Sony Xperia 1 evaluation: Forward of the curve

Sony carved an attention-grabbing area of interest for itself earlier this 12 months when it launched the Xperia 1 flagship and Xperia 10 and 10 Plus mid-range telephones. These three units are among the many first to undertake the 21:9 side ratio for the show, which places them at odds with most different units out there. Sony says this new display form is optimized for video content material. Which may be true, however little else is prepared for the Xperia 1’s display — together with, probably, shoppers.

Right here is Android Authority‘s Sony Xperia 1 evaluation.

About our Sony Xperia 1 evaluation: We used the Sony Xperia 1 for every week on AT&T’s community. The Xperia 1 evaluation unit was furnished to Android Authority by Sony. It was operating Android 9 Pie with the June 1 safety replace.Present Extra

Sony Xperia 1 evaluation: The massive image

Sony has some severe competitors to fret about. Samsung, Huawei, and LG have already beat it to the triple-camera race, and Sony is behind the place 5G is worried, too. The corporate wanted to seek out some approach to get a leg up on its foes, so it opted to … make taller shows.

Sony’s whole line this 12 months, together with the Xperia 1, Xperia 10, and Xperia 10 Plus, has moved to the 21:9 side ratio for the screens. This offers all three telephones a novel look and expertise that some individuals could merely not be able to undertake. Although we’ve seen a pair extra 21:9 telephones introduced (most notably the Motorola One Imaginative and prescient), Sony’s Xperia telephones are method forward of the curve right here.

Will individuals put up with the odd form of the Xperia 1 to reside on the bleeding edge? We goal to seek out out.

What’s within the field

18W USB-C charger
USB-C to USB-C cable
USB-C to three.5mm adapter
USB-C headphones

Sony loaded up the field with USB-C goodies. Along with the Xperia 1 itself, the field consists of an 18W charger, cable, USB-to-Three.5mm adapter, and even a set of respectable USB headphones. There’s nothing fancy, akin to a TCP case or sharpening material.


167 x 72 x eight.2mm, 178g
Gorilla Glass 6
USB-C audio

“Attention-grabbing.” “Not for me.” “Why is it so skinny?” — These are the responses I acquired once I requested my family and friends what they thought in regards to the Sony Xperia 1.

There’s no query the telephone stands out. With an excellent tall and uncommonly skinny profile, the Xperia 1 is monolithic in its personal method. The telephone’s 21:9 side ratio display calls for that it tackle a brand new form, one that’s narrower than most comparable flagships available on the market. Although it has been 4 months since I first noticed the telephone, I’m nonetheless not accustomed to its gangly look. Folks I queried in the true world agreed.

“Attention-grabbing.” “Not for me.” “Why is it so skinny?”

Your hand will love the slim waist. The telephone is straightforward to clutch in your hand as you stroll about. Reaching the highest of the display along with your thumb is a completely totally different story. It’s merely unimaginable for most individuals. My hand has by no means carried out such gymnastics attempting to work together with a telephone because it has with the Xperia 1. Sony has software program to fight this concern, however nonetheless.

These first impressions shouldn’t take away from the standard of the product assembled by Sony, which is high notch by way of and thru. The Xperia 1 options beautiful Gorilla Glass 6 on either side, a strong aluminum body, and (almost) all of the specs and tech you would ask for in a contemporary telephone.

The Xperia 1 is among the most seamless units I’ve examined this 12 months. The body is curved completely to match the rounded glass back and front. The seams are aligned flawlessly, creating a decent seal the place glass and metallic meet. The polished sheen is downright luscious. You will get the telephone in black or (adore it) purple. I warn you, the telephone will slip off your desk or desk. Watch out the place you place it.

Sony offers a bevy of hardware controls that will help you work together with the Xperia 1, all of that are on the correct facet.

The underside-most secret is the devoted digital camera button — one thing pretty distinctive nowadays. Not too many telephones go for the hardware digital camera button and I’m glad Sony has stored it round. The 2-stage key has nice motion, although it’s a bit small. I observed, nevertheless, that I by accident gripped the button and launched the digital camera almost each time I stuffed the telephone into my pocket. This obtained actual previous actual quick. Ugh.

Subsequent is the display lock/energy button. It’s just a little additional up the facet and in a reasonably good (discoverable) spot. Excellent motion.

Sony was sensible to place the fingerprint reader in the correct facet of the body. It’s a cinch to your thumb to achieve and sidesteps the problematic under-the-screen placement. It’s additionally certainly less complicated to seek out than an rear-mounted reader can be. The very last thing you’ll discover on the correct edge is the amount rocker. It really works properly.

One factor I really respect about Sony telephones: the thumbnail-accessible SIM and reminiscence card slot. You’ll discover it tucked into the highest edge.

Aside from the USB-C port, the one practical components constructed into the underside edge are two microphones. There’s no Three.5mm headphone jack. Dangerous, Sony, dangerous.

The triple-camera module is critical. It’s a vertical strip and it stands out from the remainder of the rear glass due to its raised profile. The telephone will rock facet to facet a bit when positioned on a tough floor, akin to a desk or desk. That is likely to be bothersome to some individuals.

Sony’s Xperia 1 is a high-quality piece of equipment, regardless of the lanky form.

Let’s not neglect the IP68 ranking, which suggests the telephone can sit in as much as 1.5 meters (~5 ft) of water for as much as 30 minutes earlier than it’s important to begin worrying. I let the Xperia 1 take a nap on the backside of a water-filled bucket and the telephone remains to be operating like clockwork.

Sony’s Xperia 1 is a high-quality piece of equipment, regardless of the lanky form.


6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED
Three,840 by 1,644 pixel, 643ppi
21:9 CinemaWide side ratio
X1 for Cellular

Let’s ignore the goofy 21:9 side ratio for a second and drool over the truth that the Xperia 1 has a 4K display. Sony has flirted with 4K shows up to now, however this time round it really delivered.

Let’s drool over the truth that the Xperia 1 has a 4K display.

The Xperia 1’s show does completely all the pieces you would possibly ask of a telephone. There’s no notch, no punch gap, simply display from high to backside, edge to edge. The pixel depend is absurd, the colour vary insane, and the brightness superb.

With assist for HDR, you’d higher imagine I set to streaming some films from Netflix. HDR content material that natively helps the 21:9 side ratio will knock your socks off. The distinction vary is just astounding. We’re speaking the most effective movie-watching expertise I’ve had on a telephone.

That’s, till you encounter content material that’s not 21:9. You then get black bars at both finish of the display, and I’m not a fan of these. Whereas most non-21:9 content material is centered on the display, some apps merely received’t stretch all the way down to fill the additional house on the backside. That is annoying at greatest.

As per the norm for a flagship, you will have complete management over the colour profile, the blue mild filter or night time mode, the decision settings, and so forth. The Sony Xperia 1 has probably the greatest shows I’ve encountered this 12 months, although content material has to catch up rapidly for the side ratio to be of any actual use.


Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 S0C

2.8GHz octa-core, 7nm course of

6GB of RAM
128GB of storage

Sony’s use of the Qualcomm-made SoC is environment friendly and fast. I by no means encountered any efficiency points by any means with the Xperia 1. It purred alongside like a well-oiled machine, with nary a hiccup to complain about. Actually, the telephone was a pleasure to make use of. It devoured intense video games, together with Asphalt 9 and Fortnite, each of that are pre-installed, with gusto. Sony has a Sport Enhancer mode that blocks notifications throughout gameplay. Comparable options are discovered on the OnePlus 7 Professional and Asus ROG Cellphone.

As for benchmarks, the telephone scored properly throughout the board. It trounced almost all competing units in 3DMark and GeekBench. It bested a decent 87 % of telephones on AnTuTu. It appears like reminiscence velocity held the telephone again in AnTuTu.

Regardless of. You don’t have to fret about operating into any roadblocks with the Xperia 1. It’ll simply surmount them.

See additionally: Snapdragon 855 telephones — What are your greatest choices?


Three,330mAh Lithium-ion
Xperia Adaptive Charging
Stamina Mode
USB energy supply

I’m a bit shocked by Sony’s resolution making with respect to the battery. To begin, a Three,330mAh energy cell is a bit small for a flagship. Many competing units have batteries within the Three,500 t0 four,000mAh vary. Furthermore, Sony dropped wi-fi charging — a significant no-no for a flagship in 2019.

Then there’s the 4K display to contemplate. The Extremely HD show has thousands and thousands extra pixels that must be lit up than a Quad HD show. Positive, you possibly can ratchet the decision down to enhance battery life, however the place’s the enjoyable in that?

That is partially why the Xperia 1 didn’t carry out significantly properly in our battery exams. Whereas I pushed the telephone from morning to nighttime on most days I used it, it survived little greater than 12 hours in our net and video exams. Competing units attain 14 or extra hours in these similar exams.

If there’s one factor the Xperia 1 has going for it, it’s Sony’s Stamina Mode and speedy charging. Utilizing the included charger powers up the telephone rapidly, and you may endlessly tweak energy consumption to handle battery life. You’ll discover you would possibly must.

See additionally: Quickest charging cables, see which one is best for you.

Digital camera


12MP wide-angle, f/1.6, OIS
12MP telephoto, f/2.four, OIS
12MP super-wide lens, f/2.four


8MP, f/



The Xperia 1 has 4 cameras: three on the again and one on the entrance, like many trendy flagships. The totally different lenses let your snap commonplace, wide-angle, and zoomed photographs. The digital camera app opens rapidly with a agency press to the devoted digital camera button. You may also open it by way of the lock display shortcut.

The app’s controls are what you count on from a contemporary flagship. Which means plenty of options and modes accessible by way of buttons, toggles, and drop-down menus. Sony’s clever auto mode is the default. This makes use of AI to evaluate what the telephone is pointed at and regulate the digital camera settings accordingly. Level it at textual content and also you’ll see the phrase “doc” seem within the higher left nook. Similar applies to panorama, daylight, low-light, and different scenes. You’ll be able to flip clever auto off if you want.

The three lenses allow you to seize commonplace, telephoto, and tremendous wide-angle pictures.

Past this, the essential included modes embrace portrait selfie, Google Lens, gradual movement, AR impact, handbook, inventive impact, and panorama. These are all pretty commonplace. I’d wish to see a time-lapse mode, however sadly there isn’t one included.

The three lenses allow you to seize commonplace pictures, telephoto pictures, and 137-degree tremendous wide-angle pictures. The extensive angle is so extensive that it introduces apparent optical distortion, as evidenced within the samples beneath. I like the flexibleness afforded by these three lenses, although competing telephones hold the wide-angle in a extra usable (and fewer distorted) vary.

Pictures I captured with the Sony Xperia 1 are good, however wanting nice. Focus was typically sharp all through. I didn’t discover too many mushy pictures, even these taken in low mild. Publicity, nevertheless, is in all places. You’ll be able to see over- and under-exposed pictures within the samples beneath. I’m not fairly certain what’s up with the HDR device, which doesn’t seem like doing its job.

Colours look a bit muted to my eyes. Most of the murals I shot in New York Metropolis have been brilliant and radiant, however the real-life vibrance doesn’t essentially come by way of within the images. That is in direct opposition to the images we see from telephones such because the Samsung Galaxy S10, which pushes colours a bit.

Noise and compression artifacts are evident in low-light pictures. Talking of which, the Xperia 1 doesn’t embrace a devoted low-light mode — one other beautiful omission on a 2019 flagship.

The selfie digital camera does an appropriate job. It’s definitely not dangerous. The selfie portrait software program simplifies the method of capturing selfies. I believe the bokeh’d pictures have respectable edges, however the blur is a bit too intense.

It’s arduous for me to grasp how an organization akin to Sony, one which has a wealthy heritage in imaging, can prove such a mediocre digital camera on certainly one of its most vital units of the 12 months. The Galaxy S10, Pixel Three, and Huawei P30 Professional have the Xperia 1 soundly beat with regards to imaging.

Sony’s flagships have been capable of seize 4K video for a while. Not solely does the Xperia 1 file the high-quality video I’ve seen in a while, the a number of mics imply you get glorious sound high quality, too.

You’ll be able to view full-resolution images right here.


Bluetooth 5 with aptX HD
Dolby Atmos
Stereo audio system

If you’re an audiophile, telephones from Sony and LG are your greatest guess. The Xperia 1 could lack a Three.5mm headphone jack (boo!), nevertheless it delivers on almost each different entrance.

Stereo sound is reproduced when the earpiece and bottom-firing audio system work collectively. The sound is kind of good whenever you tilt the telephone sideways to look at films. You’ll be able to decide to activate Sony’s dynamic vibration, which can rumble the telephone much like a sport controller to present you a multidimensional expertise.

The aptX HD Bluetooth profile means Android followers get excellent audio high quality from their suitable Bluetooth headphones. Cinema-quality sounds comes roaring by way of with fantastic particulars preserved. That is aided by Dolby Atmos and DSEE HX, each of which embrace their very own controls for tweaking audio,

This telephone sounds nice.

See additionally: The coat hanger expertise: Are premium audio cables value it?

Software program

Android 9 Pie

The Xperia 1 ships with Android 9, the most recent working system from Google. Sony’s software program pores and skin is pretty mild. Probably the most important adjustments you’ll see are totally different background colours and a few alternate fonts, when in comparison with inventory. In any other case, it offers the everyday house display, app drawer, Fast Settings shade, and pill-based house display navigation.

The Xperia 1 has some distinctive options. For instance, reaching the highest of the show is a little bit of a problem. Fortunately there’s a one-handed mode to avoid wasting the day. Double faucet the house button and the whole desktop shrinks. On this smaller type, it’s considerably simpler to achieve the notification shade. Double-tap a second time to return the display to regular.

Facet Sense is much like Samsung’s Edge Display screen. Double tapping both facet of the body opens up a small window with shortcuts to a number of key apps and actions. It may very well be a bit extra dependable whenever you wish to open it. I discovered it a bit tough.

Break up-screen multitasking works very well on the tall display. Sony launched a brand new app for the Xperia 1 that lets you simply entry and configure which apps seem on the display. I significantly like that you may create app pairs, which allow you to immediately open Gmail and Google Calendar, or Chrome and YouTube collectively. The Galaxy Observe collection has the same function.

There are many methods to customise the software program (ambient show, lock display clocks, themes) to your liking and all of it runs fluidly on the telephone.


Sony Xperia 1Sony Xperia 10Sony Xperia 10 Plus

Display6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED
21:9 side ratio
X1 for cellular Creator mode6-inch LCD FHD+
21:9 side ratio6.5-inch LCD FHD+
21:9 side ratio

SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 855 Cellular PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 630 Cellular PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 636 Cellular Platform

GPUAdreno 640Adreno 508Adreno 509


MicroSD enlargement as much as 512GB64GB
MicroSD enlargement as much as 512GB64GB
MicroSD enlargement as much as 512GB

CamerasRear cameras:
12MP wide-angle lens, 25mm OIS, Twin PD
12MP Telephoto lens, 52mm OIS
12MP Tremendous-wide lens, 16mm

Entrance digital camera

BIONX for cellular HDR recording
Cinema ProRear cameras:
13MP 1/”
5MP 1/four’
ISO 12800 (photograph)
ISO 3200 (video)
4K film recording

Entrance digital camera
8MP 1/”
ISO 3200 (photograph)
ISO 1600 (video)Rear cameras:
12MP half.eight”
8MP 1/four’ Optical Zoom + Bokeh
ISO 12800 (photograph)
ISO 3200 (video)
4K film recording

Entrance digital camera
8MP 1/”
ISO 3200 (photograph)
ISO 1600 (video)

AudioDolby Atmos Hello-res Audio
Stereo speaker
Stereo sound recording
Good amplifier
Sony’s Dynamic Vibration systemHigh-resolution audio
Good amplifier
Monaural speaker
Stereo recordingHigh-resolution audio
Good amplifier
Monaural speaker
Stereo recording

DurabilityCorning Gorilla Glass 6
IP68Corning Gorilla Glass 5Corning Gorilla Glass 5

BiometricsFingerprint sensor (facet)Fingerprint sensor (facet)
Facet senseFingerprint sensor (facet)
Facet sense

NetworkSCA LTE
CAT 19
4×4 MIMO
11a/ac/b/g/n3CA LTE



SoftwareAndroid 9 Pie
Android 9 PieAndroid 9 Pie

Dimensions and weight167x72x8.2mm156x68x8.4mm

ColorsBlack, White, Grey, PurpleBlack, Silver, Navy, PinkBlack, Silver, Navy, Gold

Worth for the cash

Sony Xperia 1 with 6GB of RAM, 128GB storage: $949

Let’s not child ourselves: $949 is a whole lot of scratch for any telephone. Apple, Huawei, LG, and Samsung are all toeing the thousand-dollar line with their top-shelf units and Sony is right here to say, “Me too!”

In case you’re a complete Sony fan and wish the Xperia 1 irrespective of the price, make sure you order through the preliminary two-week pre-order window (by way of July 12.) Solely throughout this time are you able to rating a free set of $350 WH1000XM3 Bluetooth energetic noise canceling headphones from Sony. This combo bundle is a good deal. A fantastic deal.

Sony is right here to say, ‘Me too!’

In any other case, with no carrier-supported cost plan, you’re by yourself to fund the dear machine. Does the Xperia 1 ship a vastly higher expertise than the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus or Pixel Three XL? Not likely, however a minimum of it’s distinctive.

Purchase Sony Xperia 1

Sony Xperia 1 evaluation: The decision

Sony’s path by way of the smartphone market over the past decade has been stuffed with peaks and valleys. I hoped the Xperia 1 would symbolize a type of peaks. Sadly, it’s someplace midway up (or down) the hill.

The telephone’s hardware is excellent the place high quality is worried. You’ve obtained almost all the pieces you would need: Gorilla Glass 6, metallic body, waterproof housing, 4K display, triple cameras, and extra.

The Xperia 1 falls quick in just a few locations, together with battery life, digital camera efficiency, and normal usability due to the odd form. Additional, there’s not sufficient 21:9 content material (each movies and apps) to make sense of the stretched side ratio.

Would I like to recommend this telephone? Solely to individuals particularly in search of one thing distinctive, or those that place an emphasis on media consumption.

This concludes Android Authority’s Sony Xperia 1 evaluation. Tell us what you assume within the feedback beneath.

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