The Sony Xperia XA2 is a solid mid-range Android phone. It looks similar to 2017’s Sony Xperia XA1, but has an upgraded 1080p (full HD) screen rather than 720p, and the battery's been bumped to 3,300mAh.
But Sony’s high-resolution 23MP camera sensor outperforms the competition in many situations, even if you do have to be savvy to get the most out of it.
Sony Xperia XA2 price and availability
- Launch price: $349 (£299, around AU$450)
- Current price: $318 (£249)
- Release date: February 2018
The T was released in February 2018, an era of Android 8.0 and phones with barely any screen border.
It cost $349 SIM-free in the US and £299 in the UK, making it more expensive than the Xperia XA1 and some of its key rivals.
Shop around though and you'll find that the price has started to drop now we're several months away from the XA2's launch. The Xperia XA2 price is now as low as $318 (£249), making it a more attractive proposition.
There's also an Xperia XA2 Ultra, which costs £379, $449 and has a 6-inch screen. This isn't one of the new ultra-wide screen phones. It's a real pocket-stretcher.
- Typical Sony design
- Upgraded to 1080p display
- Large 3,300mAh battery
The Sony Xperia XA2 has a 5.2-inch screen, making it a relatively small phone. However, Sony has prioritized a big battery over a super-slim frame, making this thicker than the XA1 to fit in a 3,300mAh cell.
You get a good mid-range Snapdragon 630 chipset, powerful enough to do just about everything without obvious compromise, and 32GB storage.
These are solid mid-range specs.
Typical of a Sony at this sort of price, the camera is a little different, though. It has a single, very high-res 23MP sensor, just like the Xperia XA1. It handles indoor shooting better - and can render more detail - than most of the 13MP cameras used by other "affordable" phones.
It doesn't match the OnePlus 5T camera, though, before you get too excited.
- Chunky classic Xperia design
- Metal sides, plastic rear
- No water resistance
As each month passes, we see more phones with 18:9 screens. These expand the display, to leave less space above and below. The result? A cutting-edge look and more screen area without any increase in the phone footprint.
The Sony Xperia XA2 does not have one of these screens. It's a traditional 16:9 phone, which gives it a squat vibe up against some of its obvious competitors. The Moto G5S? Nope, that's another 16:9 phone, but the Huawei P Smart, Oppo F5 and Honor 9 Lite all have this new kind of screen.
And you'll see the bigger names like Moto, Samsung and LG start to filter this style into their lower-mid-range phones in 2018. Probably.
The 16:9 aspect ratio matched to a relatively fat 9.7mm thickness and Sony’s usual rectangular design makes the Sony Xperia XA2 seem a chunky little mobile. It's also quite heavy at 171g. Despite the added bulk, there's no official water resistance.
This is not a phone you pick up and say "wow, that's so light". However, it is easy to use and doesn't have the finger-stretching feel of some of Sony's larger Xperia models.
The Sony Xperia XA2's sides and top are aluminum, with beveled edges on the top/bottom plates to reveal a glint of the metal underneath. It looks good, but shows off scratches readily, so think twice before putting the phone in a pocket with your keys or a load of coins.
Other aspects of the build are just okay for the price too. The Sony Xperia XA2's back is plastic. It doesn't flex, avoiding the obvious tell of a cheaper plastic phone, but Moto, Honor and Huawei phones at the price make greater use of glass and metal.
Part of the Xperia XA2's back is down to cost, part is to help separate it from Sony's more expensive models.
That doesn't also mean cutting out the fingerprint scanner, as the XA2 has one on its back (even in the US where Sony phones typically don't). It is well positioned and reliable, if not the fastest we've used. Coming out of standby takes about 1.5 seconds.
- Color tone can range from super-saturated to very calm
- 5.2-inch 1080p LCD screen
- 16:9 aspect rather than the newer 18:9 style
As we've mentioned several times, the Sony Xperia XA2 does not have an extra-wide aspect ratio screen. However, it is much higher-res than its predecessor the XA1.
A resolution of 1080p makes text and images look pin-sharp. At 5.2 inches you'd actively have to try to notice the difference in sharpness between this and a phone of higher pixel density.
On first switching the Xperia XA2 on, its colors seem a little muted. However, this is because it (with launch software at least) disables all its clever color optimization as standard.
Dip into the Settings menu and you’ll find Standard (yes, it's not on as standard) and Super-vivid modes that increase color saturation and contrast. Super-vivid makes the Xperia XA2 look closer to a flagship Xperia.
As the phone has an LCD screen, contrast is never going to match an OLED, but you won't notice in most conditions. In a lit room, the screen's blacks merge into the black surround.
Similar to other Xperias, the white balance is slightly blue-skewed, which promotes the perception of brightness but doesn't appeal to all eyes. There are color temperature controls too, but as usual Sony's are among the least friendly.
Fiddling around with separate red, green and blue sliders makes you feel like you're calibrating a TV, not tweaking a phone screen.