Sony Xperia XA Review: Narrow Margins: Phonebook, Messaging, Loudspeaker

By 05:22 Tue, 17 Aug 2021 Comments


Phone

We have a single-SIM Sony Xperia XA, but there is a dual-SIM version if you need an extra phone line. Either model has active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic.

The call log can be filtered by missed, incoming and outgoing calls.






Dialer with smart dial • Call log • Call log filtering • Phonebook

The recent Xperia family shares a fairly unique feature, a built-in answering machine. It picks up an incoming call, plays your greeting and would later replay your friends' messages. You can set up your greeting and pickup conditions.




The Xperia X has a built-in answering machine

Loudspeaker

Unlike the Xs, the XA phones have a single loudspeaker, located at the bottom. In terms of loudness, the Sony Xperia XA fell in the Below average category on our loudspeaker test, much like the Xperia X couple (those two offer stereo speakers).

Quality is okay with no distortions even at full volume (and that's fine since you'll likely crank up the volume slider up and leave it there, it's just too quiet otherwise).

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score

Sony Xperia X 61.3 61.1 65.7 Below Average

Sony Xperia XA 61.6 66.2 68.3 Below Average

HTC One A9 65.0 64.9 67.2 Below Average

Sony Xperia M5 65.6 68.9 64.0 Below Average

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) 66.0 64.3 70.1 Below Average

Xiaomi Redmi 3 66.1 65.5 70.6 Average

Huawei P8lite 66.5 66.6 75.7 Good

Xiaomi Mi 4s 73.7 68.6 82.9 Very Good

Meizu MX5 75.7 73.5 79.5 Excellent

Messaging

The Sony Xperia XA has a lovely Material design messaging app. It feels like the instant messengers you might be used to, including conversations wallpapers and cute stickers you can send.

Ours came with panda stickers pre-installed, but you can download more (free and paid sticker packs are available). You can also sdiscontinue your own creations drawn in the Sketch (obviously, this changes the message type to MMS).






Messaging app • Stickers are available, just like in chat apps

For text entry, Sony picked the SwiftKey keyboard. It became popular for its swipe input, but regular tap-typing with text correction is available as well. Typing is quite comfortable and the narrow bezels didn't lead to accidental presses.





Customizable SwiftKey keyboard

The keyboard is highly customizable - you can change the layout, choose what characters are available (accented characters, emoji), enable a number row, resize the keyboard or even undock it. The Messaging app also handles voice input.


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