Sony's latest design hits mid-range phones on the Xperia XA2 Plus

If Sony can't conquer high-end phones, it might rule the mid-tier realm.

Sony's latest high-end phones have proven a mixed bag between the hot Xperia XZ2 Compact and the so-so regular XZ2. It might stand a better chance among more affordable phones, though: it's launching the Xperia XA2 Plus, bringing the company's latest design language (and importantly, features) to the mid-range. It builds on the existing XA2 phones with a 6-inch, 18:9 ratio "Full HD+" display and the first use of Sony's High-Resolution Audio tech in a mid-priced phone. In theory, you won't have to splurge on high-end hardware to improve the quality of compressed tunes or Bluetooth music streaming.

You're otherwise looking at the XA2 unveiled at the start of 2018, although that's not necessarily a bad thing. The Plus packs a reasonably fast Snapdragon 630, either 4GB or 6GB of RAM, 32GB to 64GB of storage, a 23-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel wide-angle selfie cam. There's a hefty 3,580mAh battery inside, which bodes well even with a large screen draining energy.

Sony delivers the XA2 Plus starting in August. It's not certain if or when it might reach the US, although we wouldn't be surprised if you could buy it unlocked at a certain point. Really, it comes down to whether or not you're satisfied with the current crop of mid-grade phones or would prefer Sony's latest take on Android at a more wallet-friendly price.