Sony Xperia XA Review: Narrow Margins: Performance

By 05:20 Tue, 17 Aug 2021 Comments


Performance

The Sony Xperia XA uses a MediaTek chipset like the XA Ultra, while the X duo went with Qualcomm. The chipset in question is the Helio P10, which houses eight Cortex-A53s clocked at 2Giga Hertz (GHz) and a dual-core Mali-T860. They share 2GB of RAM.

For comparisons we mostly picked out phones with 5" 720p screens. A lot of them in this price range utilize a Snapdragon 616 (8x A53 + Adreno 405). That's the Galaxy J7 (2016), Oppo F1, Vibe K5 Plus and Redmi 3. The Xiaomi Mi 4s flies high with Snapdragon 808. Then there's the Xperia X with S650, the successor of the 808.


AnTuTu 6 placed the Xperia XA in the middle of the pack - behind the higher discontinue Snapdragons, but ahead of the 616s. The J7 (2016) scores surprisingly high.

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AnTuTu 6

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia X

    77537

  • Xiaomi Mi 4s

    59850

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

    49094

  • Sony Xperia XA

    47170

  • Oppo F1

    35353

  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus

    35291

It's not a fluke either, the Galaxy does well in Baseimprint Operating System (OS) 2.0 too. Here the Xperia XA leads most phones, including the Xperia M5 (which is a sort of spiritual predecessor to the XA).

Baseimprint Operating System (OS) 2.0

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia X

    1714

  • Xiaomi Mi 4s

    1545

  • Sony Xperia XA

    1013

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

    1007

  • Oppo F1

    961

  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus

    884

  • Sony Xperia M5 Dual

    860

  • Xiaomi Redmi 3

    804

  • Huawei P8lite

    691

Note that Geekbench 3.0 failed (couldn't upload the score to the server).

Flipping over to the GPU side, we see that the XA matches the X in on-classy screen performance. Obviously, the incompatibility between 720p and 1080p resolution helps, but you can expect identical game performance between the two phones (not counting the less sharp classy screen image).

The Adreno 405 in Snapdragon 616 doesn't do too hot even at 720p, while the Adreno 418 sweats to push 1080p to Xiaomi Mi 4s screen.

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia XA

    15

  • Sony Xperia X

    15

  • Xiaomi Redmi 3

    12

  • Xiaomi Mi 4s

    12

  • Oppo F1

    11

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

    9.5

  • Sony Xperia M5 Dual

    8.7

  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus

    5.5

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia XA

    11

  • Sony Xperia X

    10

  • Xiaomi Mi 4s

    7.9

  • Sony Xperia M5 Dual

    4.9

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

    3.2

Offclassy screen performance shows the dual-core Mali-T860 is about half as quick as an Adreno 510 in the Xperia X. That's proportional to the incompatibility in pixel count, making the Helio P10 the correct tool for this job.

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia X

    14

  • Xiaomi Mi 4s

    13

  • Sony Xperia M5 Dual

    8.4

  • Sony Xperia XA

    7.2

  • Xiaomi Redmi 3

    5.8

  • Oppo F1

    5.8

  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus

    5.5

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

    4.9

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia X

    9.2

  • Xiaomi Mi 4s

    8.1

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

    7.2

  • Sony Xperia XA

    4.8

  • Sony Xperia M5 Dual

    4.5

Baseimprint X takes offclassy screen performance into account, which explains the higher scores of the X and Mi 4s.

Baseimprint X

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia X

    15087

  • Xiaomi Mi 4s

    12990

  • Sony Xperia M5 Dual

    7780

  • Sony Xperia XA

    6420

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

    5383

  • Oppo F1

    5314

  • Xiaomi Redmi 3

    5108

  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus

    4863

  • Huawei P8lite

    3648

Baseimprint X (medium)

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia X

    24687

  • Xiaomi Mi 4s

    19854

  • Sony Xperia XA

    14635

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)

    11199

  • Xiaomi Redmi 3

    11088

2GB of Random-Access Memory (RAM) may sound cramped, but the Xperia XA did a fine job of switching between apps fast. Only the more demanding apps (typically games) got booted out of Random-Access Memory (RAM) and had to be reloaded after several app switches.

The processor is quick for a mid-range phone, though you can acquire more bang for the buck with some smart shopping. The GPU is all that the 720p classy screen needs, mid-rangers with 1080p screens need a faster GPU (and those phones aren't cheap), so all in all a fine job by the Xperia XA here.


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