Sony Xperia XA Review

Call Quality

Call quality is below average on the Xperia XA. Voices don’t sound very well through the earpiece with some distortion and the phone occasionally picks up side noises that also sound distorted. It’s not terrible and you’d still be able to understand your callers, but it’s not particularly clear either. On a positive note, it’s sufficiently loud.

On the other end of the line, we found the microphone output to be too low. Put simply, this means that other callers heard us a bit too quietly. Voice quality was not particularly clear, but not terrible either.

Battery life

It will last you a day with no heavy use, but put it under pressure and you’d need to recharge before the end of the day. No quick charging here.

With a 2,300mAh battery, the Xperia XA is not a phone that you have high expectation from in terms of battery life.

While it does last a full day under average use, heavier use could drain your battery easily by the end of the day and with no quick charging solution in tow, that’s a significant limitation.

In our custom battery test where we put devices under typical use loads, with the screen always on and set to a brightness level of 200 nits, comfortable for general viewing, we found the Xperia XA at the bottom of the charts with 5 hours and 48 minutes. It took a whopping over two hours to fully recharge the XA’s battery from 0 to 100%.

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
Sony Xperia XA 5h 48 min (Average)
Google Nexus 5X 6h 25 min (Average)
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) 9h 55 min (Excellent)
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 12h 36 min (Excellent)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
Sony Xperia XA 124
Google Nexus 5X 100
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) 96
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 153


When you draw the line, the Sony Xperia XA appears to be nothing more than a good-looking affordable phone with little extraordinary above that.

Apart from its looks and decent performance for most daily tasks, it’s really all downhill: the display has bluish, oversaturated colors and is not sharp enough, heavier tasks make the phone stutter, camera quality is uninspiring and battery life is below average. Lack of proper 4G LTE bands for the United States is also a downer.

With a price of $280 (some €300 in Europe), the Xperia XA has plenty of strong competition. The 5.2” Google Nexus 5X can be found for even less and it is clearly the way better phone: with a faster chip and more fluid performance, vastly better-looking display, much more capable camera that has 4K video, and even better battery life.

If you don’t mind a bigger phone, the 5.5” LG G4 is also sold for around $300 these days. It features a vastly better camera, 4K video recording, double the storage and a nice design with that optional leather back cover.

Then, there is also the popular Motorola Moto G4 Plus and Moto G 4th Gen that are sold at around the same or even more affordable prices. The Moto G lineup comes with a clean and fast performing Android, and the Plus edition features a fingerprint scanner.

At the end of the day, it’s hard to recommend the Xperia XA. It comes across as overpriced, lacks in performance and falls short in battery life; it also does not have any particularly inspiring features. There are much better choices out there these days. Although, it looks cool, we'll give it that.


  • Cool edge-to-edge display and likable design
  • Decent general performance
  • Separate camera shutter key


  • Lacks a fingerprint scanner
  • Battery life is below average
  • Camera quality is uninspiring
  • Lacks proper 4G LTE bands in the United States
  • Overpriced

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

4 Reviews



2. jesus_sheep

Posts: 279; Member since: Apr 18, 2015

Hopeless from Sony. All the three phones in the X series are of the same size and design offering nothing different except the internals which the average consumer couldn't care less about. I hope they bring new set of phones this fall. This could be their very last chance.

3. libra89

Posts: 2290; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

I turned off ABP just to comment on this. I wanted to make a note that the version that B&H Photo is selling has support for bands 12 and 17, so the point on LTE isn't fully correct. That aside, the review has made me so sad. I had the 5x, which was cool but felt too tall for me and the fact that the XA sucks is a bummer. I was waiting for this phone, seems like I was waiting to be disappointed. I'm waiting on 2 more reviews from my other tech sites before I decide to throw in the towel. I really wanted it to be a little 5" screen savior because sometimes my hands get tired from holding a 5.2" phone. The pricing seemed to be right originally, but seeing that this is the performance and that the 5x has better battery life over this. Welp, not as interested.

12. buccob

Posts: 2973; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

The Nubia Z11 Mini seems better in comparison

20. libra89

Posts: 2290; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

I'll check it out thanks. If it doesn't have the bands I need, it will be dead for me. I like my Robin a lot but sometimes I get tired of holding it and would like something smaller. Edit: I checked it out and the bands suck for the USA. :/

35. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 924; Member since: May 07, 2014

Thank you for letting me know, it was ABP which was blocking me from commenting here. I have been trying to comment for the last couple of weeks but the text field wouldn't appear.

36. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 924; Member since: May 07, 2014

The Nexus 5x is better in many ways. I don't like how it looks though.

37. Jairudy

Posts: 13; Member since: Apr 14, 2015

Thanks for the input, but consider SONY still sells 40% of market in Japan. They will prosper, but losing T Mobile in US very bad. There were the M4 and M5 as cheaper models, before Z3+, Z4 . This phone will help SONY sell in countries where cheaper needed. This Commenter Libra89 states above, there are models with LTE support,

5. FlySheikh

Posts: 444; Member since: Oct 02, 2015

That was a pretty low score

6. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

meh.. should be 0.5/10 they re-used this ugly design for years and looks at that massive bezels, pffft and look at that crappy spec, I bet they make huge profit for each of this product just to make their investor smile

7. foxfoxfox

Posts: 23; Member since: Jul 10, 2016

profit per phone will be so high

24. cheetah2k

Posts: 2271; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

It would want to be, because they won't sell many....

15. xperiaZlover

Posts: 202; Member since: Nov 15, 2015

Are you asking to make the phone curvy like all manufacturer's like Samsung, LG, HTC? Everyone doesn't like curvy phones. Like me.

27. phichart

Posts: 335; Member since: May 03, 2014

but most people like it... if sony do curvy screen phone lots of people will buy it for sure.. but on the other hand the price will even higher than Samsung...

8. nebula

Posts: 1009; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

I know you can be fearless in your reviews but 5.5 ! You should be called BA . It stands for bash arena.

29. Ray.S

Posts: 459; Member since: Jul 19, 2011

5.5 is actually a pretty decent score. It means 'about average'. This is not harsh at all.

30. nebula

Posts: 1009; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Now I doubt "about your decency" even more .

9. Swordylove

Posts: 209; Member since: Jun 27, 2015

I had hope for Sony. I like the that signature look of their phones, contrary to other people's complaints of "same old design". But Sony has really dug out the last pile of dirt out of their grave hole this time. Especially with their outrageous pricing. Sony Mobile can just die now. Really, please just die.

10. PenTiltoKet

Posts: 552; Member since: May 18, 2016

Sony made the biggest mistake of using the MTK Helio P10. They should follow Asus doing a trio SD... SD 625 for mid, SD 652 mid-high & SD 820 high end. (FYI, Asus Zenfone 3 with SD 625 has a 60K Antutu score, more than this 40K+ antutu of Helio P10)

11. ryq24

Posts: 875; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Sony just can no longer compete in the mobile phone segment. All the phones they release are going to be compared to the cheaper but better specs Chinese phones and they will lose all the time. I am a Sony fan but maybe it's time to close shop if they have no answer to the fast rising Chinese phonemakers or else they will just continue to bleed.

25. cheetah2k

Posts: 2271; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

In Australia, I'd compare this to say an Oppo F1 - but I'd chose the Oppo because it's $200 cheaper than the Sony XA, and with essentially the same specs (720p screen, etc)..

13. xperiaZlover

Posts: 202; Member since: Nov 15, 2015

I don't agree with phone arena about the camera being not good. I saw many reviews on YouTube. Everyone reviewer says camera is better than Samsung J7 2016. I must say battery life is hopeless. The top bezel should have been little smaller. And ofcourse it is stupid really not to have used atleast snapdragon 617. Really stupid of sony. No custom roms atleast like m4 aqua. Atleast phone doesn't overheat. I am looking forward to buy a secondary phone for normal use.i wanted the XA. But seems like i will buy M5 ot Zenaphone.3.

14. xperiaZlover

Posts: 202; Member since: Nov 15, 2015

Haha PA says overstaturated colors. I wonder why? The display offers same amoled like display quality on a lcd. It is good. Then PA has to brand every Samsung Galaxy phone to have unrealistic colors. Quite funny. Lol I would have given a 6.5 Btw sony said Xperia XA and E5 have a battery life bug on marshmallow. They will fix it they told.

16. bhanushali_p

Posts: 20; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

I own this phone, And I disagree with PA on several aspects. The Camera- Apart from some cold looking pics, the camera is actually very good. Video is Normal and could have been better. The sound from speakers is not loud but its way better with the quality than iphone when I compared it(Believe me it is true). Call reception is also much much better and comparable to iphone (6s). Display ?? Well Iphone seems a joke in front of it. Yes iphone was better with the Gamma Values but was way yellowish with the whites and no options to correct it(atleast you could set the temperature with your own) and XA looked much livelier and better. Battery life is joke though, and iphone easily managed to beat it. Now for the PA's part, I know this is a serious allegation, but I believe PA actually bashes Sony too hard and praises iphone like they are paying for the praises. I have certainly noticed that Sony always had some better Mid to High end models that could even beat the flagships from other companies. But its a pattern that PA never reviews those phones and Skips them for good (Be it Xperia M5, Xperia C5, Xperia E4) and now they did reviewed XA, their review contradicts with every other reviews.

17. drahcir02

Posts: 102; Member since: Mar 03, 2016


18. Amroze

Posts: 597; Member since: Jul 04, 2016

Exactly +1.

21. libra89

Posts: 2290; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Thank you for your input as someone who actually owns it. Much appreciated. It concerns me that both this site and GSMArena had poor reviews for this phone.

32. Djz89

Posts: 445; Member since: Aug 25, 2014

gsmarena didnt have that bad review for this phone.

33. libra89

Posts: 2290; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Fair point, but they did say that there are other options that are a bit better for the same money. That aside, both GSMarena and Phone Arena said that the battery life is kind of sad. That is what I probably zeroed on as a commonality.

28. Djz89

Posts: 445; Member since: Aug 25, 2014

I agree!

31. foxfoxfox

Posts: 23; Member since: Jul 10, 2016

because sony lcd come from samsung

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Xperia XA
  • Display 5.0" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor MediaTek Helio P10, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2300 mAh(11.3h talk time)

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