Sony Xperia XA1 Plus Quick Review: Big Batt, Long Life


We go hands-on with the XA1 Plus!

Sony’s Xperia XA1 was a decent device, having solid hardware plus a stellar camera for its price. Its biggest flaw when we reviewed it a few months ago was its battery – at 2300mAh, we found that we needed to scramble for a charger or a power bank during the afternoon with heavy use, which is obviously not ideal.

Sony is looking to improve the XA1 with the XA1 Plus, which has many of the same hardware under the hood but now backed with a large-ish 3430mAh battery. Before we get our hands on a review unit in the future, let’s take a quick look at the XA1 Plus on Sony’s IFA floor:

Initial impressions: closest you’ll get to a Sony phone with a bezel-less display

While we can rag on Sony all we want about still using their dated OmniBalance design philosophy for their phones, they technically have one device that already uses the tech, sort of. The mid-range XA1 had skinny side bezels that gave you more real estate for its width, though the gigantic top and bottom bezels negate that somewhat.

As is evidenced by the name, the XA1 Plus is a significantly bigger version of the XA1. The XA1 Plus has a 5.5-inch full HD panel which is a significant step up from the 5-inch, HD display on the XA1. The XA1 Plus’ bigger body allowed Sony to put in a bigger 3430mAh battery which is way bigger than the one on the XA1.

The camera on the XA1 Plus is the same 23-megapixel Exmor RS module found on the XA1 (and on the Z5), so you can expect pretty much the same kind of camera performance from the bigger model compared to the original. The XA1 Plus is a little harder to hold and use one handed thanks to the large top and bottom bezels, but it’s not too bad.

The XA1 Plus is powered by the same MediaTek Helio P20 processor found on the XA1, paired with roughly the same hardware – 4GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. We already have a good gauge of what the processor can do thanks to our time with the XA1, and you can expect more of the same with the new phone.

Along with a bigger battery, Sony has stuffed the XA1 Plus with a bunch of battery saving software – Sony’s Stamina mode, Qnovo Adaptive Charging technology and Battery Care are all found on the XA1 Plus, all in an effort to try and prevent the battery stamina issues that we encountered on the XA1.

Will it be enough? We’ll have to find out once Sony hands us a review device. We don’t know pricing and availability for the XA1 Plus as of yet – we’ll update you guys as soon as we find out.

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