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Once upon a time, Sony was on top of the cell phone game. Remember the Walkman series for music lovers and the Cyber-shot series for shutterbugs. They even experimented with gaming with the Xperia Play. The company has had a hard time carving out a new niche lately and the newest entry, the Sony Xperia XA2 Plus, is another one of these devices that's really neither here nor there.

This isn't to say that the Xperia XA2 Plus is necessarily a bad phone. It's more to say that the smartphone market has gotten so crowded and so competitive that it's almost impossible to stand out, even if you carry as strong a heritage of brand recognition as Sony.

Remember when I checked out the Xperia XA Ultra and Xperia X Performance a couple of years ago? The Xperia XA2 Plus follows in that "X" family, joining the XA2 and XA2 Ultra from January.

In many ways, you could say that this phone shares a little DNA or market positioning with something like the BlackBerry KEY2 and BlackBerry Motion. It's got a mid-range Snapdragon 630 processor to go with 4/6 GB of RAM and 32/64 GB of storage, plus microSD for expansion and a fingerprint reader on the back.

The rest of the spec sheet reads like it could be any other mid-ranger with a 23MP single rear camera, 8MP selfie cam, USB-C, and a larger 3,580 mAh battery. And then it's got the ultra-tall 18:9 aspect ratio 6-inch 1080p display.



While availability in Canada has not yet been announced, we are expected it to come in your choice of black, silver, gold and green at right around a mid-ranger price of about $500 off-contract.

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