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Phone Reviews : Sony Xperia XA Reviews and Ratings

access_time Oct 06,2016 chat_bubble_outline 344 views

Update: Sony Xperia XA Reviews and Ratings

Phone Reviews : Sony Xperia XA Reviews and Ratings

The Xperia XA features a 5” display with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. At this resolution, you can see a bit of pixelization and the screen does not look perfectly sharp.

Colors are also far from perfect: whites appear annoyingly bluish, and colors on the whole are way overblown and not well balanced. Why is this important? Simple: it makes all the colors in images and video appear different from what their creators intended them to look like.

Phone Reviews : Sony Xperia XA Reviews and Ratings

On a more positive note, the screen does get quite bright and is legible even under direct sunlight. Viewing angles are not bad, as well, as brightness is retained at different angles.

Sony Xperia XA Reviews and Ratings: DESIGN

The Sony Xperia XA has a design emerging as a common standard for mid-price phones out to avoid feeling cheap. It's a mostly-plastic device, with some bits of metal tacked-on.

Phone Reviews : Sony Xperia XA Reviews and Ratings

There's a slight act of self-deception involved here. The idea is that because the sides of the Xperia XA are metal, you get some of that high-end feel while only using about 10 per cent of the more expensive materials.

Guess what: you do. While it's nowhere near as nice-feeling as a OnePlus 3 (not even close), the logic makes sense. Put the fancy-feeling bits by your fingertips, the most sensitive parts of your hands.

Phone Reviews : Sony Xperia XA Reviews and Ratings

To get specific, only the left and right sides are aluminum. The top, the bottom and the back of the Xperia XA are all-plastic.

The other fancy part is the curved glass on top of the display. You'll often see this referred to as 2.5D glass, meaning its edges are rounded-off. It's not flat-out curved like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. It softens the feel, but must come at barely any premium at all given how many cheaper phones use this glass.

Phone Reviews : Sony Xperia XA Reviews and Ratings

Sony's burning of the Xperia Z branding with the new X range may make you think there are grand changes in this year's Sony phones, but there aren't. The Sony Xperia XA is formed of compacted Z-series ashes. It's very slim, and has what Sony used to call an OmniBalance setup where the power button sits almost in the middle of the phone's side.

Of course, many manufacturers do this nowadays so the obvious difference is that the Xperia XA has a round power button.

Phone Reviews : Sony Xperia XA Reviews and Ratings

Among Xperia phones, what's neat about the Xperia XA is that its left/right screen surrounds are very, very skinny. In the past I've complained about Xperias being frankly not that nice to hold because of, variously, boxy designs, sharp seams and dimensions that come across better on paper than in person. There are no such issues here, though.

Sure, it'd feel much skinnier if the shape wasn't essentially still a rectangular box, but the Sony Xperia XA is easy to handle.

Phone Reviews : Sony Xperia XA Reviews and Ratings

Like most mid-range-and-higher phones these days, the Xperia XA has a non-removable back with a non-accessible battery. There's a flap on the side that covers the microSD and nanoSIM slots.

Unlike the Sony Xperia Z5, there's no rubber seal on this flap so, whatever you do, don't drop the Xperia XA down the toilet, in your pint glass, etc. Sony has largely backed away from big waterproofing claims in its phones anyway, after one too many people found that their water resistance was less than infallible.

There aren't too many higher-end hardware extras either. There's no fingerprint scanner, for example, the latest "must-have" among ambitious mid-range designers like Honor, Motorola and OnePlus.

Sony Xperia XA Reviews and Ratings: PERFORMANCE

Performance varies wildly between mid-range phones. Many use older chips, like the Moto G4 for example. Others, like this Xperia XA, go for less well-known CPUs.

Instead of using silicon made by Qualcomm, a mainstay in a vast majority of Android phones, Sony uses a Mediatek CPU. To be more precise it’s the Helios P10 chipset that budget-focused brands like Elephone have been using. It’s octa-core, LTE-equipped and has a clock speed of 2.0GHz. Alongside it sits 2GB of RAM – respectable enough for a phone of this price – and a Mali T860 GPU.

The specs aren't anything to write home about, but the phone's general performance isn't terrible. With day-to-day use the XA's performance is perfectly fine. Basic apps (Hangouts, Chrome, Gmail, Twitter, Snapchat) all work without a hitch, though more intensive ones (VSCO, Afterlight, etc) can feel sluggish.

It’s a similar situation with games. You should be OK unless you want to max out Asphalt 8 and not see any dropped frames. Loading times were also much longer on the Xperia XA compared to the Moto G4, but you’ll probably only notice this if you have both phones next to each other.

Phone Reviews : Sony Xperia XA Reviews and Ratings

In 10ToptenReviews usual suite of benchmarking tests, the Sony Xperia XA scored 47,959 in the AnTuTu test. This is a respectable mid-range score, putting it the same bracket as the Fairphone 2 and slightly above the Nexus 5X. I’d normally use Geekbench 3 too, but that failed every time, citing lack of an internet connection.

16GB is the only storage option available, and with a couple of apps installed I was quickly down to about 6GB of space. Thankfully, there’s a microSD card slot, and I’d certainly advise picking up a card (this SanDisk Ultra 64GB one is great, and very affordable) if you want to save music and videos offline.

The downward-facing speaker is rubbish, a disappointment from a brand so music-focused as Sony, and the microphones are a little on the quiet side. Expect to speak up a bit when you’re on the phone in blustery conditions.

Sony Xperia XA Reviews and Ratings: BATTERY

Three 10TTR editors tested the Xperia X's battery on three different review units. Together, we got about a 9-hour average on the 2,620mAh battery on a looping video test. That's an hour or two less than we'd expect, and you'll see your battery drain faster with heavy use like navigation and music or video streaming over your carrier network.

However, do keep in mind that as an Android 6.0 phone, the X does includes Doze, which prolongs battery life while the handset's idle -- which is to say that real-world use should still last a standard work day between top-ups. There's also a built-in battery-saving mode, and the handset charges up in under two hours thanks to Qualcomm's quick-charge 2.0 standard.

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