Sony’s Xperia X series muddies already confusing smartphone lineup

Xperia X in cool lime gold. Photo: Sony

Xperia X looks cool in lime gold. Photo: Sony

If you thought Sony’s habit of launching new Xperia Z smartphones every six months was confusing, try keeping up with the Xperia X series at the same time.

MWC-CoA-2016Unveiled today at Mobile World Congress, the Xperia X lineup consists of three devices that promise to “redefine communications.” They borrow trademark Sony features from other Xperia devices and offer some nice new features, but we don’t know why they exist.

Like Sony’s other smartphone families, the Xperia X, Xperia XA, and Xperia X Premium focus on battery life and camera quality.

Sony says they’ll last up to two days in between charges thanks to its smart battery management features, while all-new “Predictive Hybrid Autofocus” ensures you get great photos even with fast-moving subjects.

The Xperia X series also brings familiar designs with seamless metal frames, flat backs, and glass fronts with rounded edges.

So, what’s so different about the Xperia X series and the Xperia Z series? Well, we’re yet to find an answer to that question. There are some subtle differences, but they’re essentially very similar devices that only add yet more confusion to Sony’s smartphone lineup.

If you want a Sony smartphone, then, do you buy the Xperia Z5, which launched in the U.S. just a couple of weeks ago? Or do you buy the Xperia X when it goes on sale this summer? Or do you wait for the Xperia Z6 which will likely arrive a few months later? We have no idea.

The confusion certainly won’t help sell Sony smartphones, which makes the decision to launch the Xperia X series even more bemusing, what with Sony’s struggle to compete in the smartphone market — particularly in the U.S.

Sony is yet to confirm the specifics of each device, but we do know the entry-level Xperia X will feature a Snapdragon 650 chip, while the high-end Xperia X Premium will be powered by the new Snapdragon 820 — which is also found in the Galaxy S7, S7 edge, and the LG G5.

All three handsets will be available in black, white, rose gold, and lime gold. Sony will confirm pricing and availability closer to the launch this summer.