Sony has decided to attack the year 2019 with three smartphones using a 21: 9 screen. We tested the Xperia 10 Plus, at the center of this new range. What is this smartphone on the screen unorthodox? Here is our complete opinion.
Sony Xperia 10 Plus
2520 x 1080 pixels
Snapdragon 636 at 1.8GHz
Graphics Chip (GPU)
Internal memory (flash)
1:12 megapixel sensor, 2 megapixel sensor
5.0 + ADP + aptX + LE
LTE, HSPA, GSM
2100 MHz (B1), 800 MHz (B20), 1800 MHz (B3), 2600 MHz (B7), 700 MHz (B28)
2x nano SIM
Ports (Inputs / Outputs)
167 x 73 x 8.3 mm
Blue, Black, Silver, Gold
This test was made from a smartphone provided by the brand.
Design in length
For several months, the smartphone market has returned to innovation in design. Manufacturers launch smartphones slider or folding. For its part, Sony is betting on a new screen format, the 21: 9. We will return throughout this test on the specifics of this screen. For now, let's discuss its integration into the design of the Xperia 10 Plus.
The smartphone screen occupies most of the front panel, with a more pronounced border above that hides the camera, the speaker, and the notification LED. The slices and the back are made of the same plastic part except the USB Type-C port surrounded by two grids under the phone, which rests on another piece.
We can also note the presence of a 3.5mm jack on top of the device, and three buttons on the right side, accompanied by a fingerprint reader. The latter falls under the thumb of the right hand, or the index finger of the left hand, no problem with its positioning therefore. In contrast, the power and volume control buttons barely emerge from the phone, making them hard to detect by touch in the dark.
I find the plastic chosen by Sony rather ungainly, especially to the touch with a low-end impression. However, it seems rather resistant to scratches and fingerprints. The matte coating used above all to prevent the phone too easily slide, the smartphone is pleasant to hold in hand and I could use it with one hand as well as two, because the phone is certainly long, but not too wide, compared to other smartphones that I could test.
The Xperia 10 Plus's LCD IPS display is the centerpiece of the smartphone, with its impressive 21: 9 format. Its diagonal is "6.5 inches", but that does not mean much with this format. The manufacturer does not specify the technology used, but to the naked eye, the Full HD + display flatters the retina.
The probe test confirms the good performances of the screen with a maximum brightness of 550 cd / m² for a rather correct contrast of 1300: 1. The colors are blue, with an average color temperature of 8500K. Fortunately it is possible to fine tune the colors in the display options of the smartphone. However, I noticed that the screen was sensitive to light reflections, especially the sun, which limits its readability even with the maximum brightness.
The software lacks a bit of adaptation
The Sony Xperia 10 Plus runs Android 9.0 Pie with security updates from February 2019. The smartphone has an interface developed by Sony, which is based mainly on Google with the addition of some applications, and some additional features . This makes it a very good interface, that integrates well with Android, does not distort the work of Google, and allows to keep a harmony with the applications of the Play Store.
All additions from Sony are welcome, and complement very well the shortcomings of the Android as it is thought by Google. Some applications are developed by the manufacturer (Phone, Contacts, E-mail, Album and Music), others are those of Google (Messages, Files, Calculator), but the Japanese brand has never made the mistake of creating duplicates. We also mention the pre-installation of some third-party applications like Facebook, Netflix or Swiftkey, which are impossible to uninstall. At the first launch of the phone, Sony also proposes to install others, but it is fortunately optional.
An adaptation to the 21: 9 half-tone screen
Unfortunately, the phone does not include any special options that take advantage of the smartphone's 21: 9 screen. Android apps have the ability to adapt to the screen of the device, but we would have liked more system settings, to better use the screen sharing or Picture-In-Picture mode that lends itself particularly. For example, Netflix is still not compatible with the shared screen offered natively by Android.
Fortunately, if the content is 21: 9, the app does not need to adapt. This is for example the case of most movies on Netflix, or some videos or trailers on YouTube. Similarly, the 21: 9 screen is very well suited to services using timelines like Twitter or Facebook, or a news site like FrAndroid.
21: 9 screen pushes to use two apps on Android
Overall, I have never really experienced a time when the 21: 9 screen was becoming disabling or a defect of the phone to use. I was rather seduced by the format chosen by Sony and what it brought to the daily navigation on smartphone. If this format became more popular, there is no doubt that applications and screen sharing would be better.
The Sony Xperia 10 Plus incorporates a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 with 4GB of RAM and 64GB eMMC expandable storage via micro SD. For a smartphone sold at this price, we expected clearly better. Especially the use, the smartphone has some performance problems. I have repeatedly noted slowdowns, such as moving from one application to another or trying to use Pictures-In-Pictures. This is perhaps one of the things that disappointed me most in my experience with the Xperia 10 Plus, the fluidity was not enough often, even outside gourmet applications.
Sony Xperia 10 PlusNokia 8.1Honor PlaySony Xperia XA2 Ultra
SoCSnapdragon 636Snapdragon 710Kirin 970Snapdragon 630
Antutu 7117 897170 113208 573 88 925
PCMark 2.060917 0567 5094 990
3DMark Sling Shot Extreme9441 8283 003816
3DMark SSE (Graphics) 8071 6993 051710
3DMark SSE (Physics) 2 3182 4912 8451 713
GFX Bench Car Chase (onscreen / offscreen) 5 / 6.3 FPS12 / 13 FPS21 / 23 FPS5,9 / 5.5 FPS
GFX Manhattan Bench (onscreen / offscreen) 13/16 FPS31 / 33 FPS53 / 58 FPS14 / 14 FPS
Sequential read / write 278/210 MB / s287 / 201 MB / s890 / 185 MB / s273 / 146 MB / s
19K / 4K random read / write IOPS17,5k / 1,83k IOPS42,4k / 34,7k IOPS18,8K / 2,6K IOPS
Faced with a Nokia 8.1 marketed at the same price, but incorporating a chip Snapdragon 710, the Xperia 10 Plus pale. We still note a nice improvement in raw performance compared to the Xperia XA2 Ultra on our battery of tests.
On the Arena of Valor game, the Xperia 10 Plus is set to display high details, but with HD display off. The game keeps 30 constant frames per second without problems, but it does not offer the possibility of declutching at 60 frames per second. Note that the game uses the entire display 21: 9, but in terms of adaptation, the joystick is located a little far from the edge of the phone.
This adaptation obviously depends on the game, and we do not find it with PUBG Mobile. The game is displayed in 16: 9 with a nice black margin on one side of the screen. Here, by default the game is configured with low graphics quality. When all is well, the game is rather fluid, and we have the impression to see it turn around 30 frames per second (the game does not integrate a specific meter).
On the other hand, I have noted down too many drops of fluidity, especially in high-speed vehicles, as if the game passed under 10 frames per second for a moment, before returning to its fluidity. The phenomenon was frequent enough to be frustrating.
The Sony Xperia 10 Plus is equipped with two cameras on the back. The first uses a Sony Exmor RS 12 megapixel sensor (1 / 2.8 inch sensor and 1,25μm photosite) with a f / 1.75 (76.3 °) lens. The second camera uses an 8 megapixel (1/4 inch and photosite 1.12 μm) sensor with f / 2.4 (44.6 °) lens. The proposed optical zoom is x2.
By default, the smartphone captures photos in 4: 3 format, but also offers a 21: 9 mode for taking pictures adapted to the phone. No magic trick here, the smartphone just cut into the 4: 3 picture to get a 21: 9 picture.
The same photo shoot, first in 4: 3 then in 21: 9. You can easily notice the cut edges of the photo.
The Xperia 10 Plus is doing very well on daytime photos, which is expected for a smartphone at this price. The rendering of the photos is on the whole very pleasant to the eye, with a beautiful game on the lights and details well preserved, even on the distance. You can still see an overexposed sky that causes white clouds burned on two of the street pictures. This is clearly the case where the HDR has failed, while it is rather successful on other shots.
On night shots, things are going badly. The white balance is problematic, and turns too easily to yellow (even if the public lighting does not help), and the rendering lacks much too much precision. In these conditions, the photos are difficult to exploit.
The self-portraits of the Xperia 10 Plus are provided by an 8-megapixel camera (1/4 inch sensor, 1.12 μm photosites) with a f / 2.0 wide-angle 84 ° lens. By day with good light conditions, we can once again note difficulties with the HDR, the background is very clearly overexposed. Fortunately, it's a little better indoors. At night, the Xperia 10 Plus is struggling to focus properly in low light conditions. When the shot is exploitable, we get a picture that lacks precision, with a smoothing quite marked.
Despite appearances, and fairly conventional on a mid-range smartphone, the Xperia 10 Plus integrates only one main speaker, right USB Type-C port. On the other side of the connector, the grid is essentially used to make a nice aesthetic symmetry.
Hard to praise the performance of this speaker for music. It has the merit of not saturating at high volume, but for the rest we really find a poor sound quality.
So we imagine poorly watch clips on the smartphone with a pleasant sound. However, the benefit is sufficient to play games or watch series or movies and enjoy the screen.
Autonomy a little too average
The Sony Xperia 10 Plus incorporates a 3000 mAh battery. The manufacturer is known to generally offer good software optimization, with the famous STAMINA mode, to extend the autonomy of its smartphones. Unfortunately, the Xperia 10 Plus is far from shining in this area.
On several occasions, I was surprised to find the smartphone with 30% or less battery after a few hours of use only. The phone seems particularly badly hold the load in uses of video playback, which suggests to me an overconsumption of the 21: 9 screen. The Snapdragon 636 is a chip known to consume little, and I do not think that the processor is involved here.
I was at best able to hold for 40 hours between two full loads of the phone, with essentially 2:30 video streaming (Netflix, Plex, Molotov) and 2 hours of browsing the web (Twitter, Chrome). On our ViSer custom runtime test, the Xperia 10 Plus held 9 hours and 32 minutes before falling to 10%. This score places it below the average of smartphones that we tested since the beginning of last year.
Sony announces that the smartphone is compatible with USB Power Delivery fast charging, but the brand provides a simple 7.5W charger with the device. Very concretely, it allows to regain 24% in 30 minutes and to fully charge the phone in a little over 2 hours, thank you the little bulky battery.
Network and Communications
The Sony Xperia 10 Plus that we have in test (model I4213) is compatible with all 4G frequencies used in France, even the famous B28 700 MHz often omitted on cheap smartphones. Sony indicates a 4G LTE Cat12 / Cat13 compatibility that achieves a theoretical bit rate of 600 Mb / s for download, and 150 Mb / s for sending.
In fact, I found that the smartphone could have difficulties to hang the network in difficult environments like the Paris metro, even in case of 4G coverage. In these cases, it is often difficult to properly load a web page or continue playing streaming video.
The smartphone is also compatible with Wi-Fi 5 (802.11 ac) and Bluetooth 5.0. The NFC is also supported, good news for contactless payment, although the area is necessarily a little small compared to the length of the phone.
Price and release date
The Sony Xperia 10 Plus is marketed at a price of 429 euros in France.
Where to buy the Sony Xperia 10 Plus at the best price?
He is facing the Nokia 8.1 which offers a better level of equipment for the same price.
Our Sony Xperia 10 Plus photos
Sony Xperia 10 Plus test The verdict
The new design used by Sony and centered around the 21: 9 screen is a success. The smartphone is well designed, pleasant to use thanks to its relative thinness, and offers USB-C and 3.5mm jack. Only downside, the material on the back is not the most beautiful effect, but it is very subjective.
The 6.5-inch FullHD + display flatters the retina with its contrast and maximum brightness. Too bad the colors pull a little too blue, and that the slab is a little too subject to glare. We expected better from the centerpiece of the phone.
On paper the Xperia interface has it all: take back the Google software and add some features and applications welcome. We would have liked a little more effort from the brand to take advantage of the 21: 9 screen.
This is the most disappointing point of my use of the Xperia 10 Plus. Its screen calls for multitasking, but that's where the phone goes slowing down. This is confirmed in game, or the popular PUBG Mobile is not fluid. At this price, we find much more efficient.
Like most mid-range smartphones, the Xperia 10 Plus is doing well with good light conditions (although the HDR may be fickle), but collapses in low light. In this case, it is difficult to obtain truly exploitable photos for anything other than social networks.
The battery of 3000 mAh does not allow to hold a whole day of use with my use blending web and streaming video. By 2019, we expect better for this rate. Fortunately, the fast recharge is there: count 2 hours to return to 100%
In 2019, Sony decided to bet on 21: 9 screens on smartphone. Before the release of its flagship Xperia 1, this Xperia 10 Plus shows that it is a very good idea. The successful and almost borderless integration allows you to enjoy 21: 9 video content, but also to play with multitasking to display more information on the screen than on a conventional device. Unfortunately, the Xperia 10 Plus is a mid-range declination of this idea, and Sony has cut too much on performance to provide a convincing experience. The phone multiplies the slowness in the interface, as much as in fashionable games like PUBG Mobile. Added to this is a really average camera, and a range too limited to easily recommend this phone.That's a shame, because with a more powerful chip, and a battery a little larger, Sony could have offered an excellent smartphone here . The manufacturer has in any case found the right idea to stand out in the market, and it is not a gimmick.
Screen 21: 9, a good idea
Successful Xperia interface
Screen 21: 9, a badly exploited idea
Slowdown in the interface and games
Autonomy too fair