Thankfully, Sony at least put together a sturdy, lightweight body to appreciate. The phone's frame is made of metal and joins near-seamlessly to the two slightly rounded Gorilla Glass 6 panes on the front and back. It's a good thing Sony went with that durable glass here, too — as sleek and as well-put-together the Xperia 1 is, it's easily one of the most slippery phones I've used this year (only Apple's iPhones skitter to the floor with more regularity). So far, though, the Xperia's body still looks impeccable. Just be warned that this phone seems particularly well-suited to righties. All of the buttons (including the dedicated camera key) run along the Xperia's right edge. The fingerprint sensor lives there, too, placed just so it's difficult to reach with my left index finger.
The Xperia 1's sleek, slim design does have one big drawback: There's little room left for a battery. Bear in mind, this phone has to push more pixels around than any other on the market right now, so it's little surprise that the 3,330mAh battery here doesn't impress. I've been averaging between three and four hours of screen-on time — that's on the lower end of what feels acceptable for a phone this expensive. Expect about a single day's use out of the Xperia 1, if that.
As objectively weird as the Xperia 1 is in some ways, the stuff that actually makes it run are all too common. Inside this sleek frame, you'll find a Snapdragon 855 chipset with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage (though you can expand that with microSD cards as large as 512GB). If that sounds familiar, well, you've been paying attention — most other premium smartphones released this year have used a similar configuration, and as a result, they're all similarly fast.
Admittedly, I wondered going into this whether the Xperia 1 could struggle in driving such a high-resolution display. Nope! I've personally never noticed any stuttering or lag while playing games and whipping through apps. Sure, your experience might vary a bit, but we've already reached the point where a) Qualcomm has a near-monopoly on high-end smartphone chipsets and b) they're fast enough to handle just about everyone's daily routines. The surprisingly clean build of Android 9 Pie certainly helps, too. Sony used to really go heavy with its skins, but it gave the Xperia 1 a cleaner, more focused vibe.