Hands-on with the new Sony Xperia 10, Xperia 10 Plus and Xperia L3

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As part of Sony’s Mobile World Congress announcement, we’ve gotten a glimpse of the company’s new crop of handsets. In addition to the Xperia 1 (which we weren’t allowed to touch), we saw the Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus, along with the lower-spec Xperia L3… and we had the chance to handle all three of those today. These are our first impressions.

Xperia 10 — Big screen, small price

It’s not just Sony’s flagship getting their new 21:9 display. The Xperia 10 is a 6in FHD+ smartphone packing a mid-range processor. The Snapdragon 630 is on the inside, along with an Adreno 508 processor and 3GB of RAM. There’s 64GB of storage inside and a dual camera system (13MP+5MP) for all your photography needs. Oh, also an 8MP front-facer and a 2,870mAh battery to keep everything running.

We had some hands-on time with the device and it’s… actually weirdly familiar. Sony’s gone for an updated Xperia flagship design, harking back to its Xperia Z-series handsets (first seen around 2013). Suitably updated for 2019, of course. The phone itself feels light in hand but solid. We gave the phone a surreptitious bend while no-one was looking (sorry Sony) and there was very little flex. It shouldn’t bend in a back pocket, for all its featherweight status. The phone itself was also mighty responsive in the menu area. We’re set to receive the phone(s) soon for review, so expect a more extensive impression shortly.

Xperia 10 Plus — Bigger screen, (somewhat) bigger price

Want a 6.5in smartphone but don’t like the idea of spending R20k on one? Sony plans on giving you the option for less than R10k. And you’ll be getting upgraded components over its smaller sibling. A Snapdragon 636 and Adreno 509 are doing service, along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The rear cameras are also different. Sony’s got a 12MP+8MP sensor on the back, supporting that bokeh portrait effect everyone’s so keen on for social media. Also, a 3,000mAh battery.

As with most smartphones that bear a ‘Plus’ moniker, the Xperia 10 Plus is a larger version of the 10. In this case, the slightly larger device doesn’t feel a whole lot different in terms of heft. Design-wise, it’s also mighty similar, meaning that you’re going to look at the screen size and internal differences to set the 10 and 10 Plus apart. The better camera should also make a difference for users. As with the Xperia 10, we will be spending a little more time with this one in the very near future. Stay tuned.

Xperia L3 — Back on budget

Sony’s budget smartphone for the first half of 2019 is the Xperia L3 — a 5.7in, HD+ device. It’s got an 18:9 aspect ratio, rather than their new 21:9 one, but it’s definitely a cheaper handset so… There’s a Mediatek M6762 processor, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage inside this one, and Sony’s also included a dual camera in the back of the L3. That’s a 13MP and a 2MP arrangement, with an 8MP front-facer. It’s got a 3,300mAh battery and will be running Android 8 Oreo at launch.

As with its larger, more expensive family members, the Xperia L3 is light. Very light, as it eschews the tougher rear panels of the 10 and 10 Plus for a plastic back. Even so, it’s got a full set of features in place, including a side-mounted fingerprint sensor — Sony’s newest range have all got one of those. Even so, we’re looking forward to getting our hands on it. It’ll be interesting to see how Sony’s budget handsets have evolved.

Incoming

All three of Sony’s new devices will be launching in South Africa on 20 March — provided you’re a Vodacom customer. Other networks will have the smartphones from 1 April 2019. Sony’s set the price for the Xperia L3 at R4,500, while the Xperia 10 and 10 Plus will set your wallet back R6,500 and R9,000 respectively.

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