The Sony Xperia 10 II is a midrange phone from Sony that comes with a long 21: 9 aspect ratio and IP68 water resistance, just like the more expensive Xperia 1 II. I was allowed to test the device.
Sony Xperia 10 II
Sony has a successor to its Xperia 10, called Xperia 10 II (369 euros) and pronounced as ‘Xperia 10 Mark 2’. The concept of that phone is that it feels like a slimmed-down version of the Xperia 1 II flagship (1199 euros).
Sony has opted for a long and slim 21: 9 image format with its phones since last year, and that line is also extended to the Xperia 10 II. I was able to test the phone to see how strong it stands against the many competitors in this price range.
The first thing I noticed about the Sony Xperia 10 II were two things. The elongated shape of the phone and the fact that the phone is extremely lightweight. The smartphone has a glass front and back, Corning Gorilla Glass 6, and it is IP68 certified and therefore water-resistant.
That is a feature that you do not often find with comparable phones from the same price range and the choice for the latest version of Gorilla Glass is a striking feature. The glass housing makes the phone incredibly smooth.
The phone, therefore, slides very easily from your hands and pocket, from the back of the sofa and from the table. I really experienced that as a disadvantage. It’s like having a bar of soap in your hands. I expect this can be remedied with a case. In addition, it is also like a magnet for fabric.
The sides and buttons of the Xperia 10 II are made of plastic, which still gives a somewhat cheap feeling. The phone has a USB-C connection and a 3.5 mm audio jack. The power button of this Sony phone doubles as a fingerprint scanner, and it works very smoothly too.
So, thanks to the IP68 certification and the Gorilla Glass 6, Sony boasts remarkable features for phones in that price range, but it is also special that the manufacturer opts for a cheaper plastic frame that is also more sensitive to scratches.
The Sony Xperia 10 II has a 16: 9 AMOLED screen of 6 inches. Sony uses its characteristic 21: 9 aspect ratio, and you are either very much in favor of it or opponent. The special ratio offers advantages when you watch certain films, but videos recorded in 16: 9 seem somewhat strange due to the wide screen edges.
Sony also wants to enable better multitasking on the longer screen by opening two apps together on the screen, so you can type an email and watch a YouTube video, for example. Still, the function feels a bit awkward, and certainly because certain apps do not support the feature.
The colors of the screen are also very beautiful and realistic, but I was disappointed by the display in strong sunlight. The screen is less readable than you would like. The panel also has the same, durable Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection as on the glass back, so you are optimally protected against scratches and fall damage.
A less good point is the wide screen edges that Sony still chooses, because they are less beautiful than what we see from some other devices. The Xperia 10 II has a screen-to-body ratio of 77.6 percent. The phone also doesn’t come with some form of advanced facial recognition, which often explains the wide edges.
Sony’s Xperia 10 II comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor, just like the OPPO A72 (269 euros) and the Moto G8 Power Motorola (229 euros). You only notice that we mention two phones that have a lower price range, and that price range is, therefore, a more logical choice for this chipset, The phone has 4 GB RAM and a more generous 128 GB storage.
In practice, you will notice that the phone is usually able to withstand almost all tasks, but sometimes it takes a bit more time to perform certain tasks in apps. The device can play most Android games properly, but some games that require more graphics power sometimes show frame drops.
Sony’s middle class has a 3600 mAh battery, which is a normal size considering the size of the device. The phone will last for a day in normal use, and you certainly don’t have to worry about making it to the end of the day with the Xperia 10 II.
The phone also has an 18-watt fast charger, which is not the most powerful that we find with a phone in this price range. The OnePlus Nord (399 euros), for example, has a 30-watt charger. Unfortunately, we could not test the fast charging during the review period because it was not included with our test device.
With the Xperia 10 II you get three cameras on the back. First, there is a 12 MP main camera, followed by an 8 MP wide-angle camera, which shoots images at an angle of 120 degrees, and an 8 MP telephoto camera.
The latter offers 2 MP optical zoom. I was usually very satisfied with the photos that the Xperia 10 II delivers and in particular with the realistic colors. The tele camera is less strong, because if you zoom in more than 2x, the quality will quickly decrease. Finally, there is the 12 MP selfie camera that shoots beautiful images.
Below you will find in the first gallery three pictures taken respectively with the Xperia 10’s wide-angle, main camera and telephoto camera. In the second gallery, you will find two other pictures taken with the main camera, including one in underexposed conditions.
The Sony Xperia 10 II runs on Android 10 and its own pleasant software shell that is pretty close to a bare Android experience. Sony also offers the split-screen display of apps that were discussed earlier in this review, and a sidebar on the home screen where you can find your most important apps.
You can also set the apps you want to use in the sidebar. Recently we contacted all phone manufacturers in the Netherlands to ask them about the update policy for their smartphones, and here you can find Sony’s answer.
The company says only that it updates its smartphones to “industry standards”, but the company does not provide concrete information about how long and at what frequency it will continue to update the Xperia 10 II.
Sony’s Xperia 10 II is a bit quirky, as we’ve come to expect from the company. The phone comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection and an IP68 water resistance certificate, but on the other hand, it has a plastic frame and chipset that is less strong than you expect from a phone that costs 369 euros.
The OnePlus Nord, for example, has a Snapdragon 765G chipset and a firmer portion of RAM which guarantees faster performance and support for 5G. Still, Sony’s quirkiness is also a plus, because there will undoubtedly be consumers who are attracted by the 21: 9 screen.
The Xperia 10 II has a great screen that is particularly suitable for those who like to watch films on their smartphone, for example. The screen only does not have a higher 90 Hz refresh rate that we do find with some other phones in this price range. On the other hand, the phone has a nice, bare-bones software shell without too many bells and whistles.
Alternatives for the Sony Xperia 10 II are the OnePlus Nord (399 euros), Samsung Galaxy A51 (369 euros), OPPO A91 (299 euros), or the Motorola Moto G 5G Plus (349 euros).
Buy Sony Xperia 10 II
The Sony Xperia 10 II is available in the colors black and white. The suggested retail price is 369 euros. You can disconnect the phone here and purchase it here with a subscription.