Democrats Push To Be Heard Though They Have Little Power

first_img“What we’re talking about here is making sure the public understands what we’re saying.”Republicans control two-thirds or more of the seats in each chamber in the General Assembly, enough to convene and pass laws without Democrats. The last time they wielded any significant influence was in 2012 when Republicans passed right-to-work laws that undercut unions. Democrats walked out, stopping work in the House because Republicans did not have a quorum to pass laws alone. That is impossible now.The Republican party has held the supermajority in the Senate since the 1990s, but in the House, the majority parties flip-flopped until 2010 when Republicans look over and eventually gained a supermajority.Indiana joins 22 other states whose legislatures hold supermajorities in one or both chambers, and the state is one of 16 Republican supermajorities.The GOP controls so many seats because Indiana is a red state, said Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis. He said there may be one or two Indiana districts that maybe don’t belong in his party, but overall, Republicans still win the most votes.“We run good campaigns,” Merritt said. “It’s still a Republican state.”That doesn’t mean they leave the Democrats out on the Senate floor, even though they could, he said.But on a major vote Senate Republicans did vote on bills without Democrats present. That happened in February after Democrats walked out in protest to an amendment that stripped down the hate crimes bill.That was a rare event, Merritt said, adding, “It happened once this year, but that was because we had to get work done.”But most of the time the GOP majority includes the minority party, Merritt said. “They’re Hoosiers. It’s important to have a bridge between the two parties.” By Emily KettererTheStatehouseFile.comINDIANAPOLIS – Sen. Greg Taylor told members of the Senate to “buckle up” for another one of his lengthy speeches on hate crimes.Taylor, of Indianapolis, is one of 10 Democrats in the 50-member Senate and he knows he won’t change anybody’s mind because the issue has already been decided. He and Democrats in the General Assembly are vocal even if they know it, they stand little chance of changing legislation with one party ruling the chamber.“This is the part of democracy that we all miss,” Taylor said. “Everybody believes when we get up on the floor and we’re having a discussion, we’re debating the issue. Still, being in a minority position left Democrats to address the issues on their agenda through amendments to existing bills.Raising teacher pay was one of their biggest goals and Rep. Ed DeLaney, D-Indianapolis, offered amendments to raise salaries to a $40,000 minimum. He was quickly shut down.Paid family leave was another issue, and Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage, had a bill that passed the Senate but failed to get a hearing in the House.And on the budget, Democrats in the House called 27 amendments and only passed one and a half, which did include protections for pre-existing conditions in health insurance. The Senate Democrats passed five budget amendments out of 31 called.As a result of the imbalance in power, much of the debate occurs within the parties behind closed doors in caucus meeting without input from the other side. Democrats argue that even though those meetings are legal for both parties, they discourage open debate and undermine democracy.“While we’re talking about what-ifs,” Taylor said of Democrats. “They’re [Republicans] talking about what’s going to happen.”This was made clear during the process of passing the hate crimes legislation. Senate Republicans made the decision in caucus to strip out the list of protected characteristics, including race, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability and more, from the original bill. The Democrats protested the change, and there was little debate from the majority party on the floor and the bill passed without the list.“A lot of people that day didn’t talk on the topic because we did more listening than we did talking,” Merritt said. “The chamber hadn’t been that quiet all session.”Similarly, in the House, a public committee hearing was not given to the original hate crimes bill, and Republicans added hate crimes language into a drug sentencing bill. This was all done behind closed doors in caucus meetings.“What happened in the House was obnoxious, cowardly, disrespectful misuse of the system,” said Tallian on the Senate floor as senators were about to send the bill to the governor. “There was no committee debate. Instead, it was slipped in a second-reading amendment like a thief in the night.”However, Merritt said party caucus meetings are not used to make decisions behind closed doors. He said he and his party use their meetings to learn more about the issues to be on the same page because some lawmakers know more about a topic than others.“We haven’t squashed debate,” Merritt said. “I really didn’t know a lot about payday loans until we started caucusing, just having conversations. You can’t really do that on the floor.”But having a majority that can do what they want without the other party ultimately doesn’t serve the legislature very well, said Republican Rep. Dan Leonard of Huntington, who has been in both the minority and majority party during his time in the General Assembly.He said he hates supermajorities because that can lead to the majority party getting “sloppy” when passing bills. He said in order to pass better legislation, both parties need to have equal say.“You get to the point where I could say, ‘I don’t want to listen to you, I don’t have time for you. And it’s not going to make a difference anyway because we’re going to outvote you,’” Leonard said. “A supermajority makes it worse because we don’t even need the Democrats. They can just walk out.”Bringing the voices“There’s a lot of things that the Indiana Democrats would probably love to see pass in the legislation, but they know darn well that’s not going to happen,” said Laura Merrifield Wilson, assistant professor of political science at the University of Indianapolis.“They can’t necessarily prevent bills from becoming laws, but they can do everything in their power to challenge and critically analyze.”Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, said as the minority, they know they don’t have a huge impact, and they also know they can’t just do nothing.center_img “We may not have the votes all the time, but we have the voices,” Lanane said. “And if we just sit there and do nothing, then we have failed.”In the House, DeLaney said he feels like he is shouting into the void to his Republican colleagues because sometimes they don’t always pay attention to him.He cited the cigarette tax as an example. He said no one in the Republican party will get up and say that smoking isn’t bad, but still won’t listen to Democrats. An amendment to increase the tax was proposed one final time on the state budget when it was in the Senate, and Sen. Randy Head, R-Logansport, said––speaking on behalf of the Senate Republicans–– he and the caucus support a tax, just not this year.Merrifield Wilson said in most cases, the Indiana Democrats have to stick together to keep their numbers in votes, and for Republicans, they are at a bigger risk for speaking out against their own party in terms of their reputation.“For the Republicans that disagree, you’re not disagreeing with the opposition here, you’re disagreeing with your own party. There’s a lot more at stake for them … they understand the larger picture,” Merrifield Wilson said.But Merritt said members of his party feel free to vote their conscience and cites the Senate’s original hate crimes bill as an example. He was among seven Senate Republicans to vote against the stripped-down legislation.“What I do is when I do that, I make myself clear on what my position is,” he said.Like hate crimes, there are issues that cut across party lines. The bill that expands gambling to allow sports wagering and a new casino in Terre Haute needed the support of both parties. The final vote in the House was 59-36 with 22 Democrats and 37 Republicans voting yes.At the end of the session, Lanane noted that Democrats were instrumental in killing a controversial payday lending bill that would have allowed lenders to charge interest rates far exceeding the state’s 72 percent annual limit.“Thank goodness for the Democrats,” he said.FOOTNOTE: Emily Ketterer is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more


The views of the Elite Clubs continued

first_imgSlingerz FC“WE are not against any expansion of the League, but the way it was done is our concern. The methodology in this case is of serious concern and shows total disregards for rules governing the sport and once we allow this type of attitude to dictate the sport,we will have to live with the wrong being right thereafter, so we will stand up for what is correct.“The present situation has had a serious effect on the club economically,since we have been training since last month and travelling to play practice games with the hope that the League will resume.”“Every training session has a cost attached and we cannot be spending money daily and there is no sign as to when we will have a start. This is a tremendous setback for the club in terms of competitive preparation for the CFU club Championship.”“It is also obvious that this stand- off will leave the sport with a void and the fans no doubt will lose interest which consequently will be a high cost to rebuild the trust of the fraternity and the stakeholders. It is a sad day for the sport due to dictatorship which has been rejected”.Georgetown Football Club“We were written to by the Federation with proposals for a number of widespread changes, not just the inclusion of two teams, and this was two weeks before the start of the League, before any consultation.It is important that anyone making statements be reminded that it is much more than the expansion of the League.We are not against any expansion but the manner in which it is being imposed after we agreed on an initial 2-year period void of Promotion, Relegation or addition. Our Club has been feeling it financially since we have brought in a Brazilian Coach and player and I know other clubs have been spending to prepare for the League. If we are serious about building a financially viable and sustainable league,we cannot change the financial goal posts two weeks before kick-off without consultation with those who actually have to pay the bills.This whole scenario is not good for the sport and surely does not reflect well for the current executive of the GFF.last_img read more


Regulators say economic impact of casinos tops billion-dollar mark again

first_imgALTOONA — The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission renewed the licenses for the 19 state casinos it oversees during their meeting Tuesday in Altoona.Racing and Gaming administrator Brian Ohorilko also released the economic impact information on the casinos for the last calendar year. “Over $1.1 billion has been attributed to the Iowa economy as a result of the casino industry in 2019,” according to Ohorilko. He says the figures include all the funds generated and expenses paid to operate the facilities.“This would include things that are required statutory payments — like taxes — but also expenditures for various supplies, construction, payroll expenses, and charitable contributions,” Ohorilko says. “And so, when added together as a whole the impact for 2019 exceeded one-point-one billion dollars.”Ohorilko says the IRGC has a policy that requires the casinos to seek Iowa vendors first. “Of that $1.1 billion, a significant amount of that money was spent with Iowa vendors or folks that reside in the state of Iowa. That is also something that commission focuses on, asks the operators to do,” he says. Ohorilko says 90% of the money spent in 2019 went to Iowa vendors.The casino industry impact has topped the one billion mark for several years. Ohorilko says that was even more impressive this past year after a tough winter saw business way down early on. “Last year was a tough year for the industry due to weather and flooding,” Ohorilko says, “what has been nice to see — at least early on in January, February, and early March — numbers are up.”He says the increased traffic this year is due in part to a milder winter. “But also we think some of it is attributed to sports wagering being offered in the state,” Ohorilko says. Sports betting began in mid-August and betters are required to register at a casino before they can bet, which casino operators say has helped bring in new customers.last_img read more


Five key moments in Wales 3 Belgium 1

first_imgLille, FRANCE | AFP |Wales qualified for their first ever major tournament semi-final in their debut at the European Championship by coming from behind to beat Belgium 3-1 in Lille on Friday.A mouthwatering semi-final meeting with Portugal will see Welsh star Gareth Bale go up against his Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.Here AFP Sports looks at the five key moments from the game: Belgium three times unluckyA strong Belgian start looked sure to be rewarded on seven minutes only for three desperate blocks on the Welsh line to save Chris Coleman’s side. Wayne Hennessey smothered Yannick Carrasco’s initial effort before Joe Allen and Neil Taylor put their bodies on the line to deny Thomas Meunier and Eden Hazard’s follow-up efforts.Nainggolan rocketThe Red Devils’ pressure paid dividends in spectacular style when Radja Nainggolan connected sweetly to hammer a rising drive into the top corner from 25 metres for his second goal of the tournament.Warrior WilliamsWales captain Ashley Williams had been a major doubt due to a shoulder injury picked up in the 1-0 last 16 win over Northern Ireland. However, his determination to play through the pain barrier proved vital when he stooped to head Aaron Ramsey’s corner into the far corner for a deserved equaliser after a strong Welsh response to going behind. Kanu delightReleased by Reading after just three goals in England’s second division this season, Hal Robson-Kanu now has two in two starts at Euro 2016.His intricate turn away from a makeshift Belgian defence before slamming past Thibaut Courtois at the end of a flowing Welsh move was fitting of the achievement in booking Wales’ place in their first ever major tournament semi-final.Vokes knockout blowJust when Wales looked happy to settle on their lead to see out the dying moments, they grabbed a third when Sam Vokes, only on the field six minutes after replacing Robson-Kanu, powered home Chris Gunter’s cross.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2last_img read more


ACU Awarded Lakewood Chamber’s Large Business of the Year

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by America’s Credit UnionAmerica’s Credit Union (ACU) was recognized by the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce for their outstanding support at the Chamber’s recent Annual Meeting.ACU has been a member of the Lakewood Chamber since 1991 and supports and sponsors several Chamber related activities and events, especially benefiting the military.ACU consistently provides in a significant way to the financial stability of the organization by participating in functions such as the Chamber’s Annual Golf Classic, Annual Commencement Bay Cruise, Christmas Auction, Chili Cook Off, and ShowCase Lakewood.“Their wonderful staff continues to volunteer, support and show up for Chamber functions and events, playing a key role in our local community. But their generosity doesn’t begin and end with the Chamber.  ACU gives back to the community tenfold,” said Linda Smith, Lakewood Chamber President/CEO. “We have enjoyed the terrific relationship with ACU’s staff over the past 20 years—and hope the next twenty will be just as positive.”About America’s Credit Union (ACU)Providing financial services to thousands of military personnel and their families for over 59 years, ACU’s headquarters are located on Joint Base Lewis McChord. For more information about ACU visit www.youracu.org.last_img read more


Nika Kate Gembicki and Ryan Thomas Feeney

first_imgNika Gembicki and Ryan FeeneyStanley and Visnja Gembicki of Clarendon Hills, Illinois are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Nika Kate Gembicki to Ryan Thomas Feeney, son of John and Judi Feeney of Shrewsbury.Nika graduated from Gettysburg College with a B.A. in political science and is a graduate of the Villanova University School of Law. She is an attorney at Patzik, Frank & Samotny in Chicago, Illinois.Ryan is a graduate of University of Richmond with a B.S. in business administration with a concentration in finance. He is a vice-president at Goldman Sachs.A June 2012 wedding is planned for Chicago, followed by a honeymoon in Africa.last_img


A Slice of Hoboken Moving to Red Bank, Carlo’s Bakery of…

first_imgBy Michele J. KuhnRED BANK – A new “boss” is coming to town.It’s the Cake Boss, aka Buddy Valastro. He and his family will be locating the latest branch of their Carlo’s Bakery at 86 Broad St., where Ricky’s Candy, Cones & Chaos had been. The outlet will be the fourth for the104-year Hoboken bakery, which has branches already operating in Ridgewood and Westfield and one planned for Greenwich, Conn.The location of a full-service bakery in Red Bank, where cakes, pastries, cookies and breads will be baked on premises, fits in with the company’s philosophy of locating in thriving, upscale downtowns.“We’re really looking for those great downtowns where we can be part of the community, part of that environment,” said Adam Bourcier, chief brand officer for Carlo’s. “Red Bank is a great walking downtown. Obviously it’s a year-round town that will probably end up being our strongest summer store.“We have no plans to go down the shore, if you will … (Red Bank) is a shore town without being a shore town,” he said. “It has the theater there… There are lots of great restaurants there. It really fits. When you look at Hoboken, Ridgewood, Westfield, a natural extension of that is Red Bank.”Plans call for the 3,400-square foot store to be open “by the holidays” with the best-case scenario being Thanksgiving and worst case by Christmas. Though the manager has not yet been named, Carlo’s expects to employ 25 to 30 people in the new location, Bourcier said.Representatives of the bakery were expected to drop off applications and floor plans to the borough on Thursday, Sept. 26, to obtain the necessary building permits. Because a bakeshop is already a permitted use in the location, no zoning or planning board approvals will be needed, Bourcier said.The store will feature a “cake bar” where customers will be able to see bakers making the sweets that will fill the store’s glass-fronted display counters. “People will be able to see cakes and other baked good and pastries being brought to life right in front of their faces,” he said.The longtime family business really got a boost and a national identity when it was first was featured in the TLC Network show Cake Boss in 2009. The show features Valastro and employees, many of whom are his family members, as they create fanciful and elaborate cakes for special occasions. Since the Cake Boss debuted, Valastro and Carlo’s has been the focus of other television shows and the business has grown to include its Lackawanna Cake Factory, the other downtown outlets and anonline presence where people can order baked good to be delivered across the country. Bourcier said, while the Red Bank location may occasionally appear on Cake Boss, it will not be regularly featured.“It’s still a family owned business…It’s always been a busy bakery. Obviously, since the show premiered in 2009, things have changed, especially at the Hoboken location. It became much more of a tourist-type destination. A lot of people obviously come to New York City, and Hoboken is a 15 or 20 minute PATH ride away,” he said. “Especially during the summer when there are school breaks, we’ll have people there from Australia at times.”Carlo’s also has a partnership with Norwegian Cruise Lines where they now have a bakery on one of the ships that goes out of New York.last_img read more


Rossland/Trail blasts Midget Reps 7-3 to grab playoff opener

first_imgKyle Shannon, with a pair, Craig Martin and Jeff Conway staked the Home of Champions squad to the early lead and the visitors never looked back.Derek Steep and Martin with a pair, to compete his hat-trick, also scored for Roslsand/Trail.John Katountas of Nelson, Tyler Chernenkoff of Castlegar and Nick Maida of Nelson replied for the home side. Coleton Dawson of Nelson had two assists while Katountas finished with two points.”Rossland/Trail has been playing in the Okanagan league for the entire season against Tier II competition while we’ve been playing mostly Tier III competition,” said a Castlegar/Nelson team spokes person. “So they’re a very good team.”Garrett Steeds of Castlegar was in goal for Castlegar/Nelson while Eric Bullanoff picked up the win in goal for Rossland/Trail.Game two of the series goes Thursday in at 4:30 p.m. in the Cominco [email protected] By The Nelson Daily SportsThe Castlegar/Nelson Midget Reps took it on the chin Wednesday during the opening game of the West Kootenay Minor Hockey League playoff contest.Rossland/Trail scored four first period goals en route to a 7-3 victory in game one of the first-team-to-four point series.The series winner advances to the B.C. Hockey Tier II Midget Rep championship tournament next month in Salmon Arm.last_img read more


‘Finishing below Sunderland and Boro isn’t a success for Newcastle!’ – Opinion

first_imgtalkSPORT Drive presenter Adrian Durham gives his view on events at St James’ Park…Listening to Jason Cundy on the Sportsbar this week was brilliant and hilarious in equal measure. He basically said Newcastle hadn’t had a successful season because they shouldn’t even be in the division they’ve just won.I missed a good chunk of the show because I was laughing uncontrollably at the ridiculous caller who bit back at Jason: “Newcastle have had a more successful season so far than Chelsea!”Geordie genius?Are you Geordie sure?Question: does winning the title in the second tier end Newcastle’s trophy drought? No, of course not. The fans of this club will rightly continue to demand real success.Finishing 21st in England isn’t a successful season.Finishing below Sunderland and Middlesbrough can in no way be described as success for Newcastle.In the context of the season Newcastle have done the job required. But if the message from the Toon army is that this qualifies as success, why should Ashley spend any money next season?He might as well get relegated, then promoted again. Then get relegated and then promoted again. Success every other season? What’s not to love for the owner!Newcastle sold players and signed players. Net spend this, injuries that. What’s not in question is Newcastle had the best squad, best manager and biggest budget – a budget bigger than a lot of Premier League clubs.Winning the title was a no-brainer in the Championship for Newcastle, no matter what kind of desperate arguments are put up to try to pretend otherwise. It should have been in their hands from start to finish, but it wasn’t. Ultimately that doesn’t matter – because the record books will show that Newcastle won the league.They’ll also show it is the second best league in the country. There is no Champions League qualification. There is no end to that infamous trophy drought that’s been going on since they won the Fairs Cup in 1969.Now, without Googling, Newcastle fans: who did you beat in the final? What was the score? And who was the only foreign player in the Newcastle team (you should know him, he scored)?Newcastle shouldn’t even be in the Championship, so winning the title in the second tier – being the 21st best team in the country this season – should be met with a pat on the back, well done for putting right what went wrong and should never have happened last season.Stumbling over the title line and relying on Brighton slipping up in three successive games, and then celebrating so wildly sends out all the wrong signals to Mike Ashley.Every 7 May from now on will be celebrated on Tyneside – Happy Jack Grealish Day – the man who won Newcastle the title. I hope they cut Jack a medal. Answers: Ujpest FC (formerly Ujpest Dosza), 6-2 on aggregate, Preben Arentoft. Newcastle United celebrate their Championship title win 1last_img read more


Sony Xperia X review: Stakes are high, so is the price

first_imgThe Xperia X is a paradox, for Sony and for the smartphone world in general. On one side it has been priced at an atrocious Rs 48,990 that makes it instantly qualify for the position of top-tier flagship phone of the year, and on the other it’s missing out on even the most basic feature-set that you’d expect from a top-tier flagship phone of the year. There’s no quad-HD display, or a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, or crazy amount of RAM, or an optically-stabilised camera, or a sizeable battery, or even a USB Type-C port. Name a top-tier spec, and chances are the Sony Xperia X probably won’t have it. But for Sony, this phone also marks the beginning of a new era, one sans the premiere Xperia Z line-up, which is a little ironical. Both the Xperia Z5 and Z5 Premium — touted as last Z-phones — were pretty good phones, and in a way, a return to form for Sony. The Xperia X on the contrary seems like a step backwards.Design and build qualityThe Xperia X is not very different from the Xperia Z5, or for that matter even the Xperia Z3 Plus. It’s essentially a box — of all-metal and no glass this time round — only that it’s a lot less boxy than previous Xperia phones. With time, Sony has learnt to appreciate the beauty of subtle curves. And subtle it is, about the curves, with the Xperia X. In fact, it’s hard to make them out with the naked eye. You’ll have to hold it to feel it. You’ll like it. The attention to detail is hard to overlook.advertisementSony just can’t let go of its trademark OmniBalance design. And that is for a reason. No one does minimalistic design better than Sony.The Xperia X’s soft matte finish that transcends all along its length and breadth and curved 2.5D glass on the front make it an instant looker. And it feels every bit as premium. Rounded and bumper corners make a return from previous Z phones, and help the phone bear accidental drops. Sony’s flagship phone is as thick and as light as the Galaxy S7 and the LG G5. Although bezels are on the chunkier side. Sony just can’t let go of its trademark OmniBalance design and that is good. No one does minimalistic design better than Sony Button placement stays put from the Xperia Z5. This means the Xperia X continues with the oblong, deep-seated and kind of irritating fingerprint scanner on the right edge. It’s very quick, but you’ll have to get used to it. The volume rocker is still below the fingerprint scanner and I still feel that this is a very bad position for it. The physical camera shutter button stays as well, which is fantastic.The left edge houses a hybrid card slot for two SIM cards or one SIM and one microSD card.DisplayThe Galaxy S7, LG G5 and HTC 10 all boast of 1440p screens. Sony, on the other hand, seems contend with 1080p. The Xperia X (much like the Xperia Z5) comes with a 5-inch 1080p IPS LCD display with 441ppi pixel density, which — on paper — is significantly lower than what’s on offer on either of the aforementioned phones. What does that mean for the average buyer? Not much, unless the buyer is looking to go all gung-ho about virtual reality on his next buy.The screen of the Xperia X is adequately bright with good viewing angles and more than satisfactory outdoor legibility. But it is no match for what a certain Galaxy S7 — deeply saturated colours — or for that matter even the HTC 10 — neutral colours — has to offer. The screen of the Xperia X may be good, but it’s just not good enough, even though Sony’s X-Reality and Super-vivid modes work well to boost colour saturation quite a bit.SoftwareThe Xperia X runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow-based Xperia UI. Sony’s Xperia UI (along with HTC’s Sense) was probably one of the very few third-party Android user interfaces that got it right in fewer attempts, than say Samsung’s TouchWiz. Although skinning is on the heavier side of things, Xperia UI doesn’t end up huffing, puffing and losing its breath by the end of the day. It’s smooth, low on in-your-face animations and very functional. And oh, it’s trying to offer some customisation options in the form of themes along the way, which is always nice to have. The drop down notification panel and the apps overview window are characteristic Google-style, which is also nice.   But not everything is hunky dory. Sony seems to have caught the penchant for unwanted apps or bloat, which is a reverse of what Samsung is doing these days. Frankly speaking, the number of unwanted apps has only grown in Xperia phones with time. And that’s not a good thing. The fact that you can’t uninstall — and only disable — many of them makes matters worse. The Xperia X, for the lack of a better term, is a David among the Goliaths. But this time the story has no happy ending. Not even a miracle could save our David here advertisementAnother drawback — on how you decide to look at it — is the suggested apps menu in the app drawer. I for one found it less useful — even more so, since I had way too many apps installed on the phone — and to have to end up on a screen that gathers suggested apps based on my usage patterns every time I swiped through various app screens was overwhelming, and to an extent annoying. There’s already a search box up top on every screen, so this feature is totally redundant. But then, this is something entirely subjective. There can be users who will find it useful.Performance and battery life     Sony’s new top-tier phone is powered by a 1.8 GHz hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor — more a mid-level chip — clubbed with Adreno 510 GPU and 3GB RAM. The phone comes with 64GB of internal memory which is expandable by up to 256GB via microSD card.It’s pretty ironical that a phone that costs close to Rs 50,000 has the same processor (and RAM) as a phone that costs around Rs 10,000 which in case if you haven’t guessed already is the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3. But, you can always argue that Sony phones are different. Sony is an older — and a much bigger — company and its phones have never been in the race to break the price barrier. So, it won’t be right to compare the Xperia X with the Redmi Note 3. What then? Compare it with the Galaxy S7, LG G5 and the HTC 10 that retail at similar prices? It won’t be fair to Sony then because simply put, the Xperia X is underpowered. There’s really no subtle way to put it.Also read: Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 review: Mr dependable like Rahul DravidThe Xperia X, for the lack of a better term, is a David among the Goliaths. But this time the story has no happy ending. Not even a miracle can save our David here.The Xperia X could be your daily driver if you’re someone who’s looking to do just the basics and some gaming. Basics are handled well, and so is occasional gaming (even graphics-intensive) but nothing drastically different — faster — from what we’ve already seen in the case of the Redmi Note 3. And, Xiaomi’s phone runs MIUI, which is notorious for its over-the-top animations and colour schemes. So, that’s particularly not very encouraging.advertisementOne area where the Snapdragon 650 excels is heat, or the lack of it. It’s really hard to get the Xperia X hot, even when you’re out pushing it.Sadly, there’s only so much that a mid-level processor on-board the Xperia X can achieve when compared with rivals, especially during gaming and multi-tasking. Even though Sony’s UI runs mostly smooth as butter, the Xperia X feels visibly slower than Snapdragon 820 and 4GB RAM toting phones. The camera app — although it loads fairly quickly — takes awefuly long to click a shot and even longer to process the image.The Xperia X boasts of front-firing stereo speakers which get really loud and punchy with little or no distortion at max. It’s one area where the Xperia X really stands out. In fact, next to the HTC 10, it’s rocking the best in-class speakers that we’ve seen in a smartphone of this price range. Phone calls made with the phone are of excellent quality and we did not encounter any odd call drop issues with our review unit. The Xperia X supports dualSIM, 4G LTE and NFC connectivity options.The Xperia X is backed by a 2,620 mAh battery. Battery life is fantastic. It’s safe to say that it is one of the biggest highlights of Sony’s new phone. Extreme (and a mix of moderate usage) saw us get close to 15 hours out of the device with no hiccups. The Xperia X loses negligible charge while it is on stand-by mode, much like the Z5. Most users with more generalised usage will be able to get one to one and a half days of battery life out of the device.CameraThe Xperia X sports a 23-megapixel camera on the rear with f/2.0 aperture, phase detection autofocus and LED flash. Basically it’s the same camera that Sony put in the Z5, only it can’t do 4K videos. The phone’s auto-focus system lets the rear camera quickly focus in as little as 0.03 seconds, claims Sony. Results vary depending on available light. All in all, the camera is pretty quick to focus with passable shutter speed, much like the Z5. But, just like the Z5, the camera algorithm on-board is marred by a slight delay in processing and saving pictures after you’ve clicked them.Also, the Xperia X feels a lot slower than the Galaxy S7, HTC 10 or the LG G5 over all. Thankfully, one area where the Xperia X camera excels is in the image quality. The phone clicks amazing photos. Daylight photos pack in substantial amount of detail with colours that look rich and vibrant and dynamic range is spot on. The Xperia X can also capture good quality shots with shallow depth of field, but falls short of the Galaxy S7 in macro photography. Still, the phone can stand neck to neck with the best camera phones in this range especially in good lighting.Images clicked in tricky light situations came out well, even though there’s no optical image stabilisation here.On the front you get a 13-megapixel cam which is a big bump over the 5-megapixel snapper of the Z5. It clicks good quality selfies in good lighting. Low light selfies have some noise.  XPreviousNext  Should you buy it?The Xperia X is not a bad smartphone. In fact, next to the Z5, it is easily among the best Xperia phones that Sony has built in a long, long time. And that ladies and gentlemen is the answer to the all-important question that you’ve all been patiently waiting for.The Xperia X is a good smartphone, but the Xperia Z5 is so much better in every sense of the word. Not to forget, the latter also gets waterproof body.It’s hard to understand why Sony came out with the Xperia X in the first place when it already had a perfectly capable flagship phone up its sleeve. The Xperia X would have perhaps made more sense had Sony priced it say at Rs 30,000. Even that is a little high considering the spec-sheet but seriously this is a Sony phone, so a bit of premium is worth paying. But a price closer to Rs 50,000 is just too much. Sony has been struggling in the market and even though the Xperia X is a decent phone, it is not going to help its case much.####Sony Xperia X####6.5/10########Good stuffPremium stand-out designExcellent speakerCapable camerasExcellent battery life####Bad stuffMediocre hardwareNo 4K video recordingIt is not waterproofVery expensivelast_img read more