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January 9, 2018

Hands-on with Sony’s new mid-rangers: Xperia XA2, XA2 Ultra, and Xperia L2

by John_A

Whether you’re a fan of Sony’s smartphone design or couldn’t care less, the near bezel-less aesthetic has become more commonplace. You won’t find that aesthetic on the Xperia XA2, Xperia XA2 Ultra, and Xperia L2, though that doesn’t mean you should disregard them as options.

All three smartphones might not feature near bezel-less designs, but the Xperia XA2 and Xperia XA2 Ultra sport edge-to-edge displays that are curved at the sides, which helps the glass bleed into the sides for a more seamless feel in the hands. Being the lower-end option of the trio, the Xperia L2 sports more side bezel than its two siblings, while the display takes a step down to 720p.

Display 5.2″ Full HD 1080p 6″ Full HD 1080p 5.5″ HD 720p
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 Quad-core 1.5 GHz
RAM 3 GB 4 GB 3 GB
Storage 32 GB
Expandable up to 256 GB via microSD
32 GB
64 GB
Expandable up to 256 GB via microSD
32 GB
Expandable up to 256 GB via microSD
Camera Rear: 23 MP Exmor RS with f/2.3 aperture, hybrid AP, and 5x zoom

Front: 8 MP sensor with 120-degree wide-angle lens

Front:

Rear: 23 MP Exmor RS with f/2.3 aperture, hybrid AP, and 5x zoom

Front: 16 MP sensor with OIS and 8 MP with 120 wide-angle lens

Rear: 13 MP sensor with 3x zoom

Front: 8 MP sensor with 120-degree wide-angle lens

Miscellaneous Android 8.0 Oreo, 3,300 mAh battery, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, USB Type-C, 3.5 mm headphone jack Android 8.0 Oreo, 3,580 mAh battery, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, USB Type-C, 3.5 mm headphone jack Android 7.1.1 Nougat, 3,300 mAh battery, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, USB Type-C, 3.5 mm headphone jack

The similarities between the Xperia XA2 and Xperia XA2 Ultra continue with their rear 23 MP cameras that can record videos in 4K and 120 fps slow-motion. Both phones also sport 8 MP front cameras capable of 120-degree wide-angle shots, though the Xperia XA2 Ultra has a second 16 MP selfie camera with optical image stabilization.

The Xperia L2’s front-camera is only a slight step down from those on the Xperia XA2 devices. It’s a 120-degree wide-angle 8 MP shooter. The rear camera takes a steeper step down, coming in at 13 MP with no optical image stabilization.

In the hand, the Xperia L2 offers a solid matte plastic finish. It’s not the most premium of materials, but it gets the job done. It reminds us of the Nokia Lumia 920 from many years ago, especially with its nicely curved back.

Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra image gallery



In contrast to the L2, the XA2 and XA2 Ultra have a much higher quality feel due to it’s metal construction and other design flourishes such as chamferred edges. Sony’s signature loop design makes a return and with a more rounded body these are some of the most comfortable feeling phones that Sony has ever produced.

Under the hood, the Xperia XA2 and Xperia XA2 Ultra are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 630, though the latter features slightly more RAM and two storage options. All three phones are equipped with microSD card slots for additional storage, and seeing how all three start with 32 GB of storage, you might want to use that slot.



The real crime, however, is with the software. The Xperia XA2 and Xperia XA2 Ultra run Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box, which is great. The Xperia L2, meanwhile, gets by with Android 7.1.1 Nougat, which is disappointing to say the least.

After all, Oreo was released to the public in late August of last year, and, at this point, it’s ridiculous to not have Oreo be available out of the box. We’re hopeful the Xperia L2 will get an update to Oreo sometime down the road, but we are not expecting it.

Editor’s Pickrelated article

Sony in 2018: time for a change

Sony treated us to a range of smartphones in 2017, led by its flagships, the Xperia XZ Premium and Xperia XZ1. The company’s familiar biannual release cycle caused division amongst those looking for a definitive Sony …

The Xperia XA2, Xperia XA2 Ultra, and Xperia L2 will be available in late January, though Sony didn’t say how much the phones will cost. If their previous incarnations are any indicator, don’t expect them to come in at competitive prices.

Xperia L2 image gallery



However much they cost, the Xperia XA2 will come in silver, black, blue, and pink, while the Xperia XA2 Ultra will arrive in silver, black, light blue, and gold. Finally, the Xperia L2 will come in black, gold, and pink. Sony tells us that they will be available starting in late January.

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