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Sony Xperia 1 review: A big step forward

For the first time with three cameras, an extremely long screen and special features for photographers, Sony is trying to cut distances and start a new era with its Xperia 1. The chances of success are not low, and we will demonstrate it in our full analysis.

Pros

  • Excellent finishes
  • IP68 certification
  • Updated software
  • A movie screen

Cons

  • No wireless charging
  • Problematic bokeh effect
  • Quite high price

In the limit of 1000 euros

Making a movie worthy of Hollywood is not cheap, and digital film cameras usually cost several thousand, if not tens of thousands of euros. In addition, additional costs for memory cards, goals, additional batteries and company are not included. With the Sony Xperia 1, students or graduates of film schools can shoot their first short films at a reasonable price. For 949 you will get a smartphone in which almost all the Sony Group has worked, including the professionals of the Cinealta professional camera line.

Design: a nice step back

Before talking about the technical characteristics of the new Xperia 1, we would like to comment on the appearance of the Japanese smartphone. After years of monotonous with the design of the Sony, the mobile phone division of the Japanese group finally dared to take the step towards a new image last year. Its design became more curved and ergonomic. Unfortunately, the last Xperia had gained a lot of weight, reaching the maximum with the Xperia XZ2 Premium, which weighed more than 200 grams and was difficult to handle with one hand.

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Despite the elongated 21: 9 format, the Sony Xperia 1 grabs well at hand / AndroidPIT

For the 2019 Xperia smartphones, Japanese designers put their smartphone on a diet. The Xperia 1 grows in height thanks to the new 21: 9 formati, while at the same time losing weight and losing a lot of weight.
However, the new design reminds the already adopted OmniBalance design of the previous Xperia smartphones. Even the fingerprint sensor moves back to the side. Sony fans in the US You don't have to worry about the fingerprint sensor being deactivated due to patent infringement, since Sony has placed the on / off switch separately under the biometric sensor as a precaution.

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The fingerprint sensor of the Xperia 1 is back on the side, but without the integration of the power button / AndroidPIT

The cinema in your pocket

If we talk about multimedia, Sony is lucky to have Sony Pictures as its internal film provider. For the presentation of these contents, Sony has the help of Bravia, its manufacturer of Televisions. Sony Pictures incorporates the new 21: 9 cinema format in the Xperia 1, while Sony Bravia handles image processing, which optimizes the content for the 4K OLED HDR screen without notch ..

AndroidPIT sony xperia 1 back front 2cv
No notch, but with narrow edges above and below the 4K / AndroidPIT HDR OLED screen

The screen of the Sony Xperia 1 offers excellent vivid colors and excellent sharpness.
Blacks are also excellent due to the adoption of the OLED panel. The resolution cannot be controlled manually, since Sony handles everything automatically through the software. In general, it works well and Xperia 1 is an authentic cinema in your pocket.

The only small critical point is the glass used, which reflects too much. As for the format, I agree with my colleague Luca: I will soon get used to this new format.

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It's easy to get used to this new format / AndroidPIT

The 21: 9 format is particularly useful when reading texts, so it is less frequent to swipe up and down to switch between parts of the text.

Software to create and consume content

Sony, of course, delivers the Xperia 1 with Android 9 and its own user interface. Lately, Sony has proven fast when it comes to offering security patches and monthly system updates.

As a small innovation, Sony has added Game Enhancer to the Xperia X1 and the Xperia 10 and 10 Plus, which we have also tested. With this you can assign various system settings for all games, but also for each game individually. From the number of notifications to the hardware performance level, you can adjust the behavior of your Xperia 1 during your game session. It's also fun that you can record yourself with the front camera while you play and even comment on it. But the competition of Samsung, Huawei, Razer and Asus already offer similar modes on their smartphones.

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The new application for budding filmmakers / / AndroidPIT

A touch of Hollywood

More interesting is the
Cinema Pro function
. This new application is offered exclusively on the Xperia 1. During the development, Sony Mobile programmers have been inspired by the cinema cameras division of the company's own Cinealta series. If you still don't know Sony's Cinealta cameras, I'll tell you that James Cameron, the Hollywood director of blockbusters like Avatar and Titanic, bet on Sony's Cinealta cameras in the future.

Basically it is a camera application, which is designed for professional use. It offers a different arrangement to that of a standard application, being able to see all the relevant settings such as shutter, ISO, white balance and even audio levels at a glance. With the help of nine looks configured, you can create different modes in the video, something like a filter. Unfortunately, Sony representatives could not tell us at that time if the product range will be expanded later.

Although the application has already left a general impression and proved to be stable during our tests, it is still far from complete. In addition, there is no possibility to adjust the sound parameters.

No facial recognition

The Sony Xperia 1 lacks a feature that has virtually all current high-end smartphones: facial recognition. It is a pity, because OnePlus 7 Pro demonstrates that this biometric system is particularly convenient and can be implemented using a normal front camera, without complicated sensors.

Maximum power

To ensure that the new Sony smartphone takes full advantage of the high resolution display and triple camera configuration, Xperia 1 is
equipped with the new Qualcomm chip, the Snapdragon 855, together
with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal memory expandable by microSD.

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On board find the power of Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 / AndroidPIT

The benchmark performance was more than impressive and we have never experienced a decrease in performance in daily use. This smartphone is always on top!

Sony Xperia 1: Benchmark comparison

Sony Xperia 1
OnePlus 7 Pro
Samsung Galaxy S10 +
3DMark Sling Shot Extreme445653744371
3DMark Sling Shot Vulkan425647584276
3DMark Sling Shot581369584503
3DMark Ice Strom Unlimited630386580856128
Geekbench 4 (Single / Multi Core)3424/108363419/107734175/10031
PassMark Memory313553137519777
PassMark Disc616036998475870

However, when it undergoes a lot of stress, there are drops in performance, especially since the smartphone gets very hot. In addition, the write and read speeds of internal memory and RAM are very high.

Without jack, but with Dolby Atmos audio

When it comes to audio for headphones, Xperia 1 is also updated.
This means that the audio jack has been removed and that the USB-C and Bluetooth port govern this area. As for the audio through its speakers, Xperia 1 has Dolby Atmos technology and integrated stereo speakers, which can provide powerful sound. Also present are Qualcomm aptX audio drivers and high resolution FLAC audio.

A cinema in your pocket

Also in Sony Mobile, the trend is towards more camera support. The main camera, in the center of its back, now consists of three 12 MP lenses with different focal lengths.
With this configuration, Sony can offer the user a wide angle of 16 mm and f / 2.4, a wide angle of 26 mm and f / 1.6 and a telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom or a focal length of 52 mm and f / 2, 4 to choose.

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Three cameras for a beautiful picture / AndroidPIT

Unlike the Xperia XZ2 Premium, for Sony night shots, Sony does not use high light sensitivity (ISO 3200 instead of ISO 51 200). To compensate, place a known eye autofocus of the Alpha range, supported by a PDAF (Autofocus by phase detection). For portrait shots, an eye-oriented autofocus may be theoretically useful, but if necessary it is a question that we can only find out in our final test. We must also check the continuous shooting of 10 frames per second, including the exposure and focus settings.

The super slow motion in Full HD with a maximum of 960 frames per second and also tricks such as the melting of AR figures and the digitalization of 3D objects, are taken by the Xperia 1 of its predecessors.

Great photos of day, more natural at night

Especially in bright light, Sony Xperia 1 works very well with respect to the best smartphones. Many details, excellent sharpness and beautiful colors. The camera is also very fast to shoot and can produce very few blurry photos. At night, other cameras, in particular the Huawei P30 Pro camera, offer technically cleaner images, but Xperia 1 still works well, capturing the atmosphere in a natural way.

DSC 0180
Good photos of da / AndroidPIT
DSC 0366
At night, your photos look natural / AndroidPIT
DSC 0186
A selfie never comes wrong / AndroidPIT

Sometimes better, sometimes worse: these are the results obtained by the bokeh effect, which can be activated with the corresponding icon in the camera application. In the camera test we also liked the possibility of correcting the distortion obtained when shooting with the wide angle sensor.

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Distorted Effect …. / AndroidPIT
DSC 0242
… easily editable / / AndroidPIT

The Sony Xperia 1 can record videos in HD, Full HD with 30 or 60 fps or in 4K with 30 fps. Also in this case, the smartphone manages to reproduce naturally the luminosity and colors. The combination of optical and electronic image stabilization ensures a stable hand, and the Xperia 1 is also excellent for shooting while running. In addition, Sony has gifted the Xperia 1 in a special way for all amateur filmmakers. The application is called Cinema Pro and offers functions that are not really necessary for normal use, but with which ambitious video enthusiasts can take more advantage of the Xperia 1 camera.

If you want to know more about the camera of the Sony Xperia 1, you can read our complete analysis of the camera and see the photos of the test in full resolution.

Battery: Sony average

The Xperia 1 battery is not very large and has a maximum capacity of 3300 mAh. However, experience shows that the devices of the Japanese manufacturer are particularly durable in this regard and that you can reach the end of the day with moderate use.

Before starting to work properly, the battery has required at least four charge cycles, but the results are visible. You can get up to six hours of active screen by switching from data network to WIFI, using Bluetooth and various messaging and email management applications.

Among other things, the
Battery can also be recharged quickly with the included 18W power supply.
Interestingly, Sony no longer depends on Qualcomm's fast charging function, but on Power Delivery technology.

Sony Xperia 1 – Technical specifications

Dimensions:Weight:Battery Size:Screen Size:Screen Technology:Screen:Front camera:Rear camera:Flash:Android version:RAM:Internal memory:Removable Memory:Chipset:Number of cores:Speed:Connectivity:
167 x 72 x 8.2 mm
178 gr
3330 mAh
6.5 inches
POLED
3840 x 1644 pixels (643 ppi)
8 megapixels
12 megapixels
LED
9 – Foot
6 GB
128 GB
micro SD
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
8
2.8 GHz
HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM, Bluetooth 5.0

Final verdict

Sony Xperia 1 is an exceptional smart phone. This applies not only to its new expanded format, despite being particularly practical, but also to its daily performance, the updated software, the 4K screen and its triple camera versatile. Xperia 1 has not shown so many weaknesses and does not disappoint fans, but also new customers, especially those who do not care about the wireless charging and audio jack.

Probably the price is not a good reason to buy it immediately, but you just have to wait for a good offer over the following months.

Sony Xperia 1

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. (tagsToTranslate) Sony Xperia 1 (t) Smartphone (t) Android (t) MWC19 (t) Hands-on (t) Price (t) Analysis (t) Availability (t) Specifications (t) 21: 9 (t) launching

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