Hot on the heels of the Xperia XZ2 Premium, Sony has released another phone — the Xperia XA2 Plus. Sony is marketing the Xperia XA2 Plus as belonging to the “super midrange,” so it’s clear the company has a pretty high opinion of the phone. Here’s everything you need to know about the Sony Xperia XA2 Plus.

Design and display

If you’re looking for a phone that diverges from the fashion trends typified by Apple and Samsung, then Sony is a good choice. The Xperia XA2 Plus follows the same design philosophy as the other 2018 Xperia phones, with slim bezels around the sides of the display, accompanied by a sizeable forehead and chin at the top and bottom of the device.

The XA2 Plus’ body is made from diamond-cut anodized aluminum, and the screen is covered with Gorilla Glass 5. There’s a fingerprint sensor around the back, below the single camera lens, and you’ll find a USB-C port at the bottom of the device. The display itself is a 6-inch IPS LCD with an 18:9 aspect ratio and a 2,160 x 1,080 Full HD resolution.

Specs and battery

You’ll find a Snapdragon 630 processor driving the main functions of the phone, and that power-sipping processor should strike a good balance between raw power and efficiency. In terms of RAM, users will get a choice between 6GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage or 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Either way, there’s a MicroSD slot to expand those storage options, giving users up to an additional 400GB of storage.

There’s a hefty 3,580mAh battery powering those decent specs, and a battery that size should mean the phone is more than capable of making it through the day when paired with the Snapdragon 630. Quick Charge 3.0 is also present, which Sony claims can provide hours of power with just minutes of charging. Unfortunately, due to the metal bod, you won’t find any wireless charging here.

Software and special features

The Xperia XA2 Plus will launch with Android 8.0 Oreo, likely with Sony’s theme laid over the top. It’s safe to expect the usual lineup of pre-installed apps from Sony too, so you won’t be getting pure stock Android here. Sony’s update record is solid, so users should expect to eventually receive Android P, and possibly even Android Q (whenever that arrives).

Sony is hoping that the audio will be the really impressive aspect of the Xperia XA2 Plus, and has bundled in a ton of extras that should boost the quality of sound from the phone, whether music is played with Bluetooth speakers, headphones, or just through the phone. The XA2 Plus will be the first Sony phone to take advantage of Sony’s High-Resolution Audio, and it uses Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE HX) to digitally upscale MP3 files to near high-resolution quality. Sony’s LDAC technology will also boost Bluetooth too, making it possible to play high-resolution files on Bluetooth without losing quality.

Camera

There’s only one lens on the back of Sony’s Xperia XA2 Plus, but as per Sony tradition, it’s a monster. The single 23-megapixel lens packs an Exmor RS sensor with an f/2.0 aperture and a maximum ISO of 12,800 — hopefully boosting low-light performance. It’s able to capture video in 4K, as well as slow motion at 120fps, and comes with “bokeh” mode for professional-looking DSLR-like background blur.

The front-facing camera is no slouch either. It’s a single 8-megapixel lens that’s been tuned for selfies, and has a 120-degree super wide-angle mode to capture as much detail as possible. There’s alos the option for background blur on the front camera to add portrait mode coolness to your snaps, as well as the usual Beauty features.

Release date and price

The Sony Xperia XA2 Plus will launch in late August, and will be available in four colors: silver, black, gold and green. Sony has released no details about pricing yet.

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