Sony Xperia XA1 Review

Sony Xperia XA1

Posted: , by Daniel Petrov Daniel Petrov



Call quality

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

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.


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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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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