The Xperia X Performance has a 5-inch FullHD dislpay of 441ppi. There's a host of proprietary technologies on board. Triluminous is Sony's trademark for what is essentially a Quantum dot display, a variation of LCD panels that delivers a wider color gamut. The X-reality engine dynamically enhances images and video to provide higher contrast and improved sharpness when viewing multimedia content.
600 nits of brightness Sony claimed, and our tests very much confirm that it is indeed possible when Adaptive brightness is enabled and the phone is exposed to bright sunlight. High brightness and deep blacks make for excellent contrast in the 1500:1 ballpark, regardless of auto on or off.
The maximum brightness is about the same as on the Xperia Z5 but the screen's contrast ratio has definitely been improved and by a wide margin at that.
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Color reproduction is fairly accurate, with an average DeltaE of 5.7, similar to the LG G5's 5.6, and better than the Huawei P9 (7.4) and Samsung Galaxy S7 (7.1) in their default modes. A common feature of Sony displays, the bluish whites seem to be here to stay but you won't really notice it unless you have a reference. Overall, it's unlikely to bother you unless you need perfect color reproduction.
A high-quality IPS panel, the Xperia X Performance's display does very well in the sunlight too. It's not in AMOLED territory, but is one of the better LCD's in this respect, according to our tests.
The Xperia X Performance is well stocked on connectivity options. Our review unit is the single-SIM version (F8131 model name), but there's also a dual-SIM one (F8132). The slot in that case is of the hybrid variety though - it's either a second SIM or a microSD card - you can't have all three.
LTE Cat. 9 (450Mbps down, 50Mbps up) is an upgrade over the Xperia X's Cat6. Sony also states that signal reception has gotten 25% more stable than on the Z5 - with better call quality and data throughput at any given distance from the cell tower.
The phone also comes equipped with dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac with 2x2 MIMO antennas. Local connectivity goes on with Bluetooth 4.2 with aptX and Low Energy, and NFC.
The Wi-Fi connection can be used for screen casting - either via Miracast or Google Cast. If you connect a DualShock controller, the Xperia X Performance can become a portable console. It can also connect to your car's stereo system via MirrorLink.
The microUSB 2.0 port lets you charge the phone as well as hook up USB storage and accessories. You'll need to select the data transfer mode every time you connect it to a PC, as it defaults to charge only. Sony has dropped MHL support, so you have no wired way to output an image to a TV.
The Xperia X Performance has no FM radio though, which the plain Xperia X offers.
The Sony Xperia X Performance is powered by a 2,700mAh battery - a modest 80mAh boost over the Xperia X. Last year's Xperia Z5 had a 2,900mAh cell, but a larger 5.2-inch display, while the Xperia Z5 Compact stood at 4.6 inches and 2,700mAh. It looks like Sony isn't too keen on putting excessively large batteries, focusing on efficiency instead.
Premium FullHD 5-inchers with top notch chipsets aren't too common anymore to make a direct comparison. The Huawei P9 has the same resolution as the X Performance, but on a marginally larger diagonal (5.2") and Huawei has fitted a 3,000mAh battery inside. The same goes for the Xiaomi Mi 5 if you round up its 5.15-inch diagonal. Then again the 5.2-inch FullHD Nexus 5X also relies on a 2,700mAh capacity.
The QHD screen resolution camp is represented by the Samsung Galaxy S7 (5.1"), the HTC 10 (5.2") and the LG G5 (5.3"), which all have similar screen sizes. The first two are powered by 3,000mAh batteries, with the G5, which has the largest screen in the group, packing the smallest battery (2,800mAh).
Capacity and screen area alone don't tell us the full story though, that's why we have our own tests. Well, we carried them out on the Xperia X Performance and the results are in.
The Xperia X Performance shows a balanced performance in all our tests with average to good results across the board. The smartphone made it just short of 21 hours on a 3G voice call, around 7 and half hours browsing the web over Wi-Fi and a little more than 8 hours in video playback. The fact that its numbers are so consistent shows that it simply could have benefited from a larger battery.
What that means is that the Xperia X Performance will last you about 2 hours less than the plain X in both screen-on tests. With the displays being identical, we'd guess the powerful Snapdragon 820 is also more power-hungry, at least more so than the S650 found in the Xperia X.
The quick flagship comparison reveals that the Xperia X Performance is tied with the HTC in voice calls, both comfortably ahead of the G5 (17:37) and the P9 (14:53h).
In the web browsing department, the Xperia X is the one that dies first, but the G5's 12 minutes more don't make a world of difference. Only the Mi 5 goes into double-digit hours (okay, well into double-digit hours at 12:50).
There is a bit more of the same for the Xperia X Performance in the video playback test, where it ends up last in the flagship short list. The Huawei P9 (8:46h) and HTC 10 (8:42) don't fare any better, and the Galaxy S7 is the clear winner here (14:50h).
On a positive note, the Xperia X Performance supports Quick Charge 2.0. Strangely, it's not the latest Quick Charge 3.0 seen on the other flagship phones with the Snapdragon 820 but perhaps the reason for that is another new technology the phone comes equipped with. The Xperia X Performance comes with the Qnovo adaptive technology for smart control of the battery charging process much like the rest of the phones in Sony's current smartphone generation.
Qnovo's technology monitors the cell's electrochemical processes in real-time, allowing for minimizing of cell damage and extending the battery lifespan. Qnovo claims the battery should last hundreds of charge cycles more than a conventionally charged battery. This means a year or two of extra longevity and if the battery ages better it will hopefully be able to hold charge better down the line (and this is potentially important for a phone that has its battery sealed).
Sony's Stamina battery saving feature also comes standard here. It has two modes: regular Stamina, and Ultra Stamina. The first disables non-essential features like GPS and vibration, and takes performance down a notch, but the Xperia does remain a smartphone.
Ultra Stamina is for absolutely dire occasions when you don't expect to be able to find a power outlet for a prolonged period of time. Enable that and it's back to basics where you get a single homescreen with access to the dialer and contacts, text messages, camera and clock.
The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.