Solid smartphone is not for everyone

The Sony Xperia 10 II has improved considerably compared to its predecessor, but still has to tolerate other devices in terms of value for money. In this review we tell you all about it.

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Sony Xperia 10 II review

At first glance, the Sony Xperia 10 II (pronounced “ten mark two”) is a midrange smartphone with some luxurious features, such as an OLED screen. The device is inspired in design by the Xperia 1 II, the new flagship of the Japanese manufacturer. In this review, we show that the Xperia 10 II is a big step forward from its predecessor, but is certainly not perfect.

Waterproof housing and OLED screen

The Sony Xperia 10 II, unlike almost all other Android phones today, has none notch. The selfie camera is incorporated in the black bar above the screen. The phone is therefore ideal for watching movies and playing games, as the screen is not interrupted by a notch. The elongated 21 by 9 aspect ratio also contributes to this.

The 6 inch screen (with a resolution of 2520 by 1080 pixels) has an OLED panel. That’s nice, because its predecessor had to do with an LCD screen. Among other things, Oled contributes to a wide color range. You notice this when you are presented with high-contrast images. Black is really black and the reverse is true for light colors.

Another noteworthy appearance feature of the Sony Xperia 10 II is its dust and waterproof housing. The Japanese middle class has both an IP65 and IP68 certification, which means that you can submerge it up to one and a half meters in water. Normally, such a waterproof rating comes at the expense of the headphone input, but that is not the case with the Sony middle class.

sony xperia 10 ii review

All in all, the design of the Sony Xperia 10 II is fine, but compared to the competition, it is somewhat ordinary. No waterfall screen, rounded screen edges or innovative feats, just a glass phone with a plastic casing. The Sony Xperia 10 II is no-nonsense in optima forma.

Not the fastest hardware

The Sony Xperia 10 II is not the fastest. In this price range you can find smartphones with a better price-quality ratio. The middle class is powered by a Snapdragon 665, the same processor that powers, for example, the much cheaper Motorola Moto G8 Power and Nokia 5.3.

The Snapdragon 665 chip is also not slow. In general, apps open relatively quickly. You do notice that the processor sometimes has difficulty with graphically demanding tasks, such as running games. The device also heats up considerably during gaming, because the processor has to work.

It is nice that Sony has doubled the storage capacity. 128GB is more than enough space for most people to store photos, music and games. The fingerprint scanner has also improved. We didn’t find the Sony Xperia 10’s fingerprint scanner consistent enough last year, but we’re not complaining about the Xperia 10 II’s.

Also read

Sony Xperia 10 and 10 Plus review: elongated, but not nearly good enough

Camera: Do not take photos at night

Sony has long focused on offering ‘entertainment phones’ and photo quality is an important part of that. The Xperia 10 II therefore gets a camera sensor on the back, bringing the total number to three. The 12-megapixel main camera is assisted by an 8-megapixel telephoto lens and wide-angle lens with the same resolution.

sony xperia 10 ii review publ

The camera setup of the Sony Xperia 10 II is therefore just as no-nonsense as its appearance. The Japanese manufacturer clearly chooses a different direction than many competitors. Many competitors try to distinguish themselves with cameras by adding more sensors or expanding the zoom options. It is not uncommon for these kinds of additives to feel in practice gimmicky On. Fortunately, Sony does not dare to do this kind of thing.

It is therefore all the more unfortunate that the cameras of the Xperia 10 II are ‘just’ solid, but do not excel. In bright daylight, the setup delivers excellent photos with sufficient sharpness and details, but in the evening the quality bumps backwards with significant steps. Not only does it take a long time to take the actual photo, the quality also leaves much to be desired.

Night mode – which is built into the camera app – can’t do much about this. Over time, I started to bother with the slowness of the camera app. When you press the photo button, it takes a while before the actual snapshot is taken. This criticism was less noticeable with the 8 megapixel selfie camera. This reacted significantly faster.

Those who mainly photograph during the day will find out that the Sony Xperia 10 II performs well. In this price range, however, there are smartphones that take better snaps. That is a shame, because if a company knows how to make good cameras, it is Sony. We do not see that knowledge and expertise with the Xperia 10 II. The device takes decent snapshots, but does not push the cameras forward as a big plus.


The Sony Xperia 10 II runs on Android 10. The Japanese manufacturer promises to provide the device with security updates for two years, although they do not appear monthly. Only in the last days of June 2020 I was therefore offered the Android patch of May.

That’s too bad. For this money, there are phones available that have their update policies better organized. Fortunately, the device will eventually receive the update to Android 11. Furthermore, the software shell of the Xperia 10 II is fairly bare, which is good.

Interface is fairly close to stock Android and does not add forced options. However, Sony has added some practical functions, such as the 21: 9 Multi-window app. This allows you to divide the screen into two compartments, and thus run two different apps side by side. The manufacturer has also added a few fun ways to operate the device with one hand.

Battery life is reasonable

The battery life of the Sony Xperia 10 II is reasonable. A moderate user, like the undersigned, will last about a day and a half with a fully charged battery. It is true that the battery life bumps backwards when you start playing games or watching movies. In that case, the Sony will last for about one day.

Speaking of battery life: you can charge the middle class with a maximum of 18 watts of power. A 7.5 Watt charger is included in the box as standard. This provides the 3600 mAh battery with power fairly quickly. Wireless charging isn’t supported, but that’s no shame given the price tag.

Conclusion Sony Xperia 10 II review

The Sony Xperia 10 II is a significant improvement over its predecessor. The waterproof case is unique in the price range, the elongated OLED screen is ideal for films and the notion hated by many is omitted. The fingerprint scanner also performs well and the phone does not sink anywhere through the ice.

That said, the device is not distinctive. For example, the hardware is solid, but not good. The same applies to the camera quality, which is one of Sony’s hobby horses. All in all, the Sony Xperia 10 II is a decent phone, but there are phones that offer more value for money.

Buy Sony Xperia 10 II

A separate Sony Xperia 10 II has a suggested retail price of 369 euro. In combination with a SIM only subscription, you are optimally flexible. Check our sim only price comparison for an overview of the best offers.

You pay a Sony Xperia 10 II with subscription in monthly installments, where you can choose from multiple providers.

Sony Xperia 10 II

Which Sony Xperia 10 II do you want?

Sony Xperia 10 II with subscription

Device only once € 0,00

€ 20,50 p/m Abo: € 7,50 p/m Device: € 13.00 p / m

Sim only nodig?

Alternatives to the Sony Xperia 10 II

A possible alternative is the Samsung Galaxy A51, which has four cameras on the back and more powerful hardware. In addition, the Samsung middle class is considerably cheaper. The Google Pixel 3a is slightly cheaper but also has better hardware, takes sharper photos (especially in low light) and has a better update policy.