Sony’s New Xperia Budget-Friendly Handsets Offer Decent Features

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Sony’s New Xperia Budget-Friendly Handsets Offer Decent Features

CES in Las Vegas generally isn’t the venue to introduce new smartphones. Instead it’s the place to show off new PCs, smart home products, Internet of things devices and televisions. Most international smartphone maker wait until Mobile World Congress in February to introduce their new models. But Sony bucked that trend on Jan. 8 with the announcement of three new versions of its Xperia handsets. The Xperia XA2 and Xperia XA2 Ultra come with familiar stout Sony designs and run on Qualcomm’s low-powered Snapdragon 630 processor. They’re flanked by the Sony Xperia L2, which has a 5.5-inch screen and runs on a quad-core MediaTek processor. Collectively, the new Xperias will appeal to customers seeking solid performance at a good price. This eWEEK slide show will discuss some of their finer features.

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These Are Midrange Handsets for Budget-Conscious Buyers

The Xperia XA2, the Xperia XA2 Ultra, and the Xperia L2. The company said that the smartphones are midrange and budget-friendly and not designed for those seeking high-end power. However, Sony has bundled passable processing power in at two of the models and one features a modern edge-to-edge display prompting some industry analysts to wonder if these new models attract customers who don’t want to spend up to $1,000 for a new smartphone.

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Important Power Comparisons

Sony’s Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra are equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 630 processor. The Xperia L2, however, is only offering a quad-core MediaTek processor that’s usually found in budget devices. While the XA2 and XA2 Ultra won’t be able to run the most sophisticated and resource-intensive apps. However, with 4GB of memory in the XA2 Ultra this model might surprise some people with how much it can do.

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Screen sizes Range from 6 to 5.2 Inches

Sony’s new Xperias come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The Xperia L2, for instance, has a 5.5-inch screen with a 720p resolution, which isn’t bad for a budget-friendly smartphone. The Xperia XA2 has a 5.2-inch screen with a 1080p resolution, making it substantially smaller than the 6-inch, 1080p display bundled with the Xperia XA2 Ultra.

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Cameras Are Surprisingly Strong

Sony didn’t slouch on the cameras bundled with its new Xperia smartphones. The Xperia L2 has a 13-megapixel main camera with an 8-megapixel 120-degree wide-angle front-facing sensor. The Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra both have a whopping 23-megapixel rear-facing camera with impressive low-light support. On the front of the XA2, users will find an 8-megapixel, 120-degree wide angle lens. The XA2 Ultra, however, has dual front-facing cameras with 16- and 8-megapixel sensors. That’s a feature users won’t even find in some of today’s highest-end smartphones.

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Will the Designs Hold Up?

Smartphone designs are changing rapidly as more companies move to reduce or eliminate bezels around the screen. The new Xperia handsets, however, keep the familiar stout design that’s somewhat boxy and a bit thicker than many of today’s mobile handsets. Whether that will hurt sales remains to be seen.

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Don’t Look for the Latest Security Technology

Sony didn’t go all out on security features in its Xperia devices with things like such iris and face scanners. It did bundle physical fingerprint sensors that can be used to unlock the device and interact with security apps to safeguard passwords and other content.

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Sony Trumpets the Battery Performance

Sony’s device listings say that the company’s handsets all come with “high capacity” batteries that should offer all day battery life. Standard charging speed is available on the Xperia L2, but those who buy the Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra will find support for quick-charging, according to the company.

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There’s a Split Decision on Android Versions

In a somewhat disappointing move, not all of the Xperia smartphones will launch with Google’s latest Android Oreo operating system. Instead, Android Oreo will be available in the Xperia XA2 and Xperia XA2 Ultra. Sony’s Xperia L2 runs on Android Nougat.

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Sony Will Reveal Pricing in February

Unfortunately, Sony hasn’t revealed the prices on any of the new Xperia smartphones, but given the specifications they should be substantially cheaper than high-end handsets like Apple’s iPhone 8 or Samsung Galaxy S models. Sony says it will reveal pricing in February when the new Xperia models go on sale.

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Does Sony Have Bigger Smartphone Plans for 2018?

Surprisingly these new Xperias might herald something bigger and better from Sony. After Sony announced the new Xperias, several media reports suggested that they are the first of a broader product introduction plan for several new smartphones this year with similar features, such as the dual front-facing camera array. But those subsequent releases could be top-of-the-line smartphones with revamped designs. We shall see if Sony has more up its sleeve.

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