The Sony Xperia XA2 is the latest in a long line of Sony phones I’ve reviewed since joining Alphr and, in looking it up for this article, that includes a couple I don’t even remember holding. The weird string of numbers and letters, the familiar angular shape, the reliable (but often overpriced) devices and the inevitable conclusion that “it’s alright, but you’re probably better off buying the cheaper/better X, Y or Z” mean that few have stood out.
Th XA2, however, is the first Sony device since the charming Xperia Z5 Compact that I’ve actually kept using for a while after the review has been filed and published. It’s a nippy, smart-looking phone and, unusually for a mid-range Sony device, entirely reasonably priced.
This feels like Sony taking the midrange market seriously and, given how competitive things are at the top end right now, where the company ert_main_wide_image/public/2018/02/chart2.png?itok=6vi9_3sv” alt=””/>
That puts Sony in uncharted waters: being the value option in a smartphone league table, seemingly striking the right balance between price and performance.
Still, this isn’t the phone for you if you want to play the latest intensive mobile games. While the likes of Words with Friends and Candy Crush Saga will perform without any hiccups, you’ll find it struggles with Asphalt or Modern Combat 5. Likewise, performance is fine with normal use, but try and multitask too much and things will take a hit. But again: what do you expect for a £300 smartphone?
There is, however, one small blot on the Xperia XA2’s copybook: it has an awful lot of nonsense installed by default. To be clear, none of this is compulsory and it can all be uninstalled but the company must know that bundling both Kobo and Amazon Kindle on the phone by default is overkill and that a few notifications of offers from Xperia Lounge is all anybody can really take before killing it with fire.
Sony Xperia XA2 review: Camera
Cameras are often the weak spot in mid range cameras, with manufacturers choosing to bamboozle with big megapixel numbers, rather than providing good performance. And an f/2.0 23-megapixel rear snapper might make you think Sony has done the same. Fortunately, this isn’t the case.
The main camera features a 1/2.3in sensor, phase-detect autofocus and a single-colour LED flash and the results are very nice indeed – at least in well-lit, outdoor conditions. As you can see from the picture below, both the wispy cloud and brickwork are picked up with excellent fidelity.
In low light it’s another story, with compression artefacts and chroma noise emerging but, given many phone cameras struggle with these problems to some degree, it’s hardly surprising the Sony Xperia XA2 isn’t flawless here.
As for video, the XA2 is able to record 4K video at up to 30fps but that’s not immediately obvious. Bizarrely, the 4K mode is hived off in the creative modes part of the camera app. That’s the first issue. The next is that you can’t shoot 1080p at 60fps with Sony’s superb SteadyCam image stabilisation enabled. That drops the frame rate to 30fps and the same holds true for HDR recording. Again, fine for most people – especially at this price – but slightly disappointing.
Sony Xperia XA2 review: Verdict
From reviewing many a Xperia phone over the years, I was expecting my conclusion here to be more of the same.
That isn’t the case with the Xperia XA2. For £300, you have a very reasonably-priced handset that barely puts a foot wrong. It looks the part, has a very nice screen and a camera that performs admirably in well-lit conditions.
There’s just a single fly in the ointment: the marginally weaker Honor 7X retails for £30 cheaper and has recently been seen for as little as £240. It also has one of those new-fangled 18:9 screens if that’s important to you.
Still, for me personally, the Xperia XA2 is an excellent smartphone and it’s seriously made me consider Sony when my contract expires in four months’ time. Well done, Sony.
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The content sourced from: http://www.alphr.com/sony/1008541/sony-xperia-xa2-review