Sony's latest phone isn't a high-end premium model, rather it's a premium mid-range unit, sporting a much more affordable price tag than the upcoming Xperia XZ2 series. Part of the price reduction comes in the form of a spec change, which means a lower power processor and some other component changes. The Xperia XA2 Ultra packs in a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 SoC, complete with Adreno 508 GPU, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. MicroSD card support is available for expandable storage, and Sony ships the Xperia XA2 Ultra with Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box.
The 6-inch 1080p display on front sports a standard 16:9 aspect ratio, but ups the game a bit with ultra thin, essentially non-existent bezels on the left and right sides. These are marred a bit by the larger top and bottom bezels, but they're still slightly smaller than other phones Sony has reviewed in the past, even though it doesn't feature stereo front-facing speakers. What it does pack in the top bezel, however, are a pair of amazing front-facing cameras with an LED flash. A main 16-megapixel OIS 1/2.6" Exmor RS sensor with 88° wide-angle F2.0 lens, and a secondary 8-megapixel 1/4" Exmor RS with 120° super wide-angle F2.4 lens sits to the right side.
These cameras are powered by the same software Sony has been using for a while now, and unfortunately sports the same negative design aspects as we saw before the Xperia XZ1 last Fall. While this is a bit odd, Sony has added in a new HDR video mode that allows HDR recording up to 1080p quality, and looks absolutely fantastic in most scenes. It balances out the shadow and highlight details well, even though it can overexpose or wash out a shot at times. Outside of this, the new fingerprint scanner location on the back finally opens up this important functionality to US-based Sony customers; something Sony phones haven't had in the US for years now due to a litigation issue of some kind on phones where the fingerprint scanner resides in the power button. Is this the mid-range phone you're looking for? Find out in our video review below, and don't forget to subscribe to get content as it drops!