Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
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About the Phone
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra delivers an all-round performance, even though it looks dated. It has a brilliant display designed to cater to the youngster’s need for immersive experience. The battery is a worthy juice-pack to pair with the bright screen and the decent processor.
One of the chief highlights of Xperia A1 Ultra is the almost bezel-free display. It is bright, produces vibrant colours and has good viewing angles. Summing up the lack of bezels and the total display output, this handset gives an immersive experience to the user.
While the battery pack seems small, the battery performance of Xperia XA1 Ultra is quite good. It can last for more than a day, and can even chug on to two days if paired with light use. The battery is quite capable of keeping the display powered up.
The performance of Xperia XA1 Ultra may not be the greatest, but it is capable. The camera delivers decent pictures and better than XA1 Plus. All in all, it is a decent all-rounder to go for if you are not into appearances.
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra sets an example in the market that Sony is not going to back down. Priced at ₹22,990, this Xperia model is a heavyweight handset looking to turn the flagship market to its favour.
Sony Xperia XA1 may not awe you with its rehashed, signature Xperia design, but it will satisfy you with its performance capabilities and colour reproduction on display. It is a decent all-rounder, suited for youngsters and their hardcore performance.
The design of Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra is not a refreshing one. It looks similar to most of the Xperia series. However, there are slight differences – while it does have a boxy design, the body is no longer curved. It features what Sony calls Loop Surface Design. When you are looking at the phone carefully, you will be able to see that the sides are curved at the back and the front making it comfortable to hold. However, it feels sharp and digs into your palms. Like the other Sony smartphones, it houses a dedicated camera button, which works fluently. However, the smartphone does not come with a fingerprint scanner which is a surprise since it is a reasonable expectation from a phone of this price level. The screen is coated with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection from scratches.
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra has a 6-inch screen with a resolution of 1080×1920 pixels. It has 367 pixels per inch, and though the screen is big, the pixels are not noticeable. It is plenty bright especially when you are indoors, however, the brightness level is not that high to deliver excellent sunlight legibility. Outdoors, the screen might get reflective and difficult to use. It has reasonable viewing angles, and one of the best features is that it gives you the ability to tweak the display and white balance according to your wish. There are little bezels which give you a better immersive experience than many of its predecessors.
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra has a MediaTek Helio P20, the same chip that has been used for Xperia XA1. It is an octa-core processor with four cores running at 2.3GHz for intensive tasks, and the other four clocked at 1.6GHz for light jobs. Benchmark scores put it at 64,227 on Antutu which is quite a decent score at this price range. The big screen helps in providing a great gaming experience, and it could run graphics-heavy game like Asphalt 8, without lag or warming up. However, the battery drain during gaming is quite high. Multitasking is smooth and comfortable, and it could handle multiple apps running at the same time without entering the slow-down phase.
Xperia XA1 comes with a 23MP rear camera with phase detection autofocus, though it is not equipped with the more reliable laser autofocus. There is a single LED flash present and not the dual tone flash which is common in modern flagships. However, the camera is quite decent. The colours of the photos are entirely accurate, except for some specific colours like green which may turn out to be artificial. Macros are great with a good background and subject separation. However, due the to missing laser autofocus, you might have to tap the screen two or three times to get the focus where you want it to be. In low-light situations, the camera tries to adjust itself, but the output is not satisfactory. The low-light photos turn out to be quite grainy and have visible noise.
There is a 16MP selfie camera placed at the front, with flash and Optical Image Stabilisation, which is not present in the rear camera. Since selfies are taken in one hand, the OIS turns out to be handy and keep away shakes when you are clicking a selfie. In low-light, the selfie turns out to be better than the rear camera shots, due to the flash.
The phone can record full HD videos but does not have 4K video recording. The selfie videos are stable due to OIS.
Xperia XA1 Ultra has a 2,700 mAh battery, which is quite small considering the competition that it comes in. However, the battery performance is decent, and it can get you through the day easily without trouble. A moderate to heavy use found it 28% of the juice left, making it a reliable juice-pack. Light use can get it going through two days. Running a 90-minute HD video at maxed-out brightness found the phone lose 21% of its battery life, which is beaten by OnePlus 5’s 12% but is slightly ahead of Honor 7X’s 22% loss.
The Xperia XA1 Ultra comes with minimal bezels which can give an amazing cinematic experience to its users. The processor is quite decent, and the battery provides a good backup. The lack of 4K video recording and fingerprint scanner at this range is quite a drawback, but it can still hold its own. It is best suited for youngsters willing to have an immersive experience with their handsets. However, OnePlus 3T in the similar price range offers 4K recording, better performance and the much-needed fingerprint scanner.