Moments shared across social media as possible, with the best ones being retweeted by their @SonyXperiaGB handle.

Here is a review using various setups, click on the smaller photos to enlarge them.
SAMSUNG (TOP)                                 SONY (BOTTOM)
So for starters we will look at Sony's object tracking technology.  My dogs compete in agility and I thought this would be a good test for the phone.  However it couldn't keep up with the dog and he wasn't in focus, in comparison the samsung (top) coped well for a phone camera and there wasn't too much motion blur.


SAMSUNG (LEFT)                                                                       SONY(RIGHT)
Another shot where the Sony did track my nephew coming down the slide and although the quality looks okay, when you zoom into it, you can see it becomes quite pixelated and the quality is lost.  It also makes skin tone a bit reddish.

SAMSUNG (LEFT)                                                                                          SONY (RIGHT)
What I also found with the Sony is that there is quite a lot of shutter lag when in object tracking mode (when you haven't been tracking an object it isn't too bad). The photos above were taken as my daughter was jumping and the Samsung took the photo pretty much as it happened in reality but you can see the Sony missed the moment really.


SAMSUNG (LEFT)                                                                              SONY (RIGHT)
Low light, the camera performs well in low light and actually in the above images, the Sony reflects the colours better than the Samsung.  However the Samsung was a moving shot and the Sony was before the Carousel started, yet the Sony is a little soft when you looking closely.


SAMSUNG (LEFT)                                                                 SONY (RIGHT)
A still image in low light, the Sony really does overcompensate for the lack of light and completely washes out the skin tone and almost over exposes the image.



SAMSUNG (LEFT)                                                 SONY (RIGHT)
Another couple of images, these were taken without zoom and then cropped down, I have to admit I am quite shocked at the quality of the Sony image, it has lost an awful lot of detail if you look at the edge of my daughters fingers, they are still crisp on the Samsung, considering this is only a 12mp camera as apposed to Sony's 23mp.
SAMSUNG (LEFT)                  SONY (RIGHT)          
As in the image in the car, again the Sony over exposes the image and the skin tone is washed out.  This was taken via quick capture which means you can shoot the image while the phone is locked and it is really quick, when it works though as 50% of the time it didn't work and didn't capture the image.  It is a great idea though as quite often you can miss that X moment (See earlier blog post) as the phone takes too long to unlock.



SONY (TOP )                      (SAMSUNG (BOTTOM)
I like the colours that night mode produces on the Sony, however it does lose quality in the image again but it doesn't try to lighten the image too much like the Samsung does which then makes the sky look too light.  Whereas the Sony reflects the colour of the sky properly.


SAMSUNG (LEFT)                            SONY (RIGHT)
Finally onto the selfie mode as another highlight of the phone is the 13 MP front camera for low light selfies.  Again the skin tone is far too cool and a little bit reddish like earlier, the quality doesn't seem a lot better than the front camera on the Samsung.



My overall opinion of the camera unfortunately isn't a good one, I wish it was as on paper it sounded brilliant and I did really want it to be as good as it is made out to be.  Perhaps I am too harsh a critic as photography really is important to me.  My current phone perhaps spoils me as the camera is brilliant, but hubby's iphone 6s is as good as mine and the Sony isn't a patch on either and from the way the Sony is marketed it is made to sound like it should be as good as the market leaders if not better.  I am sorry I just cannot live with the washed out colours and pixelated images. 

It did take a good macro photo when my bengal cat wanted to see what I was doing! Lol.


Sony also claim the following:
  • Smart battery management bringing you up to two days battery life
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 650, 64-bit Hexa-core processor
  • 5" Full HD Display with 2.5D curved glass edge
  • A range of four colours - graphite black,  white,  lime gold and rose gold
On the battery point,  they say it can last up to two days,  I generally found you could go a day without charging and I found the same when my Samsung S7 Edge was new.  Now it is a couple of months old it doesn't last as long so it will be interesting to see if the battery stays this strong in a couple of months time.  With regards to two days battery this can be done but you have to put the phone into battery stamina mode which then means you can't use all of your apps,  GPS is off,  email sync is off, vibration is off etc.  So the reality is nobody would ever actually do this,  I know I would never and nobody I know would.

The processor is fast and on the same sort of level as my Samsung. The display is nice and bright, they claim it has a curved edge but it's not like my Samsung,  more like my hubby's iPhone 6s - just the very edge has a slight roundness.

With regards to the display, we looked at the same photo on my Samsung s7,  hubby's iPhone 6s and the Sony. The Samsung seems to have quite a warm display, the Sony seemed to cool the photo too much and the iPhone sat in the middle.  The Sony definitely didn't replicate the true colours of the image as it is a nice warm image and the Sony really did cool it down too much.

If you are looking for a good quality all round phone it is a good contender and does look smart. 

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not been paid, I have however received the phone in order to review. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.