Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

Content

  1. Introduction
  2. Positioning
  3. TECH SPECS
  4. Equipment
  5. First impressions. Design
  6. Side Sense sidebar
  7. Battery
  8. Camera
  9. As a conclusion

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

I don’t know why, but even for me, a person who has never been exposed to the magic of Sony, it was always pleasant to hold phones of this brand in my hands, be it push-button dialers or smartphones. In some magical way, the notorious Sony style conveys a whole range of positive emotions as soon as the phone is in the palm of your hand. Perhaps, like many people over 40, I have certain memories from the past with this brand, when Sony confidently kept the brand and occupied a leading position in the market. Let those days irrevocably pass, but the experiences and sensations of owning a device with the legendary logo firmly stuck in the heads of many fans. The question of convenience, functionality and quality is already in second place for them. At least for now. The main thing is involvement in the era.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

Sony Ericsson K750i

Perhaps someone is not in the know, but the Japanese strictly differentiate the concepts “for themselves” and “for everyone else.” Traditional arrogance and arrogance towards foreigners are always latently present in the minds of all Japanese manufacturers who produce goods both for the domestic market and for export. A right-handed Camry will never look like the one your neighbor drives. There is a qualitative gap between them. Experienced experts and residents of Primorye will confirm my words. And what is important, this applies not only to motor vehicles, but also to other things. All the best is for your loved ones, and you can sell a product with a worse quality to a “gaijin”, so let him rejoice at what they give. Oddly enough, the Japanese continue to adhere to this philosophy even now, when the country’s economy is not at its best level of development.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

Sony XPERIA 10 II is not officially presented in Russia. The model was announced in February 2020 along with the top-end XPERIA 1 II, but never made it to our country. Only the current flagship is presented on the official Russian Sony website. I don’t know what exactly these restrictions are connected with, but at the moment you can buy XPERIA 10 II only in full. The device came to me in the color of menthol (Mint), causing, oddly enough, a storm of positive emotions on the fly. The line also includes black, blue and white options.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 IIReview of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

Positioning

In Japan, XPERIA 10 II is sold by the big three local operators. NTT Docomo and Y! Mobile (Softbank) sell it in all four colors, while Au only offered black, white and menthol. All phones are initially locked to their own operator and will work with third-party SIM cards only after unlocking. Good or bad, there is no SIM-free version for local virtual operators yet. Nevertheless, I got my hands on the officially unlocked XPERIA 10 II from the operator Y! Mobile. After the very first turn on, the phone caught the 4G signal of MegaFon without any problems.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

Sony’s marketers are backing the industry standard by making the new XPERIA 10 II “compact”. If the flagship XPERIA 1 II is designed for the widest possible range of interactions, then the “baby” XPERIA 10 II is focused more on people who prefer ease of use with their smartphone. How comfortable it is in everyday life with its elongated 6-inch “cinema” (21: 9) screen, I will tell below.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

Few people know that the XPERIA 10 version of the smartphone was not officially presented in Japan. It would seem, what prevents from selling the junior model in parallel with the flagship. Nevertheless, Sony marketers decided to sell it anywhere but in Japan. With the new XPERIA 10 II, the decision was made in a completely different way. Yes, in Japan it still appeared, but, for example, in the same Europe it came out with some restrictions on color, and in the USA it was not presented at all.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

The current range of Sony smartphones for the Japanese market

And at the end of August, Sony presents an ultra-budget XPERIA 8 lite by Japanese standards, which is not sold anywhere except in Japan. In general, with some models, Sony is still a mess. Agree, in an amicable way, in the situation in which the company is now, any adequate management must make one single correct decision – to spill as many markets as possible. However, Sony would not be Sony if it did that. By the way, marketing is lame to one degree or another not only for this company, but also for all other Japanese smartphone manufacturers, including Sharp, Fujitsu and Kyocera. Alas, the experience of NEC, Panasonic and others who closed their mobile directions did not teach anyone anything.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

TECH SPECS

It should be noted right away that the Japanese versions of Sony smartphones have always differed from their overseas counterparts. In addition to the qualitative difference (materials, glue, and even bolts), most often the main differences were in the amount of user memory and battery capacity. Also, Japanese Sony have always been deprived of a slot for 2 SIM cards. The only exception is the compact XPERIA Ace, sold by virtual Japanese operators. The SO-02L version for NTT Docomo has a slot for only one SIM card. This model, by the way, is also not sold anywhere except in Japan.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

Considering the price niche in which the XPERIA 10 II acts, the smartphone is considered quite budgetary, again, by local standards. You should not compare its cost with the cost of similar models in the same Russia. It must be remembered that Japanese salaries and prices have always differed from Russian ones, and, accordingly, the standard of living is also different.

The XPERIA 10 II features a 6 ″ FHD + widescreen (21: 9) OLED display protected by Gorilla Glass 6. The heart of the smartphone is powered by a mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 2 processor at 665 GHz, and data is kept safe by 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of ROM. The amount of user memory in the “Japanese” is exactly 2 times less than that of the same European counterpart. For some, this will become an unambiguous disadvantage, however, with the presence of a slot for a memory card (maximum 1 TB), this problem disappears by itself. The phone only supports one SIM card (nanoSIM).

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

The main camera is equipped with three CMOS modules: 16mm ultra wide-angle (120 °) 8MP, standard 26mm 12MP and 52mm telephoto 8MP. The front camera is represented by one 8 MP CMOS module with a viewing angle of 84 °. The built-in battery capacity is 3600 mAh, and the case is protected from water and dust according to the IP68 standard. XPERIA 10 II has all the connectivity options including Wi-Fi a / b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS and USB-C. On the right side, a fingerprint scanner is built into the power button, and a standard 3,5 mm minijack is provided for connecting to wired headphones.

Out of the box, the owner receives a fully Russified Android 10 Q, which can receive updates over the air without any problems even outside Japan and the home network.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

We must clearly understand that the Sony XPERIA 10 II is devoid of flagship ambitions and it is simply stupid to demand the impossible from it. Yes, he is ready to work every day in the sweat of his brow, carrying out the monotonous average orders of his master, but his inner world will not allow him to fight for the title of “ideal smartphone”. So the future owner should optimize their “Wishlist” in advance and try to come to terms with the harsh reality. Nevertheless, the phone coped well with the same Asphalt 9 on standard settings, warming up by about 5 degrees after half an hour. In general, it seemed to me that it would be very difficult to warm up the XPERIA 10 II with some daily processes. At least I failed to do this.

  • Operating system: OS Android 10 Q, 100% Russification out of the box
  • Standards support: GSM, 3G, LTE
  • Processor: 2.0GHz, eight-core, Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • ROM: 64GB
  • Display: 6 ″, FullHD +, 2520 × 1080 pix, 21: 9, OLED, Gorilla Glass 6, 16 million colors
  • Main camera: triple, 12 + 8 + 8 MP, CMOS, 4K video recording, 120 ° wide-angle lens, autofocus, LED flash
  • Front camera: 8MP, CMOS, 80 ° wide-angle lens, fullHD video recording
  • Memory card support: microSDXC up to 1 TB
  • The fingerprint scanner
  • NFC
  • GPS / GLONASS
  • Wi-Fi a / b / g / n / ac
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • USB Type-C
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 fast charge function
  • Protection against water, moisture and dust (IPX5, IPX8, IP6X)
  • Battery: Li-Ion, 3600 mAh
  • Dimensions: 157x69x8.2 mm
  • Weight: 151 g
Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 IIReview of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

Equipment

In terms of staffing with all kinds of bonuses, the Sony XPERIA 10 II is on a par with its Japanese counterparts. Dry Japanese pragmatism, bordering on hopeless greed, awaits the future owner. There are no accessories other than two instructions in Japanese in the box. To at least charge your phone, you’ll have to get a USB-C cable in advance.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

First impressions. Design

As I mentioned at the beginning of the review, the first impressions of a live specimen in my hands surpassed all my expectations, although, I must admit, initially I did not expect anything special from a phone in such a cute color. Most of all I was pleasantly surprised by the color, which, in combination with the even, minimalistic and even rustic exterior, painted the very Sony style image in my brain. The sensations of ten years ago immediately surfaced in my mind. Against the background of everything that most of the top manufacturers offer, Sony definitely stands out.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

The first sensations are the most important and memorable. Lightweight (151 g) and narrow (69 mm) smartphone body fits perfectly in the palm of your hand. The matte seamless frame and glossy back wall contrast perfectly, while tactilely in harmony with each other. No eclecticism! The light blue color gives the smartphone even more airiness. Wide by modern standards offsets from the screen do not attract attention at all. Anyone else, but, at least, they certainly did not inflict any psychological trauma on me. But the elongated screen immediately made itself felt.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

You cannot easily reach the top edge of the display with your thumb without prior preparation. I recommend that your fingers do yoga beforehand. Therefore, I strongly reject the idea of ​​considering the XPERIA 10 II compact. And that is why I am genuinely surprised to perceive the loud statements of some manufacturers about the “compactness” of 6-inch smartphones. I am one of those people who does not like it when black is called white and long is called short. What can I say, if the recently introduced 6.1 ″ XPERIA 5 II the Japanese give out as the standard of “compactness”. If you try not to pay attention to this “small” nuance in the process of testing, then in everyday life, especially in situations where you cannot use the phone with both hands, it can simply drive some people crazy. Therefore, at the moment, the good old Sharp AQUOS R2 compact remains the standard of convenience for me.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

Sharp AQUOS R2 compact and Sony XPERIA 10 II

The elongated 21: 9 cinematic display has long become the hallmark of modern Sony smartphones. On the one hand, in some scenarios, it allows you to use your smartphone with even greater comfort than with standard 18: 9 (games, watching movies, multiple windows, reading e-books), on the other hand, it simply interferes with the perception of a smartphone as a full-fledged and harmonious device for everyday work. …

Sony smartphones are one of the few whose displays are devoid of all sorts of cutouts, bangs, drops, chins, etc. Good or bad is a subjective question. Personally, I don’t care if the display has such cutouts or not. During operation, I do not pay attention to this at all. I repeat once again, these are my personal feelings, and for the majority of “seasoned and experienced experts” they, of course, seem biased and even far-fetched.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

The quality of the OLED display remains excellent until you look at it through the camera lens. By reducing the brightness of the screen below average, you can get an optimal picture in terms of color and light level for future viewing. And then you immediately pay attention to the quality of the matrix used. PWM is off scale. You cannot see these disturbances with the naked eye, but they still affect vision.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

The viewing angles seemed to me not the best. The picture instantly loses its richness and contrast. You can calm yourself only with the thought that you will hardly ever look at the screen from such an angle. The standard refresh rate is 60 Hz. No HDR support. The pixel density is 457 ppi. But the absence of any fashionable chips has a positive effect on autonomy.

In general, personally, I am of the opinion that when assessing the quality of a smartphone screen, it is better to have another smartphone at hand, and preferably the one that most consider “reference”. What nonsense, someone might say. And there is! After all, what kind of housewife like me would use two smartphones at the same time, and even constantly compare their screens, making sure that one of them broadcasts an excellent picture, and the other – interference. The logic is zero. Therefore, here we again return to the question of comparing our financial capabilities with needs.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 IIReview of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

Interface examples:

Above the display are the standard elements: a speaker, a front camera, proximity / lighting sensors and an indicator light. Unfortunately, the auditory speaker cannot work as a loudspeaker in tandem with the lower speaker, and very much in vain, because with such a chic cinema display, the stereo effect would be very useful here. Nevertheless, the interlocutor can be heard clearly and without interference, unless, of course, the poor reception quality of the cellular network interferes.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

Sony has long since ditched any buttons under the displays of its smartphones. How practical it is, everyone decides for himself. However, sensory counterparts do an excellent job of their role.

A speaker is hidden between the glass and the edge of the frame. Its volume is sufficient even for a congested street. However, the dynamics lacks at least some low-frequency rendering. He yells more than impressive.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

Side Sense sidebar

In my case, the proprietary Side Sense side panel became the real salvation from the non-standard elongated screen. However, I had to get used to this decision. The very fact of the presence of such a functional “crutch” on the screen suggests that the manufacturer has clearly provided for it with an eye on such fastidious “shorties” like me.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

The most difficult thing was to remember such an opportunity at the right time. A thin strip hides at the right edge of the screen, if you double-click on it, a quick launch menu for frequently used applications appears next to your right thumb. There are also main settings menus, backup icons for quick launch from the top panel, as well as icons for enabling one-handed and multi-window modes. For the latter, it is even possible to create a couple of applications that will open at the same time (Youtube + WhatsApp, Gallery + Mail, etc.). For convenience, the panel can be moved vertically depending on the length of your fingers.

At the top there is a microphone and a 3,5 mm jack for wired headphones. Truly high quality for both wired and wireless audio can be appreciated thanks to support for Hi-Res, Hi-Res Wireless and LDAC. And the presence of DSEE HX technology will allow you to listen to audio files in a quality that is not inferior to branded CDs. The maximum listening experience, of course, could be achieved when paired with the original Sony headphones, although the already high quality was felt even in the ordinary Jabra Elite Active 65t. Evaluating the audio part of a smartphone is a purely subjective process. Personally, everything suited me in the sound of XPERIA 10 II.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

The sled for the SIM card and memory card are hidden behind a waterproof flap on the left side.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 IIReview of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

The USB-C connector and microphone, protected from the inside, cut into the bottom end. In order to save money, the developers have deprived the smartphone of the wireless charging function, while increasing the capacity of the battery itself.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 IIReview of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

On the right side there are volume and power buttons. In the latter, according to the old tradition, a fingerprint scanner is integrated. The quality of his work did not cause any complaints from me. Registration of new and recognition of already saved fingerprints is quick and without false positives. Unfortunately, the XPERIA 10 II lacks face unlock, so the fingerprint scanner remains the only way to uniquely authenticate.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 IIReview of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

In the upper part of the rear wall there is the main camera and an LED flash, which also acts as a flashlight. In the center and below there are corporate logos. The rear panels of the three Japanese versions of the Sony XPERIA 10 II (NTT Docomo, Au and Y! Mobile) differ exclusively in lettering.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 IIReview of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

Battery

And here the Japanese have surpassed themselves. Sony engineers have managed to cram a 3600 mAh battery, adequate in its capacity, into a rather elegant body. Compared to the previous XPERIA 10 with its 2870 mAh battery, the current generation looks like a real revolution. In my harsh test mode on a single charge, the phone confidently lasted for almost two days. Either Wi-Fi or mobile Internet was always on, calls were about 30-40 minutes, a lot of Chrome, a lot of social networks and mail, about 35-40 photos and a dozen videos from the camera. Yes, sure 2 days with a break for the night, when the phone was waiting for me to wake up. During sleep, the battery sat down by only 4%.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 IIReview of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

Camera

For the first time in history, Sony has a triple camera: standard (12 MP), wide-angle (8 MP) and telephoto (8 MP). I am not claiming that this fact somehow radically affected the final quality, but the overall picture is prettier. However, if on the screen of a 21 ″ monitor, photos and videos look as natural as possible, albeit not very clear, on the screen of a smartphone, a more “tasty” marketing presentation immediately catches your eye. Therefore, you should immediately determine for yourself whose position is objective for you.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

In terms of functionality, the camera fulfills 100%. It will be enough for most of the needs of any average housewife: from Instagram to 4K video. The maximum photo resolution is 4000x3000p. The 21: 9 widescreen resolution is 4032x1728p. This format, for example, is ideal for shooting sunsets or the surface of the sea.

The artificial intelligence system easily detects lighting levels and shooting conditions. There is a night shooting mode, which radically affects the final color rendition and white balance. Dark areas are immediately filled with natural light, becoming more defined, while contrasting areas are perfectly balanced. In other words, taking pictures of the evening sunset or night city in the usual mode is strictly prohibited on the XPERIA 10 II.

However, there are also downsides. Throughout my testing, I still haven’t managed to get clear night shots. 98% of the photos are blurry. Electronic stabilization is clearly a mess, so in order to get a photo of perfect clarity, you will have to install the phone on a stationary surface and work with a timer. Ideally, use a tripod. For this reason, I would not call the XPERIA 10 II a suitable smartphone for night photography. The ideal conditions for this camera are sunny weather.

Sample Photos

The video quality became even more controversial for me. The stated stabilization is performing poorly. But the clarity is sufficient even at night. Maximum video resolution 4K 3840x2160p @ 30fps. It is possible to record 1080p video at 60fps.

As a conclusion

After several days of thorough mockery of the XPERIA 10 II, I became even more convinced that modern Sony phones are made exclusively for fans of the brand. Double feelings. It seems like the company is moving forward, increasing technological fat, and on the other hand, it severely restricts access to the body, setting uncompetitive price tags, which ultimately is a decisive factor in a potential buyer’s buying decision. All this speaks of an ill-conceived (read – criminal) brand promotion strategy, primarily in the global market. Hence the corresponding status of Sony’s mobile division, which exists on the “shob boulo” principle.

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

As for the smartphone itself, in the case of the XPERIA 10 II, I fully felt the influence of the brand, which initially affected my positive opinion. However, as we moved deeper, in every possible way resisting the witchcraft of Sony, I still drew for myself a list of the main pros and cons of the smartphone. The biggest stone that pulls the XPERIA 10 II to the bottom is its price, which is completely out of step with its specifications. I’m sure you yourself can throw me a lot of examples of technically charged “Chinese” of different stripes with a more humane price tag. Here Sony will lose outright. Another weak point of the phone for me personally was the camera, or rather, some of its modes, which do not allow us to consider it even ideal. Yes, I have my own list of criteria that my smartphone must meet. And if I choose a tool for my daily work, and this is how I evaluate my phone, then the camera takes one of the first places there. With the advent of two children in the family, the quality of photos and videos began to play an important role for me. At the same time, I absolutely do not care how smoothly Asphalt drives on the phone or how many stereo speakers it has. First of all, the dimensions are important for me and, as a result, the ability to use the phone with one hand. The Sony XPERIA 10 II partly copes with this task.

As for the pluses, they undoubtedly exist here, starting from the authentic exterior, especially in such a kawaii color, and ending with a lot of attractive user gadgets in the form of a widescreen screen with a really convenient multi-window, large battery and, as a result, weighty autonomy. Yes, the XPERIA 10 II fits comfortably in your hand. Everyone who first picks up a phone in their hand pays attention to this. For many, the question of the convenience of manipulating the screen with one hand is not at all worth it. Apparently I’m the only one.

In general, the phone turned out to be a confident average, but with a price tag above average. Sony adepts will go with a bang! How do you like this kid?

Review of the Japanese version of Sony XPERIA 10 II

XPERIA 10 II and Sony Reon Pocket mobile air conditioner

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Dmitry Provorov (obrakin@gmail.com)

Published – 01 October 2020

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