Sony Xperia 10 II review: A better version of an interesting smartphone!
In the Fall of 2019, we tested Sony Xperia 10. It was an interesting mid-range smartphone that featured an ultrawide 21:9 screen, which was (and still is) something different from what you get on most Android smartphones. This year, Sony has released the Xperia 10 II, which comes with a newer chipset, more RAM, a triple-camera system instead of a dual-camera one, a larger battery, and an OLED display that keeps the same 21:9 wide aspect ratio. Do these upgrades make the new version of Xperia 10 better than the initial model? Read this review to see what the new Sony Xperia 10 II has to offer:
Sony Xperia 10 II: Who is it good for?
Sony Xperia 10 II is a good choice for people who:
- Like watching movies and fancy a 21:9 cinematic OLED screen
- Want a smartphone that looks good, is well built, and has dust and water resistance certifications
- Are looking for a mid-range Android that stands out of the crowd
Pros and cons
Here are some of the best things about the Sony Xperia 10 II:
Where To Buy
- Beautiful design, and above-average build quality
- Dust and water-resistance P65/68 certifications
- It has a wide 21:9 OLED display that's rare in the world of Android smartphones
- The hardware is good enough for all the apps commonly used on smartphones
- The hybrid power button/fingerprint reader is a nice touch
- It comes with Android 10 and an almost stock experience (no bloatware included)
- The battery is large enough to give you at least a day of use between charges
There are also some downsides to consider:
- Gaming is not great on the Xperia 10 II
- At a similar price, you can find alternatives with better hardware or cameras
Sony Xperia 10 II made a good impression during testing. We like the way it looks and its solid build quality. The fact that it's also certified for Ingress Protection against dust and water is an added benefit that you don't often see on mid-range Android smartphones. What we like most about the Sony Xperia 10 II is its ultrawide 21:9 OLED screen that looks gorgeous and gives you a lot of space without making the smartphone feel large. If you're looking for a mid-range Android smartphone but are not particularly interested in gaming or top-notch photography, the Sony Xperia 10 II is a good choice that you should consider.
Unboxing the Sony Xperia 10 II
The Sony Xperia 10 II Android smartphone is packaged in a neat and minimalistic white cardboard box. On the top of the box, you see the Xperia 10 II name and the Sony brand printed in elegant light gray font.
Inside the box, you find the smartphone, a travel charger, a detachable USB 2.0 Type-A to Type-C cable, a pair of black in-ear headphones, the user manual, warranty card, and other leaflets.
Unboxing the Sony Xperia 10 II is a pleasant experience, and the box has everything you need, including a pair of headphones, which is rare these days.
Design and build quality
The Sony Xperia 10 II follows the same design principles we've seen on the first iteration of this model. It comes with a cinematic 21:9 display that's great for movies but also makes the phone longer than most people are accustomed to. It reminds us of the old HTC smartphones, and we like this aspect ratio. However, some people might not feel the same way as we do, because the elongated body of the Xperia 10 II might not fit in every pocket. :)
Sony Xperia 10 II is also thin and lightweight. That's because its body is made of plastic materials covered in glass not only on the display but also on its backside. The edges of the smartphone seem to be made of metal but are soft and silky at touch, black colored, and slightly rounded. It doesn't brag with rounded screen edges like many smartphones do, and it doesn't have a fancy no-bezels screen. You could say that the Xperia 10 II keeps everything traditional.
The controls are also conservative: both the volume rocker and the power button are found on the right edge of the smartphone. What's interesting is that Sony chose to combine the power button with the fingerprint reader, creating a hybrid of sorts. Touching the power button makes the smartphone read your fingerprint (if you've added it) while pressing it acts as a power switch. We like this approach and find it more useful than any back or under-the-display fingerprint reader.
One other thing that you don't often see on modern smartphones, but the Sony Xperia 10 II has, is a 3.5 mm audio jack. It's found on the top edge, and many people - us included - will be happy about it.
The SIM card and/or microSD slot is the only thing found on the left edge of the smartphone, while the bottom edge holds just the USB-C port and a microphone hole.
Unfortunately, although the 21:9 screen is excellent for watching movies, the Sony Xperia 10 II comes with just one loudspeaker. It's placed on the bottom bezel of the screen, right on the edge. Seeing that the top bezel is also quite large, we're wondering why Sony did not put a second loudspeaker there also.
What might make the difference between the Sony Xperia 10 II and other Android smartphones with similar prices and specs is the fact that it's dust and water-resistant. It was tested and certified both for IP65 and IP68, which is something pretty rare for smartphones in this price segment.
Finally, before we move on to the hardware specs section of the review, we'd also like to point out that the Sony Xperia 10 II is available in black and white color variations, and both look stylish. The one we tested was the black one.
The Xperia 10 II looks good and feels reliable, just as you'd expect from any device made by Sony. Although its design is rather traditional, the 21:9 cinematic display and the power/fingerprint hybrid button make it stand out of the crowd. Also, the IP65/68 certifications ensure you that this smartphone is well built.
Sony Xperia 10 II features a 6-inch OLED display with a cinematic ultra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio. Its Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2520 pixels gives a high pixel density of about 457 ppi, which means that any images and fonts shown on it are detailed and smooth. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 6 against superficial scratches and drops from small heights. Compared to its predecessor - Sony Xperia 10 - it has a better display (OLED vs. IPS) and a newer version of Gorilla Glass (version 6 vs. 5).
The Xperia 10 II uses a Qualcomm SDM665 Snapdragon 665 chipset with an octa-core processor running at a speed of up to 2 GHz. The graphics are handled by an Adreno 610 GPU that supports Vulkan 1.0 and 1.1, OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0, and Direct3D 12.
The Sony Xperia 10 II comes with 128 GB of internal storage memory and 4 GB of RAM and also supports microSD cards of up to 1TB in size. Compared to the first Sony Xperia 10, you get 1GB more RAM and double the size of the flash storage. It's quite an improvement!
Sony Xperia 10 II is sold in two versions: a single SIM variant, and a dual SIM one. The Dual-SIM version uses a Dual SIM Dual Standby implementation, meaning that both SIM cards are active when you're not using them, but once you take a call on one SIM, the other one becomes inactive. Both variants of the Sony Xperia 10 II use Nano-SIM cards. On the Dual SIM model, the slot for the second SIM is a hybrid one, meaning that you can either use it for a SIM or a microSD card.
As for its autonomy, the Sony Xperia 10 II comes with a non-removable Li-Ion battery with a rated capacity of 3600 mAh, which is 700 mAh more than the first Sony Xperia 10. It also supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 at up to 18W. Unfortunately, the bundled Sony UCH20 travel charger doesn't support fast charging. So, if you want rapid charging for the Xperia 10 II, you need to buy a charger that supports that, like a Sony UCH32C.
On its back, the Sony Xperia 10 II has a triple-lens camera system: one with a 12-megapixel sensor (f/2.0 aperture, 77° field of view), one with an 8-megapixel sensor (f/2.4 aperture, 45° field of view, 2x optical zoom), and another one with 8 megapixels (f/2.2 aperture, 120° field of view). The cameras have an LED flash low-light photography, support HDR and panorama modes, and also Sony's SteadyShot technology for image stabilization. On the front, you get an 8-megapixel selfie camera with an f/2.0 lens and an 84° field of view.
Sony Xperia 10 II has a USB 2.0 Type-C port, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) wireless with support for 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standards. You also get a fingerprint sensor that's built in the power button found on the right edge of the phone, accelerometer, proximity, and compass sensors.
The smartphone is lightweight (5.33 ounces or 151 grams), but its size is fairly large: 6.18 x 2.72 x 0.32 inches (157 x 69 x 8.2 mm) in length x width x thickness. For more details about Sony Xperia 10 II's hardware specifications and features, visit its official webpage: Sony Xperia 10 II Specs.
The Sony Xperia 10 II looks neat with its cinematic 21:9 display, and its build quality and durability seem to be excellent. The processing power doesn't impress but should be enough to offer a good experience in everyday tasks. Also, the battery seems well calibrated to the hardware, so it should keep you going for a day between charges.
Check the next page to find out more about the smartphone experience offered by the Sony Xperia 10 II, its cameras, bundled apps, and performance in benchmarks.