Sony Xperia 1 Hands-on, Quick Review: Make Xperia Great Again

by John Nieves  February 25, 2019

We go hands-on with the Xperia 1!

Sony officially took the wraps off of their new flagship a few hours ago in MWC, but instead of a Xperia XZ4, we get the Xperia 1. Sony’s new naming convention signifies a fresh new start for the company’s mobile line which has trailed behind its competitors in both design, features and adoption.

The Xperia 1 hopes to change all of that.

Throwback to OmniBalance

Along with the name, Sony has also shed the rounded, organic design cues of its previous flagships, opting to go with a more slab-sided approach this time around. We can’t help but compare the current design to Sony’s OmniBalance philosophy of old, updated for 2019.

The phone is very narrow, and Gorilla Glass sandwiches the front and rear of the chassis, reinforced by a color-matched metal chassis in the middle. The phone will be made available in different colors: black, grey, white and purple.


The Xperia 1 is physically a very tall phone, thanks to its 6.5-inch, 4K-capable HDR OLED display. Because of how tall the display is, the aspect resolution of the Xperia 1 is 21:9, which coincidentally is the same aspect ratio that most movies are shot in.

Sony’s insistence on a cinematic aspect ratio isn’t surprising, considering they’ve applied a lot of tech from their Bravia line of TVs in the display of the Xperia 1: Creator Mode kicks in when the phone detects you’re watching compatible content which tweaks colors and other settings as close as possible to what the creator intended. In short, if you’re a cinema buff that cares about how a movie is shown to you, you’ll definitely love the Xperia 1’s display.

The Xperia 1 doesn’t use fancy pop-up cameras or a notch to house its 8-megapixel front camera and instead relies on a good ol’ bezel to keep it and its relevant sensors hidden. The bottom and side bezels on the Xperia 1 are pretty small, and while the phone doesn’t have a nearly bezel-less panel like most of its flagship peers it’s still a great looking phone, and honestly those bezels kind of disappear when you start watching movies on that gorgeous display.

If you’re a camera snob, you’ll probably appreciate what the Xperia 1 brings to the table. The Xperia 1 is Sony’s first phone with a triple camera setup, and all three sport 12-megapixel sensors. The difference here are the focal lengths on the lenses: one has a 26mm wide lens, one has a 52mm telephoto lens and one has a 16mm ultrawide lens. Both the wide and telephoto sensors also have OIS for blur-free shots.

Aside from the triple-lens setup, the Xperia 1 uses a mobile version of Sony’s image processing technology Bionz X that it uses for its cameras. The Xperia 1 also has eye-tracking AF built into its cameras that allows you to shoot 10 frames per second, as well as the ability to shoot 4K video in 24 FPS and apply alpha profiles at capture without degrading image quality.

Inside the phone beats Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 processor which is quickly becoming the processor of choice for flagships nowadays, along with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage.

Sony’s Xperia 1 definitely feels like a beastly phone for people who like watching and making movies, though it’s still unclear if Sony’s top-tier model will re-ignite interest for the Xperia line. The Xperia 1 is priced at 849 British pounds, which comes around to 57.6K Php in our currency. It’s not clear if the Xperia 1 will officially arrive in our stores.

Sony Xperia 1 Specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor
  • Adreno 640 GPU
  • 6GB RAM
  • 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED Triluminos Display, 21:9 aspect ratio, Gorilla Glass 5
  • 128GB of expandable storage
  • 4G, LTE
  • Dual SIM
  • Triple rear camera: 12-megapixel f/1.6 26mm wide camera with Dual Pixel and OIS; 12-megapixel f/2.4 52mm telephoto lens with OIS and 2x optical zoom; 12-megapixel f/2.4 16mm ultra-wide angle camera; EIS, PDAF, Laser AF, LED flash, 4K HDR recording, 960FPS Full HD
  • 8-megapixel f/2.0 front camera with bokeh, beauty effects, EIS
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC
  • Fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C, Wireless Charging, IP68 rating, Hi-Res Audio
  • 3330mAh Battery with USB-PD quick charging
  • Android 9.0 Pie

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