There are many strong, stylish, and full of features mid-range phones on the market right now. Not all of them, though, are very long-lasting. The Sony Xperia 10 V aims to change that with a long-lasting battery and features that are hard to find on any other phone but Sony phones. This year’s effort isn’t all that different from last year’s Xperia 10 IV, though, at a time when the rest of the phone world is stepping up with newer, more powerful processors and higher refresh rate screens while keeping prices low. Sony may have been able to drop the price of entry a little bit this time, but we still think it looks pretty high-end.
Sony Xperia 10 V: Description
It’s rare for a cheap or mid-range phone to have three “real” cameras in a triple camera setup. Mid-range phones usually have two cameras, and if they have a third, it’s usually a depth camera or a low-resolution 2MP closeup camera, both of which are completely useless because the main camera or cameras can do a better job. So, seeing a phone with three cameras at this price caught our attention, and we had to try it out. The Sony Xperia 10 V is like Mo Farah when it comes to current smartphones: it’s modest, honest, admirable, and ready to go the extra mile. In 2019, Sony filled a great budget spot with the equally great Xperia 10. Since then, the company has been improving its low-cost phones, and the Xperia 10 V is now at the top of that tree.
The cameras have a 48MP main camera with a wide-angle lens, an f/1.8 aperture, phase-detection autofocus (PDAF), and optical image stabilization (OIS). This gives you 12MP pictures by grouping pixels together. There is an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera with a fixed focus, an f/2.2 lens, and a small 1/4-inch sensor that measures 3.6×2.7mm. The third camera on the back is an 8MP macro camera with a 54mm equivalent and a 2x zoom. It has an aperture of f/2.2, PDAF, and no optical image stabilization. At 1/4.4 inches, the sensor is even smaller.
Sony Xperia 10 V Specifications Table
The Xperia 10 V has the same genes as its predecessor, but some epigenetic traits have been turned on that make it even better. The Xperia 10 V now has front-firing stereo speakers, which are rare at this price point. It also has a 1.5x brighter screen, a bigger main camera sensor, a lighter body (though only by 2 grams), and Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on the front.
|Display||6.1 inch OLED (1080 x 2520) pixels, HDR|
|Processor||Qualcomm SM6375 Snapdragon 695 5G|
|Operating System||Android 13|
|Camera||48 MP, f/1.8 (wide), 8 MP, f/2.2 (telephoto), 8 MP, f/2.2 (ultrawide)|
|Front Camera||8 MP, f/2.0 (wide)|
|Water resistance||IP65/68 rating|
Sony Xperia 10 V: Design
The Sony Xperia 10 V is the smallest 5G smartphone with a 5,000 mAh battery. It weighs only 159 grams. This is made possible by a recycled plastic back that is put into a plastic frame along with the display. With measurements of 155 x 68 x 8.3 mm, the cheap Xperia is not exactly small, but it does have enough space for a 3.5 mm headphone jack. You also get a water protection grade of IP68. During a tour, both devices were shown to the press. Since then, I’ve only had one thought in my head: “The Xperia 10 V is the lightest 5G smartphone with a 5,000 mAh battery.”
Even though the phone has a 6.1-inch screen, it weighs only 159 grams, which is almost the same as my iPhone 13 mini with a case. But this, along with the fact that it is made of plastic, gives it a cheap look and feel when you first take it out of the box. When you hold the phone for a few minutes, press all the buttons, and squeeze it, you’ll see that Sony didn’t skimp on the build quality. The Xperia 10 V has a familiar plastic feel to it, kind of like the Nintendo Switch. The 3.5 mm headphone jack on the top of the design was something I really liked. I also like that Sony’s smartphone has an IP68 grade, which means it can withstand water and dust.
Sony Xperia 10 V: Display
The OLED screen on the 6.1-inch Xperia 10 V is very bright. I got a score of 972 nits in Max Auto, which is better than many flagships. The screen has a ratio of 21:9 and a size of FHD+ (1080 x 2520 pixels). There are no notches or cutouts on the screen.
You can change some basic things about the display, like the color temperature and picture quality, but there’s no way to make it stay on all the time. The display is pretty well tuned right out of the box (for its class), but the biggest problem is that it can only refresh at 60 Hz. Even though the screen is narrower, which makes it easy to reach the other side with your thumb when scrolling the web or social media in normal portrait mode, the fact that it is bigger makes it harder to reach up for things like notifications.
It’s great for multitasking, which could fit the luxury and professional look of Xperia devices as a whole, but at the budget price range, it seems to go against how customers usually use their devices. You might be able to fit in one more social media post before you have to look again, but is it worth the hassle? I don’t think so. Even if you don’t use the Xperia 10 V’s OLED screen to its full potential, it’s a joy. Multitasking has the room it needs to make sense, and the technology’s built-in color profile makes HDR photos and movies really stand out.
Sony Xperia 10 V: Connectivity
As we’ve already said, the Xperia 10 V only has one SIM card, but it can also use an eSIM. It works with SA and NSA Sub.6 5G and LTE-A. GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS, and QZSS can all be used to figure out where you are. The phone has dual-band Wi-Fi ac, NFC, and Bluetooth 5.1 with LE, aptX HD, and aptX Adaptive for local connections. On board, there is no FM station.
The Type-C port can send and receive data at USB 2.0 speeds, which is a maximum of 480 Mbps. USB Host/OTG is supported, but video playback is not. The Xperia 10 V has almost every kind of gadget you could want. There is a BOSCH bmi26x accelerometer and gyroscope combo, a memsic mmc56x3x magnetometer and compass combo, and a sensortek stk3a5x ambient light and hardware proximity sensor combo. No gauge exists.
Sony Xperia 10 V: Cameras
From a technical standpoint, the front camera is the same as the one it replaced. It has 8MP, which means it can record movies in Full HD (30fps). The picture is well put together, but it’s not quite sharp enough. The triple camera on the back now has a new main sensor, giving it 48MP with OIS. Sony still needs to do some fine-tuning. Bright areas tend to be too bright, especially in close-up shots, while panorama shots could be a little better.
The low resolution is obvious with both the ultra wide-angle lens and the 2x optical zoom, but the 2x optical zoom has a real advantage over pure digital solutions. It is possible to zoom in as much as 10 times, and this also works amazingly well. Videos are only taken with the main camera and are recorded in Full HD (16:9) at up to 60 frames per second. The only way to zoom is digitally, and you can zoom up to 10 times. Sony has also made sure that the video is stable and that it can track objects.
Performance and Software
Sony’s cut-down When it first came out, Android UI was a nice change from the OTT approach that many competitors were taking. It’s still very simple today, running on top of Android 13 with only a few pre-installed apps. The few unique features were made for the 21:9 screen. For example, a double-tap on the screen opens the Side Sense menu, which lets you open two apps side by side or one on top of the other in a pop-up window. Owners of other types of phones who switch to Android will feel right at home, except for a few custom icons and fonts.
The Xperia 10 V isn’t able to give a consistently smooth experience in everyday use, which is a shame. Apps take a long time to open, and you often have to wait a half-second for the on-screen keyboard to appear. Also, the Side Sense menu stays around too long after you’ve used it to open two apps. It could also be slow to go back to the home screen and scroll through the Recents menu.
We think that’s because of the Snapdragon 695 processor and 6GB of RAM. Sony used the same combination in the last-generation Xperia 10 IV, and while the Snapdragon 695 is a perfectly good chip found in many cheap phones, it feels a bit weak at this price. In every way, including games, the Pixel 7a, Nothing Phone 1, and Samsung Galaxy A54 are better than it. You can still play 3D games here, but the frame rates aren’t as high and you might want to turn down the details for the best experience.
Sony Xperia 10 V: Battery Life
The battery in the Xperia 10 V is a big 5,000 mAh. Since it uses the same chipset as its predecessor, has the same battery size, and has a very similar, but slightly bigger 60Hz OLED screen, we expected the battery life to be similar between the two devices. To our happy surprise, the battery life of the Xperia 10 V was even better than that of its predecessor. This was likely due to some software optimization on Sony’s part. It did better in every way than the one before it.
When Sony’s low-end phone was hooked up to a high-wattage GaN charger, it didn’t charge very quickly, making it feel, once again, like a relic from the past compared to the fast-charging competition. It got 17% better after 15 minutes of CPR, and it got 34% better overall in 30 minutes.
On the same charger, it went from 0% to 50% in 48 minutes and from 0% to 100% in just under two hours. You’ll probably want to leave it for an extra hour to get the most out of the battery, but the proof backs up the specs and shows that the Xperia 10 V isn’t really made to take in today’s fast-charging power bricks.
Sony Xperia 10 V: Pros and Cons
September 2023 saw the release of the mid-range smartphone, the Sony Xperia 10 V. With a few noteworthy improvements, such as a larger sensor on the primary camera, a brighter display, and a longer battery life, it is a slight improvement over its predecessor, the Xperia 10 IV.
- One of the brightest OLED displays in this class
- microSD and audio jack
- Compact and lightweight
- Decent camera with plenty of pro controls
- Outstanding battery life
- 60Hz display refresh rate
- main camera (still) not well balanced
At first glance, the Sony Xperia 10 V looks like a Mark IV with a new name. However, looks can be deceiving. It goes without saying that there aren’t a lot of new ideas on board, but there are still a few things that stand out. Most importantly, the brightness of the OLED screen and the audio speakers are much better.
The clear changes, like the slightly bigger size and slightly bigger screen, don’t make much of a difference when it comes to everyday use. Some people will be upset that Sony got rid of the second real SIM slot, but the Japanese company has once again stuck to its product line by giving the Xperia 10 V an audio jack and the ability to use a microSD card. This is almost a selling point that can’t be found anywhere else in this price range.