Sony had a redemption of sorts when it came to its 2020 flagship devices, the Xperia 1 II and Xperia 5 II. Sony brought tangible improvements over its predecessors including most notably, the return of the 3.5mm headphone jack, bigger batteries and new ZEISS camera lenses. The Xperia 1 II also added wireless charging, and while this didn’t make it to the Xperia 5 II, the latter did get a 120Hz refresh rate display. Both phones also brought 5G for the first time for Xperia devices.
Sony’s mid-range offering was also well served with the Xperia 10 II, bringing OLED and IP65/68 water resistance to this class of devices for the first time. The phone offered a decent spec list, but was perhaps a tad overpriced vs the competition – a common criticism when it comes to Xperia smartphones.
We then saw Sony’s first smartphone with a notch in the form of its budget entry, the Xperia L4. Thankfully we didn’t see that design trend make its way to other Xperia devices. It also arrived with exactly the same MT6762 chipset as its predecessor (Xperia L3) which was an odd decision.
While Sony has continued with the 21:9 form factor of its mobile devices, which may not appeal to everyone, it certainly makes handling the devices easier. It will be interesting to see if Sony deviates from this design in 2021.
One of the devices that was due to make an appearance in 2020 but appears to be delayed, and possibly even shelved, is the Xperia PRO. The device was aimed at professional photographers/videographers supporting HDMI, 5G mmWave and a dedicated shortcut key. It was due to land in the second half of 2020, but the pandemic has likely meant a later launch date than expected. We’ll bring you news if it ever sees a consumer release.
There’s no doubt that Sony continues to be one of the most underrated smartphone manufacturers, offering a great all-round feature set. While this seems to appeal to many enthusiasts, we don’t see it translate to sales performance. This is partly due to the lack of distribution, as Sony has pulled back from many regions over the last few years.
We eagerly await to see what Sony has in store for us in 2021. Sony has always had the right ingredients in place to produce compelling devices, only being let down by pricing and availability. If it can address these points, there’s every reason why Xperia smartphones could have a bumper 2021.
Anyway, we wanted to turn the question over to you. What was your standout Xperia product in 2020? What was your favourite and why? Which phones left you disappointed? What would you like to see in 2021? Please vote in the poll and let us know in the comments below.
NOTE: The poll does not work on mobile browsers.