Sony's newest offering for those looking for a device on a budget, the Xperia XA1, is now available through Freedom Mobile. Customers can buy the phone for $320 out the door, or opt to use one of Freedom Mobile's MyTab offerings to pay it off over the course of two years of service. The $15 MyTab option will cover the phone alongside just about any plan, and the $200 MyTab bonus that comes with plans that cost $40 or more will bring that down to only $5. The phone comes in a glossy piano black, or a silvery white, which includes the front bezels and sides for an all-over color. Unfortunately, the gold option seen at the phone's debut is not on the menu.
The phone has all the usual hallmarks of a Sony device, and most of the usual polish that goes into Sony's flagships. The software is Sony's usual, mostly a stock take on Android 7.0 (Nougat), with its own apps bundled in for extra features, like PlayStation compatibility. On the camera front, you get Sony's 23-megapixel unit on the back, with an 8-megapixel selfie snapper up front. The looks and cameras may say flagship, but the specs beyond that are nothing to write home about, though quite serviceable. You get a fairly powerful MediaTek Helio P20 alongside 3GB of RAM, with 32GB of internal storage. A microSD card can be used here, which can boost storage up to 256GB. The 5-inch screen is a 1,280 x 720 affair, so while it may be plenty sharp in daily usage, don't expect outstanding performance in viewing highly detailed media or using it for VR. Thanks to the power-efficient processor and low screen resolution, however, the 2,300 mAh non-removable battery should give fairly good runtime.
Unlike most Sony devices, this one won't take too well to water exposure, and the side-mounted power button does not house a fingerprint sensor. Sony's normal audio chops are in full effect here, though, so audiophiles and even casual music lovers may want to give this phone a hard look. The Sony Xperia XA1 also comes packaged with Sony-branded earphones. While not the best quality out there, they should easily do the job.