Sony XA2 Plus v Xperia 10iii Experiences

Recently the opportunity to purchase a new XA2 Plus dual sim at good price came up, so I bought the phone and flashed SFOS on it without any errors or problems. I bought it because it is the 6GB RAM/64 GB storage model, which is basically twice as much RAM and storage as my standard XA2 (but obviously not quite as much as the 8 GB RAM/128 GB storage as my X10 iii).

The base Android delivered with the phone was Android 8, and I used r1 v16 of the XA2 binaries.

The idea was to use this as my daily driver and compare it to my Xperia 10 iii (also with SFOS

Well, I’ve used the XA2 Plus for a couple of months now and, for anyone who is interested, here are my observations.

Not surprisingly the Xperia 10iii is faster at loading apps, rendering web pages and so on, but not by that much. After a few days of using the XA2 Plus you tend to get used to its speed and only notice the X10 iii is faster when you go back to it.

Yes, the XA2 Plus is physically bigger that the X10 iii, mainly in its width, but that does mean the text on the screen is more natural to read as it is not as ‘squashed up’ as on the X10 iii due to its narrow profile. For me the XA2 plus has the more comfortable screen to live with - its easier to read because the text proportions are better, and the colours are more natural on the LCD screen than the rather ‘over-vivid’ saturation of the X10 iii.

Ah yes, the dreaded XA2 GPS issue … Well, with the recommended settings (online positioning OFF and offline MLS positioning ON) the XA2 Plus takes, literally, hours to get a location fix, if ever. BUT, operate it with only GPS and NO offline MLS positioning and then it only takes a minute or so to get a lock. I’ve tried toggling the settings a number of times now and always get the same results. It works as it should using just the device GPS, but switch on either online or offline MLS position lock, or both and it doesn’t work at all properly - so there seems to be some bug here as the offline MLS position fix is supposed to help things, not make them worse.

Disappearing Sound in Calls, Notifications, Alarms, etc
This happens several times a week on my X10 iii, the only cure being to reboot the phone - which is a real pain. On the XA2 Plus its not happened once in two months. My usage patterns on both phones (GPS tracking, Android apps, etc) is identical - so the XA2 is definitely more reliable than the X10 iii in this respect.

Fingerprint Reliability
Another win for the XA2 Plus. In two months the fingerprint sensor has never failed to work - unlike the X10 iii where I have to restart the fingerprint service two or three times a week.

Mobile Data in Android
Again, a partial win for the XA2 Plus. On the X10 iii when the network switches from wifi to mobile data (i.e. when you leave the house or office) mobile data simply disappears for all Android apps for good. It still works fine for native SFOS apps, but the only way to get it back for android apps is a phone re-boot; nothing else works. But, on the XA2 Plus, whilst mobile data still disappears for Android apps when changing networks it can be brought back by stopping Android support and re-starting it. Its still a pain, but better than having to re-boot the phone.

App Availability
Despite the X10iii being available with SFOS for some time now, there are still way more apps across OpenRepos and the Jolla store for the older 32-bit XA2 architecture than there are for the newer 64-bit architecture used on the X10 iii. Sure, this is mainly in the areas of the lesser maintained, older, apps - but it still means there is more choice and variety for the XA2 than the X10 iii.

Out Of Memory Crashes
A direct comparison is difficult as the XA2 Plus is only 32-bit and has 6GB memory and the X10 iii is 64-bit but has 8Gb memory. Even so, on the XA2 Plus apps (mainly the web browser or apps that use web view) seem to crash far less frequently than on the X10 iii. What is an issue on the XA2 plus is apps that sometimes won’t load at all - you just get the app cover, a rotating circle, and then the whole thing disappears. Only the Jolla apps (Clock, Notes, Calendar) are affected here. You can try as often as you like, but once an app won’t load for the first time, it won’t ever load again. BUT, if you run it from the command line its works perfectly (so may not be a memory issue), and then it will subsequently load from the app grid again until next time it fails. Also, maybe another clue … when something like the clock fails to load, and you try again, you get multiple ‘jolla-clock-prestart’ processes running (as shown on Crest). This never happens on the X10 iii.

All in all, the older XA2 Plus seems, at least for me, to be a more reliable daily driver for Sailfish than the newer X10 iii. Perhaps the most telling aspect of this is the uptime. I haven’t had to re-boot the XA2 Plus since I flashed it two months ago, whereas I have to reboot the X10 iii on a near daily basis. So, for now, I will be keeping my new (old) XA2 Plus as my daily driver and, sadly, my much newer, faster, bigger capacity, Xperia 10 iii in the drawer as a spare and test phone.

EDIT: The X10 iii actually has 6Gb of RAM, not 8GB. Thanks @lkraav and @Blumenkraft for setting me right.


The same for X10 mark 2.

In brief: SFOS is very old OS and it works only on very old devices.

Nice comparison, thanks!

Could you comment on the quality of pictures taken and on the behavior of the cameras of the two phones?

I have one problem with my 10 III-camera: the autofocus (es, I know I could also use solutions with manual focus, but for snapshots of e.g. Children that is not an option for me). But on the other hand I wouldn’t like to get even worse quality of pictures, as the 10 III’s pictures are already quite bad.

Oh, and a second question: ate you able to compare how long the battery lasts in similar use?

I beg to differ. When I switched from XA2 Plus to X10 III, my experience improved in a very significant manner in all respects (speed, memory, reliability - XA2 still suffers from GPS and Bluetooth issues) except for the narrow screen (I have a hard time reading text when the phone is docked in the car).


Please feel free to differ! These are only my personal experiences, and no more or less valid than anyone else’s.

One aspect I should have mentioned is typing on the virtual keyboard. I make less mistakes on the XA2 Plus than the X10 iii as the wider form factor means there’s more space between the letters for my fat fingers.


i loved the 6" 18:9 screen on the XA2 Plus!

can echo the 10iii issues with the fingerprint reader.

Well, the camera on the XA2 plus is identical to that on the XA2 AFAIK, so Ok in good light, but lousy in low light. For me, the XA2 Plus doesn’t have the auto-focus issues of the X10 iii (where it is basically impossible to take a picture where there is any movement, e.g. A waterfall or child riding a bike), but it also doesn’t have the triple lenses of the X10 iii, which we can now use. Maybe Camera 2 API will fix these problems for both phones.

On the battery, the XA2 Plus has a bigger battery than the standard XA2, but still smaller than the 10 iii (3580 mAh v 4500 mAh). I get a day’s worth of usage out of both quite comfortably with 30% to 50 % left spare - and that’s with a 90% top charge limit set, so I only charge over night. My usage is text heavy (emails, messages, documents, forums, etc), with very few videos played (maybe a couple a day of the kids or friends on Facebook or, perhaps, a news story). I don’t know if the two phones are really comparable, as one is 32-bit and has an LCD screen, and the other is 64-bit and has an OLED screen - so the extra battery capacity of the X10 iii might be swallowed up by a faster processor, different architecture, screen, etc.

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Thank you for the very detailed report!

I also have experienced a lot of reliability issues with 10iii, so much I gave up on the 10iii and started using my old XA2(not plus).

Issues I experience with my 10iii:

  1. Very often cannot receive calls, just one beep and then the display says network error, however there is no network error, I can return the call immediately.
  2. I receive the same sms 3-4 times, because the 10iii does not acknowledge receiving the sms.
  3. huge battery drain.
  4. VoLTE cannot be used - when on I can’t send sms.
  5. Fingerprint scanner almost never works.
  6. Android support fails from time to time - need reboot.

The above issues does not exist with my XA2 using the same sim-card.

Yes, there are Bluetooth and GPS issues with the XA2, but these issues I live with. The extreme unreliability of the 10iii makes unusable for me as a daily driver.

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X10III has 6GB RAM, not 8.

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Did you mean 10 III has 6 gigs of RAM, not 8?

Edit. @lkraav you’re right. Minor detail, but still.

Experiences differ a lot between devices or setups. I had very seldomly calls without sound. And navigating for very long hours with Here Wego sometimes can crash the Android support.

But apart from that, VoLTE, battery, sms, fingerprint: it all works.
If hardware does not differ it might be a software issue.

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Oops, yes, you are both right. Now why did I think it had 8Gb I wonder …

VOLTE works for me on the X10 iii, but only if I am prepared to guess what’s happening at the other end as I get no ring tone, no busy tone - in fact no tones whatsoever, just silence. So, I’ve switched it off until this can be fixed and rely instead on good, old tech, 2G calling.

Part of the problem here is that you often don’t know that you’ve had a call if the sound disappears (which, on my X10 iii, happens at least once or twice per week). You only know when you later see a missed call notification maybe hours later.

And then there’s the matter of trust.

You set an alarm and you don’t know whether it will actually sound or not - it might if there’s no problem and the sound doesn’t (randomly) disappear, but then again it might not - so you can’t really rely on it.

I think one of the reasons experience differs on some of the network issues, such as VoLTE not working correctly, problem receiving calls, phone not acknowledging receiving sms - could be that not all network providers seem to have the same setup in their network.

I have often experienced issues in Denmark, where sailors in other countries are not reporting the same issues.


6 and 8 is a significant difference on this “platform in a platform” solution we have with AppSupport. Phone continously running out of memory on X10II with its 4GB is a huge headache, and people are reporting better but nowhere near ideal outcomes on X10III.

I tested all available hacks on X10II: tuning OOM killer, increasing zram, expanding swap on internal memory, but it all fails miserably one way or another. More more more physical RAM is the only solution, and 8GB is probably the real minimum, but compatible device availability is what it is (or isn’t what it isn’t?), and Jolla’s administration troubles have delayed progress in getting to better devices by at least 1 year I’m sure… Thoughts and prayers from here on out though :pray:!

[SFOS Browser] Solving the browser memory issue etc


I’m sorry to hear that but didn’t you try other mobile providers? In Sweden Germany and Finland I didn’t have those issues related to mobile internet or calling/receiving a call on the 10 iii. The only thing I noticed when traveling in an airplane from one to the other European country is that searching and connecting to a mobile (roaming) provider would take fairly long time after turning off the flight mode in comparison to an Android /e/OS or LineageOS device. Also, lately I have issues to get my Telia SIM connected to 4G in Germany.

I have not tried an other mobile provider.

Since all my network related issues stop when moving the same sim-card to my old XA2 the issues must relate to the way SFOS is implemented in 10iii.

It could be a 64bit issue, but my gut-feeling is that it is related to VoLTE:

  1. incoming calls problem: I think that even though VoLTE is off the phone does not always switch to correctly to 2G for the incoming call and therefore fails and wrongly report “Network Error”.
  2. not acknowledging received sms leading to receiving same sms 3-4 times also could be related to the not correctly working VoLTE, as mentioned I (and many other) cannot send sms when VoLTE is on, maybe it does not work correctly on 2G, even VoLTE is set to off.

The other issues I have seen others report as well.

As mentioned previously not all providers have the same network setup, and I think SFOS in the 64bit version with VoLTE is not implemented robust enough in 10iii to ensure that it works across networks.

I hope “Newborn” Jolla will fix these issues so we can continue to enjoy the superb SFOS - I’m a SFOS user since ordering a Jolla-1 in December 2013.


My i4113 see sms as received one hour later in the future, is so weird :o: