Those who expected a new Xperia Z model to be launched at Sony's Mobile World Congress press conference have been disappointed, as no new flagship device was in sight. Instead the Japanese company launched the Xperia X mid-range model. The good news for mobile photographers is that the Xperia X comes with a camera specification that is pretty much identical to the high-end Xperia Z5 series but offers an improved AF system.

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A 23MP 1/2.3-inch Sony Exmor multi-aspect sensor is coupled with a F2.0 aperture in a wide angle lens with an equivalent focal length of 24mm. A new predictive AF system, developed in collaboration with the engineers in Sony's Alpha camera division, claims to allow for better subject tracking. In low light mode, the Xperia X also allows ISO to be increased to 12800. Unlike on the Z5 there is no 4K video mode, and Xperia X videographers will be limited to 1080p Full-HD. As before, camera shake in video mode is reduced via Sony's efficient SteadyShot digital video stabilization. The front camera uses a 13MP 1/3-inch sensor with F2.0 aperture, 22mm equivalent focal length and maximum ISO of 6400. Like the main camera it can also record digitally stabilized 1080p video. 

The Xperia X stays true to the no-frills design language of previous Xperia devices and comes with an all-metal body with curved glass covering the 5-inch 1080p display. The Android operating system is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 CPU and 3GB of RAM. There will be versions with 32 or 64GB of built-in storage that is expandable via a microSD slot. 

With the Xperia X Sony launched two more models. The lower-end Xperia XA comes with a 5-inch 720p display and 64-bit MediaTek MT6755 processor. The main camera has to make do with a 13MP resolution but offers the same predictive AF as the Xperia X. The third new model, the Xperia X Performance, will not be available globally but only in the US and Asia. It is the only one of the three with IP68 environmental protection and comes with Qualcomm's latest top-end chipset, the Snapdragon 820. Camera specification is identical to the Xperia X.