Sony needs to work harder on bloatware

by XB on 14th September 2016

in Firmware, Xperia XA series

sony-xa-ultra-bloatware_3The Sony Xperia XA and Xperia XA Ultra suffer from a big bloatware problem. Both phones come with 16GB internal storage, which is pretty standard for a mid-range device. Great, you might think, that’s plenty of enough storage for me. After all, last year Sony was still peddling mid-rangers with 8GB.

However, for some reason, Sony has locked these phones much harder compared to other Xperia models. You cannot remove any apps that the phone ships with. At all. Sony has generally got better with bloatware with its flagship devices more recently, allowing you to delete apps such as Facebook for example. This is not the case for the Xperia XA or XA Ultra.

The apps that arrive when you buy the handset cannot be deleted. Instead, Sony offers you the option to disable the apps and remove any data associated with them. This really irks as we only had 8.43GB of free storage from 16GB when powering on our Xperia XA Ultra for the first time. Once all of the system apps had updated via the Google Play Store, we were left with only 5.57GB (gulp!)

So just to be clear – we have a phone marketed as having 16GB internal storage, yet without installing any new apps ourselves, it will only leave you with under 6GB to download your own apps. Sony really needs to refine its software, because the bloat within the firmware and installed apps is simply ridiculous.

What is even more frustrating is that despite Sony knowing how much room its software takes, it sticks a middle finger up to the customer by saying you are not allowed to delete any of the apps. We’re not sure the reason for turning apps like Amazon Shopping, Facebook, AVG Protection, Kobo into system app, but they should never be, in any smartphone.

After spending their hard earnt money, customers should have the choice on what is installed on their handset. Maybe that is being idealistic, and we know money talks, but when there are these type of decisions that affect the consumer experience, Sony should be listening harder. We really hope Sony has an update planned that resolves this situation quickly.

The Xperia XA Ultra has just under 8.5GB of free space on first boot…


… however, this falls to 5.6GB of free space once all of the system apps have been updated


No problem, it looks like I can delete plenty of apps through the app tray…


… nope! Apps can only be disabled rather than removed entirely


  • ramuk

    Agree with XB. If they still charge Premium price for their phone they need to wrok harder on bloatware.

  • DBS

    Well, truth be told this isn’t a Sony-exclusive problem.
    HOWEVER, there’s something that happens in Sony phones that does NOT happen in other phones when you disable the apps.

    When you disable an app on any other Android phone, the app is restored to factory and normally reduced to mere KBs. And that’s the end of that.

    However, on Sony phones, even though all of that happens too, when there’s an update to an app you disables, the phone will show the store the app as available on the device and force you to update it, thus re-activating it.

    That was utterly frustrating back when I used the Z3C as a daily driver. For example, I had disabled Sony’s absolutely useless PlayStation Video (because it’s not available in my region) and Movies apps . Yet, every bloody time there was an update to either of them, the phone would reactivate the app and download the update.
    That annoyed me to no end.

  • Shehab Skull


  • theskig

    Yeah I like this article! F**k the bloatware!!

    And Sony: work on software, don’t just release thousands of flagship models with the same hardware.

  • theskig

    I will pay an extra cost for root and no bloatware :)

    Well, only for root, i just can remove bloatware by myself after that!

  • Sony need big work like Samsung, They removed all apps that developed by Samsung/Samsung Mobile and can download it again from Samsung apps store.

    Sony must support this apps to remove entirely and can download it again from Play store.

    Sony / Sony Mobile Communications Apps :

    All 22 Apps

    – Apps :
    1- Sketch
    2- Smart Connect
    3- TrackID™
    4- Lifelog
    5- Xperia Lounge
    6- Weather
    7- Movie Creator
    8- Social Life
    9- Podcast
    10- What’s New
    11- Support**
    12- Email**
    13- Xperia™ Tips**

    ** Only disable ( rather than removed entirely )

    – Camera Apps :
    1- Background defocus
    2- Timeshift burst
    3- AR effect
    4- Live on YouTube – by Xperia™
    5- Creative effect
    6- Face in picture
    7- Info-eye™
    8- Multi camera
    9- Sound Photo


    I disabled all this apps Except :

    1- What’s New
    2- Sketch

  • Svnjay

    There’s no point in deleting system because they’re stored in a separate partition. Deleting the app frees space on the partition but does not give you any space on the partition that is available to users.

  • Alvin

    Yup, I can’t even Install Asphalt 8 in my Z3 because of amazing load of thumbnail folders from album app that took more than 3 GB size from 2 different folders (that means it is more than 6GB).

  • Not for you

    You’re missing the point. These shouldn’t have been classed as system apps in the first place.

  • aprilius20

    While we’re on the subject, let’s not forget (the admittedly still useful) File Commander and it’s increasingly annoying ‘upgrade to premium’ notifications and out of context full page/bar ads.

  • iGMX

    I’m a bit disappointed that Sony didn’t bundle the Premium version, or even at least a “basic” version without the nagware. Or just build their own file browser, I actually love how most of Sony’s in-house apps are made and was expecting something more from them when it comes to the file browser that they bundle.

  • ryq24

    I think Sony like other mobile phones makers get paid for apps that are pre-installed. The least they can do is add more memory which sony refuse to do which is quite frustrating and disappointing for Sony fans.

  • Marvin Banawa

    i hope sony corporation have time to read this…

  • Kiran Pasupuleti

    If the collective cost of such decisions is losing revenues in terms of phones sold, Sony should realize the payments received for preinstalling apps on phones may not be worthwhile income.

  • Sweggity

    the new xperias r harder to root with locked bootloader… and u now what happens when u unlock the bootloader… ur camera becomes crippled

  • jag

    Haha! It is indeed useful but very annoying! I was annoyed so much last time with the ads so I just bought the premium! I’ve been using it for years anyway.

  • jag

    Woah! Are you sure that those aren’t made by a virus? Thumbnails won’t be that too big in size

  • jag
  • twm

    The X series are overpriced to begin with, and now you can’t remove sponsored apps too.


    TrackID™, Movie Creator , Background defocus are useful for me rest are craps
    face in n multi camera is good but rarely i use !


    maybe he havent cleared them since he bough his phone :P

  • mountain

    I started to understand Sony’s decision in giving a 16gb rom on low end smartphones. The realised they cannot fit enough bloatware on 8gb rom, so they are giving you more bloatware in future updates!

  • harryville

    Thats why I favour the concept software on my z3c, it allows to uninstall all bloatware and not just disable them!!

  • Raj Singh

    It’s fine that they have these services pre installed. That’s not a problem. The problem is that Sony should let you remove these apps. And they should have 32 and 64 GB phones.

  • Junior Rider

    sony should fix this and succeeding phones should have at least 32gb standard storage and lesser bloatware.

  • Srikant Boddepalli

    I agree

  • SandyTheme

    I am so disappointed when spending money to buy Xperia device. I do not want to spend more money for rubbish. They are not able to create a default file manager app and good others.

  • Also what I found unaccaptable is that new Xperias comes with swift keyboard preisntalled instead of xperia keyboard.

  • Ryuzaki Raiga

    “Sony has locked these phones much harder compared to other Xperia models”

    tell that to mediatek SoC

  • P9

    trackID!!! since SE eras

  • xAntifreeZe

    same, it’s annoying af, so I upgraded to premium when they have a 50% discount… still quite expensive and Sony should have provided for free if they want to include preinstalled in Xperia phones…

  • TrackID is better than Shazam, I should know I have BOTH services on my Z2 and Galaxy Note 3. The camera apps work as advertised so I can’t complain too much.

  • This is why Sony is dying. I’m sorry for saying that, but please. Wake up. They’re making horrifyingly impotent decisions with their Xperia line (like charging for 350+ USD for a 720P display in 2016 or worsening bloatware) and the absolute lack of marketing in their other products when they’re objectively superior to their peers. I’m saddened immensely by this. They’re a fast sinking ship that largely the Playstation team are keeping it from capsizing.

  • iia3ezu

    Just because they are useful (to you), doesn’t mean they should be preinstalled. And even if preinstalled, doesn’t mean they need to be made impossible to remove without rooting the device.

    Sony bloatware and crapware is a big reason why Xperia phones aren’t selling well.

    If those Sony apps are so wonderful, why aren’t there many users of non-Sony phones using them?

  • jumbo3220

    woah XB is bashing sony so hard :D which is nice to see. really sony u need to take off those damn bloatware.


    when did i said they should be preinstalled???
    did i said something like i use this 3 apps they shouldnt be removable ?
    i even feel that googles apps like chrome youtube and other play movie news and docs should not be preinstalled

  • EQ

    Damn you got lots of pr0n pics on your phone..! Damn you got lots of pr0n pics on your phone..! Damn you got lots of pr0n pics on your phone.. lol!

  • Wolf0491

    Sounds like my girlfriends S7 edge. Have like 10+ apps disabled which as far as I can tell just removes the icon from the app drawer lol. I’m sure it keeps it from running ever too but just saying.

  • EQ

    Well disabled means disabled but still that shit shouldn’t be in the system partition. Wasted space.

  • Great Dude

    The thing is ,there is free file browsing apps that are on par and some even better.

  • Great Dude

    I think this started much earlier .
    Even if Swift Keyboard was better in predection, Xperia Keyboard has much more languages so That is really annoying.

  • Great Dude

    I do hope that they make an update so these apps can be removed.
    I also hope that Sony doesn’t get the wrong massage and start to remove their good apps like Albums and Music (walkman) .

  • Alvin

    Damn how do you know..? Damn how do you know..? Damn how do you know..? lol!

  • Alvin
  • EQ

    Yep.. This one just exploded loooo!

  • QBerto

    more than the bloatware, wich I agree is useless, the problem I see here is the ROM itself, as I said before, why a so f*cking clean personalization takes ALL that space, sony have one of the heaviest system of all brands, even more heaver (in terms of space, not personalization) that ur beloved touchwiz (/sarcasm), that’s nonsense

  • Maurice Phoenix

    Yap Agree…Used XA Before as my everyday use…After a week it already full. Restore to default then after 3 days it full again, Now I Switch to XPERIA Z5P. XA is just there as my WIFI Browser when I am at home

  • Dannisi

    When you delete a picture, the thumb isn’t deleted from the .thumbnails. You can just delete all the thumbs, next time you open the album app the ones that still exist get regenerated.

  • iGMX

    Of course, but how many come bundled with every modern Xperia?

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  • Bilbo Baggins

    In all my cellphone life I was loyal, since Ericsson to Sony Z3. This is the last drop. I will pass over! :-(

  • it is okay to offer swift keyboard as an option, but i am allergic on this kind of bloatware. sony should give us option to delete swiftkey keyboard and leave xperia keyboard as an default keyboard.

    I don´t know what Sony actualy have with swift developers, as far as i know, microsoft bought swift keyboard, so probably they made some agreement with MS.

    anyway, i don´t like this at all, especially the thing that new Xperia devices have more bloatware than previous Xperia, for example, on my father´s Xperia XA there are apps like avg anti-virus, facebook and some others which you cannot delete but only you can to disable them.

  • Bezels for the win !

    just delete whole folder . new thumbnails will be recreated for existing pictures anyway … right ? still can’t believe that is that big … are you making selfies all day long ?

  • Alvin

    No! Lol
    But yes, I’ll try it later

  • Andy Q

    I’ve had Sony phones for quite a while now but I’ve given up on them, just because of this bloatware issue. I’ve always liked the physical design, 3.5mm socket and SD card are important to me, as is some basic waterproofing. I’m finding Nokia’s new phones an appealing prospect, perhaps they are giving customers some respect in this matter so I’ll give ’em a try.

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