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Sony Xperia XA2 Tips & Tricks: The best features of Sony’s magnificent mid-range mobile

Our Xperia XA2 tips and tricks guide will help you get to grips with your shiny Sony smartphone. From easier one-handed use to getting better battery life, we show off some of the best hidden features you might not know about.

The Xperia XA2 is Sony’s follow-up to last year’s XA1, serving up super-smart camera tech, slick design and some solid features for just £299 in the UK. This handset comes packing Android Oreo, which by itself offers up loads of great software features. However, Sony has also added plenty of its own bonus features and functionality too.

Here we run through some of our favourite bits crammed into the Xperia XA2 (and its larger cousin, the Xperia XA2 Ultra). The goal is a more satisfying smartphone experience all-round.

Read next: Sony Xperia XA2 vs XA2 Ultra, what’s the difference?

How to customise your Xperia XA2’s desktops

If you pinch your fingers together on the XA2’s desktops, you’ll conjure up a bunch of personalisation options. From here you can change up the look and feel of your Sony phone’s software.

For instance, you can choose from a number of different Sony themes, or change the wallpaper to something more personal. You can even play with different screen transitions and grid layouts, to get more apps on your desktops.

Dive into the settings and you’ll have the option of removing Google’s feed, if you’re not a fan. You can also configure your app icons, changing their size and appearance and plenty more besides.

How to boost the Xperia XA2’s display

Sony rarely disappoints when it comes to display tech, so the Xperia XA2 of course boasts a great smartphone screen. By default the XA2 produces quite natural looking images, but you can boost the colours if you’d prefer.

Just head to the Display settings and tap ‘Colour gamut and contrast’. In here you’ll find the Super-vivid Mode, which you can activate with a quick tap. We love this feature as it makes colours really pop, bringing your photos to life.

How to make one-handed use even easier

Sony smartphones are beautifully designed, with a unique candy bar style finish. However, using them one handed can prove a little tricky, as that thick bottom bezel gets in the way. Plus of course, those Ultra models are rather beastly.

Thankfully the Japanese giant has added some help for those with normal-sized hands. Just jump into the Xperia XA2’s settings and scroll down a bit, to find the ‘One-handed operations’ section.

In here you’ll find an option to shrink the screen, for more comfortable poking and swiping. All you need to do is flick your thumb from the corner of the display towards the middle, and then position the smaller desktop wherever you like.

You also have a handful of other one-handed mode options to choose from. Just tap the ‘Optimised apps’ option to reveal them. In here you can push the likes of PIN pads to one side, and drop down the notifications bar with a double-tap of the Xperia XA2’s home button.

As you’d imagine, these features come in rather handy with the Xperia XA2 Ultra. Definitely worth checking out.

Get longer battery life from the Xperia XA2

The Xperia XA2 boasts a sizeable 3300mAh battery, which will keep even quite demanding users going all day long. However, if you forget to charge the phone up and find yourself running low on juice, that’s no great shakes.

Just head to the settings menu and tap Battery and you’ll find two power saving modes tucked away inside: Stamina Mode and Ultra Stamina Mode. The first restricts apps from churning data in the background, while also culling the likes of GPS when your screen is turned off. This can be automatically activated when your XA2’s battery level hits a certain percentage.

If you’re in really dire straits, with only a few drops of juice left and no plug point in sight, then try the Ultra Stamina Mode. This kills all but the most basic features of your Xperia XA2, such as phone calls and texting. That’ll help you to keep in touch with family and friends, while minimising the battery drain.

Playstation owners can get connected

If you own a PS4, then good news; the Xperia XA2 can act as a kind of hub to all of your notifications and important information.

First up, load the Playstation app and then sign in with your Playstation ID. From the main app page you can tap the big blue PS logo, down at the bottom of the screen, to access a whole host of features. For instance, you can message friends, browse the online store, get involved with Playstation communities and plenty more besides.

The app also acts as a hub for the ‘second screen’ feature, although you’ll need to download a separate app – joy. The best use for second screen is entering text on your phone’s touchscreen, instead of endlessly scrolling about a keyboard with your PS4 controller. Sadly it’s not really much help beyond that. Check out our full PS4 second screen explainer video for more on all that shenanigans (coming soon).

Check out Sony’s own Xperia XA2 tips and tricks

In the settings menu is an Assist section, which is handy for anyone new to Xperia phones or even Android handsets in general.

Tap ‘Introduction to Xperia’ and you’ll be introduced to some useful features. Transferring files from your old phone, getting to grips with the camera and customising the Xperia XA2. All of these topics and loads more are covered here.

From the Assist section you can also quickly access your phone’s battery settings (see our earlier tip). The Smart Cleaner tool can also be found here, which can automatically manage your storage and memory. That will help your Xperia XA2 to keep running smoothly.

Still having issues? Scroll to the very bottom of the settings menu and tap Support. This basically houses a virtual manual, as well as links to a troubleshooting forum and help for repairing a busted blower. You can also contact Sony directly about any problems with your XA2.

Check out all of these tips in the below video.

The Sony Xperia XA2 will be available on contract from O2.