Sony Xperia 1: Is Sony Back in Market With New Flagship?

The thing that I like about android is there can be so many different kinds of phones, just a lot of weird choices. Sony Xperia 1. It’s a fascinating phone.

Overview

Sony Xperia 1 is a good tallboy. It’s got a 21:9 aspect ratio, which makes it relatively narrow and super tall. “It’s way nicer than I expected it to be but I don’t think it can really justify its $950 price”.

Lot of people would like to have a big-screened phone, but they’re put off by how big these phones feel. And that’s the reason we like Xperia 1.

It has a big screen, there is no doubt about it. It’s 6.5 inches. But it’s quite a bit narrower than this one plus 7 pro. So you get the benefits of Seeing more stuff on your screen, like on the web or on twitter, without the drawback of feeling like you have a big honking glass slab, you can barely wrap your fingers around.

It’s nicer to hold, but that doesn’t make it a one-handed phone by any stretch of the imagination. You’re still going to need to use your second hand to reach the top of the screen.

Sony has a couple of software tricks that help with how tall this phone is, But neither of them is great. You can double-tap the home button to make a smaller version of the screen.

Or you’re supposed to be able to tap either side of the screen or swipe on it to do other stuff. It’s called side sense, and it kind of sucks.“I can never get it to work when I want it to, and it pops up all of the time when I don’t want it to”.

Display

Now the reason that sony says it made this phone at this weird, tall aspect ratio is for watching movies, and sony says that it has a 4k hdr OLED screen.

It also has, quote, “professional-level color reproduction.” so it can be in the DCI-p3 color gamut. It can also be in the bt.2020 color space if you care about that. And it has the d65 white point.

There’s this whole “creator mode” thing. Basically, sony is trying to make this phone appeal to people who really care about video quality, both watching it and recording it. It is way dimmer compared to other OLED screens.

Build Quality

From a build quality perspective. It’s got gorilla glass and ip68. It’s got some bezels, but they’re not too big, and it’s just nice to hold.

There’s no headphone jack. But there’s no getting around how it being this tall makes it really awkward. It’s so tall, it couldn’t fit in my pocket.

The buttons are also awkward. They’re all on the right side of the phone and, the fingerprint sensor is separate from the power button for some reason.

Sometimes it gets a little dirty and you have to wipe it off before it will actually work. “I do like that there is a dedicated camera button. But overall, when I’m trying to use this phone, I just end up hitting the wrong button, like, all of the time”.

Camera

On the back, there are three 12-megapixel cameras. There’s a regular, a 2x telephoto, and a wide. Sony put some nice optical image stabilization on the main lens, that’s pretty good. It’s not quite as good as a pixel 3 or a oneplus 7 pro to my eyes, but it’s finally respectable.

The wide angle one, it’s really fun. “I kind of love it. But I don’t love sony’s camera software”.

The wide-angle thing makes you pick between prioritizing image quality or distortion. The auto made doesn’t do hdr by default. There’s just a bunch of other settings that just really look and feel kind of silly.

Even though there’s no dedicated night mode, sometimes it actually really nails it anyway, even if it’s incredibly dark.

Now, you can shoot 4k, and that’s one of the reasons this phone exists. And so sony also included a cinema pro app that lets you really dial in all these manual settings for shooting 4k video.

The 8-megapixel camera on the front is junk. It’s really not good.

 

Software and Performance

In terms of software and performance, I actually don’t have a ton of complaints. It’s a fairly clean version of Android 9 with just a few bells and whistles.

It has a snapdragon 855 processor so it’s fast, and there’s 6gb of ram, which is decent, but not stellar.

There’s only one storage option: 128gb of storage. If you’re going to want more, and especially if you’re going to want to shoot 4k, you’re going to need to expand it. And you can because there’s a MicroSD card slot.

Battery life

Battery life is average-ish for big phones. I’m getting over four hours of screen time, and it’s lasting through a day. There’s only a 3,300mah battery in here.

It does do fast charging, but one neat thing sony does is it won’t fast-charge. When it knows that you’re charging overnight, which helps with the overall life span of the battery, which means it should last longer, a year or two for now at least in theory.

Specification

  • Dimensions: 167 x 72 x 8.2 mm (6.57 x 2.83 x 0.32 in)
  • Display Type: OLED
  • Display Size: 6.5 inches
  • Resolution: 1644 x 3840 pixels
  • OS: Android 9.0 (Pie),
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 (7 nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 485)
  • Rear Camera : 12 MP, f/1.6, 26mm (wide), 1/2.6″, 1.4µm, predictive Dual Pixel PDAF, 5-axis OIS
    12 MP, f/2.4, 52mm (telephoto), 1/3.4″, 1.0µm, predictive PDAF, 2x optical zoom, 5-axis OIS
    12 MP, f/2.4, 16mm (ultrawide), 1/3.4″, 1.0µm
  • Front Camera: 8 MP, f/2.0, 24mm (wide), 1/4″, 1.12µm
  • Battery: Non-removable Li-Ion 3330 mAh battery
  • Bluetooth: 5.0, A2DP, aptX HD, LE
  • USB: 3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector; USB Host