Introduction


Sony is breathing new life in its midrange offers for the US with the new Xperia XA1, which comes hot on the heels of its Xperia XZs release here. In Sony's case, it simply starts selling those in its shop or on Amazon, and they only work on T-Mobile and AT&T, but it's nice to have extra options.

The Xperia XA1 goes for $299.99 at Amazon, B&H, Best Buy, Fry's, and the other usual suspects, and offers an intriguing mix of entry level and midrange specs, such as a 5-inch 720p screen, but 23 MP camera and 3GB RAM. Is it worth the dough? Let's see...

Design

Sony's oldieblocky polycarb is now a breath of fresh air in the sea of metal or glass phones.


In the year of bezel minimalism, Sony's phones look especially out of the loop, and the XA1 is no exception. The 5” screen is framed between huge top and bottom bezel areas, making the Sony as tall as the 5.2” honor 8 or Galaxy A5, not to mention bezel-busting flagships like the 5.7” G6 or the 5.8” S8, which are only slightly larger than the XA1. The phone still comes with on-screen keys, though, and this one doesn't have front-firing stereo speakers, as the lower slit is simply a mic, while the sole speaker is situated at the bottom. Despite this, the phone has a pleasantly distinct and elegant look to it.

The Xperia XA1 is narrow enough to be comfortable for one-handed operation, and feels sturdy in the palm. In fact, it is solid as a brick, despite the all-plastic construction, and we appreciate the inclusion of a modern USB-C port at the bottom.

When it comes to buttons, the plastic volume rocker on the right is a bit smallish and wobbly under the thumb, with somewhat shallow feedback, while the signature metal home key of Sony is well-placed to comfortably feel and press without looking. There is a dedicated camera key, as usual, something we've learned to appreciate in Sony's Android designs.

Sony Xperia XA1

Sony Xperia XA1

Dimensions

5.71 x 2.64 x 0.31 inches

145 x 67 x 8 mm

Weight

5.04 oz (143 g)

Motorola Moto G5 Plus

Motorola Moto G5 Plus

Dimensions

5.91 x 2.91 x 0.38 inches

150.2 x 74 x 9.7 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

Dimensions

5.75 x 2.81 x 0.31 inches

146.1 x 71.4 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.61 oz (159 g)

Huawei P10 Lite

Huawei P10 Lite

Dimensions

5.77 x 2.83 x 0.28 inches

146.5 x 72 x 7.2 mm

Weight

5.15 oz (146 g)

Sony Xperia XA1

Sony Xperia XA1

Dimensions

5.71 x 2.64 x 0.31 inches

145 x 67 x 8 mm

Weight

5.04 oz (143 g)

Motorola Moto G5 Plus

Motorola Moto G5 Plus

Dimensions

5.91 x 2.91 x 0.38 inches

150.2 x 74 x 9.7 mm

Weight

5.47 oz (155 g)

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

Dimensions

5.75 x 2.81 x 0.31 inches

146.1 x 71.4 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.61 oz (159 g)

Huawei P10 Lite

Huawei P10 Lite

Dimensions

5.77 x 2.83 x 0.28 inches

146.5 x 72 x 7.2 mm

Weight

5.15 oz (146 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display

While unremarkable in resolution, the HD display does the job in color balance and outdoor visibility


A 5” 720x1280 resolution LCD screen is nothing to pop champagne about in the pixel density department, but an HD screen is sufficient at this diagonal, and there are battery gains to be had with this resolution. That's coming a bit further in the review, though, and for now we'll just mention that the picture doesn't lean to the colder side of the spectrum, as usual with Sony's mobile screens, but is rather spot on in terms of color temperature. It is also bright enough and with low screen reflectance to seem perfectly legible under direct sunlight, too.



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13 Comments

1. libra89

Posts: 2316; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Sounds like it isn't too bad, just a bit tall.

3. kent-gaga

Posts: 609; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

Wow I'm impressed by how they almost doubled the batery life compared to the XA Now I wish if only the pumped it up to 2500mAh and it'd be really nice

6. libra89

Posts: 2316; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Yeah the XA battery life was terrible. I'm glad that they seemed to have improved that.

4. drahcir02

Posts: 102; Member since: Mar 03, 2016

Sony phone = Automatic 8 or lower

5. shamrock_sean

Posts: 37; Member since: Apr 27, 2017

I have one of these in gold and can tell you the camera quality is great Phone Arena!! I actually for a change found the sharpness from edge to edge way better than older Sony handsets and images have great contrast,colour and dynamic range. As for it being tall it isn't in the hand at all. And call quality is fine with mine,must be your network

7. cryptonx

Posts: 60; Member since: Jan 05, 2016

I've read it "Sony's polycrap" which sounds about right

8. RoBear

Posts: 12; Member since: Nov 23, 2015

You can get a Xperia X for $250 right now. Is there a single reason to pay $50 more for this?

9. libra89

Posts: 2316; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

The camera software has probably improved.

10. Mr.mobile

Posts: 130; Member since: Mar 09, 2017

cons far this phone according to me -Huge top and bottom bezels -small battery 2300mah -No fingerprint sensor -just 720p screen resolution still costly should be like 200$

11. Lumberjack

Posts: 306; Member since: May 04, 2017

Android Authority says XA1 takes photos as good as flagships. Not the only website to say this.

12. Remmy

Posts: 189; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

The XA1 looks the freshest among all midrange phones that look like an iPhone clone. Cut the top and bottom bezels and the design will be perfect IMO. I wish they could do the same for the flagship series without relocating the fingerprint/power button.

14. zenun12

Posts: 205; Member since: Oct 31, 2016

It would be a bit difficult for Sony to trim the bezels above and below because 1.) Dat Senzor 2.) L-shaped logic board 3.) Dat Side Bezel

13. Lumberjack

Posts: 306; Member since: May 04, 2017

Photos are better than ones from iphone7+
Xperia XA1
  • Display 5.0" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 23 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor MediaTek Helio P20, Octa-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2300 mAh(10.116h 3G talk time)

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