The Sony Xperia XA Ultra doesn't have a main camera, it has two main cameras. But not in the way the Huawei P9 has two cameras on the back, no. The Xperia XA Ultra has a main camera on the back, and another main camera up front. And looking at the specsheet, we can see how this may be right.
The front-facing camera uses a 16MP Exmor RS sensor, and it's a large Type 1/2.6" unit, while the prevalent size is in the 1/4" ballpark (the plain XA uses such an imager, for example). And the days for the HTC 10 to hold exclusivity on front cam image stabilization are numbered - the selfie shooter of the Xperia XA Ultra has OIS too.
Sony has resorted to OIS to help in low-light shooting, which was a major priority when developing the software as well. A Night portrait flash mode aims to help when capturing selfies in the dark, by taking multiple frames with no flash and combining them with a single frame with the flash enabled. The effect is similar to a slow sync flash and helps keep both the subjects in the foreground (yourself and your mates, presumably) and the background reasonably well lit.
The hand shutter is no novelty anymore, but Sony has addressed one issue that's all too common - not looking at the camera when the shot is being taken. People tend to stare at the center of the display, which does show and it makes for some weird looks. The effect is even more pronounced on large smartphones like the Xperia XA Ultra, where the camera is further away from the center of the screen.
The way Sony has gone about it is to display the shutter countdown immediately next to the camera in the top right corner, thus drawing your attention to the general area of the camera. It is a step in the right direction, but the Huawei Mate 8, for example, displays a small thumb of the image being taken in the top right corner next to the front cam - an even better solution no one seems fond of replicating.
The rear camera (make sure you don't call it primary) relies on a 21.5MP Type 1/2.4" Sony sensor. This one comes complete with Sony's hybrid autofocus, which combines phase and contrast detection technologies to achieve blazing-fast focus.
We only got a single sample from each camera and the two are shown below. The usual word of caution is due, that the software isn't final, so the output from final units may differ.
Sony struck the right chord with the large-screen selfie-loving audience when it launched the Xperia C5 Ultra, and the Xperia XA Ultra is the logical step forward. It's not just an updated design to make it look at home in the X-series, though.
Camera upgrades on both sides have seen the introduction of a proper high-end sensor on the back, and a tricked out 16MP front cam with OIS - two main cameras it is, indeed. Hardware has gotten the mandatory year-on-year improvements too, and the Xperia XA Ultra looks to be destined for success.
Just our initial thoughts, though, we didn't get a chance for even the shortest actual testing of the smartphone. We don't have much else left, but wait for a review unit to come our way to properly put the Xperia XA Ultra through its paces.