More than a couple of tech journalists went wild after seeing Sony Xperia XZ Premium. After the insane coverage regarding one of the best smartphones at the fair, it’s no surprise that you got the impression Sony launched just the XZ series. Yet, the company showed off two other, brand new smartphones, with impressive display and cameras #mobilemagic
I’m talking about the Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra (yes, Sony loves spelling challenges). The reason you haven’t heard so much about them is the fact that they’re mid-rangers… with premium specs, I’d add. What they’re lacking in processing power and software, they’re making up for in display and camera sensor size.
Both devices are run by Mediatek Helio P20 chipsets and feature a 23MP f/2 rear camera (Sony might have gone for a 19MP resolution on the flagship phone, yet here it surfaces again). Here is where similarities end. As you’d expect, the Ultra version is the better and the bigger of the two. It’s covered with a 6-inch 1080p edge-to-edge display, which makes it a phablet all the way. Unfortunately, the top and bottom bezels are still there.
Also, the XA1 Ultra has a better front shooter than the normal model, offering a 16MP resolution with front flash. Optical image stabilization is included, so you get super sharp, smooth videos and very realistic selfies. It’s clearly a phone dedicated to Social Media fans, ones that have the urge to update their Instagram frequently and the muscles to keep this massive phone straight.
I was told Sony included a software bonus called “Xperia Actions”. This thing learns your phone usage habits and manages apps accordingly – a feature I couldn’t help but relate to Huawei P10 machine learning function. Instead of just using it to increase power efficiency, this phone adapts, by adjusting the brightness of the screen and volume of calls when you’re most likely asleep, for example.
The specs list of the XA1 Ultra ends with an alarmingly small battery – 2700 mAh (justified only by the processor’s power), Android 7.0 Nougat, 4GB of RAM, 32GB/64GB of internal storage, microSD slot for up to 256GB. The XA1 5-inch 720p model is limited by 3GB of RAM, an 8MP selfie camera and just 32GB of internal storage, with the same option of microSD slot.
If Sony can make the price as attractive as the features, I say this is a budget device you have to consider this year.