Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra Review: A Cool Smartphone for Big-screen Fans

Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra (Photo Credit: Sony)

If you are looking for a mid-range smartphone kitted with impressive cameras and features to take vivid, blur-free selfies every time, then look no further than the Sony Xperia XA1.

This phablet, which is manufactured by Japanese electronics giant Sony, has cool cameras and storage capacity.

On the rear of this device, you have a 23-megapixel rear camera with hybrid sensor for low light capture and quick launch for flawless pictures in true-to-life colour, and be able to deliver sharp and clear selfies.

The front-facing camera is even more remarkable. The 16-megapixel front camera comes with optical image stabilisation to steady those late-night, incoherent images. It also has a flash to ensure you take wide angle selfies that captures high-resolution images in vibrant colour.

This phablet also has a hand shutter showing the palm of your hand which triggers a countdown to image capture, making it easier for you to snap the perfect selfie.  You can also quickly launch the camera app by long pressing the camera button.

Is there enough storage capacity to store your selfies and videos on the Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra?

Clearly, this phablet is made for a niche market that want a device geared towards multimedia with great cameras.

Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra (Photo Credit: Sony)

The Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra is powered by MediaTek Helio P2, which is an octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 2.3GHz and the other four cores clocked at 1.6GHz. It also has a 4GB RAM, giving you plenty of space to store your favourite selfies, tunes, videos and pictures. This processor was able to handle any task I tried to perform on the phablet.

The phablet comes with a 32GB internal storage too, which can be expanded via the microSD card slot up too 256GB.

It is a smartphone designed for big-screen lovers and is dependable to users looking for a phablet for entertainment purposes.

The Sony XA1 Ultra has a lot going for it, such as the classic Sony design encased within a metal frame, and an edge-to-edge full HD screen.

The mid-range phablet 2.5 Corning Gorilla Glass 3 gives it a polished design, while the endless loop surface provides a comfortable fit.

Disappointingly, the Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra does not sport a fingerprint scanner, which is a shocker taking into consideration its price point.  It also houses a non-removable 2700mAh battery, giving it a dependably solid battery life all in a wallet-friendly offering.

I was excited to access customised apps like PlayStation, a Sony PlayStation Companion App, SonyLIV, etc.

The Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra handled streaming services like Netflix, Telkom Lit and black without stuttering despite my son downloading various games.

Sony has been struggling with its smartphone division for quite a while now and this phablet will not be a big seller but it’s going to be loved by a niche market of big screens.


  • Slim design,
  • Stellar battery life,
  • Large RAM and storage,
  • Android Nougat

Best Deals For Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra


The Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra is available through Vodafone, with plans starting from R249 per month with R150 airtime, 0MB mobile data and free R10 000 Top Dog Educational Voucher.


The phone is available through MTN for a cash deal of R6 899 or via a contract starting from R299 per month for 24 months on MTN Made For Me S. Plus, depending on the deal you choose, you get a subscription to Simfy Africa for 3 months and once-off 30GB free data valid for 30 days.


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