Interface and functionality

Slick and fast, the Xperia UX is a joy on Nougat


The Xperia XA1 is underwritten by Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box, which we can only appreciate, plastered with a bit of the Sony UX on top. The company's overlay is near-stock, with Google's apps taking over most of the common functions, but with Sony's unique iconography footprint, and plenty of options for theming and extra personalization. A live, active wallpaper is an added twist, as it is simple visually, but reacts and morphs with every tap of your finger, making for some pretty interactions with the XA1.

Sony adds a lot of value with its proprietary apps, too, like Sketch and Movie Creator, which offer very good image and video editing abilities.. In addition, there are some thoughtful interface features like smart backlight management, too, which keeps the screen lit when you are looking at a photo without touching the display, for instance. To top it all off, the interface performance is very fluid and runs without interruptions – in fact, it's very close to what completely stock Android phones like the Pixel offer.

Processor and memory



An octa-core MediaTek Helio P20 processor might raise some eyebrows, but, clocked at 4x 2.3 GHz and 4x 1.6 GHz here, this one performs as good as Snapdragon 625, and is just as frugal, made with a 16nm process, and the same Cortex-A53 workhorse cores. The ARM Mali-T880 graphics subsystem is OEM and dual-core, so don't expect any wonders in heavy 3D visualizations, but it does the job for most any other task you'd throw at it.

The near-stock interface is not betting on complex animations, and moves swiftly, without notable hiccups. The phone offers a decent 3GB RAM amount, and starts you off with the generous 32GB storage (~21GB user-available), to which you can add more with the supplied microSD slot.

AnTuTu Higher is better
Sony Xperia XA1 62167
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 63191
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) 60678
Huawei P10 Lite 58606
JetStream Higher is better
Sony Xperia XA1 27.973
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 29.879
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) 31.472
Huawei P10 Lite 30.750
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
Sony Xperia XA1 32
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 23
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) 33
Huawei P10 Lite 19
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Sony Xperia XA1 15
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 6.9
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) 9
Huawei P10 Lite 5
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Sony Xperia XA1 1302
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 375
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) 1432
Huawei P10 Lite 1209
Geekbench 4 single-core Higher is better
Sony Xperia XA1 857.66
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 783
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) 766
Huawei P10 Lite 844
Geekbench 4 multi-core Higher is better
Sony Xperia XA1 3714
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 3586
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) 3951
Huawei P10 Lite 3114

Connectivity


The Xperia XA1 is a GSM handset, meaning you can only use it on AT&T or T-Mobile networks, and it supports Cat. 6 LTE with download speeds of up to 300Mbps in theory, if the two carriers can supply the goods. All other connectivity options one might expect are onboard, too, incouding NFC, and the phone offers a handy USB-C port for charging and data connections at the bottom.

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