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Sony Xperia XA1 Review

Sony Xperia XA1

Posted: , by Daniel P. Daniel P.



Call quality

Sony Xperia XA1 Review

The voice quality in the earpiece of the Xperia XA1 came up a bit hollow and digitized compared to the actual person's timbre. The strength of the call is enough, but the voices have a certain echo to them and the caller's voice just doesn't sound too natural. The two noise-canceling mics top and bottom of the XA1's frame, however, do a stellar job in relaying voices loud and clear to the other end, with no parasitic ambient noises.


Not another “two-day battery phone” from Sony, but the endurance is decent and charging is fast

Sony Xperia XA1 Review
When it comes to Sony handsets, we usually don't scoff at capacities like the 2300 mAh unit in the XA1. Sony has proven time and again that it can wed its frugal screen tech to any chipset and achieve “two-day battery” phones before it was a thing, like with a lot of midrangers today. Is that the case with the Xperia XA1 as well? Well, the phone managed to score eight and a half hours of screen-on time during our demanding benchmark test, which, while not a “two-day” result, will easily get you through the day, and maybe until lunch on the next if you forget to put it on the charger.

Battery Benchmarks

Battery life (hours)
Higher is better
Sony Xperia XA1 8h 28 min (Excellent)
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 10h 26 min (Excellent)
Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) 11h 9 min (Excellent)
Huawei P10 Lite 8h 23 min (Excellent)
View all


Sony Xperia XA1 Review

The Xperia XA1 is a fine upgrade over its XA predecessor, with a better camera, faster chipset, USB-C and more memory. Moreover, Sony's aging polycarbonate brick design is actually becoming fresh again in this day and age of glass or metal handsets with rounded corners.

The XA1 bezel-ful design puts it at odds with phones like the honor 8 or Galaxy A5 which offer slimmer chassis that fits more screen in the same footprint, and better specs, but also cost a $100 more, if not on promo. Sony's interface is also faster-moving and keeps close to stock, adding value via a set of excellent apps for creating, editing and enjoying media. When it comes to the camera quality, the XA1 is not the best out there despite the record resolution for its class, but is on par with the phone's direct competitors. One middling area is battery life, and not because it doesn't hit the average for the category mark, but just since we are used to Sony's HD display phones going the extra mile in battery endurance.

You can't ask much more from a $300 phone than what the Xperia XA1 already offers, yet Sony will have a steep hill to climb in the US, as for less than that you can get handsets like the Moto G5 Plus, and for a tad more the honor 8, OnePlus 3, or even a discounted Galaxy S7 are beckoning you. Still, the Sony brand, the blocky but distinctive design, and the solid all-around performance are points in the XA1 favor at this price point.


  • Sturdy design
  • Simple, yet distinct and fast-moving interface
  • Excellent media apps with real-time TV guide option


  • Steep competition at this pricing level
  • Smudgy video quality
  • Ho-hum call quality in the earpiece
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posted on 15 May 2017, 09:52 1

1. libra89 (Posts: 1012; Member since: 15 Apr 2016)

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

posted on 15 May 2017, 10:10 3

3. kent-gaga (Posts: 591; Member since: 10 Apr 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

posted on 15 May 2017, 11:01

6. libra89 (Posts: 1012; Member since: 15 Apr 2016)

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

posted on 15 May 2017, 10:13 6

4. drahcir02 (Posts: 102; Member since: 03 Mar 2016)

Sony phone = Automatic 8 or lower

posted on 15 May 2017, 10:26 3

5. shamrock_sean (Posts: 31; Member since: 27 Apr 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

posted on 15 May 2017, 11:16

7. cryptonx (Posts: 52; Member since: 05 Jan 2016)

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

posted on 15 May 2017, 11:20

8. RoBear (Posts: 12; Member since: 23 Nov 2015)

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

posted on 15 May 2017, 11:43 1

9. libra89 (Posts: 1012; Member since: 15 Apr 2016)

The camera software has probably improved.

posted on 15 May 2017, 13:52

10. Mr.mobile (Posts: 91; Member since: 09 Mar 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$

posted on 15 May 2017, 15:19 1

11. Lumberjack (Posts: 258; Member since: 04 May 2017)

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

posted on 15 May 2017, 19:22

12. Remmy (Posts: 151; Member since: 31 Jul 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.

posted on 15 May 2017, 21:28

14. zenun12 (Posts: 175; Member since: 31 Oct 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

posted on 15 May 2017, 19:56

13. Lumberjack (Posts: 258; Member since: 04 May 2017)

Photos are better than ones from iphone7+

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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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