Our Opinion

The Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra is a slightly better phone, but the Samsung Galaxy J8 is slightly better value for money. Which phone should you buy? It’s a close call, but if your budget allows for it, then Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra might be a slightly better choice.

Samsung Galaxy J8  Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra 
Samsung Galaxy J8 Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
Buy Now Buy Buy
Excellence Score
39.2
41.7
Value for Money Score
70.5
67.1
Price ₹ 16,990 onwards ₹ 19,709 onwards
Launch Date (India) Jun, 2018 Jul, 2017
Expected Launch Date N/A N/A
Smartphone OS Android 8.0 OreoLow likelihood of getting updated to next Android version Android 7.0 Nougat, Upgradeable to 8.0 OreoLow likelihood of getting updated to next Android version
Touchscreen Yes (Capacitive) Yes (Capacitive)
Screen Size 6 inches 6 inches
Screen Resolution 720x1480 pixels (~ 274 pixels per inch) 1080x1920 pixels (~ 367 pixels per inch)
Scratch Resistant Display Yes, Corning Gorilla Glass
Display Features Super AMOLED, Infinity Display, 2.5D Curved Glass N/A
Full Physical QWERTY Keypad
Processor 1.8 GHz 2.3 GHz
Processor Type Octa Core Octa Core
Processor Name Qualcomm Snapdragon 450Ranked #49 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks Mediatek Helio P20Ranked #31 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks
GPU Adreno 506 Mali-T880MP2
RAM 4 GB 4 GB
3G Yes Yes
4G Yes Yes
VoLTE Yes Yes
WiFi Yes Yes
GPS Yes Yes
Bluetooth Yes Yes
USB Yes Yes
Camera 16.0 MP 23.0 MP
Camera Auto-Focus Yes Yes
Camera Flash Yes Yes
HD Video Recording Yes (Full HD) Yes (Full HD)
Other Camera Features Dual Camera (16MP + 5MP), 16MP: F/1.7 Aperture, 5MP: F/1.9 Aperture F/2.0 Aperture, 24mm Focal Length, Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF), Hybrid Autfocus, 1/2.3" Sensor Size, Geo-tagging, Touch Focus, Face/Smile Detection, HDR, Panorama, Stereo Sound Recording in Video, Video HDR, SteadyShot
Secondary Camera 16.0 MP 16.0 MP
Secondary Camera Features LED Flash, F/1.9 Aperture F/2.0 Aperture, 23mm Focal Length, 1/2.6" Sensor Size, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), Autofocus, LED Flash, Full HD Video Recording
Internal Memory 64 GB 64 GB
Expandable Memory Slot up to 256 GB up to 256 GB
Contacts Storage Unlimited Unlimited
SMS Storage Unlimited Unlimited
Music Player Yes Yes
FM Radio Yes Yes
Dual SIM GSM+GSM GSM+GSM
Thickness 8.2 mm 8.1 mm
Weight 191 gm 188 gm
Audio Output 3.5mm jack 3.5mm jack
Water Resistant
Battery Capacity 3500 mAh 2700 mAh
Battery Standby N/A 658 hrs
Battery Standby (3G) N/A 708 hrs
Battery Talktime N/A 13.00 hrs
Battery Talktime (3G) N/A 12.00 hrs
Fast Charging Yes, Pump Express+ 2.0
Other Battery Parameters N/A N/A
Fingerprint sensor Yes
Other Features WiFi Direct; ANT+ Support Fast Battery Charging (Pump Express+ 2.0); NFC; WiFi Dual-band; WiFi Direct; USB Type-C; USB On-The-Go; Miracast; Google Cast; Noise Filtration
2-minute Review [Positives]
  • Decent design and build quality (though it's plastic - would have been nice to see a metal or glass design)
  • The Samsung Experience UI skin on top of Android is a pretty decent skin and packs a lot of features - there’s Bixby, Face Recognition, which works fine and there are features like themes, game launcher, Samsung Pay mini, Samsung Cloud, games launcher, one handed mode and more
  • Decent dual camera setup on the rear - especially in proper lighting conditions, the camera takes good images, and low-light performance is not too bad either
  • Decent front camera too - captures generally good images with natural colors
  • Good call quality, with good noise cancellation
  • Very good battery life - even with heavy use, you should end up with 30 percent battery by the end of the day
  • Very good build quality and a premium feel in the hand - even though it's a mid range device, it could pass for a flagship Xperia
  • This is also a classic Sony design, and one that very much stands out from the crowd of standard gray rectangles (for better or worse)
  • Very good, gigantic, edge to edge, 6-inch display - high maximum brightness and contrast, good outdoor legibility, and good color accuracy - the Xperia XA1 Ultra is tailor-made for the YouTube-watching, selfie-snapping, Insta-sharing crowd that have the phone in their hands all day
  • Close-to-stock Android interface, with added (and useful) stamina-branded battery-saving modes, and Sony's own multimedia apps
  • Good performance, backed by the efficient Helio P20 chip (comparable to phones powered by the Snapdragon 625)
  • Decent rear camera - good with details and dynamic range
  • Good selfie camera - again captures lot of detail, has wide dynamic range and renders accurate colors, plus it's got the flash to (just barely) rescue shots in extremely low light
  • Good loudspeaker
  • Good audio quality via audio jack too
  • Solid, consistent battery life - lasts a day of moderate use - even though the battery capacity is not on the high end of the spectrum, the excellent efficiency comes courtesy of the efficient Helio P20 chipset, and the light skin
2-minute Review [Negatives]
  • The tall, 18.5:9 AMOLED display on the Samsung Galaxy J8 is pretty decent, but could have had better resolution
  • The display also has significant bezels, whereas a lot of modern phones with tall displays these days have very little bezels
  • No ambient light sensor, which is a big miss at this price point
  • No compass
  • Also lacks a notification LED
  • Fingerprint & face recognition is on the slow side
  • Average performance considering the price bracket, thanks to the budget Snapdragon 450 at the core, which is these days more commonly seen in phones under Rs 10k - while day to day performance is alright, but push the phone a bit and it will start to stutter - moreover, the Samsung Experience 9.0 has a ton of unnecessary and sluggish animations, that don't help
  • The dual rear camera setup is decent, but the portrait mode is pretty mediocre, with very ordinary edge detection - the blurring feels mostly unnatural
  • Uses the old micro-USB standard instead of a modern USB Type-C port
  • No fast charging support
  • On the whole, the Samsung Galaxy J8 is hard to recommend - the likes of Redmi Note 5 Pro and ZenFone Max Pro bring faster processors, better displays and more premium designs
  • The fact remains that phones this big remain a niche for now, and are certainly unwieldy to carry around - it is mainly targeted at a certain subset of users who want a device geared towards multimedia with decent cameras
  • No fingerprint scanner
  • Performance is good, but in terms of raw power, a step behind the best performing phones in this price bracket, which have a Snapdragon 820 processor or similar
  • Mediocre video output from the primary camera - soft and lacking in detail - and no 4K video recording support either
Expert Reviews
  1. Hard to justify the cost
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. Performance is its only serious drawback
    bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  3. fonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. indianexpress.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. economictimes.indiatimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  6. business-standard.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  8. beebom.com in-depth Read Review »
  1. gsmarena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. phonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. digit.in in-depth Read Review »
  5. indiatoday.intoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  6. livemint.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. techradar.com hands-on Read Review »
  8. androidauthority.com hands-on Read Review »
  9. expertreviews.co.uk hands-on Read Review »
  10. stuff.tv hands-on Read Review »
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Official Website Official Website » Official Website »
Unofficial specs? N/A N/A
Individual Review 2
  • Individual Review 2
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