- Not powerful enough for gaming
- Weak, slow-charging battery
With the Xperia XA Ultra, Sony is diving headfirst into the mid-tier phablet market. But a large screen doesn’t mean much if the hardware can’t keep up.
Reviews of this whopper of a phone are rolling in. Let’s see what they have to say!
Cramming a 6-inch display into a phone is not easy. However, reviewers loved Sony’s design. They noted that the metal frame added a sturdy feel while the plastic back felt upscale and provided extra grip. Indian Express declared, “I liked the overall design and feel of the phone. It gives you the confidence you would expect from a Sony phone. Everything from the power button to the flap that holds the dual-SIM slots have been crafted to last and it shows.”
Flip the phone over and you’re greeted by a 6-inch 1080p IPS display. Reviewers raved over the lack of side bezels--a feature rare even on flagship phones. Reviews of the screen itself are equally positive. Android Pit noted, “For multimedia, the XA Ultra screen is above average, the viewing angles are really good. However, sometimes the experience with the white balance is not satisfactory.”
Pushing all those pixels, you’ll find a 2GHz octa-core MediaTek processor paired with 3GB of RAM. GSM Arena summed up performance reviews, saying, “The Sony Xperia XA Ultra handles apps and daily tasks smoothly, but it isn't the phone for serious gaming.”
While the screen is ideal for watching movies, you might have trouble fitting movies on the phone along with your apps and games with the 16GB of storage provided. Fortunately, microSD support makes adding space easy and affordable.
The phone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Sony’s additions are minimal, though reviews did note a handful of apps that you cannot uninstall.
Sony’s 21MP rear camera and 16MP front-facing selfie shooter thrilled reviewers. Phone Arena noted that the rear camera “[Offered] a great level of detail, mostly correct white balance, and little visible noise or other visual aberrations.” Both cameras offer optical image stabilization, an LED flash and autofocus. The rear camera also features hybrid focus. GSM Arena dubbed the front-facing camera “the most impressive selfie cam Sony has ever made.”
Battery life didn’t receive the same treatment. With a 2,700mAh battery, the phone offers less power than some newer 5-inch phones. Despite this, it still lasted a day for most reviewers--if only just. Phone Arena noted, “Not only is the battery small at just 2,700mAh, but in our own experience, it is capped at about a day of usage.” Reviewers were also critical of charge times, with a full charge taking more than 2 hours.
Overall, apart from battery issues, reviewers had no problem recommending the phone. Indian Express summed up opinions well, saying, “The Xperia XA Ultra seems a value buy for those who consider the camera, screen and battery as their main priorities. There might be other phones that do better on sheer performance in this range, but they would have had to cut corners on the other three fronts.”
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