Sony has been struggling to stay relevant in the smartphone industry for quite some time now because they haven’t been able to keep up with the advancements in technology. When I heard about the Sony Xperia XA a few months ago I was hoping that Sony would do a better job with this phone than they had done with their other phones.
But I was wrong, Sony has continued their trend of poorly made smartphones with the release of the Xperia XA. Sony is a great company that has had a long history of creating great products but for some reason or another, their smartphones have not been up to par with the other smartphones that are currently available.
Sony Xperia XA Hardware And Design:
The Xperia XA comes equipped with a 5-inch display screen, an Octa-core MediaTek CPU, 13MP camera, 16GB of internal storage and a 2,300 mAh non-removable battery.
The Xperia XA looks a bit more attractive than its predecessor the Xperia X. The Xperia XA is a relatively slim phone at 7.9mm, the edge-to-edge display gives the phone a unique look and feel to it, but this phone isn’t waterproof like some of the other phones that are currently on the market.
The Xperia XA is made primarily of polycarbonate (plastic) and metal, the chassis of the phone is made of polycarbonate which looks like metal and the back panel is made of metal. The display screen is made of 2.5D glass this means that the glass is curved and the edges are rounded off.
The phone fits nicely into the contours of your hand as a result of the curved glass and round edges these attributes makes it easy to handle the phone. The power button is round and it’s located on the side of the phone, it’s almost in the middle, Sony often referred to this as an OmniBalance.
The battery and the back panel of the Xperia XA are non-removable this is common among many mid-range-phones that are currently on the market. The phone has a microSD card slot and a nanoSIM slot which are located on the side of the phone and they are covered by a protective flap.
The phone has a 5-inch 720p IPS LCD display screen, I’m not sure why Sony opted for a 720p display screen while the OnePlus 3 and some of the other midrange phones have 1080p, I think this was a bad decision on the part of Sony. The picture quality is not bad but it lacks the rich vibrant colors that we’ve seen in some of the other Sony phones.
When viewing the screen at different angles there’s a loss of brightness and there’s a blue-leaning white balance issue which has a negative effect on the color tone. However, when viewing the screen outside or in a well-lit setting visibility is good. When the phone is in a well-lit setting the sensors on the display screen will adjust the color to improve the visibility of the screen.
The display screen on the Xperia XA isn’t bad, however, it’s not as good as the display screen in some of the other mid-range phones in its price range.
The primary camera on the Xperia XA is a 13MP camera which has phase detection hybrid focusing. The phase detection feature does not work very well, it lags quite a bit when trying to take pictures in a dark setting. The quality of the photos taken in a dark setting is mediocre, to say the least. However, the camera takes good pictures in a well-lit setting.
The HDR (High Dynamic Range) feature does not perform well on the Xperia XA and the phone has a hard time capturing details in the foreground of an image that’s well lit. The features of the camera app in the Xperia XA is very similar to that of its predecessors.
There is a manual mode which is your typical camera app that gives you access to more scene modes as well as some Manual controls, and there’s the Superior Auto mode that works by pointing and shooting. The Superior Auto mode will work just fine for the typical smartphone user.
The Selfie camera on the Xperia XA is an 8MP camera that has autofocus, the quality of pictures taken with this camera are okay but they are not the best. Some of the pictures taken with this camera are not sharp and they do not retain detail.
The phone has a custom UI (User Interface), and it runs on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system, at some point, it will probably be upgraded to the Android 7 Nougat. In the Xperia XA Sony has discontinued some of the unnecessary features of its predecessors.
The UI is clean, user-friendly, and it has full-width notifications which looks great with the edge-to-edge display screen. Sony has a new lock screen feature which can be color customized with different themes. The UI is simple and it bares a slight resemblance to the UI in Nexus phones but the app launcher is slightly different.
The phone comes with a set of pre-loaded Sony apps, however, many of these apps can be deleted. I think Sony did a great job with the UI on this phone.
The Xperia XA comes with 2GB of ram and a MediaTek processor Sony hasn’t used this type of processor in years. I’m not sure why they decided to use a MediaTek processor instead of a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor which would have been more reliable.
When it comes to performance the phone isn’t always responsive and it can be glitchy at times. A few times while using the phone the UI became frozen, whenever it happened I turned the screen off for a split second then I turned it back on and that momentarily solved the problem.
If you’re someone who enjoys playing video games on your phone then the Xperia XA may not be the best phone for you. The predecessors to the Xperia XA supported PS4 Remote Play, however, the Xperia XA does not, Sony probably did this because the processor isn’t powerful enough.
These issues are due to the MediaTek processor in the phone, Sony needs to stop using these processors because it’s hurting their brand.
The Xperia XA comes with a 2300mAh non-removable battery, this battery isn’t powerful enough for a smartphone with a 5-inch display screen. The battery will not last for a full day of moderate use, and if you plan on heavily using the phone make sure you have access to the charger because the battery life isn’t very good.
Sony felt as though the phone’s fast charging technology will compensate for the poor battery life that it possesses. However, I think most smartphone users will disagree with this.
My Final Thought:
The Sony Xperia XA is a slim mid-range phone with round edges that fits nicely in your hand. However, the mediocre battery life doubled with a bad processor is hurting the overall performance of the phone, the Xperia XA does not perform as well as the other mid-range phones that are currently on the market today.
Please let me know your thoughts about the Xperia XA in the comment section below.