Will Sony’s mid-range phone struggle in a competitive field again?
Alongside Sony’s new flagship smartphone – the Xperia 1 II – the company has an even more confusingly named mid-range phone: the Xperia 10 II.
This, according to Sony, should be pronounced “Xperia 10, mark 2” rather than “ten two”, as if you’re giving shorthand of the time, but these things are often beyond companies’ control as Apple knows only too well with the iPhone X (often pronounced “ex” despite Apple’s insistence it should be “ten”).
In any case, it’s a follow up to Sony’s middling Xperia 10. Is the company onto a winner this time around? Let’s find out.
Sony Xperia 10 II: Everything you need to know
Sony Xperia 10 II specifications: What makes it tick?
First up, there’s only one Xperia 10 model this time around. Last year, there was the regular 10 and the 10 Plus, but this time Sony says they’re combined, which is an odd way of putting it – especially when the screen is the same size as last year’s Xperia 10 – but there we are.
The specs, though, have been bumped up a little and while last year’s outings were powered by the somewhat underwhelming Snapdragon 630 (Xperia 10) or 636 processor (Xperia 10 Plus), this time out you’re getting the Snapdragon 665.
That’s the same processor recently seen powering a trio of ~£200 handsets: the Moto G8 Plus, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T and the Oppo A5. Here, it’s backed by a decent 4GB of RAM, which should make for performance that’s solid if not remarkable. The device will ship with 128GB of internal storage and a 3,600mAh battery.
There are, Sony hopes, two trump cards it may have over its cheap and cheerful rivals, and the first of which is the triple-camera array. Sony is packing in a 12-megapixel camera, as well as an 8-megapixel ultra-wide lens and an 8-megapixel telephoto snapper. The company seems especially proud of the imaging algorithms which offer rich colours and textures, apparently, as well as neat features like night mode. As ever, we’ll have to see how they perform in our tests to know if this is based in reality or just your standard marketing hype.
Secondly, there’s the screen, which is the first time Sony has put an OLED screen on a mid-range phone. Like the Xperia 1 II, it’s a 21:9 aspect ratio, meaning the handset is unusually tall, but that’s the same aspect that the majority of Netflix content is shot at, so there is a method behind the madness. Sony’s OLED screens have been pretty good on its phones before, and this one – which includes the company’s Triluminos technology tuned with Bravia – promises big things.
Sony Xperia 10 II price: How much will it cost?
The elephant in the room is price, because Sony has been – to put it charitably – ‘optimistic’ with the pricing of its mid-range offerings in the past. As I said above, this has similar specs to the Moto G8 Plus and Redmi Note 8T – phones that sell for around £200 – and yet the Xperia 10 was £299 at launch, with the Plus version rising to £349.
Sony hasn’t revealed the expected price yet, but I’d be surprised if the company had learned its lesson here and lowered it from the high £299 the Xperia 10 was at launch. In fact, there’s a good chance it’ll be higher.
Sony Xperia 10 II release date: When can you buy it?
The Xperia 10 II will be landing in Europe in “early spring.” That could mean any time in March or April, so look out for our full review soon.