After a challenging year, Sony has decided that it will sell only premium smartphones in India. However, these days premium smartphones are not just the expensive flagships and could also be the mid-range flagships which are also premium for most buyers. Anyway, the Japanese tech giant has just launched the Sony Xperia XA Ultra aimed at those who are looking for premium specifications and features in the mid range.
Sony Xperia XA Ultra
The Sony Xperia XA Ultra is a large phablet with a 6-inch Full HD display. But despite being large this phone is handy and just as wide as the Apple iPhone 6s Plus. The phone is large but not intimidating. It also looks like any other Xperia and has a very familiar design language. It also has a feature which is becoming very rare, a dedicated camera button.
Specs: 6-inch Full HD (1080 x 1920 pixels, ~367ppi) | Mediatek MT6755 Helio P10 octa-core with 3GB RAM | 16GB storage expandable up to 200GB | 21MP rear + 16MP front camera | 2700mAh battery | Android 6.0 | Sony Xperia XA Ultra full specs
Price: Rs 27,495
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. And despite being a heavy phone, it won’t bother users much.
The Full HD display is bright and vivid. Also, there is a swipe option to bring in one-handed operations for those who find it hard to use all the real estate. I, however, would urge such people not to buy such a big phone.
This phone is all about the camera. It has a 16MP selfie camera. Yes, you heard that right. This front clicker is really good and makes even my face look presentable when it is shot in pitch darkness with just the flash on. The front camera also gives you natural photographs, a rarity in these selfie obsessed days.
The rear camera is 21MP. Yes, you heard that right too. And it comes with hybrid autofocus, which lets you click really cool action shoots as well as subtle low-light images. I was really happy with the kind of images I managed in the garden with a grist of bees buzzing around. It also gives you a full manual option as well as a bunch of Sony’s regular fun presets.
Being a large phone, the Xperia XA Ultra can house a really large battery. However, Sony has decided to innovate on the battery and is using Smart Battery Management to make a 2,700 mAh battery last well over 36 hours with regular use. In fact, if you look at battery management stats, you see really incredible numbers of hours left even with lower percentages of battery. For a while I used it as a secondary phone and I would take the phone out once in a while, with there being juice every time. Sony also claims its Qnovo Adaptive Charging technology will make this battery last longer with better charging management.
The phone has no performance issues, though it is stacked in the middle ranges when it comes to benchmark scores. There is no lag or stutter when you use this phone, but graphic performance can be better at this price range.
I usually think Sony phones are a bit overpriced, like most of big brands out there. However, 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. Sony might just be able to tap into a niche market here.