Even though Sony manufactures some great high-end smartphones, it seems to be struggling to create compelling mid-range smartphones. The Xperia 10 represents the company's 2019 attempt of entering the mid-range market with a unique smartphone. What makes it unique? Well, the Xperia 10 is the only mid-range smartphone that offers a display with a cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio. Is that enough to make people buy it? Find out more about the Sony Xperia 10, what it offers, and its real-world performance, in this review:
Sony Xperia 10: Who is it good for?
Sony Xperia 10 is a solid choice for people who:
- Enjoy watching movies on their smartphones and want a screen with 21:9 cinematic aspect ratio
- Long for a beautiful Android smartphone that looks premium
- Want a mid-range smartphone for everyday use
Pros and cons
Here are the good things we'd like to point out about the Sony Xperia 10:
- It is a beautiful smartphone, with a pleasant design
- The display has a wide 21:9 cinematic aspect ratio
- It runs regular everyday apps well, fulfilling the needs of regular users
There are also some downsides to consider:
- Playing games on it is not going to be a great experience
- The battery is too small to last for a day if you're going to watch a movie or two
- There are alternatives with better performance at a similar price
The Sony Xperia 10 gave us an array of mixed feelings. We love its wide 21:9 screen and the experience we had watching movies on it. We also found it to be a beautiful device that looks more expensive than it is. But, its chipset is slow, and its performance lags compared to similarly priced smartphones. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the strengths and weaknesses of the Sony Xperia 10, before deciding whether to purchase it or not.
Unboxing the Sony Xperia 10
The Sony Xperia 10 comes in a good-looking box made of white cardboard. On its top side, you can see the Xperia 10 name and the Sony brand printed in stylish light gray fonts.
Open the box and you should find the smartphone, a charger with a detachable USB Type-A to Type-C cable, a pair of in-ear headphones, the user manual and warranty card.
Unboxing the Sony Xperia 10 is a fast and straightforward experience, and it's nice to see that Sony also bundled a pair of headphones. Many manufacturers do not do that anymore.
Design and build quality
This is a beautiful smartphone: we loved how it looks, right from the start. The most striking feature of the Sony Xperia 10 is its long display with its cinematic aspect ratio of 21:9. It is a long smartphone but also a slim one, which means that you can easily hold it in your hands without the risk of dropping it. However, when you put it in your pocket, it is probably not going to fit inside and you are likely going to feel it when you are walking.
The back of the Sony Xperia 10 is made of plastic material but looks like it's made of metal. The edges are rounded, adding to the impression of a stylish and elegant device. Also on the back, right at the top of the smartphone, you see the two main cameras and the flash. It is worth noting that the camera system protrudes only a little, so it's not going to annoy you when you put your Xperia 10 on a table. Toward the middle, Sony engraved its logo and, at the bottom, the Xperia brand.
The power button and the volume rocker are found on the right edge, and the fingerprint reader sits between them. While the fingerprint reader is easy to identify because it is sunk inside the body, the volume rocker and the power button are a bit more finicky because they have a very short pressure point and they extend just a millimeter above the surface of the smartphone. We'll tell you more about our experience with these buttons later on, in The smartphone experience section.
The bottom edge of the Sony Xperia 10 is home to the USB Type-C port and two air grilles: one of them hides the loudspeaker and the other one is just for design.
On the left side, there is the SIM and microSD cards tray. To get to one or the other, you have to take both out using a fingernail, not a pin, like many other smartphones do today. It is a nice design choice from Sony.
Finally, we would like to mention that you can get the Sony Xperia 10 in one of four different color variations: Navy, Black, Silver, and Pink. Here's what they look like:
We love the premium feeling that you get from the Sony Xperia 10. It looks gorgeous and its design is both simple and beautiful.
The Sony Xperia 10 uses a wide 6 inch IPS LCD display with a cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio and Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2520 pixels. That translates into high pixel density (approximately 457 ppi), which means plenty of detail for anything shown on the screen. The display is protected against scratches and small drops by Gorilla Glass 5.
The smartphone gets its power from a Qualcomm SDM630 Snapdragon 630 chipset that uses an octa-core 2.2 GHz Cortex-A53 processor. The graphics of the smartphone are handled by an Adreno 508 GPU which, according to Wikipedia, supports the following APIs: Vulkan 1.0, OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0, OpenGL 3.1, and Direct3D 11.
The Sony Xperia 10 comes with 64 GB of internal storage space and 3 GB of RAM, although a version with 4 GB of RAM is also available, but only in China. Additionally, you can also insert a microSD card of up to 512 GB to increase your storage space.
The smartphone is available in a Single SIM variant, as well as Dual SIM, in which case it uses a Dual SIM Dual Standby implementation, which means that, even if both SIM cards are active when you are not using them, once you take a call on one of them, the other becomes inactive. Both versions use Nano-SIM cards. In the Dual SIM version, you have to choose between using a secondary SIM or adding a microSD card, as they use the same slot.
Regarding its autonomy, the Sony Xperia 10 comes with a non-removable Li-Ion battery with a capacity of 2870 mAh. Unfortunately, the battery seems pretty small considering the large 21:9 Full HD+ screen. The phone also supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 but the bundled Sony UCH20 is a lightweight travel charger that's not capable of fast charging. If you want fast charging, you have to buy a different charger, such as Sony's UCH32C.
On its back, the Sony Xperia 10 has two cameras: one with a 13-megapixel sensor and f/2.0 aperture, and another one with a 5-megapixel sensor and f/2.4 aperture. The camera system uses phase-detection autofocus (PDAF), a dual-LED flash useful for low-light photography, and Sony's SteadyShot technology for image stabilization. On the front, you get an 8-megapixel selfie camera with f/2.0 lens.
The Sony Xperia 10 has a USB Type-C port, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, dual-band wireless with support for the 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standards, and 2x2 MIMO. As for built-in sensors, you get a fingerprint sensor on the right edge of the phone, accelerometer, proximity, and compass sensors.
Although it doesn't feel like it, the Sony Xperia 10 is a large smartphone, because of its long 21:9 screen. It is 6.13 x 2.68 x 0.33 inches (155.7 x 68 x 8.4 mm) in length x width x thickness. It weighs just 5.71 ounces (162 grams), and that's a good thing, but we would have preferred a larger battery even if that meant a heavier device.
For more details about Sony Xperia 10's hardware specifications and features, visit its official webpage: Sony Xperia 10 Specs.
The Sony Xperia 10 comes with a gorgeous cinema-style display and with excellent build quality. However, its chipset is not going to impress anyone with its speed, and the battery seems to be too small.
Check the next page to find out more about the smartphone experience offered by the Sony Xperia 10, its cameras, bundled apps, and performance in benchmarks.