The company has been updating its Xperia Z line almost every six month for the past few years. This frustrates Sony fans who are locked into two-year contracts and see many new handsets on the market. Sony Xperia Xa Black Friday Deals 2021 It also leaves us wondering if Sony is holding onto straws. The Xperia Z5 was a great phone. But, the flagship model now appears to be the Xperia X – it’s not this phone. The Xperia XA was also released at the X. It is cheaper and more attractive, but it has fewer features.
The Xperia XA is for whom? And should it be preferred over other Sony phones and its competitors? This is our Sony Xperia XA Review.At the time of writing, the Sony Xperia XA was available in the UK for PS219.99 SIM-free from Carphone Warehouse. This is significantly lower than the Xperia X which retails at . The XA’s price rivals are the Samsung Galaxy A3 which is available for new purchase at PS239 as the iPhone 5s nears its third birthday.
The design department is where the Sony Xperia XA shines. The Xperia XA is a solid, slim smartphone that looks great. It has a 5in screen. It is edge-to-edge so the handset isn’t too heavy in your hand. Although you could probably use the screen one-handed, it can sometimes be difficult to type with your thumb.
The build quality is pretty good, though there’s no metal like on the flagship Xperia X – instead the XA is coated in solid plastic, but the back picks up fingerprints quite easily. The black model was our review unit, but it is more grey. You can also get it in white, rose and gold. You wonder where that idea came from?
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Overall this is a lush looking phone, and seeing as the edge-to-edge display isn’t on the more expensive Xperia X it’s a great differentiator if you want to spend less but get a premium look. The edges are aren’t rounded or obvious as on the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, and they also provide no additional functionality like that phone does. It’s all about the look.
The XA measures in at a slim 143.6 x 66.8 x 8.9mm. It weighs in at 137g. The XA is extremely compact and Sony has made a smart move. At over PS200, the Xperia XA won’t get much pay as you go attention, but once you start to consider contracts, most people won’t mind paying a tenner more a month for a superior alternative handset.
The circular power button is located at the right edge. However, there’s no fingerprint scanner. The volume rocker is located just below it, while the dedicated camera button is further down. The phone has a camera front (8Mp with LED flash), and a back (13Mp). There is also a thick bezel at its top and bottom.
It is a magnet for fingerprints, and there is no anti-mark coating on its front screen. You will find the SIM and microSD slot (expandable to 200GB) tray on the left. However, be aware that the phone will restart if the SIM is removed. This is quite unusual for modern smartphones.
The specs are where the Xperia XA, on paper at least, falls down compared to the kings of the Android world. The screen is an IPS LCD capable 16M colours and is clearly inferior to the Xperia X as well as many modern smartphones. This is especially true if you have ever used an iPhone with a Retina Display – a high resolution standard since 2010. The XA’s text display is a little pixelated, and the screen is quite dark when you watch videos with the brightness jacked up.
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It has a Mediatek MT6755 Helio P10 processor and a fine 2GB RAM. This memory limit is not noticeable if there are more than 10 open apps. Otherwise, you will experience the lag that you would expect from a sub-PS300 smartphone. NFC is also available, but there’s no finger print scanner. This means that payment apps are not as quick and convenient.
Sony phones have been praised for their waterproof capabilities in recent years. However, this feature is not available on the XA. This would have been a way to lower the price, but the flagship Xperia X is also not waterproof. We’re sorry for all the confusing Xs.The 16GB of onboard storage was more apparent when setting up the Xperia XA. If you need more apps or media, you will need to purchase a microSD card.
Micro-USB allows data exchange and charging. The bundled charger offers fast charging which is great for the price. Sony claims that it can charge for 5.5 hours from a 10-minute charge. We were able to test this claim. The camera on the Xperia XA’s camera is not great, but it is decent enough. This is not the phone that you would want to use for your wedding photos. However, higher-end phones can take decent images and you may be able to get some great shots.
Sony’s marketing strategy for the XA has been aggressive but also vague. Sony loves to create meaningless features. One example is the hybrid autofocus feature on the camera that locks onto moving objects in order to maintain sharp pictures. Although you can tap anywhere on your screen to lock onto a target (which is very clever), it was blurry every time we tried to take a photo while moving the phone.
This is quite normal for a smartphone camera, and it’s disappointing to see Sony produce a decent middle-range phone such as the XA but then rely on marketing that is basically a lie. We still like the phone, which is a shame. But be aware of false marketing claims.
The Xperia XA comes with Android Marshmallow 6.0. This continues Sony’s trend to use stock Android. It is great to see. Although the app tray may be slightly different, it is easy to navigate if you have used an Android phone in the past. There is a small amount of bloatware included in the setup process, as with all Xperia phones. This includes Sony’s TrackID widgets to play music and the PlayStation app. You can keep them, but the branding won’t be too intrusive if they are Sony Xperia Xa Black Friday Deals 2021 removed from your home screen. Although the 2GB RAM is sufficient to run the operating system well, the handset can get a bit slow when running multiple apps simultaneously. However, this is true for even the highest-spec phones.