CES 2018 – one of the most major technology shows of the year – is underway, and there have already been some impressive announcements in the world of smartphones. One of these has come from Sony, which has just unveiled three brand new models: the Xperia XA2, Xperia XA2 Ultra and Xperia L2.
The two XA2 models are being billed as “selfie smartphones”, and it's easy to see why, as the cameras the handsets come with are some of the most impressive aspects of the devices, both for taking photographs and videos.
The Xperia XA2 comes with a mighty 23MP rear camera, complete with a 1/2.3” Exmor RS image sensor. In addition to being able to take pictures in high definition, the camera has ISO 12800 sensitivity for capturing images in low-light scenarios. It also allows for filming in 4K HD, including a 120fps slow-motion mode.
However, the front camera is why the handset is being billed as a selfie smartphone. It packs a decent 8MP punch, but the main selling point is its 120-degree super wide-angle lens. This will allow for much larger photos, enabling users to cram all their friends into a single snap.
Meanwhile, the XA2 Ultra has been “engineered specifically for selfies”, according to Sony. While the 23MP rear camera is the same as the standard XA2's, the Ultra boasts a 16MP resolution with Optical Image Stabilisation and 8MP 120° super wide-angle dual front cameras, both with front flash. This means the phone can be used to take extremely high-quality pictures from both sides.
In addition to the cameras, the XA2 and XA2 Ultra boast some impressive specs. Both use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 Mobile Platform, and feature a rear fingerprint sensor.
The XA2 will come with a full-HD 5.2-inch display, set within a body with side bezels so slim as to barely be there. This “borderless design” is repeated on the XA2 Ultra; however, this handset's screen is six inches in size, and Sony claims the display is its most vibrant yet.
Both models also come with some decent batteries. The XA2 will launch with a high-capacity 3,300 mAh model, while the Ultra impresses even more with a super-capacity 3,580 mAh battery. Sony is also including smart charging technologies to save power and keep the phones running for longer.
Meanwhile, the Xperia L2 looks set to be another solid mid-range phone. It will feature a 5.5-inch display, along with a 3,300 mAh battery with fast-charging technology. The handset will come with a 120-degree 8MP front camera – similar to the XA2 – and a 13MP F2.0 rear camera.
All three phones are set to launch with single SIM and dual SIM options in certain markets. The two XA2 models will be released with Android 8.0 Oreo, while the L2 will come with Android 7.1.1 Nougat. However, the latter handset will be available sooner, coming out in late January compared to February for the two XA2 models.
Interested buyers will have a range of different colours to choose from as well. The XA2 will come in silver, black, blue or pink, while the XA2 Ultra replaces the pink with a gold option. The L2 will come in black, gold or pink.
Hideyuki Furumi, executive vice-president for sales and marketing with Sony Mobile Communications, said of the phones: “Our super mid-range product strategy started out as an exciting new idea based on bringing bold technologies to this section of the market in the most accessible way possible.
“Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra are no different, with leading front camera technology first seen in our flagship XZ line. We’re targeting 2018 as a breakthrough year, and look forward to showcasing further innovations across the entire Xperia portfolio over the coming months.”