Dating back to 2001 when it was Sony Ericsson, Sony’s released mobile phones for a long time. In 2008, Sony Ericsson launched the first Xperia phone, the Xperia X1, which was actually made for Microsoft’s Windows Mobile OS and designed and built by HTC. In the years since, the Xperia phones made the jump to Android, and Sony bought out Ericsson’s portion of the mobile phone business.
The Xperia brand expanded introducing new smartphones, tablets, and even a projector, the Xperia Touch. Unfortunately, the Xperia line of phones hasn’t been a huge sales success, especially in the huge U.S. market. Indeed, no U.S. carrier currently offers an Xperia phone, which means Sony has to sell them at their full retail price, unlocked.
That’s too bad.
Sony Xperia phones contain features as good or better than their competitors from Samsung, LG, Motorola, and others. Indeed, many of Sony’s phones are among the first to launch with the latest version of Android out of the box, sometimes before Google launches its latest Pixel phones. Sony is also faster than most companies to update its older phones to the latest Android version as well.
Let’s take a look at the best Sony Xperia phones you can currently buy, from flagships to budget devices. We will update this post on a regular basis when Sony Mobile launches new Xperia phones.
Best Sony Xperia flagship phone – Sony Xperia XZ3
The Sony Xperia XZ3 is a classic example of Sony’s commitment to offering a phone with all the latest features. The phone launched in early October with Android 9 Pie installed, making it the first phone with Pie out of the box, even ahead of Google’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. The Xperia XZ3 has a 6-inch Quad HD OLED display with an 18:9 screen ratio and smaller bezels, at least compared to older Xperia phones.
Inside, it has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, along with 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of onboard storage. It just has one rear camera sensor, but with a solid 19MP camera it should be an excellent snapper for most folks. It even includes a super slow-mo feature for video clips in 1080p resolution. There’s also a 13MP front-facing camera on board. You can double tap the edges of the phone’s screen to launch a feature called SideSense. Basically, it shows you a small app drawer with the apps that the phone’s machine learning believes you will want to use the most, which can be a handy feature.
All of this comes in a pretty expensive package. The Sony Xperia XZ3 costs $899.99 on Amazon, with your choice of three colors (black, forest green, and white silver). Keep in mind the phone will only work on GSM wireless carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile.
- 6-inch OLED display with 1,440 x 2,880 resolution
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
- 4GB of RAM
- 64GB of onboard storage, MicroSD slot available
- 19MP rear camera,13MP front camera
- Non-removable 3,000mAh battery
- Android 9 Pie
- 158 x 73 x 9.9 mm, 193g
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
The Xperia XZ2 Premium is notable as the only Sony Xperia phone to include a dual rear camera. It has a 19MP f/1.8 main sensor combined with a 12MP f/1.6 monochrome shooter. Used in combination with the phone’s “AUBE” image signal processor, the two cameras are supposed to offer excellent photos even in very low light conditions. It also has a 13MP front-facing camera, a 5.8-inch 4K HDR screen, the Snapdragon 845 chipset, 6GB of RAM, and 64GB of expandable storage.
It’s even more expensive than the more recent Xperia XZ3 at $999.99, offered in black and silver white.
Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact
Remember when phones were smaller? Sony’s calling back to that time with the Xperia XZ2 Compact. It has the Snapdragon 845 processor, a 19MP rear camera, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of onboard storage, all in a smaller phone with a 5-inch FHD+ HDR 18:9 aspect ratio display. The phone normally costs $649.99 on Amazon, but you can get it for as low as $500 if you are lucky enough to get a discount.
Best mid-range Sony Xperia phone – Xperia XA2 Ultra
The Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra is a solid mid-range phone with something even most flagship smartphones don’t have — dual front-facing cameras. The main front camera has a 16MP sensor with optical image stabilization support, and the second 8MP front-facing camera has a 120-degree wide angle lens, so you can get everyone in your group together for a selfie. It also has a rear 23MP camera with f/2.0 aperture and max ISO performance of 12,800, which should help you take better photos in low light conditions.
Aside from the camera, the Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra has a 6-inch display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor, 4GB of RAM, and either 32GB or 64GB of onboard storage. Finally, it has a fairly large 3,580mAh battery, which should last you over a full day on a single charge. It’s available on Amazon in black, blue, silver, or gold for $449.99, although we have see discounts take the price down even more to $380.
- 6-inch LED display with 1,080 x 1,920 resolution
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor
- 4GB of RAM
- 32/64GB of onboard storage, MicroSD slot available
- 16MP and 8MP front cameras, 23MP rear camera
- Non-removable 3,580mAh battery
- Android 8.1 Oreo
- 163 x 80 x 9.5 mm, 221g
Xperia XA2 Plus
The Xperia XA2 Plus shares some of the same hardware as the Xperia XA2 Ultra, including the same processor, the same rear camera, the same storage options and the same 3,580mAh battery. However, the Plus version’s 6-inch screen gets upgraded to a Full HD+ resolution. The phone also supports LDAC wireless audio and Hi-Res Audio. Unfortunately, the Plus version ditches the dual front cameras on the Ultra and just has the single 8MP wide angle camera. It’s harder to buy in the U.S., but you can find units on sale on eBay for around $400.
Sony also sells a standard XA2 model, again sharing some of the same hardware as the Ultra (same processor, rear camera) and it also shares some specs with the Plus (32GB of storage and the same front camera). However, the standard XA2 has a much smaller 5.2-inch 1080p display, and just 3GB of RAM, along with a 3,300mAh battery. Finally, the regular XA2 will work on Verizon’s network, in addition to all GSM carriers. It’s available on Amazon now for $299.
Best Sony Xperia budget phone – Xperia L2
Sony doesn’t really release budget smartphones out of the gate anymore, but the Xperia L2 is the company’s closest recent attempt. Launched in early 2018, the L2 has a 5.5-inch 720p display, running on a Mediatek MT6737T processor, along with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage. You also get a 13MP rear camera, a 8MP front-facing camera with a wide-angle lens, and a 3,300mAh battery.
All in all, the Xperia L2 doesn’t really have many high-end features, and to make matters worse it ships with Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box, despite launching in January of this year. It’s just barely a “budget” phone at $249.99, though you can find it for a few bucks less with discounts.
- 5.5-inch LED display with 720 x 1280 resolution
- Mediatek MT6737T processor
- 3GB of RAM
- 32GB of onboard storage, MicroSD slot available
- 13MP rear camera, 8MP front-facing camera
- Non-removable 3,300mAh battery
- Android 7.1.1 Nougat
- 150 x 78 x 9.8 mm, 178g
Xperia XA1 Ultra
This former mid-range phone now costs as much as a budget phone, but it still has a lot going for it. The Xperia XA1 Ultra has a big 6-inch display, a 23MP rear camera, and a 16MP front-facing camera — all for about the same price as the Xperia L2.
Those are our picks for the best Sony Xperia phones you can buy at the moment. Which one of these phones is your favorite? Let us know on the comments.