Reviews

A seriously huge phone built for selfies

Written by Colton

Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra hands-on – A seriously huge phone built for selfies

The Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra is a really, really, big phone. The 6-inch screen paired with a sizeable bezel either end of the display combine for a handset I struggled to comfortably hold during my short time with it.

Size aside, this phone also features three cameras, a Snapdragon 630 CPU, 4GB of RAM and Android 8.0 Oreo.

Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra – Price and release

No word on price yet, but expect to see it hit shelves some time in February.

Related: CES 2018

Sony’s phones have all been sporting a similar look for a while now, and the XA2 Ultra doesn’t change much. You’ve still got that big bezel straddling the display, and the sharp corners remain. A slightly rounded back does at least help handling somewhat, but you’ll be using two hands to hold this device most of the time anyway.

A fingerprint scanner sits on the rear – this will be enabled in the US, too – plus there’s a USB-C port on the bottom and headphone jack on the top. Sony fans will no doubt appreciate the multi-stage shutter button for quickly pulling up the camera, but I bemoan the lack of any sort of water-resistance rating.

So the real selling point of the Xperia XA2 Ultra is the huge display, which is a rarity at the likely affordable price. It’s a bright and colourful 1080p LCD panel that looks like it will be great for those use who really utilise their phones for media and gaming.

The other big feature that sets the XA2 Ultra apart from the crowded mid-range space is the triple camera array. On the rear of the phone is a 23-megapixel sensor that will shoot 4K video, but it’s really around the front that things get interesting. Sony has popped two cameras here: one is a 16-megapixel camera with optical image stabilisation and the other is an 8-megapixel camera with a wide 120-degree view.

Sony reps told me that the higher megapixel sensor is the one most users will default to, while the secondary camera is there if you want to cram more faces into your shots. It’s an interesting setup, but the quality of the selfies varied wildly when using the wider camera. There’s also an LED flash on the front, which did a surprisingly good job in dark conditions.

Keeping the phone ticking along is a Snapdragon 630 CPU, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. This should provide enough grunt for the majority of day-to-day tasks. There’s also a 3850mAh battery packed inside the XA2, which is noticeably larger than the one featured in the outgoing model.

First impressions

The Sony XA2 Ultra will be a niche device, but it’s one of the only options on the market if you want a big-screen Android phone without breaking the bank.