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Sony Xperia XA hands-on review | MWC 2016

Sony Xperia XA hands on: At MWC 2016, Sony gave us two new high-end mid-rangers to toy with; the Xperia X and its more conservative sibling, the Sony Xperia XA.

Both handsets use design language evolved from the company’s current flagship Z5 family. In place of glass the XA packs a finely brushed metal back to match its metal frame, which Sony will be launching in four attractive muted tones (white, Graphite Black, Rose Gold and Lime Gold) with colour-matched wallpapers to boot.

Whilst there’s no fingerprint sensor, the edges of the XA house Sony’s signature round metal power key, a volume rocker, dedicated dual-detent shutter key and on the opposing side a flap covering the SIM tray and microSD card slot (for cards up to 200GB), letting you expand upon the 16GB of internal space the phone comes with.

The real beauty of the XA is in its display and although the 5-inch 720p HD panel is gorgeous in its own right, it’s the fact that the body and curved edging of the phone’s glass push pixels right to the edge of the practically non-existent bezel. It’s a thing of beauty and with the exception of the Sharp Aquos Crystal and the company’s own C5 Ultra, a unique design element that sells the concept of high-end mid-ranger well.

Read next: Sony Xperia X vs Sony Xperia XA: What’s the difference?

On the software side, the Xperia XA comes running Android Marshmallow with an updated iteration of Sony’s interface overlaid on top, that pushes more of the company’s own apps to confirm to a circular icon design. The whole thing is powered by a respectable MediaTek Helio P10 octa-core processor and 2GB of RAM, whilst the camera experience falls to a fast-focussing 13-megapixel rear Exmor RS sensor and an Exmor R-powered 8-megapixel front-facer optimised for low light performance.

We’re still waiting for detailed pricing and availability information, but for the time being all Sony has said is that both the Xperia X and XA will arrive sometime in Summer 2016.

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