Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra review
Our Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra review finds a smartphone that is super-sized (phablet) and one that will be priced for the mid-range market. It will appeal most to twenty-somethings with its crazy high-resolution selfie camera.
So let’s find out more in our UK Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra review.
The Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra is for those who want a really big mobile phone. The 6” Full HD display stretches from edge-to-edge and it looks almost borderless with the 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass curving over to meet the sides.
In the flesh, there are few smartphones that look as good and the refined design incorporates Sony’s ‘Loop Surface’. Here, the aluminium sides get a polished continuous chamfer loop, on the top and bottom edges.
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The extreme size of the Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra adds a little weight at 188g and this Sony phone is 8.1mm thick. The colour variants include gold, white, black and pink, which is a husky deep pink that better matches the twenty-somethings’ fashion sense.
The Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra has a 2.3GHz octa-core Mediatek Helio P20 processor with 4GB RAM. Although Mediatek isn’t as well known as Qualcomm, the processor performs extremely well and there are few phones boasting a processor speed of 2.3GHz or more.
Sony products are synonymous with supreme sound and the story holds true here with a built in SmartAmp and Clear Audio+.
Phone Set Up
The Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra does not have a fingerprint sensor for security, a move again that was probably made in order to pass on cost savings to the consumer. This move really isn’t the end of the world and rather just a small sacrifice.
The internal memory comes in at 32GB, which is plenty enough to transfer over the content from your old smartphone or Apple iPhone. If more memory is needed, which may become a reality when you start snapping away with the high-resolution cameras, then there is microSD card slot, which can support cards with a value of up to 256GB.
Adapting to your behaviours
The Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra learns and adapts to your behaviours in numerous ways. Xperia Actions for instance, automatically take action when certain scenarios occur. This could be turning off audible notifications when you go to sleep or downloading offline translations and maps before going abroad and deleting them upon return.
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The Smart Cleaner keeps performance high by deactivating apps that you do not use and through clearing the cache. There is also a mini display feature, for single-handed use.
OS and apps
The Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra runs on Google’s Android 7.0 Nougat operating system, but Sony has added a series of its own apps as well. These apps includes News, What’s New, Sound Photo, AR Effect, Spotify, Movie Creator, Video, Album and Music.
Camera & Video
The 23MP camera offers very high-resolution photography and because the resolution is so high, you can zoom in with almost no loss of clarity, with 5x Clear Image Zoom. The capture of perfect results is aided by Hybrid Autofocus and SteadyShot, while Quick Launch & Capture gets you shooting at the drop of a hat.
16MP selfie photography
The 16MP selfie camera, on the Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra, has a higher resolution than most other smartphones’ main camera. The wide angle lens allows you to get more friends into the shot, while Optical Image Stabilisation and the Exmor RS for mobile sensor, ensures clear and sharp results, even under low light.
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The portrait camera has a Smart Selfie Flash and Hand Shutter, where showing your palm to the camera instigates the shutter’s countdown.
The 2,700mAh battery charges through the symmetrical USB Type-C port and employs Qnovo Adaptive Charging. This adjusts the current as the phone charges, to prevent a decline in battery performance over time and to increase the lifespan of the battery.
A STAMINA Mode will get you out of a tricky low-power situation and the Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra supports quick charging with Pump Express Plus 2.0, with the fast charger sold separately.
Next: Sony Xperia XA1 review
Written by: Michael Brown