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Sony Xperia XA1 Phone Review

Sony Xperia Phone Review

Sony Xperia Phone Review

If you are looking for a budget-oriented smartphone and don’t trust the Chinese brands then Sony Xperia XA1 would be an interesting option. Sony is one of the most popular brands when it comes to electronic gadgets and the Xperia line-up is known to have produced some of the best smartphones in the past.

Sony Xperia XA1 is a perfect phone who want a device that is reliable and practical. So, why is it so great? Let us take an in-depth look at the phone and find out.

Specifications

Chipset: You would find a MediaTek MT6757 Helio P20 chipset under the hood. It comes with an Octa-core processor which will be great for everyday multitasking needs.

RAM and ROM: The phone features 3 GB RAM and comes with 32 GB internal storage.

Display: The phone features a 5.0-inch 720p display.

Camera: You would find a single 23 MP camera on the back and an 8 MP Selfie cam on the front.

GPU: The phone comes with a Mali-T880MP2 GPU.

Battery: Xperia XA1 is powered by a 2300 mAh Li-ion battery.

Price: The phone costs ₹11,990 on Flipkart and you can get an additional discount on using Flipkart coupon code. The specifications aren’t that great for a device in 2018 but one shouldn’t judge a phone’s capability by its specs alone.

Design

On the first look, Xperia XA1 seems like a smaller version of the flagship Xperia XZ. But on a closer inspection, you would notice why XA1 is a budget-friendly device and XZ is a premium model. XA1 is made out of plastic entirely as compared to the glass and metal body of the Xperia XZ. Even though the Xperia XA1 is made out of plastic, it feels quite solid and you won’t feel that it is plastic. The phone is pretty thin as it measures only 8 mm in depth.

One of the biggest issues in the design of Xperia XA1 is the screen. In 2018 when manufacturers are trying their best to create devices with a high screen to body ratio the XA1 comes with large bezels.

Xperia XA1 has most of the design features that you would expect from any Sony phone such as the side mounted power button but it doesn’t function as a fingerprint scanner. Actually, the phone doesn’t come with a fingerprint scanner. Apart from the power button, you would find the camera button as well which is extremely rare nowadays.

It comes with a headphone jack and supports memory cards up to 256 GB.

So, in terms of design the phone will appear and feel premium but when you compare it to any other mobile phone in 2018 you will notice that it lacks some important features.

Display

As you have noticed from the specs, the display isn’t that impressive either. In 2018 you are getting a “standard” 16:9 aspect ratio display with a resolution of 720 X 1280. The display is 5-inches diagonally. Even though the display is only 720p you would notice that the text appears to be sharp and looks great. But opening a game or any other 3D application shows that the display isn’t up to the mark. The Moto G5 which costs less than XA1 comes with a 1080p display so it raises a question why didn’t Sony put a 1080p display on the XA1.

In terms of color reproduction, the phone is great. It might not match the level of XZ Premium but the rich and vivid colors are acceptable at this price point. The display is bright and is very legible in direct sunlight. It features a special mode that enhances (read as oversaturates) the pictures and videos so you need to turn it off.

Overall, the display on Xperia XA1 isn’t that great and you could find phones that are cheaper and provide a Full-HD display.

Performance

The phone comes with Android 7.0 and runs a custom skin. This skin looks great and you won’t find any problem in using the device unless of course you are used to the stock Android experience. The octa-core processor is decent enough and you won’t come across any problems in day to day options. It is an excellent device when it comes to multitasking and memory management.

In terms of gaming, the phone isn’t the best out there but manages to run all the games at 720p without running into any trouble. You are spending ₹12,000 or slightly less if you use Flipkart coupon code and it’s obvious that you expect the phone to perform. Let us see if it is up to the mark.

The specs are fine at the 720p resolution and the phone might have struggled a lot if it came with a 1080p display.

In synthetic benchmarks, the XA1 got a score of 3,628 in Geek bench 4 which is fine. Just for your information, the Moto G5 scored 3,824. There is a slight difference but it won’t be noticeable in everyday activities.

The battery life on XA1 is acceptable despite it being only 2300 mAh. The 720p display is the reason behind this. One single charge can keep the phone running for a whole day of normal usage.

Camera

Sony Xperia XA1 Camera

The phone is pretty much meh! But its camera is one of those few aspects which wouldn’t disappoint you. The 23 MP back camera has a sensor size of 1/2.3-inch which is somewhat similar to point and shoot cameras.

At the given price point, Xperia XA1 takes pretty decent pictures. It is not as amazing as the ones taken by XZ premium but unless you are one of those people who look at every detail, you won’t find much difference in the images.

The camera quality is good even in the low light, thanks to Sony’s technique to brighten low-light images. The absence of stabilization technique will result in somewhat blurry images but it is still better than competing devices.

The camera isn’t perfect and some of the issues are over-sharpening of the images and the inability to take macro shots. Even the video is locked at 30 fps on 1080p.

As for the front camera, it is okay and that’s all. You won’t notice any problem while taking an occasional selfie or making a video call.

So, in short, the back camera is decent at the price point and the front camera is okay as well.

Pros

Sony Xperia XA1 is one of those phones which has a lot more cons than pros. Still, you get

  • A decent rear camera.
  • An excellent build quality.

Cons

The phone has no spot in 2018.

  • You get a poor-quality display, both in terms of size & resolution as well as quality.
  • The specs aren’t up to the point either.
  • No fingerprint sensor.

Reviews

  • GSM Arena was unimpressed with the phone and suggested one should go for other brands.
  • NDTV.com also criticized the display of the phone.

Final Verdict

Unless you are looking for a device that looks great, has a popular brand name and are interested in basic day-to-day tasks you should not buy the Xperia XA1. I would strongly recommend you to get the Moto G5 or any other device in 2018.  

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