Do we have a good one for you today – the Sony Xperia X Performance takes on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Here we have two well-known companies with two completely different smartphones – both in design and functionality. The redesigned Sony is now all-metal, although the basic look is that of a Sony Xperia. The metal Sony used is a little disappointing as it both looks and feels like plastic. The Note 7 is their new all metal frame and trim holding together the front and the back made from Gorilla Glass 5. They both have a solid build to them, but the Galaxy Note 7 would walk away with first place in best looks. Let’s take a look to see just what these two devices have in common and then we will take a closer look at each device.
There are a few things these two flagships have in common. Although slightly larger in height and width, the Galaxy Note 7 is thinner and weighs only 4.6 grams more than the Xperia X Performance. There is nothing in common with the displays – different sizes, technology, and resolution. The US/Canadian version of the Galaxy Note 7 and the Xperia X Performance both use the excellent Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor and Adreno 530 GPU for graphics. They both have expandable storage via a microSD card and they both are IP68 certified against water and dust. Both offer excellent camera areas but achieve their results differently. They have built-in Hi-Res audio for listening through earphones. They both offer the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, NFC, and a USB port – microUSB v2.0 in the Sony Xperia X Performance and the new reversible Type-C on the Galaxy Note 7 – for charging and data transfer. Both use a non-removable battery with rapid charge capabilities. The Galaxy Note 7 has a fingerprint sensor, but only the international version of the Xperia X Performance has a fingerprint sensor – not the US version.
Please take a thoughtful look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the “View Full Comparison” link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each device in greater depth and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
Sony Xperia X Performance
The new Xperia X line of smartphones from Sony is very much like the Xperia Z line they replace. The same basic shape, large bezels, and FHD display – however, they did a total switchover from metal and glass to an all-metal design. It has a good feel in your hand except that the metal they used does look and feel like plastic. Let’s see just how the Xperia X Performance model stands up to the new Galaxy Note 7.
The Xperia X Performance sports a smaller 5.0-inch IPS LCD FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, and 441 pixels-per-inch (PPI.) Sony grabbed the same processor used in the Note 7 – the 64-bit Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with dual cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and dual cores clocked at 2.15 GHz. An excellent Adreno 530 GPU is included to handle the toughest graphics. It is also packing 3GB of DDR4 RAM, comes with 32GB of internal memory, which is expandable to 200GB via a microSD card.
The Performance uses Sony’s 23MP camera sensor for its primary shooter, with an aperture of f/2.0, 24 mm, Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF,) and LED flash – still no OIS. Sony did jump from a 5.1MP to a larger 13MP front-facing camera (FFC,) gave it an aperture of f/2.0 and 22 mm lens for excellent selfies and video chats. A 2700mAh non-removable battery with Quick Charge 2.0 capabilities supplies the power.
The Sony Xperia X Performance retains the excellent dual stereo front-facing speakers. Although there is no fingerprint sensor in the US version, the international version should work on limited US networks – check with your carrier. The Xperia X Performance measures 143.7 x 70.4 x 8.7 mm and weighs in at 164.4 grams. The colors are White, Graphite Black, Lime Gold, and Rose Gold and the Xperia X will cost you about $700.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7
For those of us that have been begging for another Note Edge – we will have to continue to beg. Samsung decided the best route to quiet us ‘edge’ people was to stretch out a Galaxy S7 Edge. While the curve is not nearly what we would like, the new display certainly gives the new Galaxy Note 7 a more elegant and polished look. Samsung did make a smart move when they teamed up with Wacom years ago. This relationship has allowed Samsung to create a unique writing experience with the newest S Pen – it gets better every year and this year, it is even waterproof. The S Pen will also not go in backward this year.
The Galaxy Note 7 sports a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED QHD always-on display and dual curved edges, giving it a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 518 PPI. Galaxy Note 7 models purchased in the US/Canada will pack a Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and the other four cores clocked at 2.3 GHz. In other countries, it will sport an Exynos octa-core with a quad-core clocked at 1.6 GHz and a quad-core clocked at 2.3 GHz – either processor is more than up to its task of running the Galaxy Note 7. It packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of the faster UFS 2.0 internal memory and thankfully brings back expansion via a microSD.
The Galaxy Note 7 uses the same Dual Pixel 12MP sensor found on the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge. It has an aperture of f/1.7, faster phase detection autofocus (PDAF), auto HDR, and Smart OIS. For its FFC, it uses a 5MP wide-angle lens with a large f/1.7 aperture and Live HDR to take excellent selfies and video chats. The Note 7 has a large non-removable 3500mAh battery but also features rapid charging as well as quick wireless charging capabilities.
The Galaxy Note 7 has several improvements over last year’s model – the S Pen has many new added features giving it more, functionality, and sensitivity – it is even waterproof, and the color of the pen matches your phone. The Note 7 still carries the obligatory heart rate monitor and oxygen saturation sensor, as well as Samsung Pay, and built-in wireless quick charging. The Galaxy Note 7 is the first Samsung to use Gorilla Glass 5 front and back and the phone finally graduates to the newer USB Type-C reversible connector for charging and data transfer. Samsung added a new Iris Scanner for more security that allows you to unlock your Galaxy Note 7 by looking into the top area of the display, and they are planning a software upgrade to have the scanner authorize mobile payments – Samsung Pay as well as Android Pay. Depending where you buy the Galaxy Note 7, it will come in Blue Coral, Silver Titanium, Black Onyx, and Gold. It measures 153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9 mm, weighs in at 169 grams, and will cost you about $865.
...And The Winner Is...
The Final Word
Even though it costs about $165 more, I have to pick the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 as the winner of this comparison. The Note 7 more than gives you your money's worth when compared to the Sony Xperia X Performance. Other than sharing a processor, GPU, and IP68 certification, the Note 7 has a better display - larger, Super AMOLED, QHD, and always-on. It packs more RAM, has a better camera, bigger battery, more features, and the S Pen.
Sony still refuses to move up to a larger QHD display or lower the price of their device - $700 is way too much money for a 5-inch FHD display with 3GB of RAM. There are diehard Sony fans that will still love it, but the Galaxy Note 7 is the clear winner of this comparison. If you don't need or will never use the S Pen, then pick up a Galaxy S7 Edge - still a much better bargain than the Sony Xperia X Performance.