Sony's Xperia XA1 and XA1 Ultra round out its mid-range lineup

There's also a little brother to the XZ Premium with the same super slow-mo camera.

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Steve Dent
February 27th, 2017

With a 4K screen and Snapdragon 835 chip, the new Xperia XZ Premium has plenty of appeal, but there's probably a reason Sony didn't mention the price. Luckily, at MWC 2017 it also unveiled the $700 Xperia XZs, a 5.2-inch, 1080p smartphone with a "mere" Snapdragon 820 chip. If it was the sensor you really wanted on the Premium model, you're in luck -- the Xperia XZs has the same 19-megapixel Motion Eye camera that does 4K video and up to 960 frames per second.

Sony's camera expertise is really the main reason to buy the Xperia XZs, as $700 still ain't cheap. The rest of the specs are merely okay: 4GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, a 2,900mAh battery, NFC and high-resolution audio support. You'd do better, parts-wise, with a OnePlus 3T, for example, as it packs a Snapdragon 821 and a much bigger battery for $439. What you're paying for, then, is that impressive camera and, to a lesser extent, Sony's good name. The Xperia XZs comes to Amazon, Best Buy and other US retailers on April 5th, 2017, for $700.

Sony is still in the mid-range smartphone game, though like rival HTC, you have to wonder how much longer that'll last. Along with the two XZ models, it unveiled the 5-inch, 720p Xperia XA1 and 6-inch Xperia XA1 Ultra (above) with a 1080p screen. Neither are much to write home about, other than (you guessed it) the cameras. Each features a 23-megapixel rear sensor, with the Xperia XA1 Ultra being the more selfie-oriented of the two with a 16-megapixel front camera, optical image stabilization and an LED flash rather than the 8-megapixel model of the XA1.

Both have MediaTek Octa Core CPUs, up to 64GB memory (upgradeable via a microSD card), 4GB of RAM (Xperia XA1 Ultra) or 3GB of RAM (Xperia XA1) and smallish 2,700 mAh (XA1 Ultra) or 2,300 mAh (XA1) batteries. The Xperia XA1 arrives in the US on April 26th, 2017, for $300 -- a price that makes it a hard sell here unless, again, you really want the Sony name and camera. The XA1 Ultra arrives sometime in the summer of 2017, but Sony has yet to set the price.

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