Hands-On With The Sony Xperia XA1 & Xperia XA1 Ultra

Sony unveiled a number of new smartphones at MWC 2017 and while it can seem a little confusing, there are tell-tale signs which better indicate what type of smartphone each one is and what segment of the market it is aimed at. For instance, two of the smartphones announced by Sony at MWC are the Xperia XA1 & Xperia XA1 Ultra. While these smartphones do differ in some subtle ways, they both represent Sony’s approach to the more affordable side of the market. So these might be the ones you want to pay closer attention to, if you are not looking to pick up a flagship offering from Sony this year, but would like to pick up a Sony-inspired smartphone.

Although, what is apparent is that in spite of not being the flagship options from Sony, they do come with some flagship traits and especially when it comes to Sony’s 2016 high-end options. For instance, cameras have always been a big deal with Sony smartphones and in spite of not being of the highest caliber, the Sony Xperia XA1 & Xperia XA1 Ultra both come equipped with the same camera module that was in use on last year’s flagship Xperia XZ from Sony. So by 2016 standards, you are getting a flagship camera experience on both of these phones. In addition, both smartphones now come equipped with a new smart amp that is purpose-designed to enhance the audio output by adjusting the dual front-facing speakers.

In terms of the rest of what is on offer with the Xperia XA1 & Xperia XA1 Ultra, the specs are where you will find the biggest differences. For instance, the Xperia XA1 comes packing a 5-inch display, 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage, while the Xperia XA1 Ultra comes loaded with a 6-inch display, 4GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. Both smartphones however, do come powered by a MediaTek Helio P20 processor and are able to take advantage of Qnovo adaptive charging technology. Likewise, in spite of their limited storage, both the Xperia XA1 & Xperia XA1 Ultra come with the option to expand the storage via microSD card and also make use of newer technologies, like USB Type-C connectivity.

In terms of their design, both smartphones are very similar overall and certainly follow in the footsteps of previous Sony smartphones with a like build quality and design. The display on both units is a near bezel-less display, while the top and bottom portions of the smartphones do adopt less of a screen-first design. Other than this, both smartphones are very similar in general appearance with the same back casing, camera placement and so on. You can take a closer look at both of the newly-announced Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra in the galleries below.

Sony Xperia XA1

Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra

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