Welcome to the 2017 Sony Xperia XA1 review. Low to mid range smartphones don’t get much popular coverage because there’s usually nothing special about them and there’s little publicity due as they don’t represent the aspirations of the company. They also make a higher profit margin due to lower end technology that they made with.  However make no mistake, the mid-range class for 2017 represent great value in terms of function for your money. They do everything higher end phones do albeit at a second or two slower. The Sony Xperia XA1 is priced under $400 but loser to $350 AUD at the time of this post.

In terms of construction and design the Sony XA1 features a mix of metal and plastic. It’s box like design is timeless and well put together with no visible flaws. The fact the Sony have stuck with the same design philosophy is brave yet admirable as it is clearly one of the best looking mid-range phones on sale in 2017. It also gets bonus points for not looking like an iPhone. The XA1 looks and feels better than our current favorite mid-ranger the Motorola G5 Plus which is like a tank in comparison.

In terms of hardware the Sony Xperia XA1 has a number of features that make it standout in the mid range class. It has a great camera specs with 23MP on the rear and 8Mp on the front and the quality of the pictures are better than any we’ve seen in the mid range class. A separate camera button is a great feature to take advantage of the very good camera. The Sony also packs a very good set of audio controls including equalization and DAC effects. It nice to see that Sony has kept true to it’s former music history. The XA1 CPU is the latest Mediatek Octa-core CPU with a fast x4 2.3GHZ and x4 1.6 Ghz and comes with 3GB RAM, up to 32Gig and decent separate graphics GPU, so it’s fast and furious for a mid-range. It also comes with quick charging which is rare in the price range. The only feature missing is a fingerprint reader.

The screen resolution is 720P which is virtually the same as the iPhone and on the XA1 it does look good and comes with adjustable RGB if you really want to adjust it. We find reviewers on smart phones saying screen is bad because the compare to RGB chart and saying a phone is bad because of it – which we think it is a little stupid. Our eyes are not RGB compliant people and you really need to judge how a screen looks based  your eyes not some chart. Many also complain that the XA1 only has a 720P screen yet the same don’t complain that the iPhone 6 in particular is not even 720P!

In terms of use the Sony Xperia XA1 is very good. The interface is smooth and fully functional with a number of Sony developed apps for the camera and Playstation. Apps open quickly and also operate smoothly. We have no complaints in regards to how fast to works considering it’s price tag. There is just usual Android OS issue with ‘complexity’ due to the number of customization options if you don’t care about that sort of thing and ignore it. Many people buy the mid range handsets but few bother to write about them because they are in the shadow of the top range counterparts.

We liked the Sony Xperia XA1 it looks good in the hand and works well. If you can’t afford to buy or don’t want the latest top range smartphone the XA1 is a great choice as it will do everything that you want. Those into Instagram and Snapchat will love the quality camera for the price. Note that unlike other reviews we don’t compare everything to the top range phones especially when it comes to camera quality and features as they are priced at less than half the price of top range phone you should expect less! As mid-range phone the Xperia XA1 is one of the best mid range phones you can buy at the moment. Yes it is better than the Motorola G5 Plus because it looks better and works just as well. Although the XA1 is priced under $400 we feel the $350 price tag would make these phone had to pass up.

Specifications

  • Sony Xperia XA1
  • Network
    Quad-band GSM – All
    Tri-band 3G – All
    Tri-band 4G – All
  • Design
    Touch screen
  • L145 x W667 x D8 mm
  • Weight 143 grams
  • Display
    (XA) 5 inch 1280 x 720 IPS
  • Camera
    23MP auto-focus LED Flash
    2nd forward facing video call camera 8MP
  • Video Camera
    1080P HD 30FPS main video camera
  • Connectivity
    Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth V4
  • CPU
    Octa-core 2.3 GHz Mediatek
    Dual Core Mali GPU
  • Memory
    3 Gig RAM
    Up to 32 Gig for user
    Up to 256 Gig micro-SD expansion
  • Features
    A-GPS, Compass, Accelerometer,Proximity, Ambient Light
    Sony Clear Audio system
    FM Radio with RDS
    Speaker Phone/Hands free
    Li-Po 2300 mAh battery
    Up to 22 Days Standby
    Up to 17 hours Talk Time
  • Price history
    Sony Xperia XA1 priced under $400 AUD September 2017
    Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra prices under $500 September 2017

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