Phones

Sony Xperia XA1 Plus and Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact review

High-specced and large-screened flagship devices are still trending and we definitely can’t leave out Sony’s Xperia XA1 Plus and Xperia XZ1 Compact handsets.


Even though Sony’s XA1 Ultra device is the company’s number smartphone with a 6-inch display panel, users have also praised the Xperia XA1 Plus and Xperia XZ1 Compact handsets that come with a 5.5-Inch and 4.6 Inch displays respectively.

Interestingly, we can’t seem to figure out why the fans all over the world appeared to have commended the Xperia XZ1 Compact device, given its screen size compared to other large-screened smartphones offered by the company.

Jumping right to Sony’s Xperia XA1 handset, the device packs a fingerprint technology that has been in existence for a while now.

In comparison to other top-end smartphones offered by the company, the XA1 and the Ultra handsets appeared to have forgone the fingerprint technology for minimal side bezels.

Exactly what made the company do that, still remains a mystery, but XA1 and Ultra fans seem to be perfectly satisfied with the handset.

Moving on, the XA1 Plus also saw an average looking battery with a 3,430mAh capacity compare to the Ultra handset, that came with a lessened 27 percent battery size.

It gets better, the Sony Xperia also brags an efficient 16nm Helio P20 chipset that appears to be functioning well in terms of durability.

Coming as a major highlight for the Xperia XA1 handset, we see in the camera department a high-resolution 23MP large sensor unit which was also seen on the company’s last generation of flagships.

Talking about selfies, the XA1’s 8MP camera is what the Plus variant boasts and comes with no flash as well.

Sony’s Xperia XA1 Plus handset is a top-end flagship alright, but we believe the company could have done a better job bringing this variant of the regular XA1 handset. Apart from few of the things we’ve listed above, the handset is pretty much the same thing as the regular variant.

Sony Xperia XA1 Plus key features

  • Body: Aluminum sides; plastic top, bottom, and back; Gorilla Glass 4.
  • Display: 5.5″ IPS LCD, 1,920×1,080px resolution, 401ppi.
  • Rear camera: 23MP Type 1/2.3″ sensor, f/2.0 aperture, 24mm-equiv. focal length; autofocus; single LED flash; 1080p/30fps video recording, SteadyShot EIS.
  • Front camera: 8MP Type 1/4″ sensor, f/2.0 aperture, 23mm-equiv. focal length; autofocus; 1080p/30fps video recording.
  • OS/Software: Android 7.0 Nougat.
  • Chipset: 16nm Mediatek Helio P20 – Octa-core CPU (4×2.3GHz Cortex-A53 + 4×1.6GHz Cortex-A53), Mali T-880MP2 GPU.
  • Memory: 3GB/4GB of RAM; 32GB of storage; microSD slot up to 256GB.
  • Battery: 3,430mAh Li-Ion (sealed); Mediatek Pump Express+ 2.0 fast charging.
  • Connectivity: Single SIM and dual SIM versions (market dependent); Cat. 6 LTE (300Mbps/50Mbps); USB Type-C (v2.0); Wi-Fi a/b/g/n; GPS, GLONASS; NFC; Bluetooth 4.2.
  • Misc: Fingerprint sensor (outside the US), single bottom-firing loudspeaker, 3.5mm jack, dedicated two-stage hardware shutter release button.

Main defects

  • The phone comes with no stereo speakers and many left wondering since the handset was clearly developed for multimedia use.
  • Users in the US region don’t get to enjoy the Fingerprint sensor. For whatever reason the company chose not to include the fingerprint sensor in its market in the Us, we don’t know.
  • The handset doesn’t come with the latest Android OS that every high-end flagship is rolling out with nowadays.
  • No bezels are seen on the handset.

Perhaps it might interest you to know that Sony signed a contract in the past that held the company bound in an agreement to not use the Fingerprint technology stateside.

Well, truth is, we are not interested in any sort of agreement made by the company. But one thing is clear to us, Sony is not ready to take things to take its smartphone offering to another level, especially with the likes of Samsung, Apple, and LG, incessantly looking for ways to advance its technology.
Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact
We’ve talked enough about Sony’s Xperia XA1 Plus, it’s about time we take a look at the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact handset that seems to have been lauded for its uniqueness as the handset is touted to be small on the outside, but big on the inside.

Interestingly, the handset comes with all the latest hardware features but only has a small screen to power them.

The Xperia XZ1 Compact device comes as Sony’s latest super-mini handset bearing an aura of rareness that makes users fall in love with the handset.

Yes it’s true that the handset might not be a performance champion in terms of size or speed, but the handset has managed to gain applause from users and most of the time, that’s all the miracle a relatively high-end flagship like the Xperia XZ1 Compact need to become popular for mysterious ‘’nothing.’’

While we saw Sony pulling the plugs on the X Compact last season, the XZ1 Compact has managed to survived whilst bringing top-end specification features including Qualcomm’s reputable Snapdragon 835 chip,s Sony IMX400 sensor tagged with 960fps slow-mo videos, a refined waterproof design, and Android Oreo preinstalled.

The absence of a large screen display on the Compact device seems to be a blessing in disguise as the handset’s performance gets the biggest gain.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact key features

  • Body: 129 x 64 x 9.3mm, 140g of a glass-fiber-reinforced plastic unibody, Gorilla Glass 5 front, IP65/68 waterproofing
  • Screen: 4.6″ Triluminos display of 720p resolution (720 x 1,280px); 319ppi
  • OS: Android OS v8 Oreo with the Xperia launcher and Sony multimedia bundle
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 835 chipset: octa-core Kryo 280 CPU (4×2.46GHz +4×1.9GHz); Adreno 540 GPU; 4GB of RAM
  • Camera: 19MP, 1/2.3″ Sony IMX400 camera, f/2.0 lens, predictive hybrid laser/phase detection/contrast AF, burst AF, IR sensor for white balance, LED flash, dedicated hardware shutter key;
  • Video recording: 4K video recording @30fps, 1080p @60fps, 720p @960fps, Steady Shot; Stereo audio recording;
  • Selfie: 8MP, 1/4″ front-facing ultra-wide-angle camera with FOV120 and 1080p@30fps video
  • Storage: 32GB of built-in UFS storage and a microSD card slot
  • SIM: Single and dual-SIM models (region specific)
  • Connectivity: Cat. 15 LTE; Dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, MIMO; GPS/GLONASS/Beidou/Galileo, Bluetooth v5.0; NFC, USB-C port with USB 2.0 support, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Audio: Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic; 24-bit/192kHz Hi-Res audio; S-Force Front Surround stereo speakers
  • Battery: 2,700mAh non-removable battery, QuickCharge 3.0 support, Qnovo adaptive charging, Battery Care smart charging
  • Misc: Fingerprint sensor (market dependent), stereo speakers

Main defects

  • The phone comes with no big screen bezels
  • There’s no HDR screen
  • It has a very low screen resolution

We might love the Compact series more than it deserves, but the handset is still stuck with a screen resolution 720p and that is not good enough for most of us.

At least, we would expect a 1080p resolution on the company’s next offering in the Compact series. However, if the company fails to the introduce the latest screen resolution on its Compact next-generation devices, that’s obviously trending, some of us might just have to let go of the handset.


With all that being said, the real question still holds, can Sony convince smartphone users enough to use the super-mini concept handset considering the fact that large-screen smartphones are gradually becoming the order of the day? It’s just a matter of time before we find out.

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