Sony's Xperia range of smartphones has always delivered attractive design, and a new trio of devices announced at MWC today are no exception. The Xperia X, Xperia X Performance, and Xperia XA all have the same premium-feeling cases and rounded glass fronts that have been the hallmarks of Sony's smartphones, with the XA — the lowest specced of the three — introducing a particularly impressive looking display with barely-there bezels.
The main focus on the two higher-end devices, the X and X Performance, is a 23-megapixel camera with new technology that Sony is calling "predictive hybrid autofocus." This means that the phones will actually track moving objects and predict where they will go, adjusting the focus on the fly to capture fast movement without any blur. That's a big claim, and we'll have to wait to see if Sony delivers, but the signs are promising. Last year, with the company's Z5 range, Sony really did deliver its best cameras ever — albeit with sluggish software. The XA, meanwhile, makes do with a 13-megapixel rear camera, and an 8-megapixel camera on the front.
Sony wants to sell the Xperia XA as a "super mid-range" device
In terms of specs, the X Performance is the speediest of the bunch, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor. The X, meanwhile, has a Snapdragon 650, and the XA a MediaTek MT6755. There's 3GB of RAM in the X and X Performance, while the XA gets 2GB. All three phones have 5-inch screens, with the XA getting a 720p display, and the X and X Performance bumping this up to 1080p. Both these two higher-end models also have oval power buttons with built-in fingerprint sensors — identical to those seen on the most recent Z5s. The lower-end XA instead has the same circular, nubbish power button (without a fingerprint sensor) that we've seen before on older Xperias.
All three devices will launch with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and Sony is promising its usual battery life of up to two days. It's also partnered with a Californian company named Qnovo which makes adaptive charging technology. With this, Sony says the phones can get "up to two times normal battery lifespan." As with the cameras, we'll have to wait and see how these claims live up to real-life testing.
And while all three devices have familiar Xperia styling, there are some small differences. The top-of-the-line X Performance has a brushed metal back (it's also waterproof, unlike the other two), while the low-end XA has those super-thin bezels. All three look great (if a little tired if you're used to Xperia handsets), but the XA might just be the standout, despite being the least powerful. The display really does look that good. There's no pricing announced for these devices yet, but judging by these first impressions, they'll be a welcome addition to the Xperia range.
Correction February 22nd, 3:57PM ET: A previous version of this piece mistakenly identified the X Performance as the X Premium.