Battery life

The battery on the Sony Xperia 10 is one of the most disappointing elements. It’s not going to ruin your entire experience, but it’s not an impressive showing from Sony either.

It’s powered by a 2870mAh cell inside, which considering it’s powering a large Full HD screen isn’t particularly big. We would have preferred to have a slightly heavier handset as a trade-off for getting a bigger and longer-lasting battery.

We regularly found ourselves having to charge up the phone towards the end of the day, having started the day with it fully charged. On one particular day, with normal to high usage, we found the Xperia 10 only lasted until around 9pm, despite only being taken off charge at around 7:30am.

That’s not good enough if you tend to use your phone extensively, although if you don’t use your phone a lot it should easily be able to make it through a full day. We avoided watching video on our commute for one day, and that did improve the battery life throughout the day – but that’s not a sacrifice you expect to be making when this handset is designed specifically for that.

We found that if we kept the screen brightness to 50% throughout the day, with normal usage the phone would last until we went to bed that evening. If you opt for the Xperia 10 you’ll definitely want to keep an eye on that battery percentage.

We ran our standard battery test on the Xperia 10, where we play a 90-minute video clip with the screen on full brightness and accounts syncing over Wi-Fi, and we found it dropped 27% in that time.

The Xperia 10 Plus dropped 24% in the same test, while the Moto G7 dropped 22%, and the Honor 10 – a phone that’s slightly more expensive – only dropped 17%. Overall, Sony is on the bottom rung of the ladder when it comes to battery performance when playing videos – and that’s not great considering it’s a big selling point of its phones.

The video we used was in a 16:9 aspect ratio, so if you’re watching video in the full 21:9 it’ll be using more of the screen and will probably provide poorer battery life too.

There’s fast-charging technology here that allows you to top up the phone with minimal effort, but there’s no wireless charging – that’s a feature Sony no longer seems interested in, as it’s also dropped it from the Xperia 1. 

Camera 

You’re not going to be blown away by the camera on the Xperia 10, and quite often we found using it a frustrating experience. The camera on the Moto G7 – a much cheaper phone – proved smoother to use but provided shots of similar quality.

The Xperia 10 features a dual rear camera setup, with 13MP f/2.0 and 5MP f/2.4 snappers working in tandem. The secondary camera is there to allow for blurred-background or ‘bokeh’ images.

The main camera is pretty good for the money, and we found it was capable of capturing good levels of detail and reproducing colors well. It performed especially well in good lighting, but in low-light conditions shots looked a little grainy and disappointing.

We found the shutter to be particularly slow on the Xperia 10, and that meant we missed a lot of shots we wanted to take. It often took more than a second for the photo to be taken, which if you’re shooting pets, children or moving objects means you’re almost certainly going to miss your shot.

You’ve got the opportunity to shoot in the standard 16:9 format, as well as a variety of other choices, including 21:9, which allows the photos you take to fill the entire screen.

We found these looked odd when you send them to other people, or upload them to social media, but they look fantastic on your phone when you’re showing them off on the full display.

We found video looked good, with stabilization keeping footage smooth across all the resolutions we tested.

There’s an 8MP selfie camera on the Xperia 10, which we found to work well – you’ll be able to take shots that’ll look perfectly acceptable when uploaded to social media.

Camera samples

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The default aspect ratio is 16:9 on Sony's camera

The default aspect ratio is 16:9 on Sony's camera
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This is how the shot turned out in 21:9

This is how the shot turned out in 21:9
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Another 21:9 shot that is highly detailed thanks to the good lighting.

Another 21:9 shot that is highly detailed thanks to the good lighting.
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It began to struggle in low-light, but this shot was still pretty good from the Xperia 10.

It began to struggle in low-light, but this shot was still pretty good from the Xperia 10.
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The detail from the 13MP camera is solid in good light.

The detail from the 13MP camera is solid in good light.
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Poor lighting meant the Xperia 10 struggle with this shot a lot more than the others.

Poor lighting meant the Xperia 10 struggle with this shot a lot more than the others.

Image Credit: TechRadar