Review: Sony Xperia 1

Gadgets, Reviews, Smartphones
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Sony Xperia 1

6.9

Design & Build

7.1/10

Processor and Performance

7.2/10

Camera

6.5/10

Software

7.2/10

Battery

6.5/10

Pros

  • Great Design
  • Display with 21:9 aspect ratio
  • Impressive performance
  • Excellent 4K display
  • Great for split screen multi-tasking

Cons

  • Fingerprint sensor not reliable
  • Battery life could be a lot better
  • Triple camera doesn't perform as per expectation
  • Screen is dim outdoors

Sony Xperia 1 which was announced at the MWC 2019 event in Barcelona this year has arrived in India. The phone is the flagship one from Sony and comes with some high-end features and display. We get some time to spend with the phone. So let’s check it out how it performs.

Sony Xperia 1

Design and Display

It is the first phone from Sony that comes with 21:9 aspect ratio. The display is very good for watching movies. To achieve a 21:9 aspect ratio it is slightly longer than usual smartphones avaialble in the market. Its dimensions are 167 x 72 x 8.2mm, with a weight of 180g.

Sony Xperia 1

It’s tall and looks like a TV remote, which means operation with one hand and reaching the top of the screen is quite difficult. The phone comes with rounded sides and corners which makes the phone comfortable to hold.

 

The phone’s front and back are made from Corning Gorilla Glass, with a metal frame between the glass. The phone feels very premium and solid. The phone comes with a nearly bezel-less display. It has a USB-C port at the bottom. Its power button and volume toggles are both on the right side, as is the fingerprint reader.

On the back, there is a bump for a triple-camera module. It is supported by a LED flash. The phone comes in white, purple, black and gray colors. The phone has IP65/IP68 certification for water resistance.

The phone features a 6.5-inch, 4K OLED CinemaWide display with an aspect ratio of 21:9 and pixel resolution of 3840*1644 pixels. The display is powered by the company’s Bravia TV technology and Master monitor technology to deliver more contrast and clarity with accurate color reproduction.

Sony Xperia 1 comes with a 21:9 aspect ratio, so when you try to watch videos on YouTube and Netflix, then there is a chance of seeing black bars along with the video as most of the content not formatted ratio. There are few movies you’ll find on Netflix in 21:9 – like Guardians of the Galaxy – while 2:1 aspect content like Star Trek Discovery actually fits nicely.

There is a thick bezel above the screen, which houses the notification light, front-facing camera, and speaker. Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, dual-SIM, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS and USB-C.

Processor & Performance

It is powered by the Snapdragon 855 SoC paired with 6GB RAM. Internal storage should be at 128GB with the option to expand further using a microSD card slot (up to 512GB). The powerful processor with 6GB RAM gives a very powerful and speedy performance.

Opening and doing multitasking is very snappy. We did not face any lag issues during our testing. The phone does heat up when shooting 4K video and playing games. There is a handy Game Enhancer app that launches a floating menu whenever you play a game. It lets you customize the gaming experience by toggling things like Do Not Disturb mode on, for example.

In AnTuTu 3DBench it managed to score 340,023. On Geekbench test, it scored 3,499 for single-core and 10,861 for multi-core. In 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme it scored 4,451.

Camera

In imaging, Xperia 1 comes with a trio of 12-megapixel cameras: a 26mm wide lens with an f/1.6 aperture, a 52mm telephoto lens, and a 16mm ultra-wide lens. The wide and telephoto lenses support optical image stabilization. A “Cinema Pro” mode lets it shoot 4K HDR video at a more movie-like 24 fps, while an ultra-slow-motion mode lets it capture short clips at up to 960 fps at 1080p.

The rear primary sensor takes sharp photos with true colors and details. It’s also excellent at depth of field in portraits and macro-style shots.

Since the phone doesn’t have a very bright screen, the pictures taken on the smartphone don’t look as good as a similar image taken on other premium phones, but the camera has other issues too.

The wide-angle lens comes with a wide field-of-view, so pictures taken with it look unnaturally stretched. While the telephoto lens has a maximum optical zoom is only 2x, which is a little on the low side.

Unlike the Pixel 3A and many of our favorite Android phones, there is no Night mode, though there is a Scene mode that will lighten nighttime shots. Unfortunately, the results are not the best.

CineAlta Cinema Pro software for shooting 4K video in full manual mode, with really specific controls for key camera settings. Its interface is clear and easy to use, and even though it disables OIS, I think it would be a treat to use for cinematographers.

Camera Samples

Review Sony-xperia-1_5 Review Sony-xperia-1_7 Sony Xperia camera

Software

The phone runs Android 9.0 based on Sony’s custom skin. I am not a big fan of Sony’s customization. It custom interface still behind the likes of Samsung and OnePlus. It comes with bundles of pre-installed apps. If you do not require those apps you can delete it. It has a game mode that launches a floating menu when you play a game.

There is also a SideSense feature available on the phone. Double-tap the fingers along the edges of the phone on the left and right side to launch SideSense, which opens a customizable tray of apps for quick access. You can also swipe your finger up or down on the bezel, and customize the action that follows.

Battery

The phone packs a 3,300mAh battery along with 18W fast charging and runs on Android Pie. With 4K display, the battery seems pretty disappointing. With average usage, the phone will last for a day. In our battery test, we have used Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, watched youTube video and send some emails and found out that 15 percent battery left after day activity. In another test, Playing one-hour videos at full brightness will drop the battery to 85 percent. 18W fast charger will charge your phone up to 50 percent in just 30 minutes.

 

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