With the Xperia 10, Sony wants to deliver a truly cinematic experience on the go.
At MWC 2019, Sony revealed its vision for the future of smartphones by unveiling a range of new ultra-tall 21:9 handsets. While the flagship of this new line is the Sony Xperia 1, Sony also showed off something for the more budget-conscious smartphone buyer: the Sony Xperia 10.
Featuring a 6-inch, full HD display and a mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor, the Xperia 10 is a capable yet conservative smartphone designed for folks who want to watch Hollywood films in all their ultra-wide glory on the go.
21:9 aspect ratio.
6-inch full HD display.
21:9 is becoming an increasingly common aspect ratio across modern devices, largely due to its adoption as the standard format for the movie industry. By building the Xperia 10 around a 6-inch, 21:9 display, Sony is targeting movie lovers who want to watch their favourite flicks on the go without the horizontal black bars you get on a regular 16:9 screen.
A 21:9 display also gives the Xperia 10 more screen space to play with while keeping the handset slim enough for single-hand use. However, it does mean the Xperia 10 is quite tall, measuring in at a lengthy 156mm. Keep this in mind if your clothes have shallow pockets.
To streamline navigation on the Xperia 10, Sony provides two gesture-based tools: Side sense and a shrinkable UI. Side sense activates when you double tap the side of the Xperia 10 and pulls up a list of your favourite apps for quick access. Sony claims the apps are determined using artificial intelligence to match both your preferences and your current needs. The shrinkable UI, meanwhile, lets you reduce the size of the Xperia 10's interface to better suit one-handed operation.
As a manufacturer of many high-end headphones, stereo systems and other audio equipment, Sony tends to put more emphasis on the audio capabilities of its smartphones than many of its competitors. This remains true with the Xperia 10. Not only does it support high-resolution audio formats like FLAC and ALAC, it makes use of Sony's Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE HX) to improve the sound quality of standard-resolution audio files so they more closely resemble their high-resolution counterparts.
If your daily routine involves a lot of jostling around, you'll be glad to know that the Xperia 10 is outfitted with Corning's Gorilla Glass 5 for extra protection against bumps and scrapes.
Dual-lens 13MP/5MP rear camera.
21:9 video recording.
Sony has had a lot of time to hone its craft in the camera space, yet this doesn't always come across in its smartphones. The Xperia 10 might not be the phone to change this, but it should still produce decent shots that meet the needs of most smartphone users.
At the core of the Xperia 10 is its rear-facing dual-lens camera. It consists of a 13MP wide-angle lens and a 5MP depth-of-field lens for adding Bokeh blur to your shots. You can further enhance your photos by capturing them in HDR or increase the clarity of your videos by recording in 4K.
The feather in the Xperia 10's photography cap is its support for 21:9 video recording. This allows you to capture video at the same aspect ratio as most modern movies, giving your viral videos a distinctly cinematic feel. Alternatively, you can set the Xperia 10 to capture at 16:9 or even 1:1 ratios for more intimate results.
Rounding out the Xperia 10's photography tools is an 8MP front-facing camera. An 84-degree wide-angle lens lets you squeeze more of your friends into your group selfies, while Sony's SteadyShot image stabilisation technology promises to minimise unwanted blur when filming selfie videos.
Mid-range Snapdragon 630 processor.
3GB of RAM is a little on the low side.
Sony has taken a very by-the-books approach to the guts of the Xperia 10. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor at its heart is about as mid-range as mobile processors get, and the 3GB of RAM is just enough to keep the Xperia 10 in the running against other mid-tier smartphones.
A good point of comparison here is the Nokia 6.1 (or the Nokia 6 2018, depending on who you're talking to). It also runs on the Snapdragon 630 platform and sports 3GB of RAM, a combination that led to solid performance when we tested it in our Nokia 6.1 review. Differences in power management and software mean the Xperia 10 is unlikely to perform identically to the Nokia 6.1, but for the most part you can expect a similar level of power out of Sony's device.
Generally, the Xperia 10 should deliver smooth performance across most modern apps and services, with only the most-demanding games and video apps potentially tripping it up. It is slightly disappointing that it only includes 3GB of RAM, as this may cause some slowdown when multi-tasking on the Xperia 10's 21:9 screen.
Smart Stamina for increased power efficiency.
Battery capacity is often a sore spot for Sony's smartphones. Your typical Xperia handset tends to have a markedly smaller battery than most of its competitors, as is the case with the Xperia 10. Its 2,870mAh battery trails behind the 3,000mAh+ batteries other mid-range smartphones commonly feature, putting it at a notable disadvantage.
However, there's more to a phone's battery than its capacity, and it's here that Sony often covers some of its lost ground. Like the rest of the Xperia family, the Xperia 10 manages battery usage on the fly through its Smart Stamina mode. In our testing of other Xperia handsets, Smart Stamina has allowed those handsets to perform slightly above expectations in battery testing, though not by a remarkable amount. As such, we expect the Xperia 10 to be capable of all-day battery life under average use, but not much else.
Fortunately, when the Xperia 10 does run out of juice, charging it back up again won't take too long thanks to support for fast-charging via USB Power Delivery (USB PD).
Pricing and availability
The Sony Xperia 10 is set to launch internationally in April 2019.
Sony has not announced an Australian release date or pricing yet.
Matt Sayer is a writer for Finder, covering all things technology and telecommunications. Along with reporting on events like CES and Mobile World Congress, he has produced comprehensive guides for popular products like smart speakers and graphics cards. He has a Bachelor of Computer Science from RMIT University and is passionate about helping Aussies leverage technology to better their lives.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
Important information about this website
finder.com.au is one of Australia's leading comparison websites. We compare from a wide set of major banks, insurers and product issuers.
finder.com.au has access to track details from the product issuers listed on our sites. Although we provide information on the products offered by a wide range of issuers, we don't cover every available product. You should consider whether the products featured on our site are appropriate for your needs and seek independent advice if you have any questions.
Products marked as 'Promoted' or "Advertisement" are prominently displayed either as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular product, provider or feature. Finder may receive remuneration from the Provider if you click on the related link, purchase or enquire about the product. Finder's decision to show a 'promoted' product is neither a recommendation that the product is appropriate for you nor an indication that the product is the best in its category. We encourage you to use the tools and information we provide to compare your options and find the best option for you.
The identification of a group of products, as 'Top' or 'Best' is a reflection of user preferences based on current website data. On a regular basis, analytics drive the creation of a list of popular products. Where these products are grouped, they appear in no particular order.
Where our site links to particular products or displays 'Go to site' buttons, we may receive a commission, referral fee or payment.
We try to take an open and transparent approach and provide a broad based comparison service. However, you should be aware that while we are an independently owned service, our comparison service does not include all providers or all products available in the market.
Some product issuers may provide products or offer services through multiple brands, associated companies or different labelling arrangements. This can make it difficult for consumers to compare alternatives or identify the companies behind the products. However, we aim to provide information to enable consumers to understand these issues.
Providing or obtaining an estimated insurance quote through us does not guarantee you can get the insurance. Acceptance by insurance companies is based on things like occupation, health and lifestyle. By providing you with the ability to apply for a credit card or loan we are not guaranteeing that your application will be approved. Your application for credit products is subject to the Provider's terms and conditions as well as their application and lending criteria.