The Xperia X and Xperia XA are Sony’s first phones launched in 2016, two mid-range mobiles boasting gorgeous design and edge-to-edge screens. But what’s the difference between these handsets in terms of specs and other features?
Update: This feature was written when Sony’s new Xperia phones were first unveiled. Now we’ve reviewed the Xperia X and Xperia XA, so check out our in-depth Xperia X vs Xperia XA vs Xperia XA Ultra vs Xperia X Performance comparison review for a full and frank comparison.
Sony Xperia X vs Xperia XA: Design and fingerprint scanners
When it comes to look and feel, the Xperia X and Xperia XA appear to be closely matched and very loyal to Sony’s Xperia Z-range design.
The Xperia XA instantly reminds us of the Sony Xperia Z3 and previous Sony mid-rangers like the Xperia M5, with its iconic circular power button on the right edge and curved edging. The bezels above and below the screen are quite large, giving a ‘stretched’ appearance, while around the back you have a camera and flash in the top left corner, flush with the phone’s surface.
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The Xperia X sports a very similar design to the Xperia X, but there are a couple of key differences. First, the round power button has been replaced with a flat fingerprint sensor, just like the one found on the Xperia Z5. This will allow you to bypass PIN entry when unlocking your phone, and should prove just as responsive and accurate as the Z5’s sensor.
Secondly, the Xperia X’s screen doesn’t quite stretch edge-to-edge like the Xperia XA’s, with a slender bezel separating the display and the edging. However, both phones have the same curved glass panel which blends neatly into the frame.
Aside from this, there are a couple of other minor differences between the Xperia X and Xperia XA designs. For instance, the X boasts a continuous edging, while the XA features breaks before the corners, just like the Xperia Z3. And while both the X and the XA come in the same range of colours (White, Graphite Black, Lime Gold and Rose Gold), the X’s finish is more subtle compared with the vibrant hues of the XA – similar to the Xperia Z5’s toned-down versions of the Z5 Compact’s colours.
Both phones come with smart Style Covers to keep them safe from tumbles, and are fully water resistant.
Sony Xperia X vs Xperia XA: Screen and media
The Xperia X has a 5-inch Full HD screen, similar to the Xperia Z5’s 5.2-inch 1080p display. That should prove perfectly crisp for everyday tasks and make the most of your high-def movies. The Xperia XA also has a 5-inch screen although the resolution is dropped to 720p, so images won’t be quite as sharp. There’s also no X-Reality support on the XA’s display, unlike the X.
Both new Xperias support microSD for expanding the on-board storage, so you can carry around a massive media collection. However, the Xperia XA doesn’t support Hi-res audio, unlike the Xperia X.
Sony Xperia X vs Xperia XA: Performance and battery life
Battery life has always been a priority for Sony, with the flagship Xperias boasting a minimum of a day and a half of life between charges. Both phones should keep you going for well over a day, with the same smart battery manager features built in to stretch out the battery dregs when you’re running low. However, the Xperia X has a bigger battery than the XA (2620mAh vs 2300mAh) and is likely to last longer during everyday use.
Qnovo’s Adaptive Charging tech should also help the X and XA to charge quickly and prevent the battery performance from fading over time.
The Xperia X packs in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 650 processor, a 64-bit hexa-core chipset that should happily handle Android Marshmallow and play the latest games. The cheaper Xperia XA uses Mediatek Helio P10 instead, which should still provide decent performance on a budget although it may start to struggle with games and other demanding tasks.
Sony Xperia X vs Xperia XA: Cameras
Sony has once again pumped some premium camera tech into these mid-range Xperias, crafted in close collaboration with Sony’s α camera engineers. The Xperia X and Xperia XA both use Sony’s latest camera app for quick and simple shooting, with the ability to predict your subject’s motions to keep them sharply in focus.
The Xperia X boasts Sony’s top-of-the-range 23-megapixel rear sensor, plus a 13-megapixel front-facing camera. The XA uses a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 8-megapixel front-facing lens, which is more in keeping with Sony’s mid-range devices.
Sony Xperia X vs Xperia XA: UK price and release date
So far we only know that the Xperia X and Xperia XA will be released in the UK in summer 2016. Official pricing will be revealed closer to the time.