Sony Xperia XA1 review. Practical smartphone with a good camera

The latest update of Sony Xperia smartphones has affected all models: from the most expensive and clever Xperia XZ Premium and Xperia XZs to more modest Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra. The popular Xperia XA has slightly changed outwardly, but the main changes have taken place inside: the smartphone has received a new platform and a 23 megapixel built-in camera, which has every chance of becoming the best in its class. Yes, this is exactly the same module that was used in the previous flagship of Sony - Xperia Z5. Well, let's see how organic it all looks in a simpler and more accessible model.


Let's start with an external inspection. As you can see, the basic concept of the Xperia XA has not changed: the minimum possible body size for a 5-inch screen, very thin frames on the sides and rounded glass with a 2.5D effect. However, in detail, the Xperia XA1 is much closer to the Xperia XZ and XCompact. The corners of the case have become more pronounced, and the end faces are perfectly flat - you can even put the smartphone vertically and it will be quite stable.

The weight increased slightly compared to the Xperia XA - 143 grams versus 137 - but this difference is not felt at all, the smartphone seems neither too heavy nor too light. It comes in four colors: white, black, pink and gold, and all shades are available on the Russian market, while in other regions the choice is more modest. Characteristically, the plastic case is now slightly matte, very practical and pleasant to the touch. Even the white body is very practical.

Controls remained in their usual places. All buttons are located on the right side: a round power key, a volume rocker, and a separate key to start the camera and release the shutter. Rejecting such a button has long been a trend, but Sony is not planning to give it up yet, because the very fact of its presence focuses on advanced photo and video capabilities.

On the left side there are slots for a SIM card of the nanoSIM standard and a microSD format drive (up to 256 GB). There is no need to choose between the second SIM card and flash drive: the XA1 has a version with two slots for operator cards and one slot for microSD.

Below appeared USB Type-C - in the last year’s model there was a microUSB instead. Also for lovers of wires remained 3.5 mm jack on the top of the smartphone, but if you already managed to get wireless headphones, nothing will prevent you from using them - the Xperia XA, of course, did not do without the Bluetooth 4.2 module (earlier it was 4.1).

The screen remained unchanged: all the same five inches and HD resolution - 1280x720, but do not hurry to get upset - the quality of the matrix is ​​excellent, the display is very bright, the colors are juicy and saturated. In addition, in the native resolution of the screen, all applications and even games with high-quality graphics work smoothly and quickly, so that the available hardware should be enough for a few years with a margin. Well, it is worth adding that the tempered glass has a high-grade oleophobic coating, eliminating the need for daily wiping the display.

Iron and battery

The main changes lie inside the smartphone. Xperia XA1 received a new processor - Helio P20, which moved to a more advanced process technology compared to its predecessor (16 Nm vs. 28 Nm). This means improved energy efficiency, which is very helpful, because the battery has remained the same, at 2300 mAh. The model holds the charge more confidently of last year’s Xperia XA: it can withstand light day without signs of anxiety, and if it uses smart charge saving modes, it will reach the middle of the next day with rather active use. Supports fast charging with Pump Express Plus 2.0 technology.

The processor remains eight-core, and the top frequency has grown to 2.3 GHz. Four cores work on such indicators, and just as much weaker - 1.6 GHz. The graphics chip migrated from Xperia XA. The new product uses the Mali-T880 P2, which also operates at an increased frequency - 900 MHz. The amount of internal memory also increased: 32 GB. If you do not get involved in shooting or transfer photos and video archives to cloud storage, then a memory card may not be needed. RAM has become more - 3 GB, and in the original Xperia XA was 2 GB.


The most significant changes occurred with optics. Sony Xperia XA1 got the main camera with a 23-megapixel Exmor RS sensor. This is a serious progress, given that the Xperia XA photo module was with a resolution of 13 megapixels. Exactly the same camera used in the Sony Xperia Z5, the flagship of 2015. The quality of the pictures has improved markedly, especially in low light and vice versa when shooting on a bright sunny day.

Previously, when the light source hit the lens, the surroundings became too dark and it was not easy to align the exposure. Now this problem is fixed, and you are free to measure the exposure at any point in the frame. The camera allows you to record video in Full HD resolution at 30 frames per second. It is worth noting that the lens is slightly recessed into the body, so it is now impossible to accidentally scratch the front lens. But the quality of the shooting speaks for itself - look at the examples.

The front camera again received a resolution of 8 megapixels. The pictures are sturdy, video calls work without complaints even in low light, there are no complaints about the quality of the selfie.


The smartphone is initially running Android Nougat (7.1). The operating system works smartly, the animation is smooth, applications load very quickly. In general, with the almost unchanged price, the Xperia XA1 has become even more attractive. This smartphone is a more powerful hardware and, as a result, a tangible performance increase, an updated design and a very decent camera. And if you need a larger and more productive device, then pay attention to the XA1 Ultra: a six-inch screen (Full HD), 4 GB of RAM, a 16 megapixel front camera with flash. We will tell you about it separately.

Main technical characteristics of Sony Xperia XA1:

Display size: 5 inches
Display resolution : HD (1280x720 pixels, density ~ 294 ppi)
Chipset : Mediatek MT6757 Helio P20 (4 cores at 2.3 GHz + 4 cores at 1.6 GHz)
Memory : 3 GB RAM, 16 GB non-volatile, slot for microSD memory cards up to 256 GB
Main camera : 23 megapixel, autofocus, video recording in Full HD resolution
Front camera : 8 megapixel with wide-angle and high-aperture optics
Battery : Li-ion, 2300 mAh, non-removable
SIM card format : nano-SIM
Operating System Version : Android 7.0 Nougat
Dimensions and weight : 145x67x8 mm; 143 g
Price in Russia : 21 990 rubles


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