Sony Xperia XA review: mixed bag

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The 2016 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona proved to be the ideal stage for smartphone makers to introduce a slew of new products.

Sony was among them, presenting its new Xperia X range of next-generation smartphones, with the Xperia X touted as the new midrange model, the Xperia X Performance stepping up as the expensive, high-end device, and the Xperia XA as the new budget phone.

All three devices feature a 5-inch display and look almost identical from the outside. On the inside, however, the differences are marked, from processor to RAM and from screen resolution to camera sensor and battery capacity.

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According to Sony, the Xperia X Performance model will not be launched in South Africa. The local market will, however, get the newly announced 4,5-inch Xperia X Compact and Xperia XZ smartphones. These two models, announced at IFA in Germany earlier this month, should reach South African stores somewhere during the fourth quarter of 2016.

Design: sleek and minimalist

Although the Xperia XA (recommended retail price: R5 999) is positioned as an entry-level device, it doesn't come across like one. Sony designed the phone with a sleek and smooth-edged, almost minimalist look, in a sturdy encasement. The rear

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