Sony Xperia XA1 Review

Sony Xperia XA1

Posted: , by Daniel Petrov Daniel Petrov



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.


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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PhoneArena rating:
Display5.0 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (294 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera23 megapixels
MediaTek Helio P20, Octa-core, 2300 MHz, ARM Cortex-A53 processor
Size5.71 x 2.64 x 0.31 inches
(145 x 67 x 8 mm)
5.04 oz  (143 g)
Battery2300 mAh, 11.3 hours talk time

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