Wednesday, 31 August 2016

☴ Review: Sony Xperia X Performance (Dual SIM F8132- 64GB - Unlocked)

Lime Gold Sony Xperia X Performance - Dual SIM / F8132 / 64GB
Why would anyone buy this phone?

That was the consensus I kept reading at the Android pop sites. Indie reviews are thin on the ground so you'd be forgiven for thinking this phone is a turkey.

So why would I buy the Sony Xperia X Performance (XP) when so many websites are saying it's a very disappointing phone and there are better alternatives out there in 2016.

I've thought about this, and, ultimately, it's consistency.

I have come to value consistency and relative predictability in my pocket computing devices for these are the staples of reliability.
Sony TRRRS jack present

Sony has rocketed through iterations from the Z1 to XP and arrived at the current evolution through continual improvement.

That's the first thing professional reviewers remark on - the relatively unchanged look of the Xperia line. Well personally, why mess too much with perfection?

There's a reason the Sony Xperia phone line has earned the nickname 'Kubrick' and it's not just because of a monolithic black slab that can project the cinema screen.

Sony Xperia omni-balance earns nickname 'Kubrick'

Kubrick is renowned for balanced perspective framing in his films and the Xperia line strives for a similar omni-balance.

23MP camera for excellent EIS 1080P video
No camera bump on the Xperia line of phones. Stereo speakers. Stereo (binaural) recording. Expandable storage. Ingress Protection (limited waterproof capability). Buttonless face. Volume rockers tucked out of the way. Dedicated camera button. ClearAudio+. Best EIS in class. Well positioned microphones. No SIM tool required to open the tray.

No 4K. Not a loss to me. On a 5" screen what possible good does pixel density that high do that a FHD 1080P display can't do? Just like the lacking 4K video recording which is currently a gimmick and most cinemas you've been to project at 2K and you haven't even noticed.

1080P display, why would you need 4K at 5" size
In short, the Xperia X Performance brings a lot to an Airninja table and jettisons a lot of faddy fluff that is mere distraction and bandwidth hogging. I am primarily concerned with the quality of binaural recording with video.

Sony invented the Walkman. Even the company name is partly derived from Sonus.

Sony, having had it's ups and downs for sure, has movies in its DNA from the mutation with Columbia Pictures. Sony sensors helped capture Star Wars films digitally before it was cool.

Sony consistently delivers a functional form factor that helps me get binaural AV work done with minimal fuss (I have previously owned the Z2, Z3+, and Z5C amongst other brands of smartphones).

Here's a video recorded with my Z5C unboxing the new XP underwater:

A great all-rounder with well thought out design and engineering that adds value to audio-visual recording in the form of consistent quality of binaural video coupled with excellent standard of electronic image stabilisation (EIS).

Populist specifications such as QHD display and 4K video recording are not implemented. Retail price isn't worth paying once you know the street price, so hunt out a cost saving.

Long video takes can run with a temperature warning in mild ambient conditions especially if something like Google Photos is uploading the previous video you just took in the background over WiFi.

Definitely a pocketable device capable of running with the Airninja Move Method, though the stereo recording crown still belongs to larger Microsoft Lumia 950XL. Beware of recording video with a lot of WiFi background activity since this will lead to heat; remember to put the Xperia into Airplane mode before filming to avoid the problem.


  1. oh so today Sony decide to announce their Xperia XZ which launches in October and looks even better!

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  2. Thank you for the review, these compromises don't seem like much when you're coming from an old HTC One M8. I was going to get the Google Pixel, but I'll get the Xperia X Performance with all of the deals going around. Again, I appreciate the review.

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