Menu 0800 049 6190

Knowledge Vault Technology news, reviews, guides & advice, written by our Agents

Sony Xperia XA1 User Manual & Setup Guide

If you need a manual or help with the setup of your Sony Xperia XA1, check out our user guide to start using your handset, connect to the internet and more!

  1. Unboxing and assembling your Sony Xperia XA1
  2. Set up your phone for the first time
  3. Connecting to Wi-Fi and mobile networks
  4. Find out how to add your email accounts
  5. How to add and import contacts to your Sony
  6. Using the Play Store to find new apps
  7. Securing your Sony Xperia XA1 with a lock screen
  8. How to make phone calls on your Sony
  9. Send text & picture messages
  10. Sending emails and attachments on your Sony
  11. How to set alarms on the Sony Xperia XA1
  12. Read our tips to learn more about your phone

Click here for Sony's Xperia XA1 user manual

Unboxing and assembling your Sony Xperia XA1

First of all, let's make sure you have everything you need. Inside the box* you should find:

  • 1 x Sony Xperia XA1
  • 1 x Mains power adapter
  • 1 x USB-C media cable
  • 1 x USB-C to USB OTG adaptor
  • 1 x USB-C to microUSB adaptor
  • 1 x Information pack
  • 1 x earphone pack

*some box contents may vary

The Sony Xperia XA1 takes a nano-SIM card, which should have been given to you when you got your handset. If you wish to expand the storage space available by installing a memory card, you'll need to have that with you too.


Sony Xperia XA1 insert SIM 2Sony's Xperia XA1 does not have a removable back cover. Instead, the SIM and memory cards slide into a slot in the body of the phone which is protected by a watertight cover.

To insert the nano-SIM and memory cards, find the cover (near the top of the left hand edge of the handset). Use your thumbnail to carefully pull this tray out from the phone, then place the phone screen-side down on a flat surface.

Sony Xperia XA1 insert SIM 1

The nano-SIM should be placed into the recess in the card tray, with the gold-coloured contacts facing up and correctly orientated. The microSD card slides into the phone without sitting in a tray. Make sure the microSD goes into the top slot, above the nanoSIM. The metal contacts of the microSD should face the back of the phone.

You're now ready to turn on your new Xperia XA1 and get it set up, personalising it as you go!

Return to Sony Xperia XA1 chapters

Set up your phone for the first time

Before you start working through the setup wizard, please ensure that you have inserted your SIM card correctly as shown in the previous chapter. Turn on your Xperia XA1 by pressing the power button (the silver button on the right edge) for a second or two until you feel a vibration.

Sony Xperia XA1 setup 1Sony Xperia XA1 setup 2Sony Xperia XA1 setup 3Sony Xperia XA1 setup 4

  1. The screen will light up and you will see a list of languages appear. English (United Kingdom) is already selected, but if you want to set a different language on your phone you can scroll through and tap it to select it. When you are ready to proceed, tick the tap Get started.
  2. You'll be asked to confirm that you're aware of the important information which the phone will link you to. Tap on a link to read the information - each link is in blue, and underlined. Tick each box when you're ready to continue, then tap Accept.
  3. You will be asked about connecting to the internet. To use internet based services when you are out and about, you'll need to select Mobile network and Wi-Fi. If want to connect to the internet using Wi-Fi only then choose that option. When you're ready, tap Next to proceed.
  4. If you're upgrading from another Android smartphone, you can copy information from your previous handset by tapping Keep your apps & data and follow the on-screen instructions. If you want to set this up as a fresh new phone, choose Set up as new.

Sony Xperia XA1 setup 5Sony Xperia XA1 setup 6Sony Xperia XA1 setup 7Sony Xperia XA1 setup 8

  1. The next screen lets you connect to a wireless network. It is always a good idea to set up Wi-Fi as your handset will usually need to download updates, and you may find yourself using a lot of your mobile data without realising it. To connect to Wi-Fi, tap on the name of your Wi-Fi network. To continue without connecting to Wi-Fi, tap Skip.
  2. When prompted, type the wireless password in the box provided, then tap Connect. You may be able to find this on a sticker on your router, and it is sometimes referred to as a wireless passphrase, WPA key or WEP key.
  3. A Google account is the most important account you can add to an Android device. Without one, you won't be able to download apps or back up your phone. To sign in with an existing Google account (an email address ending with or, enter your address in the space provided and tap Next. If you don't have a Google account, tap create a new account.
  4. Enter your password, then tap the Next. If you are creating a new account, complete the form.

Sony Xperia XA1 setup 9Sony Xperia XA1 setup 10Sony Xperia XA1 setup 11Sony Xperia XA1 setup 12

  1. To complete the sign-in, you will have to agree with Google's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Inspect them by tapping the links, then when you are happy to proceed tap Accept.
  2. The Google account powers many services, and the next screens are all about setting some of these up. The next screen offers you options to Backup your handset to the Google account. Untick the box if you'd prefer not to do this, then tap More.
  3. The Xperia XA1 can use Location services to enhance mapping and local internet search, and also feed back information to help improve Android. To opt out of any of these services, simply untick the relevant box, and when you are ready to proceed tap Next.
  4. You can protect your Xperia XA1 with a lock screen, securing it with a PIN, password or pattern. We cover the security setup of your smartphone in a later chapter so for now we'll skip this screen by tapping Not now.

Sony Xperia XA1 setup 13Sony Xperia XA1 setup 14Sony Xperia XA1 setup 15Sony Xperia XA1 setup 16

  1. If you skipped the lock screen setup, you must confirm that you want to skip it. This is to make sure you're aware your phone won't be locked when the screen is off.
  2. Xperia services gives you access to some exclusive Sony services. These are optional, so to sign up for these, Sign in with your Google account, or tap Not now then Next to skip past this.
  3. If you skipped signing up for Xperia services, you will see a disclaimer telling you about securing your phone. You can Sign in to enable this, or Skip past it (you can always set this up later on, and your Google account will offer you some similar features!)
  4. That's almost it! Tap Finish to exit the setup wizard.

You should now be looking at your new Home screen complete with Google search widgets, shortcuts to Sony's built-in apps and a launch bar with access to your apps list. On the launch bar are three icons. The Triangle will take you back a screen (or dismiss the keyboard if it's pointing down), the House symbol is the Home button which will always return you to the home screen, and the Square button shows you recent apps you've had open, allowing you to quickly switch between them.

Return to Sony Xperia XA1 chapters

Connecting to Wi-Fi and mobile networks

Wi-Fi is great for fast, stable connections when you aren't straying too far from the router and has the added advantage of not using up your data allowance while you're connected. Mobile data's advantage is its portability, keeping your phone online when you're on the move and far from an accessible Wi-Fi network.

Connecting to a Wi-Fi network

  1. From the home screen, tap the Apps icon at the bottom (it is a grid of dots, and you can find it just above the Home icon)
  2. In the Apps list, scroll to and tap on Settings.
  3. In the settings list, tap Wi-Fi. When the Wi-Fi settings open, check the switch is turned on (blue).

Sony xperia xa1 wifi 1Sony xperia xa1 wifi 2Sony xperia xa1 wifi 3Sony xperia xa1 wifi 4

  1. The screen will populate with a list of nearby wireless networks. Find the name of your wireless network and tap on it.
  2. Enter the wireless password when prompted. The wireless password is often shown on the router and may be referred to as the wireless passphrase, WPA key or WEP key. You can tick the box to Show password to check it is correct, before tapping Connect to continue.
  3. You will now see the list of nearby Wi-Fi networks, but this time your network name should show "Connected" written beneath it, and there should be a Wi-Fi symbol on the top line of the display, right next to the signal bars. Your Xperia XA1 is now connected to the internet via Wi-Fi!

Connect the Xperia XA1 to Mobile Internet

It is difficult to check or troubleshoot mobile internet connection issues when Wi-Fi is turned on, so we will turn it off to go through this section. When a mobile data connection is correctly Sony X Data Indicatorconfigured, a letter or letters (G, E, 3G, H or 4G) will appear next to the signal bars to denote this.

Sony xperia xa1 internet 1Sony xperia xa1 internet 2Sony xperia xa1 internet 3Sony xperia xa1 internet 4

  1. Open the Settings menu, either from the Apps list or from your notification bar by dragging it downwards and tapping the cog icon.
  2. To check whether the mobile data connection is enabled, tap Data usage.
  3. See if the Mobile data switch is turned on (showing blue). If not, tap the switch to turn it on, then check for a data indicator in your notification bar.
  4. Sony xperia xa1 internet 5In some circumstances, even with the Data enabled box ticked you may not be able to connect to the internet, which can indicate a problem with the settings, and you may need to re-download them. Go back to the main settings screen, and this time tap More.
  5. To check the connection settings themselves, tap Mobile networks followed by Access Point Names.
  6. You may need to select your network name from the list, tapping the blue circle on the right to select the correct network settings.
  7. If your network name does not appear in the list, or there aren't any at all, tap the Menu (three dots) icon and tap Reset to default. This should pull the settings from the SIM card, although you may need to select your network from a list. Check for the data indicator again.

If none of these options work, you can enter the setting manually by tapping the + on the top of the screen. This will open a form for you to input the correct settings for your mobile network. We have produced a guide to APN settings to assist you but if your network isn't listed, or you're still having problems, then you may need to contact your mobile network directly for further assistance.

Return to Sony Xperia XA1 chapters

Find out how to add your email accounts

Your Xperia XA1 can manage multiple POP, IMAP and Exchange email accounts with a minimum of fuss. Follow our guide below to start receiving your emails on your new smart phone!

Gmail Setup

We covered setting up a Google account in the initial setup, but if you didn't complete it then, or you want to add another Google account, you can set one up now.

Sony xperia xa1 wifi 1sony xperia XA1 accounts 3Sony xperia xa1 accounts 1Sony xperia xa1 accounts 2

  1. Open your Settings menu, either from the apps list or from your Notification Bar.
  2. Scroll down and tap Accounts & Sync.
  3. Any accounts already on your Xperia XA1 will show on this screen. Tap Add account.
  4. From the account types listed, tap Google to start adding your Gmail account to the phone.

Sony xperia xa1 accounts 3Sony xperia xa1 accounts 4Sony xperia xa1 accounts 5Sony xperia xa1 accounts 6

  1. If you already have a Google account, enter the Gmail address in the space provided and tap Next.
  2. Enter your Password into the spaces provided then tap Next. If you are creating a new account, complete all the boxes on the form in order to set the account up.
  3. You must agree to the Terms of service in order to use the Google account on your Xperia XA1. Tap a link to inspect any which you would like to look at, then tap Accept to proceed.
  4. You will be invited to use some Google services. If you don't want to use the Google account to back up your handset, untick the box and then tap More to continue.

You will now see the Google account showing in the Accounts list. Tap Home to go back to the home screen, or add another account.

Email Setup

Adding any other type of email account is done in a similar way to the Google account shown above.

sony xperia XA1 accounts 1sony xperia XA1 accounts 2sony xperia XA1 accounts 3Sony xperia xa1 accounts 7

  1. From the home screen, tap the Apps con.
  2. In the Apps list, locate and tap on Settings.
  3. Scroll down and tap Accounts & Sync.
  4. Any accounts already on your Xperia XA1 will show on this screen. Tap Add account.

Sony xperia xa1 accounts 8Sony xperia xa1 accounts 9Sony xperia xa1 accounts 10Sony xperia xa1 accounts 11

  1. You will now need to select your mail account type. If you have an Exchange email account (often provided by employers or education providers), choose Microsoft Exchange Activesync. To have your email delivered into the Gmail app (keeping all your mail together in one place) then tap Personal (IMAP) or Personal (POP3) to add your account. To keep the mail separate, tap Email.
  2. In our example, we're setting up using Email but almost every account will set up in a similar way. Type in your email address and tap Next.
  3. When prompted, type in your email password, and tap Next/Continue/Sign In (as appropriate!).
  4. You may be asked about how often you'd like to sync for new email. Syncing more frequently will keep you up-to-date with your email, but may have an effect on your battery life. It's always a balance between the two!

Sony xperia xa1 accounts 12Sony xperia xa1 accounts 13Sony xperia xa1 accounts 14Sony xperia xa1 accounts 15

  1. Depending on your account type, you may also be asked about being notified when you have new email, and various other settings. Work through them as they appear, and tap Next to proceed.
  2. You can give your account a name to help you identify it (if you're using more than one account) and also enter your name to be displayed on any emails you send from your phone. Once you're happy with your details, tap Next to finish the email setup.
  3. You will be taken to your new email inbox, where you should see mail arriving. in future, you can access this by tapping on Email in the Apps list. For now, tap the Back arrow to return to the settings.
  4. You should now see your newly added account in the list. Add more accounts, or go back to the home screen by tapping the Home icon.

If your account failed to set up automatically, you will be returned to the main email setup page with the boxes completed with your email address and password. This time you will need to tap Manual Setup before choosing your account type - POP3, IMAP or Exchange Active Sync. You will need to know your account user name, password, and also incoming & outgoing mail server settings.

We have written a guide to email server settings for most of the popular UK email providers to help you complete these, but if your mail provider is not listed, or your email account is provided by your company, you may need to contact them directly for detailed assistance.

Return to Sony Xperia XA1 chapters

How to add and import contacts to your Sony Xperia

Samsung J5 2016 contacts stretch

We've put together a separate guide to show you how to move your contacts from your old smartphone to your new Sony Xperia XA1 quickly and easily. We've got all the help you need to transfer from Android, iPhone, BlackBerry and Windows Phone handsets, so click the link to find out more!

Return to Sony Xperia XA1 chapters

Using the Play Store to find new apps

play store stretch

Looking for new apps to enjoy on your Xperia XA1? Why not check out our handy guide to the Play Store where we'll show you how to find new games, apps and more downloaded straight through your phone, as well as how to install apps from the Play Store website on your computer!

Return to Sony Xperia XA1 chapters

Securing your Sony Xperia XA1 with a lock screen

Your handset has a lot of valuable information on it, and will likely be signed into accounts inside various apps to give you quick access to your data; Email, social media and file sharing apps to name but a few. The best way to keep all of this data from prying eyes is to secure your Xperia with a PIN or Password. Read on to discover how!

Sony Xperia XA1 lock screen 1Sony Xperia XA1 lock screen 2Sony Xperia XA1 lock screen 3Sony Xperia XA1 lock screen 4

  1. From the home screen, tap the Apps icon, then find and tap on Settings.
  2. Scroll down the settings menu and tap on Lock screen & security.
  3. In the Device security section, tap Screen lock.
  4. Select your preferred unlock method; Pattern, PIN or password.
  5. Decide whether you want to enter your PIN/Password when you turn the phone on. For the most security, we recommend this. If you think you might forget your PIN, choose No, thanks.

Sony Xperia XA1 lock screen 5Sony Xperia XA1 lock screen 6Sony Xperia XA1 lock screen 7Sony Xperia XA1 lock screen 8

  1. In our example we're entering a PIN, but a password is set in much the same manner. Enter your chosen code via the keyboard, then tap Continue (a Pattern will require you to set a PIN as a backup).
  2. Confirm your unlock PIN or Password by entering it again, then tap OK.
  3. When the screen is locked, notifications show you when you've received emails, messages and more. You can choose to Show all notification content, Hide sensitive content (you'll see you've received a message for example, but not the message itself) or Don't show notifications. Tap to select your preference, then tap Next.
  4. To change how quickly the PIN or Password you've just set is required, tap Automatically lock and choose the security time-out you'd like to set.

Agent tip

The security time-out is a compromise between security and usability. To keep your information secure, try to keep the time-out as short as possible!

Return to Sony Xperia XA1 chapters

How to make phone calls on your Sony Xa1

Making a phone call is one of the most important functions of any smartphone, but it's easy to get distracted with everything else your Xperia XA1 is capable of! Find out how to make and receive calls on your new Sony Xperia with these short steps.

Sony Xperia XA1 calls 1Sony Xperia XA1 calls 4Sony Xperia XA1 calls 2Sony Xperia XA1 calls 3

  1. The first step to making a phone call is to open the Phone icon from the home screen by tapping on it.
  2. After you've started using your Xperia XA1, your call history will appears allowing you quick access to the people you call the most often by tapping on them. If you don't have these showing yet, or the person your wish to call isn't shown onscreen, you can view and search your contacts by tapping the Contacts icon at the top of the screen, next to the three dots.
  3. To enter a phone number directly, tap the green keypad button at the bottom of the screen. Enter the digits and press the green button to start the call.
  4. You can use the number keypad to spell out the name of a contact. There are letters below each number, tap the numbers to spell the name (in our example we're spelling out "Ben" by tapping "236"). The Xperia XA1 will find matching names in your contact list, just tap the correct contact from the suggestions to call them!

Return to Sony Xperia XA1 chapters

Send text & picture messages

Find and tap the Messaging app from your home screen. The icon is a white circle with a blue smiley face emoticon in it. If you have unread messages, you will see a red badge in the corner showing you have unread items.

Sony Xperia XA1 texts 2Sony Xperia XA1 texts 3Sony Xperia XA1 texts 4Sony Xperia XA1 texts 5

  1. To compose a new message, tap on the compose button (which is a white pen on a green circle) at the bottom-right corner of the screen.
  2. Now you're looking at a blank text message. Pick the recipient by tapping in the Enter one or more recipients box.
  3. You can enter a mobile number directly using the numeric keyboard, or you can start to type a contact's name. If you're entering text, matching contacts will appear below as you type. Tap on the contact you're trying to text to select them as the recipient.
  4. Now you've chosen who you're messaging, it's time to type out what you want to say. Tap into the Write message box and using the keyboard, type your message. To send it, tap the blue arrow to the right of the text entry box.

Sony Xperia XA1 texts 5Sony Xperia XA1 texts 6Sony Xperia XA1 texts 7Sony Xperia XA1 texts 8

  1. To add an attachment, tap one of the icons above the text box to choose what to attach; You could take a new photo using the camera, attach a picture that's already on your phone or one of many other options, each of which can be selected by tapping on the correct icon. There are even more options available by tapping the three dots icon.
  2. In our example, we've chosen to add a picture from our phone. You may be able to find the item you need in the panel that replaces the keyboard, but you can also tap the gallery icon (that's the file icon in the green circle at the bottom of the screen) to look through all of your files and photos. When you've found the item you wish to attach to your message, tap it to select it.
  3. Once you've attached your item, it will display in the body of the message, allowing you to add further text before you send it by tapping the blue arrow. If your message has been converted to an MMS, this will be shown below the Send arrow (you may be charged for sending an MMS - check with your mobile network about costs!).

How to delete a message thread

If you'd like to delete a thread of messages from your handset, open the Messaging app and locate the thread you'd like to delete by finding the other person's name in the message list.

sony xperia XA1 messages 9Touch and hold on their name, and a tickbox will appear beside it. When you see this, look in the top right-hand corner of the screen and tap the bin icon to delete the thread.

Return to Sony Xperia XA1 chapters

Sending emails and attachments on your Sony

To send an email, you must have already set up an email account on your Xperia. If you haven't added your account yet, please check our chapter on adding an email account for more information. To see your emails, tap the Apps icon followed by the Email icon.

sony xperia XA1 email 1sony xperia XA1 email 2sony xperia XA1 email 3sony xperia XA1 email 4

  1. When you can see your email inbox, tap the compose button. This is a green circle containing a white pen at the bottom of the email inbox screen.
  2. Tap into the To line to select the intended recipient. Start to type their name using the keyboard, and any matching contacts will appear. Tap on the correct contact to add them to the recipient list. You can add further recipients or send carbon copies to yourself or others by tapping the down arrow.
  3. Enter a Subject for your email by tapping on that line and entering it via the keyboard.
  4. Now that you've set it up, type your message by tapping into the main portion of the window in the middle of the screen. If you just want to send a text email, then you can send it by tapping the arrow icon on the title bar.

Add an attachment

sony xperia XA1 email 5sony xperia XA1 email 6sony xperia XA1 email 7sony xperia XA1 email 8

  1. To add an attachment, tap the paper clip on the title bar. When the menu opens, you can choose what you'd like to attach.
  2. Navigate through your files by using the on screen menu to find the item(s) you want, and tap to select them.
  3. When sending images, you may be asked whether to resize them - handy if you're using mobile internet, as large images and video can use a lot of data!
  4. Add further attachments if you wish, and compose your message. To send, tap the arrow.

Agent tip

Connect to Wi-Fi if you're adding lots of attachments. Sending video and audio files and high-resolution pictures can use a lot of mobile data!

Return to Sony Xperia XA1 chapters

How to set alarms on the Sony Xperia XA1

The Alarm is contained within the Clock app on the home screen of your Sony Xperia. If you have removed the clock from the Home screen, you can access it by tapping Apps > Alarm & clock. Open the app and follow the steps below!

Sony Xperia XA1 alarms 1Sony Xperia XA1 alarms 2Sony Xperia XA1 alarms 3Sony Xperia XA1 alarms 4

  1. The buttons across the top of the app allow you to select Alarms, World Clock, Stopwatch and Timer functions. Tap the alarm clock at the top then to set a new alarm, tap the green circle with the + sign in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
  2. Start by setting the time you wish the alarm to sound. When you tap this line, you will see a clock face for you to choose the hour by tapping or dragging the indicator to the correct place.
  3. Once you've chosen the hour, select the minute for the alarm time in the same way, and when you're happy with your choices tap OK. Tap Cancel to re-enter these.

Sony Xperia XA1 alarms 5Sony Xperia XA1 alarms 6Sony Xperia XA1 alarms 7Sony Xperia XA1 alarms 8

  1. Tapping the Repeat line allows you to set an alarm to sound on multiple days - great if you're an early riser during the week but like a lie-in at weekends, for example!
  2. You can edit the text displayed onscreen when the alarm goes off, and also sound, volume, vibration and snooze duration for each alarm individually - so much better than your old alarm clock, eh? When you're happy with the settings, tap Save to store and set the alarm.
  3. On the alarms screen, you will see which ones are set as their switches are green - the ones that are greyed out are not set. Tap a switch to toggle any alarm on or off.
  4. To delete or edit an alarm, touch and hold on it and after a second a menu will appear, allowing you to do either of those things.

Return to Sony Xperia XA1 chapters

Read our tips to learn more about your phone

We've covered the basics, but there are so many more interesting features on your phone which deserve a mention. We've listed some of our tips & tricks to make the most of your new Xperia, if you have any of your own then leave them in the comments section at the bottom of the page!


If you have a question about your phone and can't find the answer here, why not post a comment at the bottom of the page and share it with us!

Device Connection

sony xperia XA1 tips 1Never has it been easier to make your mobile device the centre of your connected world! Mirror your 's display to your smart TV if it is Miracast or Google-cast compliant, and for those TV's that aren't so smart then add a Chromecast and display your phone through that instead!

You can also play your Xperia's content on other wireless devices (such as a tablet) and even set your up to act as a media server, allowing your other devices to play the music and videos that are store on your phone.

Finally you can connect your phone to your PC to allow you to use your phone's internet connection on your computer, and even set up printing options by going to Apps > Settings > Device Connection.

Maximise your battery life

sony xperia XA1 tips 3The Xperia XA1 comes equipped with some great tools to help you get the most from your battery. If you're low on power and want to stretch out your last bit of battery juice, head in to Settings and tap on Battery.

From here, you can turn on features like Stamina Mode (Sony's power saving application) and even enable Ultra stamina mode to squeeze every last moment of power you can get from the battery.

Tapping Show battery usage will let you see which apps are using the most power - great for determining how to adapt your usage of your handset if you're running low on power!

You will also be able to turn off other power-hungry features like location-based Wi-Fi, which is handy if you're not in a good GPS area but a bit unfriendly if you're running out of power and need to keep your phone running for a while longer.

Monitor your data usage

sony xperia XA1 tips 2Say goodbye to surprise bills by taking control of your data usage. Sony equip the Xperia XA1 with a useful data monitor, which will track your mobile data usage and even restrict you from going over your limit.

To set this up you need to visit Apps > Settings > Data usage on your handset. Once this is open, you can set your billing date so that the data is measured from when your allowance resets, and you can set a warning to help you stay under your limit. There's even a tickbox to stop you from adding to your monthly bill by stopping your data usage if you exceed the limit chosen.

There is a breakdown of usage by app too, so you can see if any one app is using a lot of data, allowing you to modify your usage of the phone. Just bear in mind that this app is only a guide, and your mobile network may measure data usage slightly differently so it's a good idea to check this for a month or two before relying on it totally!

Return to Sony Xperia XA1 chapters

Was this article helpful? Yes   No Thanks for your feedback!

Please take a look at our community guidelines.