All In For The Display

Sony Xperia 10 II

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

It’s been a while since Sony Mobile brought a mid-range device to Singapore, especially since they’ve announced the ‘defocusing’ of markets around the world. Fast forward to date, we have the mid-range Sony Xperia 10 II, which is the second version of the Sony Xperia 10 smartphone range.

Returning features include the 6-inch, 21:9 display ratio, OLED panel at Full HD+ resolution which fits more vertical content at one glance. Underneath the screen is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 chipset and a 3,600mAh battery powering its cinematic panel.

Despite its mid-range positioning and crisp display, the Sony Xperia 10 II also packs several other flagship smartphone traits. It uses Gorilla Glass 6, which has 1.5 times better drop resistance than the preceding glassware. Adding to that durability is IP65/68-certified water resistance rating, a marked improvement from its predecessor’s unrated resistance. It also has a triple rear camera system - one more lens than before.

Sony doesn’t have a fancy name for the design language used on the Xperia 10 II. It features a tall, somewhat narrow body with the display tucked within thin bezels on every side of the phone. Despite its generic aesthetic, the muted-looking smartphone plays very well into the Xperia 10 II’s look and feel.

Display-wise, the Android 10 device is sharp with excellent colourisation and contrast handling, but it has relatively low maximum brightness, making it tough to browse under direct sunlight even in the late afternoon. If you spend a bulk of your phone time indoors watching videos from downloaded or online sources, the Xperia 10 II would be an excellent choice.

A neat Sony customisation is Side Sense, where the Xperia 10 II comes with an editable, miniature app drawer that can be summoned with a double-tap along the side of the device. This will quickly let a user jump into their preferred app with just one hand. Another neat feature is Multi-Window, where Xperia 10 II fully utilises the 21:9 aspect ratio of the display by placing two apps top-and-bottom of each other.

However, not everything about the phone’s user experience is fine. When unlocking with a PIN, the phone still requires you to hit the ‘enter’ key, which is one extra step that it could do without. Fingerprint detection can be iffy, with a good 50-50 chance with the phone not recognising any of my recorded fingerprints. Finally, there’s a noticeable lag time when firing up apps, loading websites and booting up social media feeds for browsing. Games have longer load times with occasional dips in framerates.

Considering our user experience and its benchmarked scores, we must say that the Xperia 10 II isn’t quite the mid-range beast we wanted it to be. In fact, it posted some rather entry-level benchmark performance, with the delays, loading times, and browsing interruptions all making sense in hindsight.

The triple camera configuration on the Sony Xperia 10 II’s rear is rather straightforward. There are three different lenses for three different shooting scenarios. Leading the pack is a 12MP primary camera. An 8MP telephoto camera follows it for zoomed-in shots. Finally, it also has an 8MP super-wide-angle camera with a 120-degree field of view. The main camera needs a bit more work on handling contrast and brightness, but we can’t deny it handles colour nicely, plus it doesn’t quite leave out details entirely. One surprise is how well the primary camera handles close-ups, managing to retain details and colour even at 2x zoom. As a whole, camera photography is not a selling point of the Xperia 10 II, though it will suffice for general use.

The Xperia 10 II can be a tough phone that looks pretty, but its practicality is hampered by the latency in the little things. Even if you compare phones from the entry-level range, Xiaomi’s Mi A3 has the same Snapdragon 665 processor at a lower price, a bigger 4,030mAh batter capacity with fast-charging technology, and also a triple camera system. It’s a tough competition for the Xperia 10 II here.

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The Xperia 10 II comes with a triple rear camera that covers basic shooting scenarios.
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Sony’s customised interface doesn’t betray the Android 10 system sitting beneath.
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Sony Xperia 10 II, which goes for S$569, packs a stunning display in a tall body.



Qualcomm Snapdragon 665


6.0-inch, 2,520 x 1,080 pixels resolution, OLED


12MP main camera, f/2.0 8MP telephoto, f/2.4 8MP super-wide angle, f/2.2


128GB (microSD expandable up to 1TB)

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Multi-Window on the Xperia 10 II  in action.
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My Reading Room