Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra Review

Japanese electronics giant Sony has been struggling with its smartphone department for pretty a while now. It chose to stop making its ‘Premium Standard’ smartphones to attention best on its flagship lineup to cut losses. This 12 months, Sony already flagships within the shape of Xperia XZs (Review) and the Xperia XZ Premium (Review), with the Xperia XZ1 series becoming authentic in Berlin this week. Earlier, Sony released the Xperia XA1 Ultra, a device with mid-range specs and a top rate charge tag. With the fee soaring around Rs. 28,000, does the Xperia XA1 Ultra deserve your money? We put it thru our exams.

Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra design

Xperia XA1
Those familiar with the design on Sony Xperia smartphones will struggle to discover anything clean at the beginning glance. It still sports the equal design as a number of its predecessors within the Xperia range. A closer appearance is needed to work on the minor changes that Sony has made. The body is not curved around the rims for starters and has a boxy design, just like the Xperia XZ collection. Sony calls it Loop Surface Design, which’s visible when looking at the cellphone from the top. The aspects are curved on the front and the again, making it simpler to keep the hand. While this layout is labored with the smaller XZ Premium, the bigger size of the XA1 Ultra reasons the rims to dig into your fingers during use.

The Ultra branding in Sony phrases denotes a big display screen, and the 6-inch display puts the phone in the list of huge display smartphones. We like how the display blends into the frame; it’s miles tough to figure out how big the show is when the screen is off. Power the display on, and you will discover that it’s miles aspect-to-side with nearly no bezels on the perimeters. While this makes you keep your breath, the thicker bezels at the pinnacle and backside straight away start looking like an eye fixed sore. We did like approximately the display because it did no longer sign in accidental touches no matter the thinner aspect bezels. While you can see grills at the front, the most effective pinnacle is utilized by way of the earpiece as the lower looks as if only a layout element. Sony could have opted for a stereo speaker setup to do justice to the massive show.

We determined the energy button at the Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra to be properly placed, and the volume button may also need you to shuffle the smartphone based on how you are retaining it. It additionally houses a devoted digital camera button just like different Sony smartphones. It is a two-step digital camera button that can be 1/2-pressed to cognizance and pressed fully to click on the picture. You also can quickly release the digicam app by way of the long urgent digicam button. The XA1 Ultra has a loudspeaker at the bottom along with the USB Type-C port. At the back, it houses a 23-megapixel camera in conjunction with a single LED flash and a 16-megapixel digital camera at the front with a selfie flash.


The phone does no longer sport a fingerprint scanner which is sudden given its price point. Sony advised Gadgets 360 that since its fingerprint scanner area in particular (inside the energy button on the aspect), it plans to keep it limited to its flagship gadgets in the meanwhile. It delivered that low-stop and mid-variety Sony smartphones didn’t game fingerprint scanners in the beyond. It did not now plan to introduce it this 12 months, but with a purpose to be of no consolation to people searching for products/services.

Xperia XA1 Ultra specs and capabilities

The Xperia XA1 Ultra became priced around Rs 31,990 at launch, a fee this is used by cell phone manufacturers to launch their price range flagships. For that price, aside from the 23-megapixel digital camera, there’s not anything that’ll seize your interest on the spec sheet. It has a 6-inch show with a decision of 1080×1920 pixels and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on pinnacle for safety. The larger display at that resolution manages to push out 367 pixels according to the inch. It is usable and did not appear pixelated. We found it shiny sufficient indoors; however, the huge show tends to get a little reflective outside. It has accurate viewing angles, and also you additionally get the option to tweak the display output and white balance.

To strengthen the cellphone via tasks, Sony has opted for the MediaTek Helio P20, the same chip it uses for the Xperia XA1. The Helio P20 is an octa-center processor with four cores clocked at 2.3GHz and the other four cores clocked at 1.6GHz. It has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of the garage that’s expandable via the committed microSD card slot up to 256GB. The XA1 Ultra has nano-SIM slots with the assist for 4G and VoLTE on each slot. Apart from this, the XA1 Ultra sports activities Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, and WiFi ac aid connectivity.

The XA1 Ultra homes a non-removable 2700mAh battery with Qnovo Adaptive charging tech, which reduces the charging pace when the battery nears a hundred percent free. Sony told Gadgets 360 that this facilitates extending the existence of the battery and it’s far operating closer to increasing battery lifestyles, in place of shipping telephones with bigger batteries.

Xperia XA1 Ultra software and performance

The Sony XA1 Ultra runs on Android 7.0 Nougat with its custom Xperia UI on top. It has the essence of stock Android, but Sony has brought a few of its personal customizations on top. It has an app drawer with the capability to create folders to club apps together. You can swipe right from the home display to get the right of entry to Google Now or swipe from the pinnacle to trigger a seek. Sony has customized a few settings like a battery, wherein you’ll locate the inclusion of Stamina Mode and Ultra Stamina mode that assists growth battery existence. The storage and memory settings have additionally been worked upon, and we discovered them to be person-pleasant. You also get a few apps like SonyLIV, its amusement app; PlayStation, a Sony PlayStation Companion App; and AVG Protection, an anti-virus app pre-mounted. Sadly, you may uninstall these apps. However, most effective, disable them.

Sony helps topics and gives you the choice of selecting from a few pre-established subject matters to shopping for one in every one of its themes from the Play Store. Themes are carried out speedily without the need to restart the tool, so if you fancy customizing your smartphone, you may like this. We located the phone to provide good performance though it did take a tad bit longer while launching apps after a clean boot. RAM control is good, and the smartphone had near 2GB of RAM unfastened on average after a day of use. We additionally determined the large screen comfortable while typing with each arm in portrait mode.

Like different smartphones we check, the XA1 Ultra turned into a couple of benchmark exams. It controlled to attain 64227 on Antutu even as scoring 847 and 3822 in Geekbench 4’s single-center and multi-core tests. In our HD video loop, please take a look at the smartphone-controlled to run for eleven hours and forty-eight mins, which is respectable considering its battery capability and the large screen required for electricity. The phone controlled 21FPS in GFXBench inside the T-Rex benchmark.

We loved gaming at the Xperia XA1 Ultra as the large display screen helped it supply an excellent enjoyment. The cell phone ought to run Asphalt 8 and Clash Royale with no problems while running cool. We did examine that the battery percent delivered to a higher rate whilst gaming, similar to the Gionee A1 Plus (Review), which is also powered via the same SoC. Battery performance in any other case is pretty exact as the smartphone should control to head past an afternoon with light to medium use with idle drain kept low. Call nice on the Xperia XA1 Ultra is pretty excellent on all networks together with Reliance Jio.

Xperia XA1 Ultra camera overall performance

Sony has opted for a 23-megapixel camera at the lower back with assessment + segment detection hybrid car attention but misses laser vehicle recognition. You additionally get a single LED flash and now not the twin tone flash, which has to turn out to be more common now. At the front, the 16-megapixel selfie receives a front flash and features Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) which the rear camera misses out on. Sony advised Gadgets 360 that the usage of two OIS modules in the slender frame wasn’t feasible. It also mentioned that the Ultra is a selfie-targeted phone, and there may be a higher need for stabilization because a selfie is clicked with one hand.

The camera app is made using Sony and has a Superior Auto mode like most other Xperia smartphones. It has a guide mode that allows you to modify white stability, exposure, shutter speed, ISO, and manual recognition. With Superior Auto mode on, we observed the cellphone to be brief to conform to lighting situations and bump the shutter’s acceleration if it detects motion. The -step shutter button is quite useful while clicking pics as properly. We discovered that the digital camera might sometimes refuse to click a photo if it failed to cognizant. It could take time to focus, and the handiest then clicks a photo. While this may be beneficial in a few instances, you may pass over a shot as there’s no way to pressure it to shoot.

Photos became out truly properly though we need to say that vegetables look a bit synthetic. We did no longer find any troubles even if clicking in opposition to the mild. Macros turn out well, and there is a right separation between the issue and the history. We needed to tap some times to get the digital camera to attention exactly where we wanted it to because of the missing laser autofocus. In low mild, the camera adjusts itself accordingly, but the output wasn’t as predicted. Photos in low light appear grainy, and there may be a few losses of detail.

The telephone is capable of complete-HD video with each of the front and rear cameras, and also, you additionally have the HDR mode for the rear camera. There is no 4K video recording that’s now to be had on phones at this rate point. Selfies pop out properly, and the OIS enables hold shakes to a minimum when recording video. In low-mild, we located the selfie flash to be helpful, and photographs were sharp with the flash on.


The Xperia XA1 Ultra is a massive display device aimed at people especially looking for a phablet for enjoyment functions. Its huge bezel-much less display is right for watching content and playing video games but should have achieved with some stereo audio system. We like how Sony has tuned the Helio P20 chip and the Xperia UI to supply appropriate battery backup; however, the lack of a fingerprint scanner and 4K video recording are two of the fundamental drawbacks of this smartphone.

The Xperia XA1 Ultra isn’t a terrible smartphone. However, the competition makes it look overpriced. The OnePlus 3T (Review) offers a fingerprint scanner, 4K recording, and significantly better performance for an equal fee. If you do not mind stretching your finances a little, the Honor eight Pro (Review) offers a whole lot better price. But if it’s miles the big show you need, then the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 (Review) will prevent numerous cash.

John R. Wright
Social media ninja. Freelance web trailblazer. Extreme problem solver. Music fanatic. Spent several months marketing pubic lice in the financial sector. Spent 2002-2008 supervising the production of ice cream in Africa. Had some great experience developing robotic shrimp in the aftermarket. Spent several years getting my feet wet with puppets in Miami, FL. Was quite successful at supervising the production of corncob pipes worldwide. What gets me going now is working with electric trains in Mexico.