The box appears all white, but as soon as you remove the top you are greeted with a burst of color - a promise of a multitude of hues to come from the X-Reality display. There's also the huge new logo of the re-branded X-line.
The box itself doesn't hold much - the phone, the manuals, a charger and a cable. We didn't get a headset; maybe that's just the review unit as there's an empty spot in the box, big enough to hold a headset.
It's important to note that while the Xperia X supports Quick Charging, the in-box unit puts out 1.5A at 5V. That's not very powerful, even for a non-quick charger. Packaging in the US is different, though, and includes a Sony UCH10 Quick Charger, which offers Quick Charge 2.0.
We were let down by the basic retail package, especially considering the price point. To be fair, other companies are slimming down their boxes too - the HTC 10 skips the headphones in some markets, and the Galaxy S7 doesn't come with a quick charger everywhere while some LGs come without a fast charger too.
The Sony Xperia X brings the screen size back to 5", so it's slightly smaller than the Z5 (but bigger than the Z5 Compact). It is roughly the same size as an Xperia M5. Slightly heavier though at 153g, in part due to the use of metal. It weighs the same as the Z5.
The Sony Xperia X has been forged in the same fires as the Xperia Z5 - it's a stark and restrained aesthetic of boxy, rectangular design mixed with rounded-off sides and a side-positioned fingerprint reader.
The rounded sides are complimented by the 2.5D glass that slopes into the them. The transition is smooth - a boon for side-swipes and a small but meaningful detail that contributes to the premium feel.
Two notches are cut into the front glass to give the stereo speakers room to let their voice out. They are a throwback to the Z3, unlike the Z5 where they were placed closer to the top and bottom edge.
The front glass is scratch resistant, but Sony hasn't mentioned any brand names.
On the top half, there's a 13MP selfie camera - the Z-series were so focused on the back camera, so they only used to get 5MP front-facers. This camera is serious stuff - 1/3" sensor and a f/2.0 aperture, not too different from the specs of an iPhone 6s' primary camera.
The back is flat and made of metal with a frosted finish. The key placement is much the same as the Z-series as well.
The Xperia X weighs a hair over 150g, and the weight is evenly distributed. With Sony's choice of materials, the heft helps sell the quality feel.
The sides of the phone are key to the Xperia design. The round button of the past is now the Power key/Fingerprint reader of today. The key is recessed, preventing accidental presses. The built-in scanner is also fast and accurate.
We're still not happy about the placement of the volume rocker. It's between the Power and Shutter keys, so you have to tilt the phone sideways so your thumb can reach low enough. Sony is the last holdout for hardware shutter keys, and the benefit of having one is less certain when you won't be able to take pictures underwater.
On the other side of the phone is the card tray. It can be accessed without eject pins and it holds a nanoSIM and a microSD card. The Sony Xperia X also has a dual-SIM version. Note that it uses a hybrid slot, so if you need a microSD card you might as well get the single-SIM phone.
One annoying thing is that the phone immediately restarts when you pull out the tray - no questions asked, no chance to properly exit apps, no option to prevent the reset. Yet Sony has not enabled the Adoptable Storage feature of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which would be one reason to restart the phone as soon as the cards leave it.
At the bottom is the microUSB 2.0 port and the mic, there's a secondary mic on top.