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August 5th, 2016 by


To say that Sony Mobile has been struggling of late would be like saying that Cape Town gets rain in winter, we all know it.

The company (who also happen to be makers of the first smartphone I’d ever owned) has recently seen a decline in its smartphone market share, losing ground to companies such as Samsung, Huawei and even newcomers like Xiaomi.

Despite this, the Japanese company has not abandoned the market and continues to push out beautiful handsets with unbeatable battery life.

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The Z-series had been the companies flagship range for many years with the most recent being the Z5 (including the Z5 Compact and Z5 Premium), however this year, the company announced a new X-series which consists of the Xperia XA, X and X Performance.

Xperia XA White Group

We recently spent some time with the Xperia XA, Sony’s “baby” in the X-series family.

Design

Based on design alone, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the XA is Sony’s newest flagship handset.

With a slimmer take on the company’s omnibalance design, the XA features barely there side bezels and a minimalistic design overall, the XA is beautiful in its simplicity.

The front of the handset is dominated by the 5-inch 720p HD display and not much else. The only other things you’ll find on the front of the handset are the Sony name below a speaker and a front-facing camera and a sensor.

The sides of the device have the usual power button, camera button, volume rocker and a SIM card and SD card slot.

The back of the handset bear the Xperia logo and a camera.

Camera

Sony is known for many things, cameras being one of them.

The XA has a great 13MP rear-facing camera which does lean slightly to warmer image tones than other mid-range smartphones we’ve tested, however the difference is so minor that it will not affect your image quality and is only noticeable if you’re specifically looking out for it.

Nighttime shots are not going to rival any of Sony’s Alpha series cameras, but they were definitely above average for mid-range smartphones and provided more detail than competitors such as Huawei’s P9 Lite.

The 8MP front-facing camera is fantastic if you love selfies, and could convert you if you’re not a fan.

Xperia XA Colour Range

Battery

The biggest complaint that people have with their smartphones is battery life. Sony’s Xperia XA continues the company’s tradition of exceptional battery life. We got 2 days usage on a single charge on the XA, which is a luxury these days.

Admittedly our usage was fairly average and not on the same level as a power user, however the handset was connected to wi-fi or had mobile data turned on all the time.

 

Overview

The Xperia XA might be a mid-range device but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t perform.

It’s a more than adequate phone which will get you through everything you need with the barest of hiccups along the way.

One thing worth noting is that the review unit we received did NOT contain a pair of earphones, this might just have been an oversight with our unit or it could be the way the company is choosing to sell the phone and keep costs down.

If you’re wondering how much the Xperia XA is going to set you back, Sony Mobile South Africa has a RRP (recommended retail price) of R5999.

Specifications

 

SIM Single SIM (Nano)
Memory and storage  2 GB RAM 

Up to 16 GB flash memory**

Up to 200 GB microSD™ card

OS  Google Android™ M
Processor  
MediaTek helio™ P10
64-bit Octa-Core processor
Battery
2300 mAh
Up to 2 days battery life****
Weight  137.4g
Dimensions  143.6 x 66.8 x 7.9mm
Colour White

Graphite Black

Lime Gold

Rose Gold

Display 5” HD 720p

Mobile BRAVIA engine 2 

Super Vivid mode

Camera

 Rear-facing

1/3” 13MP Exmor

RS for mobile sensor Quick launchHybrid Auto-Focus

Quick launch Hybrid Auto-Focus

Hybrid Auto-Focus 

HDR photo

5x Clear Image ZoomAuto-Scene Recognition

Front facing

8 MP front camera Sony Exmor R™ for mobile sensor
Auto-Focus
Wide angle lens (88 degree)
Low-light photography
HDR photo
Networks  
GSM GPRS/EDGE (2G)
UMTS HSPA+ (3G)
LTE 4G / Cat 4 ***
Sound  
Clear Audio+
Clear Stereo
Clear Bass
Clear Phase
X-Loud
VPT (Virtualphones Technology)
Dynamic Normalizer
FM Radio
Stereo Recording

 

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