Sony made a bold choice this year, revamping their entire smartphone lineup at MWC 2016, ditching the Xperia Z series and opting for the refreshed Xperia X. It looked good at the launch, as the three devices seemed to have their own identity and fit into their separate categories.
Then, awhile back, Sony announced that they were bringing the Xperia X line to Malaysia, we were quite hopeful. Now, we’re not so sure.
Ahead of their launch tomorrow, Sony Malaysia has placed what looks like the entire upcoming Xperia X lineup on their website, plus the official local pricing of the Xperia X smartphone.
Kicking things off we’ve got the Xperia X, which is the second most powerful smartphone Sony launched in MWC 2016. The 5-inch smartphone sports a Full HD display resolution, a Snapdragon 650 hexa-core processor on the inside mated to 3GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable internal storage. For camera optics, it gets a 23MP 1/2.3″ Exmor RS snapper with what Sony are calling Predictive Hybrid AF to ensure that their camera is always ready for a shot. At the front, it packs a 13-megapixel 1/3″ Exmor RS selfie snapper.
Keeping the lights on is a 2620 mAh battery that sony says will last up to 2 days on a single charge. The smartphone will have dual-SIM support via a hybrid SIM tray and will come running Android Marshmallow out of the box.
Next, we’ve got the Xperia XA — the “budget” option. This handset gets a watered down MediaTek Helio P10 processor mated to 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable memory. It also gets a lower resolution 5″ 720p HD display with a smaller 2300 mAh battery to keep everything running.
Camera-wise, the XA will sport a 13MP 1/3 Exmor RS camera at the back with Hybrid AF plus an 8-megapixel selfie snapper with autofocus on the front. Fortunately, the XA will retain the dual-SIM support and will also come running Android Marshmallow out of the box.
Finally, we arrive at the Xperia XA Ultra — in essence, an XA but with a 6-inch Full HD panel instead. In actual fact, it’s not that simple. Sure, it’s got the same processor as the XA, but the XA Ultra’s RAM gets bumped to 3GB. It’s also got a larger battery, coming in at 2,700 mAh.
Camera performance is also improved on paper as the XA Ultra gets a 21.5MP 1/2.4″ Exmor RS sensor with Hybrid AF on the back. The big cherry on top of the XA Ultra’s cake, though, lies in its front-facing selfie snapper.
It’s a massive 16-megapixel 1/2.6″ Exmor RS sensor with a dedicated Smart Selfie flash and autofocus. What’s more, the front camera also comes with optical image stabilisation (OIS) which, even to this day, is pretty rare.
Still, all of that doesn’t detract from the big exclusion Sony seems to have made when they brought the Xperia X line to Malaysia — the Xperia X Performance.
But, the part that really gets me is the price tag that Sony has placed on their new Xperia X smartphone: RM2,499. RM2,499 for a midrange Snapdragon 650 processor (same processor as in the RM749 Xiaomi Redmi Note 3) with 3GB of RAM.
From a performance standpoint, I simply can’t fathom Sony’s decision here. Taking a look at their competition, you can get a Huawei P9 for RM2,099 (flagship level Kirin 955 processor, 3GB RAM) and, for RM200 more than the X, a Samsung Galaxy S7 for RM2699 (flagship level Exynos 8890 processor, 4GB RAM) instead.
Perhaps then the real value lies in the Xperia X’s 23MP primary camera, but that better be one amazing camera if they’re going to justify that price tag because both Samsung and Huawei’s flagship devices have awesome smartphone cameras.
If you’d like to pick one up, Sony’s Xperia X is up for pre-order from 6th June 2016 on their website and if you pick one up before the 14th of June 2016, you can get a free Sony Style SBC20 cover, a screen protector and a 64GB microSD card.