The new Sony Xperia XA2 takes terrific selfies – all you have to do is grin at it

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Just smile to click

By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
The Nation

A mid-range and affordable smartphone with dual high-resolution front cameras and a 23-mega pixel camera with good image quality, the new Xperia XA2 Ultra from Sony is all about the selfie.

The first front camera uses Sony’s Exmor RS mobile image sensor with 16-mega-pixel resolution and optical image stabilisation technology. The second selfie camera switches to 8MP Exmor R and boasts a 120-degree superwide angle lens.

While the XA2 Ultra’s default setting sees it using the 16MP OIS camera for best-quality selfie shots, it will automatically switch to the 8MP when it spots a group of you mugging for the camera or a better-average backdrop.

Both come with an LED flash and the option to use Auto flash, Fill flash or Flashlight when taking selfie shots. If you’re photographing yourself at night, switch to the Night Portrait Flash mode with a slow-sync feature to get shots that are clear both in the foreground and the background.

The 16 MP OIS sensor can prevent your selfie from getting blurred should your hand happen to shake but you can also prevent the camera shaking from button tapping by using the Smile or Hand Shutter feature.

For the Smile Shutter, you simply ensure that your face appears inside the coloured frame and smile and the camera will self-click. For the Hand Shutter, turn your palm with your fingers straight up toward the camera and the selfie will be taken.

The rear camera uses the large 1/2.3-inch Exmor RS for Mobile sensor, which is capable of ISO 12800 sensitivity for better lowlight photography. The rear camera is also capable of 4K movie recording and 120fps slow motion video capture.

Sony Xperia XA2-1

During the test, I found that the rear camera really captured beautiful, sharp and clear photos even in lowlight environments. The main camera also has a fast focus and even faster performance. It took just 0.6 second from the camera launch to be ready to capture a shot.

The camera has Superior Auto mode that allowed me to capture good quality shots. More experienced photographers will probably prefer the Manual mode that lets them adjust shutter speed, ISO, and white balance as well as select between auto focus and manual focus.

The rear camera also provides Timeshift burst mode that fires 30 shots at once for you to select the best shot.

The XA2 Ultra features Sony’s vibrant 6-inch Full HD smartphone display, with a wide and accurate colour gamut and is built with strong and durable Corning Gorilla Glass. The screen sits within a borderless design. Moreover, the display features a curved surface.

The big screen with 1920×1080 pixel resolution is great for viewing photos and watching streamed video, such as video on demand with the TrueID TV app provided by True Visions.

The Xperia XA2 Ultra also has an ergonomic design that makes it comfortable in your hand. And Sony has moved the fingerprint sensor from being integrated with the power button to a separate sensor below the lens of the rear camera. This design allowed me to conveniently unlock the phone by touching it with either the left index or right.

Performance-wise, the XA2 Ultra is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 octacore processor. It comes with four gigabytes of working memory or RAM and 64 GB of storage, which is expandable with a microSD card by up to 256 GB. The smartphone runs on the latest Google Android 8.0 Oereo.

The phone had good performance during the test. Its touch screen and menus were very responsive and it had fast Internet connection thanks to Snapdragon 630, which has a builtin X12 LTE modem with up to 600 Mbps downlink speeds.

I tested the data connection on TrueMove H’s LTE network and found that the connection was very fast. Applications were downloaded smoothly and my snapshots were backed up to my Google Photos cloud storage in no time.

I used Ookla Speedtest app to measure the connection speed and found that the XA2 Ultra achieved a download speed of 83.97 Mbps and upload speed of 30.92 Mbps.

The XA2 Ultra has two nano SIM slots, meaning it doesn’t have to share one with a microSD expansion slot.

When you set up the phone, you’ll be prompted to select which SIM you want to use for data connection, which for voice calls and which for SMS messages. For the calls and SMS, you can set the phone so that the XA2 Ultra asks you every time before you make a call or send an SMS.

And the XA2 Ultra can also play High-Resolution Audio of FLAC 24bit/192kHz format smoothly, indicating its good performance.

I listened to FLAC 24bit/192kHz songs with Sony’s MDR1ABT Hi-Res Audio headphones and found that the songs had impressive quality with clarity, details of musical instruments and powerful bass.

Sony says the XA2 Ultra uses Smart Amplifier technology with ClearAudio+ and Clear Bass features to fine-tune the music to make every note clear.

The XA2 Ultra comes with a large battery of 3,580 mAh capacity to match its large display. The battery uses Smart Stamina technology that predicts how long your power will last based on how you normally use your phone, and prompts you with the best time to activate Stamina mode. In this mode, you can adapt your energy usage to keep going even when you’re running low.

And XA2 Ultra comes with technologies to prolong the battery life. It uses Qnovo Adaptive Charging technology to check your battery’s health as it charges, then adjust current levels to help protect the capacity. Leaving a fully-charged battery plugged in can damage it so Sony’s Battery Care charges your phone to 90 per cent and waits then charges to 100 per cent just before your wakeup time.

Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra has a suggested retail price of Bt13,990.

Sony Xperia XA2 Key Specs

– Networks: GSM GPRS/EDGE (2G), UMTS HSPA+ (3G), LTE (4G) Cat13/Cat12

– OS: Google Android 8.0

– Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 Mobile Platform octacore 2.21 GHz

– Memory: 4GB

– Storage: 64 GB, expandable with microSD by up to 256GB

– SIM: Dual nano SIM slots

– Rear camera: 23MP 1/2.3-inch Exmor RS for mobile image sensor with f/2.0 lens

– Front cameras: 8MP 120-degree super wideangle 1/4-inch Exmor R for mobile image sensor; 16MP with OIS (Optical Image Stabilizer) 1/2.6inch ExmorRS for mobile sensor

– Display: 6-inch full HD 1080p display protected with Corning Gorilla Glass

– Connectivity: AGNSS (GPS + GLONASS), WiFi Miracast, Bluetooth 5, Google Cast, NFC, USB TypeC

– Battery: 3580 mAh with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0

– Dimensions: 163 x 80 x 9.5mm

– Weight: 221g

 

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