The mid-range Sony Xperia XA1 Plus is finally worth buying at a reduced $130 price
There are a number of reasons why Sony is doing so badly in today's smartphone landscape, but extravagant price tags and outdated designs are likely at the top of the company's list of weak points. Of course, if you're willing to give it enough time, any handset is bound to eventually drop to a fair price, although that will only make the design problem worse.
Xperia XA1 Plus, commercially released almost two years ago at an arguably excessive $379.99 and finally available for a reasonable $129.99 from B&H Photo Video. The 5.5-inch device is, well, abominable by 2019 standards, with insanely thick top and bottom bezels, but if you can look beneath the (fugly) surface, you'll find decent specs for a sub-$150 unlocked Android smartphone by any standards.Case in point, the mid-range
Technically, B&H has the Latin America variant of the XA1 Plus on sale today only, but if you plan to use it on a US GSM network, like AT&T or T-Mobile, you should be able to get full 4G LTE coverage without a hitch. Available in a cool trio of color options (black, blue, and gold), the handset also comes with a standard 1-year warranty.
Under the hood, you'll get a more than respectable octa-core MediaTek Helio P20 processor paired with 3GB RAM, as well as 32 gigs of storage space and a hefty 3,430mAh battery supporting quick charging functionality. While not entirely made from metal, the Xperia XA1 Plus does come with a robust aluminum frame, also sporting a sharp Full HD display. Its single 23 and 8MP rear and front cameras respectively are no pushovers either, both featuring wide-angle capabilities and hiding various other zoom, autofocus, and low-light improvement tricks up their sleeves. Unfortunately, the 5.5-incher still runs Android 8.0 Oreo on the software side of things. And there's no Pie update on the horizon.
Still, finding a better list of features at a similar price without committing to a specific carrier, trading something in, or signing a monthly installment plan is not easy, so if you can learn to live with a few (big) compromises, the Sony Xperia XA1 Plus might be the right bargain for you.