Sony’s mid-range Xperia XA, XA Ultra and L models are about to get a refresh, and unfortunately it appears to be more of the same. The company’s design language has stagnated for what seems like an eternity, while the rest of the market has moved on with modern, cutting edge devices. Companies like LG and Huawei offer better designs with smaller bezels and 18:9 displays for around $200, and Sony is hardly a rookie in the smartphone space. It’s possible we’ll see an official debut at CES next week in Las Vegas, but it could wait until Mobile World Congress (MWC) in late February. In any event, here’s what we know so far.
For starters, the fingerprint scanner has been moved from the side to the back, although it’s unclear if they’ll actually work in the US. They’ll also stop using Mediatek chips and go with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 630 (2.2GHz octa-core) in the XA2 and XA2 Ultra. The aging Xperia XA1 has a 5-inch, 720p display, but the XA2 will bump things up to a 5.2-inch, 1080p display (above). The larger XA2 Ultra will have a 6-inch, 1080p display that’s unchanged from last year (below). It’ll now have two front facing cameras, however.
The XA2 is expected to have 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage and the XA2 Ultra should have 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage (same as last year). Their cameras, however, are getting a nice upgrade. The XA2 will have a 21MP rear camera that can shoot 4K video and a 7MP front facing camera. The Ultra will have the same rear camera as the XA2, but also two 15MP front facing cameras that can shoot 4K video. I can only assume the dual-camera setup is for bokeh selfies. Both the XA2 and XA2 Ultra should ship with Android 8.0 Oreo. Specifications for the XA2 are here and the XA2 Ultra here, thanks to GFXBench.
The entry-level Xperia L2 (above) is more of a mystery. It’s expected to come with a 5.2-inch, 720p display and ship with Android Nougat instead of Oreo. It will also have a rear fingerprint scanner and single front and back cameras.
Hopefully we’ll learn more next week at CES 2018. Sony is having a preshow press conference on Monday, January 8th. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. Is anyone excited about this new portfolio of Sony Xperia phones?