For most millennials, a smartphone’s camera is a huge factor when it comes to choosing their next gadget. If you notice, most mobiles today market themselves as the “ultimate selfie phone” or the “you-don’t-need-a-professional-camera-anymore” model. Well, who can blame them—with the constant need of updating family, friends, and followers through social media (or if you just want to impress people on your News Feed with your photography skills), a smartphone that takes crisp and sharp images is a must.
So if you’re into selfies, food flatlays, or views #atm (at the moment, we mean)—but on a budget—Sony’s newest midrange phablet, Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra might be the one for you.
DESIGN AND DISPLAY
Before delving into the phone’s picture-taking prowess, let’s first take a look at the phone’s aesthetics. The Xperia XA2 Ultra is big and bulky, which is expected of a phablet. It also has Sony’s trademark look: thick bezels and sharp corners. Its 6-inch display sits within a borderless design, built with Corning® Gorilla® Glass. It’s quite a handful—literally—especially if you have small hands. It’s also quite heavy, but its bulkiness—163 x 80 x 9.5 mm in measurement and 221 g in weight—is justified because, as Sony says, it's made for “big-screen entertainment.” Its big borderless screen in full HD display is just what you need if you’re fond of watching movies while on transit, reading eBooks or online articles, and it’s even great for mobile gaming. Images are vivid and bright, and you can easily adjust its brightness, vibrancy, and color saturation on the display menu.
TLDR: Sharp and detailed screen (1080 x 1920 pixels of resolution) = great viewing/reading/gaming experience
The phablet also has a fingerprint scanner on the rear—located exactly where my index finger hits the phablet. So far, it recognizes my fingerprint and unlocks the gadget without any delay.
The gadget also comes in three colors: black, blue, and gold. We got the gold one and here’s a closer look:
And in case you’re wondering, nope, this one is not water resistant.
SPECS AND PERFORMANCE
As for the specifications, here’s a rundown:
Memory and storage:
32GB / 64GB eMMC internal memory
microSDXC support (up to 256GB)
Google Android™ Oreo
Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 630 Mobile Platform
So far, applications run without delay. If you’re into demanding mobile games, this might work for you.
Qnovo Adaptive Charging
Smart STAMINA Mode
Quick Charging (Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3.0)
When not connected to WiFi or mobile data, the battery can last for up to two to three days without charging.
A-GNSS (GPS + GLONASS)3
Bluetooth® 5 wireless technology
Bluetooth® 5 wireless technology, aptX / A2DP
Qualcomm® aptX™ HD audio 4
Now we’ve come to Xperia XA2 Ultra’s premium feature: the camera. Like so many smartphones today, the phone has dual front lenses. Located above the screen are the 16- and 8-megapixel front cameras. The 16-megapixel camera features optical image stabilization, which prevents blurry photos caused by user or phone movements. On the other hand, the 8-megapixel camera has a 120-degree field of view, making it ideal for group selfie shots. Meanwhile, the rear camera has 23 megapixels. Front and rear camera both have flash. It also boasts of 4K movie recording and 120fps slow motion video.
To test the cameras, we took Xperia XA2 Ultra to our recent La Union road trip. Here are the shots that we took using the phablet:
Front camera (AKA selfie and group selfie):
In broad daylight
The verdict: Xperia XA2 Ultra’s selfie and rear cameras produce bright, crisp, and clear shots especially in broad daylight. It may struggle a bit during shots taken at night, but for a midrange phone, it's quite impressive. The front cameras produced vivid group selfie shots (there's even enough space in the background). Even my own selfie (sorry not sorry) was clear even when I took it in low light. We actually ditched our DSLR and used this one during the whole trip.
If you’re on a budget and want a powerful phablet where you can stream videos, play games, update your social media life, and most importantly, take pictures worth keeping, we suggest you get this one.
Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra’s SRP is P22,990, available on all Sony Centre Stores, Xperia Shops and Sony Authorized Dealers.