Sony unveils the Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra: Stylish mid-rangers with impressive main cameras


Over the last few months, there were rumors that Sony is planning to announce a whole bunch of new handsets at MWC. The Japanese manufacturer has indeed delivered, as it unveiled four new models at the show.

The new high-tier Xperia XZ Premium and XZs were clearly the focal points of the presentation, but Sony also introduced the Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra - two very intriguing smartphones that enhance the company's already rich mid-range lineup.

Compared to the first members of the XA line which premiered last year, the XA1 and XA1 Ultra feature improvements in four key areas: camera, SoC, system memory, and internal storage.

Both phones come with the MediaTek Helio P20 chipset and a 23 MP main snapper, but there is a noticeable difference with the selfie cams: the XA1 features an 8 MP front camera capable of reaching a max ISO number of 3,200, while XA1 Ultra sports a 16 MP sensor that can reach an ISO number of 6,400, with the added bonus of front-facing Flash and Optical Image Stabilization.

Another interesting contrast is the fact that the XA1 Ultra will rely on a USB Type-C cable for charging, whereas the XA1 will use micro USB.

Design-wise, the handsets mirror the Xperia XZ look quite successfully, as Sony is continuing the “unified design concept” that was introduced at MWC '16. The XA1 and XA1 Ultra respectively feature 5- and 6-inch edge-to-edge screens, which are encompassed by a sleek metal frame.

Here's a quick look at the specs highlights for the two phones: 

Sony Xperia XA1Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
PlatformAndroid 7 NougatAndroid 7 Nougat
Dimensions145 x 67 x 8mm, 143g weight165mm x 79mm x 8.1mm, 188g weight 
Display5” HD (720 x 1280)6” Full HD (1920x1080)
PerformanceMediaTek Helio P20 Octa CoreMediaTek Helio P20 Octa Core
CamerasMain: 23 MP, 1/2.3" Exmor RS, 24mm wide-angle F2.0 lens

Front: 8MP, 1/4" Exmor R
Main: 23 MP 1/2.3” Exmor RS, 24mm wide-angle F2.0 lens

Front: 16MP 1/2.6” Exmor RS, Flash, Optical Image Stabilization
Battery2300 mAh2700 mAh
Storage32 GB + microSD support64 GB + microSD support

You can expect the two devices to come in Black, Gold and White, although some color variations of the smaller model will be available only to certain regions. 

The XA1 will hit the shelves on April 26, 2017 at the price of $299.99. As for the XA1 Ultra, Sony didn't reveal an exact release date or price, but said that we can expect the handset sometime this summer.

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