Sony Xperia XA Ultra Selfie-Centric 6-inch Phablet, Unveiled!

As hardcore Sony Xperia fans would know, the legendary Japanese tech titan has recently decided to tweak its mobile devices business model to focus more on fortifying its hold of the midrange echelon instead of coming up with expensive flagship-level models in various sizes.

Following this development, Sony Mobile recently dropped the letters C, M, and Z in its product nomenclature and consolidated or streamlined its new handset offerings under the X and XA Series, with the latter being the slightly more affordable mid-level line.

Sony Xperia XA Ultra

Unveiled just a few hours ago, the Sony Xperia XA Ultra appears to be the natural follow-up to the TechPinas Badge of Excellence Awardee Sony Xperia C5 Ultra from late 2015, having the same key selling points and notable features -- but taking them to a higher level.

Sony Xperia XA Ultra

Like its predecessor, Xperia XA Ultra also sports a massive 6-inch Full HD IPS display providing a stellar movie-viewing and web-browsing experience. Having such large screen makes this model a true phablet, which is an intermediate device between a smartphone and a tablet.

Great for taking selfies, this 2016 release also features a 16 MegaPixel front-facing camera with Optical Image Stabilization and Soft LED flash, allowing the user to take super crisp and clear self-portraits regardless of the lighting condition. Sony Xperia C5 Ultra (with its 13 MegaPixel front shooter) was one of the best smartphones for taking selfies that I used in 2015 and I believe that the refresh will be just as good if not even better.

Sony Xperia XA Ultra's rear camera also saw a major boost as it is now equipped with a 21.5 MegaPixel sensor with hybrid autofocus versus just 13 MegaPixels on the previous model. Replete with a hardware camera button on the side, this device can effectively work as a point-and-shoot camera substitute in a lot of settings.

Sony Xperia XA Ultra
6-inch Sony Xperia XA Ultra vs 5-inch Sony Xperia XA, Photo Credit: GSMArena

A similar boost can be seen in the new phablet's internal hardware. Whereas Xperia C5 Ultra ran Android Lollipop out of the box with its 64-Bit Octa Core 1.7 GHz ARM Cortex A53 and Mali-T760MP2 based MediaTek MT6752 chipset complemented by 2GB of RAM, Sony Xperia XA runs its Xperia-UI-flavored Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow OS powered by a 64-Bit Octa Core 1.8 GHz ARM Cortex A53 and Mali-T860MP2 based MediaTek MT6755 Helio P10 processor and has 3GB of RAM. Both smartphones, however, come with 16GB of internal storage that can be easily augmented using a dedicated microSD card expansion slot and 2-Days of Battery Life.

Sony Xperia XA Ultra
In terms of design and construction, Sony Xperia XA Ultra flaunts a near-bezel-less face just like its predecessor albeit having a glass-touchscreen that gently curves down the edges. The device also comes with a anodized aluminum mid-frame and sleek back crafted from polycarbonate that looks identical to that of the smaller Sony Xperia XA. The 2016 phablet will be available in three colors, namely, White, Black, and Lime Gold.

So when will Sony Xperia XA Ultra be released in the Philippines and how much will it be? As of writing, I have yet to hear from Sony Philippines regarding this model. Off hand, though, I'm guessing that this model should land here by late Q2 or early Q3 2016 with price tag approximating that of Sony Xperia C5 Ultra upon launch last year, which is around Php 18,000 to Php 18,500.

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