Sony Xperia XA1 Plus hands-on

Sony’s back in the mid-range field and ready to take on some stiff competition in the higher end of that category. The Xperia XA1 Plus has been announced alongside their latest flagships. Retailing for $379.99, we take a first look at whether the device itself is premium for a mid-range, or just the price.

Design and Display

The Xperia XA1 Plus is a hybrid of sorts between the XA and XA Ultra. In fact, the 1080p screen size is smack-dab in the middle of the two, sized at 5.5 inches and delivering 403 pixels per inch. Keeping in the trend of its predecessors, the Plus also sports a near bezel-less design – at least on the sides. The face of the phone still shows quite a bit of forehead and chin. Aluminum composes the sides and covers the back, while glass overlays the entire face. It’s a device with a good in-hand feel, albeit a bit tall and very familiar.

Interface and Performance

Sony’s well known for its reliability in receiving and providing updates for their phones. Unfortunately, this phone won’t ship with Oreo as the XZ1 will, but instead Nougat. Hopefully an update for Oreo will come to the Xperia XA1 quickly, but we don’t anticipate this affecting the phones performance all that much. The XA1 runs on the octa-core MediaTek P20 processor paired with 3 gigabytes of RAM, up to 32 gigabytes of storage, and a 3430-milliamp battery. All this translates to smooth general performance, though gaming will likely be less than optimal. We’re hopeful for battery life, but we’ll have to see how Sony’s implementation of the P20 (and all the XA1’s components) pans out over time.


Sony really hopes to create separation with its camera, though. A 23-megapixel f/2.0 sensor teams up with Sony’s typically impressive image processing technology, allowing for quick snaps in .6 seconds, as well as Steady Shot stabilization, 6400 ISO in camera, and 3200 in video. The front-facer packs 8-megapixels with the same aperture, HDR, 3200 ISO, steadyshot, and a wide-angle lens to top things off nicely. Some of Sony’s chops in audio technology also are displayed one the Xperia XA1, specifically, ClearAudio+ and stereo recording, meant to give users decent sound quality to listen, and to record.


While the Xperia XA1 plus carries a near $400 price tag, it aims to give you near flagship-level optics. How well this is executed remains to be seen, as well as consumers’ willingness to drop the extra cash for Sony’s photo-shooting abilities, more than anything else. At the end of the day, though, it seems a solid phone, but will really need to wow if it intends to steal customers from the burgeoning, value-packed mid-range field.

Related phones

Xperia XA1 Plus
  • Display 5.5 inches
    1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 23 MP (Single camera)
    8 MP front
  • Hardware MediaTek Helio P20, 3GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3430 mAh
  • OS Android 8.0 Oreo



8. DanteTheGreat

Posts: 67; Member since: Jul 31, 2014

Hold the phone (no pun intended). Sony said their flagships could not have thin side bezels because of the side-mounted fingerprint sensor. Then HOW IN THE WORLD were they able to put it on this phone with nearly bezeless sides.

9. TheOneSilveriusXZP

Posts: 64; Member since: Jul 01, 2017

I quite forgot how to explain it , but here i can get my best shot . Well , it's because 1.) XA1 Plus has a 2.5D curved glass sides non edge-to-edge display on , unlike the XA1 and XA1 Ultra which have 2.5D curved glass sides but with edge-to-edge display . 2.) For XA1 Plus , although it looks like bezel-less just like other XA and L1 , it doesn't look like bezel-less purely 100% , due the construction chassis body was taken from XZ , not XA . 3.) Fingerprint sensor on Sony devices needs at least a bezels to put a room for it . XA1 and XA1 Ultra doesn't have a room for it , so Sony decided to put the iconic circual power button from original Xperia Z . In other hand , XA1 Plus , which i already explained above , has room for it despite the look just like XA series . So fingerprint sensor can be implied to the XA1 Plus .

6. phichart

Posts: 335; Member since: May 03, 2014

very ugly phone

5. nebula

Posts: 1009; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Funny ussualy us price goes more or less dollar for pound but in this case xa1 was available for £199. UK giffgaff. Seems pretty decent price.

4. AlphaMale

Posts: 59; Member since: May 03, 2017

Finally they put the iconic fingerprint sensor on their mid-range phone.

3. Hallyu

Posts: 790; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

Disgusting phone. I'll put it in fire.

2. droggo

Posts: 9; Member since: Jul 31, 2017

writers here are always confused as they are high 24/7

7. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

Sony is the one who high. After they troll people with the same phone design forever now they try to put the same name to all of their (same)phones.

1. kent-gaga

Posts: 609; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

I feel like the writer is confused between the XA, XA Ultra, XA1, XA1 Ultra and the new XA1 Plus?

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