Sony Xperia 10 II Review: vastly improved but still falls short

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Sony maintains its smartphone recipe and the 21:9 format within the mid-range market with the Sony Xperia 10 II or “Mark Two”. After spending a few weeks with it, the Sony Xperia 10 II occurs to mark an enormous leap ahead in comparison with its earlier technology, though that isn’t fairly adequate to make it a viable alternative for a cellphone that retails at round $400.

Good

  • Compact and utilitarian construct
  • Intuitive design
  • OLED show
  • Stock Android 10 interface

Bad

  • Limited digicam capabilities
  • Disappointing processor efficiency
  • Fast charging shouldn’t be quick sufficient
  • Better selections at this value level
  • The 21:9 format stays a fad

Sony Xperia 10 II launch date and value

The Sony Xperia 10 II has been out there since June 12, 2020, at a value of €369 ($400) in a single configuration of 128GB of storage and 4GB of RAM. In the United Kingdom, the value is £319. It arrives in a few colours: black and white.

 

Sony Xperia 10 II: who is that this smartphone for?

With its value of round $400, the Sony Xperia 10 II has clearly positioned itself within the extremely aggressive mid-range smartphone section. At 
this value level, we discover a 6-inch OLED show in Full HD+ decision, a 60 Hz refresh fee, a Snapdragon 665 processor, and 4GB of RAM to be par for the course.

At the again of this machine lies a triple digicam module that delivers a 12-megapixel shooter, accompanied by a telephoto lens and an ultra-wide-angle sensor, a fingerprint reader on the sting, IP 65/68 certification, a 3,600 mAh battery with 18W fast charging, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

So that we’re clear about it, that is not a flagship killer but the technical specs are removed from being poor and are rather more dreamy than these of its predecessor, the Sony Xperia 10 which was launched final yr. However, at this value level, the Sony Xperia 10 II has some critical competitors on the market: the Realme 6 Pro (€350), the Google Pixel 3a ($399), and the Redmi Note 9 Pro (€299).

It is clearly supposed for Sony fanboys who swear by the model. But it additionally has, on paper, the whole lot to please followers of compact, utilitarian, and usually easy-to-use smartphones. In any case, it’s rather more inexpensive than its large brother, the Sony Xperia 1 II, which sells for a whopping €1,199 (round $1,350)!

 

I preferred the Sony Xperia 10 II for…

… Its compact and neat design from prime to backside

From the primary time I laid eyes on the Sony Xperia 10 II, I instantly considered
Google’s Pixel 4.
The easy glass again and the borders accompanied by a matte black end are actually a terrific combo on the eyes. The entrance retains a large chin in addition to a fairly notable brow (waist/display ratio of 77%). Thankfully, the display shouldn’t be punctuated by a notch or a punch.

The glass again of the Sony Xperia 10 II includes a digicam module that continues to be discreet. / © NextPit

One of the perfect issues concerning the rear digicam module is that this: it has been organized in a slim island that protrudes little or no, a lot to my pleasure. With its 21:9 format, the smartphone may be very lengthy and but additionally very slim. It may be very straightforward to make use of with one hand and matches in my palm completely. I’ve by no means been afraid to drop it and I actually loved its safe grip. The fingerprint reader on the sting can also be situated in the precise place, the place it’s neither too excessive nor too low with a formidable recognition time.

It’s additionally ultralight, tipping the scales at 150 grams. While this isn’t probably the most flashy smartphone round, but I actually preferred its easy, smooth, and primal look that’s bolstered by the marginally tough matte plastic borders.

AndroidPIT Sony Xperia 10 II usb
The glass again & matte plastic edges combo jogs my memory quite a lot of the Google Pixel 4’s design. / © NextPit

You can discover all the Sony Xperia 10 II’s pictures by AndroidPIT in this Google Photos album.

… Its OLED show (but stays a fad)

The Sony Xperia 10 II includes a 6-inch OLED panel as a substitute of the LCD panel discovered on the earlier mannequin. My different colleagues who’ve an eye fixed for element have seen calibration issues with colours which can be too chilly by default, the place they have a tendency to show blue.

However, this smartphone comes with many tweakable settings the place the white stability and RGB curve are involved, that are sufficient to cowl many of the DCI-P3 spectrum (the vary of colours seen to the human eye. Full HD+ in 2520 x 1080 (457 dpi) decision is passable, but switching again to a 60 Hz is fairly a let-down in 2020.

AndroidPIT Sony Xperia 10 II front
The OLED show of the Sony Xperia 10 II is kind of good, but the 21:9 format shouldn’t be very related. / © NextPit

I, due to this fact, welcome the transition to OLED which could be mentioned to be partly profitable. But I still have not modified my thoughts concerning the 21:9 display format, which stays, for my part, a easy fad, particularly with such a “small” diagonal measurement. Whether you might be enjoying a sport or watching movies, you’ll have to cope with the black edges of the show (on the chin and brow) in addition to large borders on both sides when having fun with YouTube or Netflix.

Often you may simply should stretch the display, as on different 20:9 screens, which is fairly disappointing for a format that boasts of immersion. Especially since when my large thumbs mixed with the large edges on both sides of the picture lead to far much less visibility on the show. Hence, that is an excellent factor for the display of the Sony Xperia 10 II.

… Its intuitiveness (but has a really, very gradual charger)

This is the large spotlight of the Sony Xperia 10 II, because it usually is at this value vary. The battery life is just glorious and but the three,600 mAh battery is nothing to boast about in 2020. With the GoMark benchmark, the Sony Xperia 10 II lasted 12 hours (display on repeatedly) earlier than having the remaining battery life drop beneath the 20% mark.

In precise use, the smartphone very simply holds up for 2 full days of “normal” use. I did not even have to make use of the battery saver or “Stamina” mode”. Sony also offers a “Battery Care Mode” that adapts to your utilization and stops charging the smartphone totally if you’re not utilizing it in any respect to protect its life.

sony xperia 10 ii battery
The Sony Xperia 10 II has the most effective battery lifetimes in the marketplace and has one of many slowest charging instances. / © NextPit

On the opposite hand, the recharge may be very, very, very gradual. The smartphone accepts 18W quick charging, but Sony solely offers a 7.5W charger. Four hours and 10 minutes to go from 34% to 100% battery life is just unacceptable at the moment. This grates much more when you realize that the Realme 6 Pro comes with a 30W charger proper out of the field.

In a nutshell: its design, display, and particularly battery life are the robust factors of the Sony Xperia 10 II, but it’s only the intuitiveness of the smartphone that basically surpasses its opponents. Let’s check out the weak factors now.

I preferred the Sony Xperia much less for…

… Its crawling efficiency which spoils its good interface

The Sony Xperia 10 II includes a Snapdragon 665 SoC and 4GB of RAM. This is much less spectacular on paper in comparison with a Realme 6 Pro or Redmi Note 9 Pro, the place each of them come outfitted with the Snapdraon 720G chipset and are offered at a less expensive value level. This configuration is just like that of the Redmi Note 8T, the place Xiaomi’s handset is offered for half the value.

In phrases of efficiency, the Sony Xperia lags behind. Badly. I significantly felt it when enjoying the sport Call of Duty: Mobile, the place I needed to severely restrict my graphics settings with the Adreno 618 GPU. As if that isn’t unhealthy sufficient, I additionally felt the slowdown when it got here to dealing with extra conventional, on a regular basis utilization.

sony xperia 10 ii interface 2
The interface of the Sony Xperia 10 II may be very near Android 10 inventory. / © NextPit

The interface in Android 10 inventory mode may be very straightforward on the eyes. However, as quickly as you start multitasking, the smartphone slows down drastically. Launching massive functions can generally take seconds, and the 4GB of RAM doesn’t appear to assist in any method in any respect.

This is kind of a pity as a result of the interface itself appears to be like fairly good. It’s smooth and really minimalist when it comes to visuals. We’ve received the basic settings of darkish mode, gesture navigation, and different digital wellness choices. Sony has additionally built-in a shortcut pane to launch your favourite apps, provide a one-handed show, and native multi-window functionality.

There is a pane, which is seen within the type of a small vertical bar on the precise aspect of the display, additionally serves as a “back” button in the event you pull it down, which is a large plus for one-handed use.

… Its digicam module too restricted and the AI must work extra time

The Sony Xperia 10 II comes with a triple digicam module on the again:

  • a 12 MP f/2 wide-angle sensor (26 mm)
  • a 12 MP telephoto lens with 2 f/2.4x zoom (52 mm) 
  • an ultra-wide-angle sensor 8MP f/2.4 (16mm)

Sony’s digicam app shouldn’t be probably the most intuitive, and the totally different modes should not all the time clearly identifiable at first look. By day, the rendering does all proper but it still falls effectively beneath what a Google Pixel 3a, which was launched final yr, can provide.

The focus is capricious and the publicity very poorly managed. Before every shot, I discovered the picture to be far too darkish on the display. Instinctively, I tapped the display to mechanically alter the publicity and I all the time ended up with an overexposed scene.

sony xperia 10 ii photo zoom2 correction3
The x1, x2 and x10 pictures with out publicity correction (left) and with (proper). / © NextPit

So I left the smartphone alone within the automobile with out touching something. And the photographs turned out to be certainly fairly darkish. The dynamic vary is just too slender. Sony even provides to “correct the lighting” afterwards, to make the photographs artificially brighter and due to this fact much more palatable to the eyes.

In actuality, the corrections made didn’t change a lot, besides that it overexposes the photographs if they’re already fairly vibrant, which finally ends up unbalancing the dynamic vary much more and saturating the colours that have been accurately reproduced within the authentic image.

sony xperia 10 ii photo zoom2 correction4
Colorimetry is still fairly effectively managed on the Sony Xperia 10 II. / © NextPit

I’m going to modify to the 8MP selfie digicam now, which sounds much better on paper than it’s in actual life, similar to the “telephoto lens” which provides a fairly correct optical zoom of x2, but solely at x2. Once it goes past this magnification, there’s a noticeable lack of data, and the utmost 10x zoom provided by Sony is simply usable, nothing extra.

At evening, the consequence suffers from the identical issues as throughout the daytime but is additional aggravated by the dearth of sunshine. We have quite a lot of digital noise, even with the evening mode turned on, the place the picture lacks sharpness for the reason that software program smooths the scene excessively, in an effort to restrict the quantity of noise.

Lighting correction will also be utilized to pictures taken in evening mode, the place an overlay of filters solely saturates the colours and impairs white stability within the course of.

sony xperia 10 ii photo mode nuit
The evening mode of the Sony Xperia 10 II with and with out publicity compensation, and a selfie taken with out evening mode. / © NextPit

In short, Sony has determined to settle for the same digicam formulation for the Xperia 10 II in 2020 because it did with the Xperia 1 that was launched final yr. Unsurprisingly, the result’s unfavorable. It’s clearly not an excellent digicam cellphone at this value level.

You can discover all of the pictures taken by the Sony Xperia 10 II by AndroidPIT in this Google Photos album.

Conclusion: Is the Sony Xperia 10 II a good selection?

The Sony Xperia 10 II marks an enormous step ahead from the earlier technology, but it is still not sufficient.

We go from an LCD display on the Xperia 10 I to a pleasant OLED show, but whose 21:9 format stays a fad for my part. The intuitiveness is just glorious, which is among the many finest in the marketplace, but the recharging functionality is unfortunately one of many slowest (with the included battery pack). You would do effectively to select up a third-party charger as effectively.

Everyday efficiency functionality and pictures are large disappointments, even for a mid-range mannequin. If you are on the lookout for a digicam cellphone at lower than $400, the Sony Xperia 10 II is clearly not a good selection and I like to recommend a Google Pixel 3a as a substitute.

In phrases of energy, a Redmi Note 9 Pro does higher, on paper not less than (I have not reviewed it but), with its Snapdragon 720G and 6GB of RAM, which sells near $100 lower than the Xperia 10 II.

So I don’t advise you to purchase the Sony Xperia 10 II, in any case not on the value of four-hundred bucks as a result of you’ll find one thing higher or not less than pretty much as good for $50 and even $100 cheaper from different handsets available in the market. This is until you’re a hard-core fan of the model, wherein any case my overview may have no influence in your last buy determination anyway.

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