Sony presented its new range of Xperia X mobile terminals at the Mobile World Congress . Of the three terminals that make up this family, the Sony Xperia XA is the cheapest member. A terminal that, despite using plastic as the main material, offers us a unibody design that gives it the appearance of a higher-end terminal. To consume multimedia content we have a 5-inch screen with HD resolution and an eight-core MediaTek Helio P10 processor , which is accompanied by 2 GB of RAM .
But if the terminals of the Japanese company have always stood out in something, it is in the cameras. Although we are facing a terminal oriented low-medium range, the Sony Xperia XA incorporates a main camera with 13 megapixel resolution and autofocus hybrid . According to the company, the terminal is capable of focusing in less than 0.15 seconds, is it true? We will check later. On the front we have a sensor camera with Sony Exmor R with 8 - megapixel resolution, autofocus and wide angle lens .
We have had the opportunity to test the Sony Xperia XA in depth and we tell you our impressions.
Elegant design with simple materials
Despite not having a metal body, the Sony Xperia XA could perfectly fit in what we call the mid-range. The Japanese company uses plastic for both the body of the terminal and the frame . However, it is a resistant plastic and the terminal is made in a unibody piece , the back cannot be removed, so it offers a pretty good feeling, both to the touch and to the eye. On the other hand, the screen is full width, that is, it has practically no frames, which gives it a more elegant appearance and also allows the size of the terminal to be more contained. The complete dimensions of the terminal remain at 143.6 x 66.8 x 7.9 millimeters, with a weight of138.8 grams . The feeling when picking up the terminal is that we are facing a robust device.
Following the usual Sony design , on the front of the device we will not find physical buttons. These are located on the sides of the terminal. On one of the sides we have the round power button like the one used by the terminals of the Z range, the volume button and a button that will provide us with direct access to the camera and that will also help us to take pictures without having to press on the screen.
On the other side we have a cover that if we remove it gives us access to the SIM and microSD card slots, which allows us to expand the storage space up to 200 GB more. In the upper frame we have the headphone connector located and in the lower frame we find the microUSB 2.0 connector (in this model Sony has not incorporated USB Type C) and the speaker, located on the right side. This position may surprise regular users of Sony terminals , since with the speaker located so far to the right, it can be thought that we can cover it with our hand when holding the terminal. During the tests, in my personal case, I have not had any problems, perhaps because of the way I hold the terminal.
The rear offers a fairly simple design, with the shiny silver Xperia logo located right in the center and the main camera located in the upper left. The camera lens does not protrude from the housing, it is fully integrated, thus allowing the terminal to be left face up without any stability problem. The terminal that we have tested is white combined with silver , but we also have other color options available, such as graphite black or the most striking green gold and rose gold .
The Sony Xperia XA offers us a 5-inch screen with HD 720p resolution . Although it is not too impressive data, we can say that the screen shows sharp and clear images, with vivid and bright colors. Where the screen has suffered the most in our tests is on the street in full sun, sometimes having difficulties to see the content of the screen even with the brightness at maximum. If we want to increase the image quality in video and photos, we can always enter the screen settings and activate the Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2 function , which offers us more vivid colors and a higher image quality. We also have a super vivid mode, which maximizes colors when viewing photos and videos, although with this mode you lose a bit of "reality" .
Without much fanfare, but with enough power
Under the hood of the Sony Xperia XA we find a chipset that is considered by many to be the king of the mid-range. We are talking about the Mediatek Helio P10 processor . A processor that, thanks to the TSMC 28 nm HPC + manufacturing process, achieves reduced energy consumption, without reducing power. This chipset consists of a CPU Cortex-A53 with eight cores of 64 bits running at 2GHz . The graphics section is handled by a Mali-T860 GPU with two 64-bit cores running at 700 MHz . This set is accompanied by 2 GB of RAM. The operation of the terminal, both in menus and in the execution of demanding applications, such as some games, has always been fluid. We have run several applications at the same time and the terminal has always responded very well.
As we always do, we have subjected the Sony Xperia XA to one of the most demanding performance tests. With the 3D graphics of the AnTuTu test, we have seen the Japanese terminal suffer a lot. The final score obtained by the Sony Xperia XA has been 47,644 points , ranking number 13 in the ranking incorporated by the application.
Camera with good performance for the mid-range
Sony devices have always been characterized by including a very interesting photographic set. In the case of the Sony Xperia XA we have a main camera with Exmor RS sensor for mobile 1/3 inch and 13 megapixels , with the autofocus system Hybrid the most interesting feature of this camera. The company ensures in the terminal specifications that this autofocus system is capable of focusing in less than 0.15 seconds and the truth is that the tests carried out have shown that the focus is very fast. We miss an optical stabilization system for those who, like me, have a worse pulse.
Worth noting that the resolution of 13 megapixels is reached only in pictures with 4: 3 . If we want to take pictures in landscape mode, ie 16: 9 , the low resolution up to 9 megapixels . It is something very common in practically all terminals on the market. As for video, the Sony Xperia XA is capable of recording video with Full HD resolution at 30 fps , in addition to offering the possibility of recording video in HDR , something very interesting if we have a new television capable of reproducing this format.
As for the front camera sensor have a camera with Sony Exmor R which offers 8 megapixels . This camera also includes an autofocus system and an 88-degree wide-angle lens , perfect for group selfies .
Modes and Effects
Now that we know the technical characteristics of the cameras that the terminal includes, we are going to review the different shooting modes and settings that the device includes. To take pictures we can choose two modes: Superior Automatic and Manual . In automatic mode the terminal will take care of everything. The only thing that we can configure is if we want a counter, modify the color and brightness, change the resolution, activate or deactivate the object tracking and the smile catcher. The system will inform us on the screen of the type of scene it has detected , for example if it is night. Something quite curious and useful is that the camera application will show us a small doll on the screen if it detects that we are moving a lot and the picture may be blurred.
In Manual mode, we can configure something else, although you do not expect a professional configuration system. We can select a series of scenes to adapt the camera settings according to what we are going to photograph. Thus, we will have a special mode to select if we are photographing Fireworks , a Beach , a scene with Snow , a Party , our Pet , Food or even Documents . We also have a High Sensitivity ISO mode , a Landscape mode , a couple of modes for night photography and even a modeanti movement to alleviate the lack of optical stabilizer. We will also have the possibility of adjusting the white balance , as well as selecting an ISO of up to 3,200 .
As is usual in Sony terminals , we also have at our disposal several applications for the camera that will allow us to play with the photographs a bit. For example, we can apply a bit of augmented reality using the AR Effect app . With the Creative Effect application we can apply different effects to the image, seeing the results directly on the screen, before taking the picture. The Panoramic Sweep application will allow us to take a panoramic photo and with the Sound Photo applicationwe can take pictures with sound. We can also create our own stickers from the photos we have on the terminal or directly from a photograph taken using the camera at that time, with the Sticker Creator application .
We also have the Portrait Style application with which we can directly apply a style to a photograph using the front camera. The last of the applications that are included is Face in the photo , with which we can take a photo with the main camera while simultaneously taking a photo with the front camera, which will be located in a corner of the main photo. In addition to the applications that come by default, we will have a menu with which we can download more applications.
But the best way to appreciate the quality of a terminal's camera is to review some photographs that we have taken using it. We have chosen a selection of photographs that range from photographs in full sun to photographs at night, through macros to review the focus system or some of the effects that can be achieved with the applications for the camera that we have discussed above.
A mobile loaded with applications
The Sony Xperia XA comes standard with the latest version of Google's operating system , Android 6.0 Marshmallow . But as is customary for the Japanese brand, the company has included its customization layer and a series of applications that come pre-installed with the terminal, which is known as bloatware . Many users do not like that manufacturers include so much software, often without any practical use, but practically all brands do, so you have to learn to live with it. However, some of the applications included in the Sony terminalthey are very interesting. The company continues to bet on the integration of services, so, for example in the Video application , in addition to the videos that we have recorded with the mobile, we will have a whole series of services at our disposal. We will be able to see the most viewed videos on YouTube , access to the videos on our local network through DLNA and, something that we have found very interesting, the programming guide for any television service, from DTT to paid services such as Movistar + or Vodafone TV .
Following the same idea of service integration, in the album application we will be able to see the photos from Facebook , Picasa or Flickr , in addition to the ones we have on our mobile; while in the Music application we will have a shortcut to launch Spotify .
The terminal also comes with other applications that perhaps not all users take advantage of. For example, we have the PlayStation application installed , with which we will have access to various issues of the console and the PSN user account . The What's New application is also installed , an application that will recommend new content or content that the company considers interesting for us. With the News application we will have available a mobile feed reader that will show us the most interesting news, as well as giving us the possibility of including our own sources. Sony has also included the TrackID application , a Shazam clonethat will allow us to identify the music that is playing. And for the more creative users, we have Movie Creator and Sketch . With Movie Creator we can create our own stories and movies from the photos and videos that we have in the terminal. Sketch , as you can imagine, will allow us to draw directly on the mobile using various types of brushes.
In addition to its own applications, the Japanese company has included all Google applications in the Sony Xperia XA , including document applications, the Amazon application and two extra applications, an electronic book reader called Kobo eBooks and the AVG Protection antivirus .
Although it is true that it is not a large number of applications, we have noticed that the number of notifications from these applications is excessive , at least as they are configured as standard, especially the What's New application . As soon as we turn on the terminal for the first time we will already realize the number of notifications that we will receive from these apps, these notifications continuing throughout our use of the terminal, becoming quite annoying.
Connectivity and autonomy
In the connectivity section, we will not miss any service in the Sony Xperia XA . The company has opted to keep the connector microUSB 2.0 and not bet on the USB Type C, as if made on the Sony Xperia X . We also have the usual Bluetooth , GPS and WiFi connection . Despite being a terminal oriented to the lower-middle range, the Sony Xperia XA includes an NFC chip , thus being able to make payments through the mobile. In addition, the terminal is compatible with category 4 4G networks .
As we saw in the design section, the Sony Xperia XA incorporates a side cover in which we have the holes to insert the SIM card and the microSD card. The SIM card that we will have to use is of the nanoSIM type , the phone incorporating a small tray to be able to place it more easily.
In terms of autonomy, the Sony Xperia XA incorporates a 2,300 milliamp battery, a battery that, according to the manufacturer, could last up to two full days. According to our tests, with normal use of the terminal, the battery lasts about a day and a half without having to charge it. On the other hand, the terminal offers a fast charging system that gives us up to 5 hours of duration after only 10 minutes of charging . To quantify this autonomy, the best we can do is launch the AnTuTu Tester application .
The Sony Xperia XA has obtained 5,415 points in the battery test. This places it well below, for example, the Huawei P9 Lite , a terminal also oriented to the mid-range, which shares a price with the Sony device and which obtained a score of 8,563 points .
The Sony Xperia XA is a terminal oriented to the mid-range. Although Sony has opted for the use of plastic instead of metal, something that may not be liked by many users, once we have it in hand we do not remember the material with which it has been manufactured. Both the touch and the feeling of solidity that the unibody design provides makes us forget about plastic. The design is something very personal, but if you like Sony terminals, the Xperia XA will not disappoint you.
On a technical level, the terminal offers an eight-core processor and 2 GB of RAM . Although it is far from high-end terminals, even some terminals belonging to the mid-range, in our daily use the device has worked smoothly in any situation , even running games with great graphic power.
As for the cameras, the front camera has seemed very good with its 8 megapixels. The rear camera, in bright light conditions, has performed very well, highlighting its autofocus system. When we have seen her suffer the most is in night photography. Still, the scene recognition system included in the terminal works quite well and we will rarely need to use manual mode.
The official price of the Sony Xperia XA is 330 euros , exactly the same cost as, for example, the Huawei P9 Lite . It is a fairly common price in the mid-range of Android , although it is true that we have some cheaper options that could be valued.
The best of the Sony Xperia XA
Robust design despite the use of plastic
Sony sensor camera that offers very good photos, especially in good light
Smooth response in all applications, even the most demanding games
Could improve ”¦
The screen resolution. Its most direct competitors use Full HD resolution
Photographs in low light conditions
Some Sony terminal users may find the speaker placement uncomfortable
Large number of notifications
Sony Xperia XA
|Model||Sony Xperia XA|
|Density||294 dots per inch|
|Technology||Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2|
|Dimensions||143.6 x 66.8 x 7.9 mm|
|Colors||White, Graphite Black, Gold Green, Rose Gold|
|Video||FullHD 1080p video recording at 30fps and HDR video recording|
|Sensor and modes||1/3 ”³ Exmor RS Mobile Sensor|
Hybrid autofocus in less than 0.15 seconds
5x Clear Image Zoom
Automatic scene recognition
Superior auto mode
|Front camera||8 megapixel resolution|
88 degree wide angle lens
Exmor RS sensor for mobile
Photography in low light conditions
Face in photo
Others (to download)
|Formats||Audio Playback Formats: AAC +, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, FLAC, MP3, MIDI, Vorbis, PCM / WAVE, Hi-Fi, OM DRM 1.0|
Video Playback Formats: MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM
|Sound||Clear Audio +|
VPT (Virtualphones Technology)
|Operating system||Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow|
|CPU processor||Octa-core Mediatek Helio P10 processor with 64-bit support|
|Graphics processor (GPU)||Mali T-860|
|Power tests||Antutu: 47,644|
|Internal memory||16 GB|
|Extension||Yes, with MicroSD card up to 200 GB|
Online storage systems (Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, Google Drive)
4G LTE category 4
|Wifi||802.11 a / b / g / n|
|Audio||3.5 mm minijack|
|Others||It allows to create WiFi zones, Miracast|
Ultra STAMINA mode
|Duration in use||Day and a half of normal use|
|AnTutu Tester tests||5,415 points|