Home Opinion Sony Xperia XA1 Review: The Midrange Champ

Sony Xperia XA1 Review: The Midrange Champ

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The midrange smartphone market competition has never been intense. Right now Vivo, Huawei, Samsung and OPPO are fighting over a bigger chunk of shares.  Sony wanted a chunk of share on this price segment with the Sony Xperia XA1. Will you include this on your wishlist and consider to buy a Sony? Let’s find out.

Sony Xperia XA1:

  • Octa Core Mediatek Helio P20 processor
  • Mali T880MP2
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB internal memory expandable via MicroSD up to 256GB
  • 5-inch HD IPS LCD display (1280 x 720 pixels)
  • 23 megapixel rear facing camera with PDAF, laser autofocus, LED flash
  • 8 megapixel front facing camera with autofocus
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby
  • 4G/LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • 2,300 mAh battery with fast battery charging
  • Android 7.0 Nougat

Related article – Sony Xperia XA1 Unboxing and First Impressions

HARDWARE AND DESIGN

If you place the Sony Xperia XA1 beside other competing smartphones, it will stand out. Why? It is the only smartphone that will not remind you of the iPhone’s design. Sony has been using this boxy rectangular design since their first Xperia smartphones back in 2012. Surprisingly, it becomes a refreshing sight. We also love this pink variant. Girls will love the color and the size which is perfect for their hands.

DISPLAY

The Xperia XA1 houses a 5-inch screen with an edge to edge display. The trimmed side bezels made the phone sexy and desirable to hold with one hand. Though it has thick top and bottom chins, the display is still sharp and bright under direct sunlight. It has a unique feature called Super Vivid Mode that maximize colors when viewing photos or videos.

SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE

One of Sony’s best feature is the software. Over the years, the company has trimmed down its custom UI to give the experience more like stock Android. They’ve eliminated redundant apps and bloatwares too. Overall performance is generally smooth thanks to its generous 3GB RAM for background and open apps. The Helio P20 is also a smooth performer too. Playing games is a smooth experience except for those graphic intense games. NBA 2k17 will play here smoothly as long as you keep the graphic settings to low.

Antutu Benchmark score

CAMERA

Another great feature is the camera. Sony did put the same camera sensor found on the former flagship Xperia Z5 on this phone. Its a great camera indeed! The software is another story. We recommend you take photos using the manual mode instead of Super Auto Mode.

The camera interface is a bit confusing at first especially if you want to tinker the settings. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll be all set. Check out some of our photos!

CONNECTIVITY

The Xperia XA1 is lacking a fingerprint scanner. It will be a big bummer if you are particular with your phone’s security. Other than that, all essential connectivity options are standard – 4G/LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth. Calls are clear with no issues and internet speeds are the usual norms.

Speed test done using Globe’s LTE network in BGC, Taguig

BATTERY

With all honesty, looking at the phone’s specs, that 2,300 mAh battery is too small for today’s standards and we are about to judge it negatively. To our surprise, that battery is AMAZING! It lasted 2 days of mixed light to moderate use. On our video loop test, we managed to get a solid 4 hours and 30 minutes of screen on time which is very impressive.

VERDICT

The Sony Xperia XA1 is truly a midrange champ when it comes to design and build quality. Sony continues to build excellent smartphones and has not lost touch ever since. It may lacking some features you need like a fingerprint scanner or a bigger screen but the design is a standout among its competitors. Should you consider one? Definitely!