Sony Xperia 1 Review: Unique approach that should deservedly win fans

Updated: Jul 10, 2019, 16:56 IST | mid-day online correspondent |

Sony has always tried to do something different and has mostly succeeded, but what does this latest flagship smartphone has to offer?

Screen grab from official video of Sony Xperia X1
Screen grab from official video of Sony Xperia X1

The Sony Xperia 1 isn't a mainstream smartphone and it certainly isn't for everyone. Sony doesn't follow the rules set out by Samsung and Apple. Sony focuses on a different audience and the loyal fans are mostly impressed by what the company has to offer.

Sony has always tried to do something different – and mostly succeeded. However, what does Sony's latest handset has to offer? Let's find out.


Sony has always preferred the 4K screen on its premium devices, however, Sony Xperia 1 has OLED screens that provides better contrast perfect blacks and generally richer colours.

However, With 6.5- inch display, Sony Xperia 1 fails to offer better viewing experience as compared to other Android phones like OnePlus 7 pro and Samsung Galaxy S10 even while playing 4k video.


While the tall 21:9 display has its own benefits, it's virtually impossible to move your thumb from the bottom to the top. There is a sheer number of buttons along the device’s right side: camera shutter, fingerprint sensor, lock key and a long volume rocker.

Along the top are a SIM and microSD slot, while the USB port for charging sits along the bottom edge.

It’s a well-built phone that has soft, curved edges and a light body. However, the device is less delicate, too: I’ve already dropped the Xperia 1 a couple of times and it’s barely picked up a scratch. Drop the iPhone XS once and you’ll certainly see some shards of glass.


Sony has heavily tweaked its Android skin and device runs smoothly while multitasking. A number of Sony feature has been brought from the previous Xperia XZ3 flagship. Sony Xperia 1 allows you to tap the sides of the phone to initiate several actions including a pop-up app menu and to shrink the home screen into a one-handed mode. However, in practice, it doesn't work properly.

Sony has also introduced the swipe gestures to pull down the notification panel. However, users can switch back to the traditional set of three Android soft-keys as well.


Sony Xperia 1 comes with a 12-megapixel camera that has a bright f/1.6 aperture and a 52mm option for 2x optical zoom. The device has a triple-camera system that offers photographic firepower to compete with its flagship rivals.

The Xperia 1’s triple-camera system gives it the photographic firepower to compete with its flagship rivals, although it doesn’t quite blow them out of the water. A handy 16mm wide-angle lens for squeezing that soaring architectural masterpiece into your shot.

The Xperia 1’s strengths are shooting pleasingly natural daylight shots, impressive portraits and stabilised 4K video. However, the smartphone lacks night mode for getting usable results when the lights are down.


While all the next-gen mobile network are gearing up for 5G the Xperia 1 is plain-old 4G LTE capable. However, the smartphone is high-end in other ways. It comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset backed by 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage (expandable via microSD).

There’s no headphone jack since the device is enabled with the Dolby Atmos speakers which offer a good hit of sound. Call quality is strong, too, and the mics do an excellent job of cancelling out excess background wind and noise.


While many of the 2019 flagship phones come with huge batteries, the Xperia 1 is backed by a 3300mAh battery – especially when there’s that 4K display to power. The battery drains while you watch the content you watch on the display.

The smartphone also doesn't come with wireless charging or fast charging. However, Sony included a USB PD standard, which allows the users to fast-charge the phone with any number of USB-C chargers. A full charge takes around 90 minutes.


Apart from better viewing experience as compared to other Android phones, Sony Xperia 1 is the best Sony phone in years and a unique approach that should deservedly win fans.

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