Hands-On with Sony's Xperia X Performance at MWC 2016

This Mobile World Congress will no doubt be remembered as the time that LG and Samsung went head-to-head, announcing their 2016 flagships on the very same day. Still, MWC 2016 has been making headlines for very different reasons as well. Sony announced their new Xperia X line, which appears to have taken the place of the Xperia Z line. Confusion was rife at the time they announced the new devices, not so much because a new line is anything earth-shattering, but because of the Xperia X Performance. Where the Xperia X and Xperia XA (which we spent time with earlier in the week here) were more like the Xperia M devices we've come to know and love, the Xperia X Performance features a Snapdragon 820 and 3GB of RAM, putting it ahead of even the Xperia Z5 Premium in terms of specs.

For all intents and purposes, the 5.0-inch Full HD Xperia X Performance is what we could call an Xperia Z Compact. It's got the same 23-megapixel camera around the back as the Xperia X, but the Snapdragon 820 on the inside practically makes this a flagship of some sort. Never mind all the naming mumbo-jumbo, what we found when spending time with the X Performance was a pretty great smartphone. The curved glass edges on the front panel gives the familiar omni-balance design of the Sonys a nice, softer touch. There's a lot of the Xperia Z3 here in the Xperia X Performance, which isn't all that surprising, but does seem a step back from the design changes they made with last Fall's Xperia Z5 line.

Where software is concerned, it looks like these were running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and Sony has a light skin running on top of things here, too. Overall however, it appears as though this has a lot of the Xperia Z DNA in it, but with something new thrown in, too. Like for instance, the tone-on-tone continuous color approach. Let's say you choose the pink color of the Xperia X Performance, the front panel will be the same color, rather than just featuring a black front panel as with the Xperia Z5 Compact. Those interested in seeing more can do so in the gallery below.

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Tom Dawson

Former Editor-in-Chief
For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.