Sony has long been (rightly) criticized for ignoring the US market, opting to release phones here very late or not at all. In the case of the Marshmallow-powered Xperia X series, it's just a little late. These devices were announced at Mobile World Congress a few months ago with only vague talk about a US release, but now all four models are coming to the US in waves. It starts today with pre-orders for the Xperia X.
The four devices, from most to least premium, are the X Performance, X, XA Ultra, and XA. Let's go over each one briefly since MWC was a few months ago.
The X Performance is Sony's top-of-the-line flagship with a Snapdragon 820, 3GB of RAM, 23MP camera, 2700mAh battery, 32GB of storage with microSD card slot, and a water-resistant metal frame. Oddly, Sony chose to go with a 5-inch 1080p LCD for this device, which is less impressive on paper than the competition. This phone will be priced at $699.99 and comes with a free 128GB microSD card when it launches on July 17th.
The X is a step down from the flagship space with a Snapdragon 650, 3GB of RAM, 23MP camera, 32GB of storage with a microSD card slot, and a glass/metal case without water-resistance. This phone too has a 5-inch 1080p LCD, but the battery drops slightly to 2620mAh. This phone is available for pre-order today for $549.99 (and a free 128GB microSD) at Amazon, B&H, Best Buy, and Reagan Wireless. However, most of these listings aren't live yet.
The XA and XA Ultra are the budget component of Sony's new lineup. The XA will be out on July 17th along with the Performance for $279.99. It has a MediaTek Helio P10, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of Storage with a microSD card, 2300mAh battery, 13MP camera, and a 5-inch 720p LCD. The XA Ultra (July 24th for $369.99) gets a mild spec bump with a MediaTek MT6755, 3GB of RAM, 2700mAh battery, 21.5MP camera, 16MP front camera, and a huge 6-inch 1080p LCD.
In usual Sony style, these phones all seem expensive compared to the competition. Long-time Sony fans will also be disappointed that only the top-of-the-line phone is water-resistant. It also looks like Sony dropped the fingerprint sensor from the X series in the US, just like it did the Z5. Still, at least Sony is releasing the phones in the US.
Sony’s First Xperia® X Series Coming to the United States This Summer
· Focus on what you love with Xperia X Performance, Xperia X, Xperia XA, and Xperia XA Ultra which bring intelligence and high-speed performance in a new beautifully designed smartphone lineup
· Xperia X now available to pre-order
SAN MATEO, CA — May 31, 2016 — The next generation of the Xperia brand has arrived. Sony Mobile Communications (“Sony Mobile”) today announced that the Xperia® X series will be available in the United States this summer, with Xperia X now available to pre-order. The smartphone lineup includes Xperia X Performance, Xperia X, Xperia XA, and the recently announced Xperia XA Ultra, marking a new era of smartphone personalization and intelligence—engineered to empower users to achieve more through Xperia’s acclaimed powerful battery performance, innovative camera technologies and unparalleled design.
“Sony Mobile is passionate about creating the most intelligent and unique experiences for our users, bringing best-in-class technologies to help amplify the activities they love doing every day. Xperia X series is designed to let you interact with the world around you in exciting ways, making lives more enjoyable and delivering new intelligence that sets it apart,” said Kunihiko Shiomi, President, Sony Mobile Communications North America.
A Camera Focused on Speed
The Xperia X series adds a new layer of intelligent technology that simplifies your life and gives you the confidence to focus on what you love and explore the world in new ways. Life’s most spontaneous moments are difficult to capture, but advanced camera technologies in the new Xperia X series give you a front seat to all the action. The 23 MP camera on Xperia X Performance with Quick Launch is Sony Mobile’s fastest and smartest yet, with the all-new Predictive Hybrid Autofocus in both Xperia X Performance and Xperia X developed in collaboration with Sony Alpha camera engineers that tracks your subject and predicts its next move so you can automatically capture action shots in the sharpest detail, free of blur. So, even if you can’t predict where the shot is headed, your smartphone can.
In a world where timing is everything, Xperia X series provides the assurance that you’ll never miss a moment, delivering a launch to capture speed of 0.6 seconds at the press of the dedicated camera button. Users won’t have to worry about capturing moments that are blurry thanks to Sony’s exclusive SteadyShotTM technology which allows you to shoot clear and steady videos on-the-go and capture smoother videos than ever before without any “shaky cam” effects.
Performance that Keeps You Going
With people’s lives more fast-paced than ever, Xperia X series keeps up the pace right there beside you through heightened performance and battery life, allowing you to stay up-to-date with what matters most whenever you need it. The Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 650 processor on Xperia X delivers powerful performance that is also reliable and efficient. The Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 processor on Xperia X Performance also delivers blazing-fast processing speed and real-time high-definition graphics so you can make full use of high-powered activities such as playing PlayStation® games through PS4™ Remote Play and streaming music and video at a moment’s notice.
To extend your most enjoyable entertainment experiences, Xperia X series incorporates Sony’s smart battery management to deliver long-lasting battery life1. Intelligent battery management solutions on Xperia X series include Qnovo’s Adaptive Charging technology2 that delivers a battery lifespan that’s up to twice as long, while STAMINA mode minimizes battery drain so you have power when you need it most. If you’re in a hurry and need a battery boost, Xperia X Performance and Xperia X are enabled with Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 2.0 so you can get 5.5 hours usage with just 10 minutes of charging with a certified Quick Charge™ 2.0 charger, which also comes as an optional accessory for Xperia XA.
Designed to Impress
Xperia X series offers a premium finish as part of its unified design concept, boasting form-fitting 5” display with curved glass edges for a stylish, durable and comfortable design. The simplicity of the design means it fits effortlessly into your life, whatever your style. Xperia XA offers an edge-to-edge borderless display that makes it easy to grasp and use in one hand, giving you the benefits of a bigger screen without imposing on the size of the handset. Furthermore, Sony’s water resistant design takes the worry out of a little wet. Xperia X Performance is built to withstand the splashes that are a part of everyday life. So you can relax about sudden spills or unexpected showers.3
Xperia X Performance, Xperia X, and Xperia XA each have a range of matching Style Covers and will roll out in four elegant finishes: White, Graphite Black, Lime Gold and Rose Gold. Xperia XA Ultra will be available in White, Graphite Black and Lime Gold.
Xperia X is now available for pre-order in the United States through Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo Video and Reagan Wireless for 549.99 with a free 128GB MicroSD memory card. Pre-order for Xperia X Performance ($699.99 MSRP with free 128GB MicroSD memory card), Xperia XA Ultra ($369.99 MSRP with free 64GB MicroSD memory card) and Xperia XA (279.99 MSRP with free MicroSD memory card) begins on June 19. Pre-order offer for all four devices includes three free Sony Pictures movies and a UCH10 Quick Charger ($35.90 MSRP) for Xperia X Performance and Xperia X.
Xperia X will be available in the United States at SonyMobile.com/us, Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo Video and Reagan Wireless on June 26, Xperia X Performance and Xperia XA on July 17, and Xperia XA Ultra on July 24.