While much of the focus going into Mobile World Congress has understandably been on the latest and greatest flagship devices coming from LG and Samsung, the truth is most Canadians are more interested in smartphones that offer a competitive package at a reasonable price.
Thankfully, the second day of MWC is seeing a lot more devices meant for the mid-range market, particularly from Sony. The Japanese company used the occasion of one of tech’s biggest events to fill out its smartphone lineup. In all, Sony unveiled three new phones, the Xperia X Performance, Xperia X and Xperia XA.
At the bottom of the lineup is the modestly equipped Xperia XA. It features a 5-inch 720p display, 13-megapixel rear camera, 8-megapixel front-facing camera, MediaTek’s Helio P10 processor and a small 2,300mAh battery Sony says will last two days on a single charge thanks to its latest battery management software. On the plus side, the phone is set to ship with the latest version of Android Marshmallow, 6.0.1.
Next up is a phone that — if it comes to Canada — will be appealing to a lot of consumers looking for the perfect balance between performance and price. The Xperia X (pictured at the top) features the recently rebranded Snapdragon 650, a SoC that’s much more powerful than the Snapdragon 615 found in most mid-range phones available on the market today; 3GB of RAM; 32GB of internal storage (expandable via a microSD slot); and a camera package that improves on the best-in-class package that shipped with the Xperia Z5.
As it did with the Xperia Z5 line, Sony tapped the engineers behind its well-regarded Alpha series of mirrorless cameras to work on the its new smartphones. The result is that the Xperia X will ship with a new Exmor RS camera sensor that improves upon the capabilities of the sensor found in the Xperia Z5. Sony has also improved the autofocus capabilities of its latest phone with a new predictive hybrid autofocus system. Basically, through a combination of new software and hardware the camera’s autofocus module is better able to track and predict the movement of something moving erratically, allowing the smartphone’s camera to snap photos free of motion blur. Last but not least, the Xperia X features a more capable front-facing camera. It’s now rated at 13-megapixels.
Finally, there’s the Xperia X Performance, which outclasses the Z5 in terms of some of its specs. It features a Snapdragon 820 SoC; a modest 2,620mAh battery, which Sony once again promises will last up to two days thanks to its own smart battery management software; the same combination of optics and image sensors found in Xperia X; 3GB of RAM; and 32 GB of internal storage (again expandable thanks to a microSD slot). Like the other phones Sony announced today, the Xperia X Performance is set to ship with the latest version of Android Marshmallow.
The company is also launching several new “smart products” alongside its new devices. The most notable is the Xperia Ear, an in-ear bluetooth headset that doubles as a personal assistant. When paired with one of the company’s new phones, the Xperia Ear can be used to take calls and dictate text messages and emails. It can also provide information like traffic alters to the user, as well as other information found through Google Now.
The company has yet to provide specific information on the pricing and availability of the Xperia X, XA and Premium. However, when reached out to for comment, a Sony spokesperson told MobileSyrup the company plans to launch the new devices it announced today in Canada later this year.