Sony Mobile churns out smartphones like they are going out of fashion. There are currently four devices available to buy across its M range and Z range, but the company has another four within the new X range, three of which will launch in the summer. The fourth is currently without availability and pricing details.
Confused yet? Well just to add to that, Sony has also announced the Z line will stop with the Xperia Z5 family, meaning the X series will be the future of Sony Mobile.
To ease the confusion and help you work out which Sony smartphone might be right for you, here is how the Xperia ranges compare. This is the difference between the Xperia XA, Xperia XA Ultra, Xperia X, Xperia X Performance, Xperia Z5 Compact, Xperia Z5, Xperia Z5 Premium and Xperia M5. Phew.
Xperia X vs Xperia Z vs Xperia M: Design
The Sony Xperia Z5 Compact is the smallest and thickest of the Xperia handsets measuring 127 x 65 x 8.9mm. The slimmest is the Xperia Z5 and the largest is the Xperia Z5 Premium.
In terms of weight, the Xperia Z5 Compact and the Xperia XA are the lightest hitting the scales at just 138g, followed closely by the Xperia M5 at 143g. The Xperia XA Ultra is the heaviest at 202g, followed by the Z5 Premium at 180g and the Xperia X Performance at 165g.
All the Xperia smartphones offer a similar OmniBalance design but there are a couple of differences across the three ranges. The Xperia M5 has a plastic rear, while the Z5 Compact, Z5 and Z5 Premium all opt for frosted glass and squarer edges. The Xperia XA, XA Ultra, X and X Performance all go down the metal rear path and all four of the newest devices offer 2D curved glass over the front, as well as slightly more rounded edges making them more pleasurable to hold.
Each of the eight devices has a capless Micro-USB port and they are all waterproof and dust proof to IP68 and IP65, apart from the Xperia XA, XA Ultra and Xperia X. The Xperia Z5 Compact, Z5, Z5 Premium, X and X Performance all offer a built-in fingerprint sensor within the oblong side power button. It is worth noting that the Z5 and Z5 Compact in the US don't offer a fingerprint sensor for some strange reason.
The Xperia XA, XA Ultra and Xperia M have a circular side power button instead with no fingerprint recognition, like the previous Xperia Z3 and Z3+ range.
Xperia X vs Xperia Z vs Xperia M: Display
The smallest display sits within the Xperia Z5 Compact at 4.6-inches, while the largest is within the XA Ultra at 6-inches, followed by the Z5 Premium at 5.5-inches. The Z5 has a 5.2-inch display while the other four devices all come with a 5-inch display.
In terms of resolution, the Z5 Premium is the winner of the sharpest, crispest display with its 4K resolution, offering a pixel density of a whopping 806ppi. The lowest resolution sits within the Z5 Compact and Xperia XA, both of which have a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution. As the Z5 Compact is a little smaller it squeezes a few more pixels in per inch than the XA with a pixel density of 319ppi compared to 293ppi.
The Xperia X, X Performance and M5 all have Full HD displays for pixel densities of 441ppi. A Full HD resolution is also on board the Z5 for a pixel density of 423ppi and the XA Ultra for a pixel density of 367ppi. A few of the Xperia handsets also have Sony's Triluminos and X-Reality technologies including the X, X Performance and all three devices in the Z5 family.
The Xperia XA and XA Ultra have the most exciting displays though, even if they aren't the sharpest, because they have an edge-to-edge screen which is stunning.
Xperia X vs Xperia Z vs Xperia M: Camera
The Xperia XA has the lowest resolution camera sensor on the rear at 13-megapixels, while the Xperia Z5, Z5 Compact and Z5 Premium have the lowest resolution on the front at 5.1-megapixels.
A 23-megaixel sensor with sensitivity up to ISO 12800, an aperture of f/2.0 and a 24mm wide-angle G lens sits within the Xperia X, X Performance, Z5 Compact, Z5 and Z5 Premium. The Xperia M5 and Xperia XA Ultra have a 21.5-megapixel rear camera.
The Xperia X, X Performance and the M5 all come with a 13-megapixel f/2.0 front-facing camera, with the X and X Performance offering a sensitivity of ISO 6400. These two devices and the XA also all come with a feature called Predictive Hybrid Auto Focus which tracks and predicts moment to ensure moments aren't missed.
The Xperia XA Ultra has the highest resolution front-facing camera at 16-megapixels though. It also offers optical image stabilisation and auto-focus, as well as a Smart Selfie flash.
Xperia X vs Xperia Z vs Xperia M: Hardware
The fastest and newest chip sits within the Xperia X Performance. It sports the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, while all three in the Z5 family opt for the slightly older Qualcomm Snapdragon 810. The Xperia X has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 on board.
The Xperia XA, XA Ultra and M5 all have MediaTek chips. There is 3GB of RAM on board all of the Xperia handsets, except for the XA that offers just 2GB.
All eight Xperia devices have microSD support for storage expansion. The Xperia Z5 family, X Performance and M5 all come with 32GB of internal memory while the X comes in 32GB and 64GB options and the XA and XA Ultra in 16GB only.
The biggest battery capacity is in the Xperia Z5 Premium at 3430mAh, followed by the Z5 at 2900mAh and then the Z5 Compact, X Performance and XA Ultra, all of which have 2700mAh. The smallest capacity is within the XA at 2300mAh while the X and M5 both sit around the 2600mAh mark.
Xperia X vs Xperia Z vs Xperia M: Software
The Xperia XA, XA Ultra, X and X Performance will all arrive with Android Marshmallow in the Summer. The X Performance doesn't have pricing or availability details as yet, while the XA and X are due to launch in June for £239 and May for £499, respectively. The Xperia XA Ultra will be coming in July but no pricing has been announced as yet.
The Xperia Z5 family and the M5 launched on Android Lollipop but the Z5 family has now been updated to Marshmallow. The software experience should be very similar across all the devices when they are all updated, with all featuring Sony's software overlay on top of Android. Not all the Xperia devices will offer every feature though.
For example, the Xperia X, X Performance and Z5 family will all have PS4 Remote Play while the M5 and XA won't.
Xperia X vs Xperia Z vs Xperia M conclusion
So which Sony Xperia smartphone is the right one for you? Well, that depends on what you want from your smartphone as well as where you live. As we mentioned, we currently don't know which regions the X Performance will be heading for, leaving just seven to choose from, three of which - the X, XA and XA Ultra - won't be available till May at the earliest.
The Xperia XA has an interesting display and a metal design, which is also one of the lightest. Its hardware isn't as powerful as its siblings, it is not waterproof and there is no fingerprint sensor however.
The Xperia XA Ultra also offers an interesting display, as well as the largest, and a metal design, although it is one of the heaviest. Again, it isn't as powerful as other Xperia options, nor is it waterproof and a fingerprint sensor is missing here too. It does however, have the best hardware for selfies.
The Xperia X has the metal design and a fingerprint sensor, while also offering powerful cameras on the front and rear. It isn't waterproof though and its battery is a little smaller than others.
The Xperia X Performance, is the most powerful Xperia handset at the moment. It offers the fingerprint sensor, waterproofing, decent front and rear cameras and it has a lovely metal build to boot. It very much a flagship device to rival the Z5.
The Xperia Z5 Compact is the smallest and also one of the lightest of the Xperia devices but is also the thickest. Waterproofing is on board here too, as well as a fingerprint sensor and it has some powerful specs too, even if the front camera is probably not as good as the X, X Performance or M5.
The Xperia Z5 is the slimmest handset, bringing powerful hardware and a big battery capacity, as well as a decent main camera. That fingerprint sensor and waterproofing is present here too.
The Xperia Z5 Premium has the sharpest and largest display. It is the device to buy if you want to use it with a VR headset. The Premium also has powerful hardware and a huge battery, along with waterproofing and a fingerprint sensor.
The Xperia M5 is waterproof and has well-specced front and main cameras, although its hardware is perhaps a little less powerful than others. It also features a plastic rear and ditches the fingerprint sensor but it is likely to be the cheapest of the Xperia devices.
That's the Xperia smartphones in a nutshell. Which one you choose is up to you.