Smartphone manufacturers will gather at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week to unveil the smartphones of the future. In advance of that we got our hands on two Android phones that Sony will be presenting- the L2 and XA2.
With its glass, borderless loop surface, rounded sides and squared off corners, the XA2 has a standard Sony look to it. But the first thing users will notice when they pick it up is the bulkier design. It feels thick in your hand and heavier than its 171 grams but also sturdy and durable. The source of the added chunk is the battery pack which has a 3300 mAh charge capacity. It’s a worthwhile trade-off though because the battery life at an estimated 92 hours endurance is good.
Thankfully Sony haven’t messed around with the interface and there’s no nasty, complicated surprises. It’s functional and familiar with a swipe up to unlock feature and swipe down to recall your most popular apps.
The 23 megapixels main camera, which has a 120 frame-per-second slow-motion feature, has decent dynamic range and good colour contrast, although corners can be soft at times, particularly in low light. The selfie camera, however, at 8 megapixels has been downgraded from the XA1 but does contain a 120˚ wide-angle feature. The 4k videos, shown on a 5.2” HD display, are strong on visuals but the audio could be better.
The fingerprint sensor is situated on the back, rather than the side, and is very responsive. More importantly, it’s also accurate. Strangely enough, unlike other mid-range Sony smartphones, the XA2 is not waterproof. This is probably not a make or break feature for most, but a strange omission nonetheless.
All in all, the XA2 is a good addition to the mid-range smartphone family. It’s not going to change your life but will do exactly what it says on the tin. At approximately €420 it represents decent value.
The L2 contains much of the new Sony innovations that the XA2 has (increased battery life, fingerprint sensor on the back) but it’s smooth, sleek, rectangular design definitely makes it the ‘sexier’ looking choice of the two.
Before going further, we feel that we should mention the price. At approximately €280 the L2 is Sony’s addition to the budget smartphone market and great value for what you get. Therefore, the price must be remembered when reading through some of the downsides mentioned below. Because there are a few.
The body of the L2 is plastic with a matt finish and while it may trick some into thinking its metal, it does feel a little amateurish to the touch. The lack of a dedicated camera button is frustrating at first but two taps of the ‘On’ button engages it.
One of the big plus points with the L2 is the screen. The 5.5” HD display is a gamer and movie watchers delight. It’s like holding a miniature flat screen telly in your hands. The resolution of 720p could be higher but isn’t really noticeable and doesn’t take away from the watching experience.
The 13-megapixel camera takes photos I would describe as useable. Like the XA2 it contains the useful 120˚ wide-angle selfie camera, if you’re into that kind of thing.
The L2 is not a game changer but it’s also hard to find any glaring weaknesses with it. It’s a solid phone for a good price. The phrase ‘you can’t really go wrong here’ might be overused but definitely applies here.
The Sony Xperia XA2 and L2 are available now. For more information visit Sony.com/ie.