What happened to the Xperia XA3?
After only a short time spent with the new Xperia 10 during a special pre-briefing session ahead of MWC, it’s hard to pass judgement just yet. At the very least though, this handset is an indication of the direction Sony is taking with its future smartphones and what’s more, it’s available to buy right now.
For starters, let’s talk about the name. The Xperia XA and XA2 lines have proven to be capable mid-range handsets and indeed rumours of an Xperia XA3 had surfaced ahead of Mobile World Congress 2019, but come launch, Sony has decided to rebrand and simplify.
Three of the smartphones the company is showcasing in Barcelona feature a cleaner naming convention compared to previous devices, dropping the combination of numbers and letters employed before. The company’s 2019 flagship phone isn’t called the Xperia XZ4 as many expected, it’s now the Xperia 1, while Sony’s new mid-rangers take the shape of the Xperia 10 and its larger sibling, the Xperia 10 Plus.
Sony Xperia X10 Price and Release Date
While Sony fans will have to wait for the Xperia 1 to hit stores, the Xperia 10 and 10 Plus were both made available to buy at their February 25 unveiling. The Xperia 10 costs £299.
The 10 features some surprisingly similar internals to its predecessor, with the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 chipset at its heart (a chip which originally launched back in 2017) and the same 3GB of RAM.
Users do benefit from double the amount of internal storage (totalling 64GB) but at the same time, the battery capacity has been dropped to 2,870mAh (from 3,300mAh), with PD fast-charging replacing Qualcomm’s Quick Charge tech.
For the first time on a mid-range Sony, the Xperia 10 boasts a dual camera setup on the back. The 13-megapixel main sensor is supported by a secondary 5-megapixel sensor, which it uses to gauge depth for background bokeh when taking portrait-style shots.
Lossless zoom would have been nice here but that’s a trick that only the Xperia 10 Plus benefits from. Meanwhile, there’s a front-facing 8-megapixel snapper, not dissimilar from the one on the XA2.
Related: Best mid-range phones
The real talking point is the phone’s design and dimensions. With an extended 6-inch 21:9 aspect ratio display, the Xperia 10 is an impressively narrow but also imposingly tall phone for a device at this screen size.
The slim width means it’s comfortable to hold in one hand and the tall aspect ratio, although unorthodox, has some interesting benefits. This all comes wrapped in a sturdy metal body with a fingerprint sensor set into its right side.
The only notable design issue is the display’s large forehead of a bezel – it’s a touch unsightly but at least makes for a comfortable hand-hold when watching content in landscape.
The big push that Sony is making with these new handsets is that they’re great for media; for being able to better appreciate content as creator(s) intended.
One stat the Sony representatives pulled out cites that 61% of the movies on Netflix are available in a 21:9 aspect ratio natively, which means no black bars when watching on an Xperia 10, as would appear on a phone with any other aspect ratio.
The company also made mention of similarly formatted content available from Amazon Prime Video, YouTube and Sony Pictures (naturally).
The display’s proportions also mean that when multitasking you can nest an app in portrait in 16:9 and play a video in landscape above it 16:9 at the same time.
This a trick that I first saw when Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S8 a couple of years back, but Sony’s implementation makes for more natural app scaling – things don’t feel at all cramped, as they did on Sammy’s then-flagship.
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