In terms of specs, the HTC U11 Life’s main camera features a 16-megapixel sensor, flash, Phase Detection Autofocus and a HDR Boost feature - which promises to deliver more balanced results by taking multiple shots that measure and combine the darkest shadows with the brightest highlights.
Then, you’ve got the Xperia XA2. It’s got a 23-megapixel rear camera that comes augmented by Sony’s Exmor RS for mobile image sensor. It also features 4K recording, 120fps slow motion video capture and a 120 degree super wide-angle 8MP camera on the front. All up, the Sony Xperia XA2 is hardly a sloucher.
It wins some points for its 4K support and 120fps slow-motion video. However, it also loses points for relying on a simple and single-lens set-up. We found that images taken on the XA2 were noticeable more noisy than those taken on other mid-tier handsets I’ve recently reviewed. That said, there’s a processed quality to the images that sometimes pays off during daytime shots.
At A Glance - HTC U11 Life
At A Glance - Sony Xperia XA2
Close Up - HTC U11 Life
Close Up - Sony Xperia XA2
Winner: HTC U11 Life
This isn’t easy to call, as both smartphones deliver results that - to the eye - look pretty similar and come with a lot of the same hardware limitations. Neither supports a bokeh or portrait mode. However, we’re going to give the HTC U11 Life the edge here. The colors have a bit more pop and details are just a little less grainy.
Of these two handsets, the HTC U11 Life is probably the one we’d favor. The price-point is a little higher but you do get a lot of bang for your buck by comparison. Unlike the XA2, it comes with IP67 waterproofing, a better display, more RAM and additional on-board storage.