Sony Xperia XA Ultra Review


The new Sony Xperia XA Ultra has a brilliant look and it stands out to be a top competitor amongst the many flagships in the market. Does Sony Xperia XA Ultra is worth a buy? Here's my full review about the new flagship phone

The Sony Xperia XA Ultra has a metal frame and the front glass is rounded along the edges giving you a premium quality look. This combined with the amazingly thin side bezels give a real boost to the phone's look. There is no fingerprint reader embedded into the side of the phone but we get Sony's traditional two-step camera button. The Sony Xperia XA Ultra key feature is its large 6-inch LCD screen. The 1080p resolution is perfectly sharp even at this diagonal. The maximum brightness is quite high and the contrast ratio is good. Viewing angles and outdoor visibility are also very good. The other hardware feature up on the front is the selfie camera. For a front camera, it has an unusually high resolution and unusually large sensor. It has optical image stabilization and a front facing flash. The Sony Xperia XA Ultra comes with Android 6 Marshmallow. It has a close visual resemblance to pure Android with a few Sony's own touches. You also get the full bag of Sony's multimedia apps such as video, music album and Playstation. There's also Sony's Xperia themes. Sony has included a one-hand operation mode which brings the entire interface down to the side for easier single-handed navigation.
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The XA Ultra runs on the octa-core mediate chipset and has 3 gigabytes of RAM. The synthetic says the processing power of the chip seems to match that of the Snapdragon 615 chipset. To beat the competition like the Xiaomi Mi Max and the Samsung Galaxy A9, a newer and faster chipset like the Snapdragon 650 and 652. Graphics performance isn't too hot either. However, the phablet performs without issues in real world usage, never skipping a beat.
Large phones usually have big batteries and enjoy great battery life. Unfortunately, the Sony Xperia XA Ultra has neither. The built-in battery isn't very impressive in capacity and scored a poor endurance rating. Talk time was very good but both browsing and video playback tests which used a large display are underwhelming.
Sony has put two very serious camera sensors inside the Xperia XA Ultra. On the back, there's a 21-megapixel camera and on the front an optically stabilized 16-megapixel selfie snapper. Both have LED flashes and use large sensors. The main camera is one of the best we've seen from Sony. The large resolution stills are contrasting and have loads of details. Everything is sharp from edge to edge and there's no sign of softness anywhere in the frame. On the negative, white balance is a bit warmer than it needs to be and there is visible noise even in good light. The 16-megapixel selfies are probably the most detailed we've seen from the phone. There's HDR for the front camera which helps even out of the exposure and really low light front facing camera can rely on its LED flash. It's recommended to use full light mode which produces an overall better-lit image as the normal flash mode is too harsh.
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The front facing camera has optical stabilization and it does manage to smooth out videos. It works nice for shooting and purposes and also this use case is helped by the excellent voice pickup by the onboard mic. Video on both cameras is limited to just 1080p but the footage itself looks great. The main camera doesn't have optical stabilization, though. The Xperia XA Ultra has a great screen, great cameras and its one of the few handsome 6-inches out there. The battery is disappointing and also the benchmark performance and the lack of a fingerprint scanner. But if you're hot for the thin side bezels, best-in-class selfies and Sony's blend of software and hardware, the Xperia XA Ultra hardly has a worthwhile alternative.



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