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Sony Xperia X Performance review

6.3/10 AVG.

  • Sony Xperia X Performance
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
  • Sony Xperia X Performance

Informr score
The Sony Xperia X Performance currently has an Informr score of 6.3 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 18 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Fast performance
  • IP68 rated for water- and dust-resistance
  • Clear and vibrant display
  • Good camera features and quality in good lighting

What's bad

  • Poor battery life
  • Aluminum back prone to scuffs
  • Camera image quality drops off in low light
  • Expensive for what it offers

It appears that Sony is retiring their Z series for the latest X series. The flagship phone in this lineup is the X Performance. Despite the high price tag, however, many reviewers were unimpressed with the overall design calling the aluminum back “unimpressive” and prone to scuffs. It is, however IP68 certified making it water- and dust-resistant.

Unlike the Z lineup, Sony went with a curvier design providing a good hand feel for critics. At 0.3 inches thick, it isn’t the slimmest smartphone on the market and, thanks to the use of metal and glass, it weighs a hefty 164 grams. It also has very large bezels with Sony not even hitting a 70 percent screen-to-body ratio. Why are the bezels so large? It’s because that’s where Sony housed the front-facing speakers. For the most part experts were impressed with the audio quality of the speakers as it’s max volume was loud enough to listen to music and movies without distortion.

The 5-inch, 1080P IPS LCD screen is the same one you can find on Sony’s midrange Xperia X device. While it doesn’t match Quad HD screens in terms of sharpness, experts still considered it very clear. In terms of overall performance, they were quite pleased with its color accuracy and overall vibrancy. Sony also offers options to change the color temperate and saturation so users can adjust the display to their personal preference. Besides this, they also praised its brightness and had no issues viewing it in direct sunlight.

Inside are two dual-core processors running at different speeds: two are 2.15GHz and two are 1.6GHz and 3GB of RAM. With these specs, it’s no surprise reviewers had no problem with lag or slowdown during basic tasks like browsing the web. When compared to its competitors, they noticed it actually performed better for more mundane tasks. They noticed an occasional hiccup when multitasking, but they add it was barely noticeable even when playing demanding games.

Battery life, however, is another story. They barely made it a full day with moderate usage and could only reach the second day by making use of Stamina or Ultra Stamina mode. Luckily, it does come with a quick-charge system to counteract the poor battery life.

Megapixels might not mean everything in the camera world today, but pixel peepers will be happy to note the X Performance offers a 23MP main camera. Reviewers were overall pleased with the image quality as they were able to take vibrant and detailed pictures in good lighting conditions. The camera also has some useful functions such as focus following moving targets, shutter button and a full manual mode to adjust white balance, exposure and more.

Unfortunately, experts soon found the limits of the camera in dark and very bright lighting conditions. In dark and mixed lighting, they noticed a fair amount of grain and loss of detail. Very bright lighting led to washed out colors.

Perhaps the biggest drawback for many users, however, is its lack of fingerprint sensor. Whereas most smartphone manufacturers now include this feature, Sony has decided to remove the feature from American versions, the international versions do come with one.

While reviewers agree the X Performance is not a bad smartphone, they cannot recommend it due to the steep price tag. Engadget states, “…in most ways the Xperia X Performance is an adequate phone. The bigger issue is whether a phone…should really just be ‘adequate.’ It’s just halfhearted, and that won’t get Sony anywhere.” Ars Technica adds, “…the X Performance should unquestionably lead the pack of Sony smartphones in design, performance, and features…but it just doesn’t do that. It simply feels like any other Sony msartphone…”

Operating system
2.15 GHz
Screen Size
23+ MP

What the Critics Are Saying...


The Xperia X line represents a drastic shift in philosophy for Sony, and many transition devices were a bit rough around the edges. Look at how Samsung struggled from the Galaxy S4 to the Galaxy S6. We can only hope that future Xperia X phones are better refined and well-rounded products.

- Juan Carlos Bagnell, Pocketnow

It's as if Sony doesn't realize how cutthroat this market is. Snapdragon 820 performance, waterproofing and microSD support aside, there's not enough here to recommend this overly expensive Android phone.

- Cameron Faulkner, TechRadar

Xperia X Performance is currently the best Sony smartphone. This, however, does not mean that it’s equal to all other premium models. This smartphone comes with a Snapdragon 820 CPU, and it is only natural that we do not have any remarks as regards performance or exterior temperatures after a...

- LaptopMedia Team, LaptopMedia

If it weren't for the overzealous apps and Xperia's suggestions for downloads, this device would be a really, really great phone.

- Chris Burns, SlashGear
Mobile Syrup

If the Xperia X were released a few years ago, the $699 phone would be easier to recommend. However, in an increasingly competitive Android smartphone market full of $500, but still high-end handsets. The Xperia X Performance is a tough sell, even for Sony faithful. The handset also isn’t...

- Patrick O'Rourke, Mobile Syrup

Prices (Where to Buy)

Common Questions

Sony backs up the Xperia X Performance with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.

If your Xperia X Performance has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Sony support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Sony's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.

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Quick view

Screen Size

The Sony Xperia X Performance's screen size is 5 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

2.15 GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996 2.15 GHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow (Update Available: 8.0 Oreo) operating system (OS).

23+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 23+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 13+ megapixels resolution.

32 GB

Internal memory is 32 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 200 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2700 mAh battery. Sony's performance ratings are 940 minutes, 443 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Xperia X Performance Specs

Release date June 30, 2016
Regions available USA, Canada
Mobile / Cellular Data
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 6.0 Marshmallow (Update Available: 8.0 Oreo)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996 2.15 GHz
Internal Storage 32 GB
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.58 W/kg
Body: 0.67 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2700 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 650 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 443 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 940 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 22.5 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors White, Graphite Black, Lime Gold, Rose Gold
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.4 x 7 x 0.9 cm (5.7 x 2.8 x 0.4 in)
Weight 165 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Water Resistant
Rugged design No
IP Rating IP 68
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 441 pixels
Size 5 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Glove touch
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support Yes
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.2
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, aptX, LDAC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 200 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Main Camera
ƒ/ 2
23+ megapixels
8x digital
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, ISO, Multi-shot, Panorama, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, ASF, XviD, AVI
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 0 fps, up to 0 minutes
Front Camera
13+ megapixels
Additional Front Camera Info
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Radio Yes (FM/RDS)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, ASF, AVI, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, XviD
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable (Facebook, YouTube)
Included Software / Apps -
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Sony F8131

Additional Sensors: Barometer, Pedometer
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Sony Xperia X Performance Reviews
Where to buy Sony Xperia X Performance
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