The Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra boasts a new design, a better processor and twin front cameras
Sony has released a pair of new smartphones at CES 2018 and they both share a similar set of specifications, apart from those dictated by size. The Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra is the larger of the two, with the highlights being a large 6in display, a tweaked design and a fancy new dual camera setup on the front.
Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra: Everything you need to know
Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra: When does it launch?
Sony’s Xperia XA2 Ultra, like its regular XA2 alternative, launches in February 2018. The Xperia L2, also announced at CES, releases in January 2018.
Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra: How much will it cost?
The phone is set to be released later this month after CES 2018 has come to a close, but pricing details have yet to be unveiled. Since Sony’s XA range tends to be a little cheaper than its flagship XZ products, though, you can expect a price of around £450.
Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra: What does it look like?
In a word, just like every other Xperia phone you’ve ever laid eyes on. Despite Sony’s claims that its new phones have a borderless design, it still has rather broad bezels above and below the screen, just like previous generations of Xperia smartphones. They have been reduced in width, but not by much.
The screen isn’t one of the new 18:9 aspect ratio wonders, either. Instead, there’s a regular 16:9 1080p IPS screen here, though Sony does say it’s its most vibrant on a smartphone yet. We’ll have take Sony’s word for it for the time being.
Still, there is at least something new from a design perspective and it’s a negative move in my opinion: the fingerprint reader has been moved from the power button to the rear panel.Sure, that’s not a catastrophic departure, but a rear fingerprint reader is much more cumbersome.
Regardless, Sony’s XA2 Ultra will be available in black, silver, aqua blue and rose gold.
Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra: What’s new?
Aside from the repositioning of the fingerprint reader, you have to look quite hard to see what’s new, but there are some good things here.
The processor has been given a boost, moving from a MediaTek to Qualcomm’s latest mid-range chip, the Snapdragon 630, which should improve how long the phone lasts between charges as well as performance. The XA2 Ultra also has a bigger 3,580mAh battery than before, which should help out even further.
The camera setup is also new. On the rear, we have the same 23-megapixel resolution as before but it can shoot at up to ISO 1280 and capture 4K footage.
It’s at the front where the big changes have been made, though. The Xperia XA2 Ultra has two cameras for selfies, one 16-megapixel camera with optical image stabilisation (OIS) and another 8-megapixel effort offering 120-degree wide-angle snaps. Perfect for your Instagram-worthy vanity shots.
Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra: Early verdict
As you might have guessed, I’m not entirely sold on Sony’s Xperia XA2 Ultra. At first pass, it seems very much like a me-too smartphone and other than a handful of camera improvements, very little appears to have changed. Sure, it looks as if the design is improved on the previous effort, but I’m not entirely convinced. Keep the costs to a minimum, however, and I might just change my mind.
Keep your eyes peeled for my full Xperia XA2 Ultra review in the very near future.