Sony Xperia 1
The new Xperia 1 is a powerful, ambitious smartphone that draws on Sony’s expertise with different kinds of hardware. That might sound like a winning formula, but the reality of living with a super tall, super high-res device falls well short of ideal. Yes, watching movies on the Xperia 1 is fantastic (assuming your content fills the screen correctly). And the triple camera system, while finicky, will produce some impressive photos. Unfortunately, the phone’s battery life is middling at best, and the benefits of a 4K screen in a device this small can be hard to pick out unless you’re really paying attention. Ultimately, the Xperia 1 has some very specific charms, but most people should probably look elsewhere for a more complete package.
- Excellent performance
- 4K screen is beautiful
- Great for split-screen multitasking
- Underwhelming battery life
- 4K is totally unnecessary on smartphones
- Triple camera needs more polish
- Critic Reviews (10)
- User Reviews (18)
- 80AVERAGE CRITIC SCORE10 ReviewsZDNet80Superb cinematic 4K screen, but battery life falls shortThe Xperia 1 stands out with its 21:9 4K OLED screen, which is quite simply superb and the outstanding feature of Sony's flagship smartphone.Pocket-Lint80Sony Xperia 1 review: Breaking new ground?An interesting phone with a 21:9 aspect ratio 4K display that lends itself watching movies, which is where this Xperia sets itself apart from the masses. There's plenty of power and enough elsewhere to keep this phone competitive, but the camera app is muddled and in general this Sony struggles to lift itself to the top flight of flagship phone pile.The Verge70Tall Phone Falls ShortThe Xperia 1 is a really nice phone, the kind that makes you think maybe Sony shouldn’t lower its ambitions in mobile. But for $950, I expect more. You should, too.Android Central90Sony Xperia 1 review: An extra-tall orderThe Xperia 1 nails all of the essentials, with blisteringly fast performance and three excellent cameras. The extra-tall display takes some getting used to, but it makes widescreen movies more immersive, and its 4K HDR technology is unmatched.TechRadar80Sony's new movie powerhouseThe Sony Xperia 1 is a solid improvement on most of Sony’s recent smartphones – it has a few mis-steps and annoyances, but it’ll be of particularly interest to movie buffs or budding film-makers.GSM Arena80Sony Xperia 1 reviewWe have no doubts anyone who buys the Xperia 1 will be as happy as we are with it. The Xperia 1 is priced like just about any other flagship smartphone at launch - it's not cheap by any margin but its price will only get better from here on making it a better deal down the line. But even as things stand right now, we think it deserves serious consideration by anyone looking for a high-end smartphone.Digital Trends60Sony Xperia 1 reviewThe Sony Xperia 1’s cinematic 4K screen is fantastic. The rest? Not so muchTrustedReviews80Sony Xperia 1 ReviewThe best Sony phone in years and a unique approach that should deservedly win fans.Expert Reviews80Sony's best smartphone is also its most expensiveSony’s Xperia 1 is the first flagship smartphone with a 21:9 screen, but you’ll find a handful of interesting features if you dig deeper.Stuff100Sony Xperia 1 reviewPricey, brave, excellent - the Xperia 1 is a sensational smartphone and a film enthusiast's dream.
- 84AVERAGE USER SCORE18 ReviewsMaurizio90December 20, 2019Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!Really happy with the phone. Does most things fantastically, only let down with camera and battery life.Stephen60December 20, 2019Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!Not as good as its predecessors!Some apps behave and display differently, especially Google (attached news info is rubbish!!) and Google MAPS. MAPS keeps minimising and can't find out how keep it full screen whilst in use....nothing in the settings!!!! Very disappointed!!Seems some changes have been made without much thought.Eko40December 20, 2019Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!bad finger print sensor, display brightness need above 50% to make you comfortable, update software without changelog and only google security update without any improvement, the price too expensiveDurm100December 20, 2019Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!Super phone, absolutely love it! Probably best Sony phone ever.Only one minor problem is the fingerprint scanner not perfect, other than that I can't fault it!Victor100December 20, 2019Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!Best phone everDean90December 20, 2019Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!Sony Xperia is a great phone that can handle most tasks everyday while reliable the battery can be seen to be on the short size, while only lasting a full day with moderate use, however can drain quickly with heavy use, if you plan to use it as a gps in a long trip, make sure you take a charger. Call quality is great though sometimes the loudspeaker quality can be hit and miss depending on how well people can hear. Camera quality is pretty good, though the ai scene recognition is pretty decent seeing and setting the right modes most of the time the triple camera setup covers most of all shooting scenarios well, however being able to set the modes manually feels missed especially the low light mode, night mode, portrait and macro modes. As sometimes it sees food as a macro mode and the selfie shooter is good enough though could be better.Sony Xperia 1 is overall a great phone for 2019 flagship and they've recently updated to android 10 so finding them on sale is worth a consideration.... Shame that you need to look online for AustraliansWilliam90December 20, 2019Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!I really love the phone. The display is lovely and the aspect ratio is much more useful than I expected. The only things I do not like about are the inconsistent results from the fingerprint scanner and the location of the power button as I will accidentally put it to sleep when trying to adjust the volume. Everything else is near perfect.Kuro90December 20, 2019Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadgetaltsuperego70December 20, 2019Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!We need a new compact. This is too bigDominic90December 19, 2019Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!I've been extremely impressed so far with the Xperia 1, every element has been a pleasant experience and is one of the most enjoyable phones I've owned to use.There are a couple of downsides to the form factor, it doesn't always fit into every pocket and you certainly know if you've got it on you or not. And the lack of headphone jack is somewhat annoying, although that's mainly down to the fact that my car only has a cabled connection rather than Bluetooth.When it comes to using the phone, I've found the battery life to be excellent, I've yet to kill the phone before the end of the day and usually have well over 50% left when putting on to charge in the evening.The camera is also very good, with some excellent shots being produced and the flexibility of the multi camera system is inspiring, making me want to take pictures with my phone again, rather than my DSLR. Having a physical shutter button also helps with the feeling that this is a proper camera. The default app is good but has too much functionality hidden away and it isn't obvious always how to get at things. I prefer shooting in manual but have not been too dissatisfied with the auto results. The inability to save Raw files in the default app is also as a disappointment.The screen is fantastic and watching any video on it is a pleasure. The colours of very good and the tone looks natural and balanced. The speakers are fine enough but you need headphones for proper enjoyment. I can't say that watching non 21:9 footage bothers me, you quickly don't notice the black bars either side and with no notch of in-display camera means you are able to enjoy full screen video without distraction.The only minor gripes are the finger print sensor only really works with the right hand thumb, and without a case it is quite slippy.I would absolutely recommend this phone to anyone, it's quick, there isn't too much bloatware, it's already been updated to Android 10, has one of the best multimedia experiences on any phone I've used in a long time and has a camera that can get really good shots in almost any condition.Adam90December 19, 2019Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!Love the phone, great wide screen is brilliant for games, top of the range processer means everything runs smoothly and easily. Watching videos on lunch break at work is great, use the phone all day and don't need to charge until night time, charge is very fast and also battery care has left the battery working as new months down the line. Sound is always through Bluetooth so the lack of a jack or odly placed bottom speaker is not a real problem. Camera isn't great in dark conditions but on all other fronts it's very good.jonathangao90December 19, 2019Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!I've been a loyal Xperia user since Xperia X10i. As a big Sony fan, Xperia 1 is just a device of dreams. It has all the stuff I ever wanted: 4K HDR OLED display, gorgeous design with purple color, triple camera setup, side-mounted fingerprint sensor, good ole camera shutter button...and the embodiment of One Sony. It did not disappoint.First, the 4K HDR OLED display is just stunning. The 21:9 aspect ratio makes it easy to hold and great for browsing content and watching movies. Watching Baby Yoda in its native aspect ratio is such a joy (The Mandalorian is in 21:9). The color accuracy result from a pro review site got a staggering 0.8 DeltaE2000. Probably no other mobile displays can match the viewing experience of this device. Remember to turn on Dolby Atmos if you are trying to watch something with the internal speakers. But there is a drawback. Screen brightness might be sacrificed a bit for the pixel density of the 4K resolution. Sometimes, I had trouble reading under the sunlight.Camera: After I got my Xperia 1, I used my Sony Alpha mirrorless less and less. It has become my daily shooter. The flexibility of the triple camera can help create so many possibilities. Eye AF produces stunning results. The lens correction works particularly well for the superwide lens. The detail preserved in both daylight and low light is very good, which is a giant step up from previous generations. If you are into video shooting, you will love the CinemaPro app, especially for the focus options you can have there. However, some old problems are still present for Xperia 1. The loading time after taking a picture can be long at times. Switch lenses can be more straightforward. The algorithm-driven camera features found on Pixel and Huawei are missing here, which is a shame. Sony being the biggest supplier of camera sensors have so much potential is this space. Xperia 1 is definitely heading to the right direction. And I hope Sony can have another giant step up.Miscellaneous stuff: Performance is a given with SD855. Software and UI is as smooth as it can be. I love the close-to-stock Android experience. Android 10 update is already here for Xperia 1 and 5. Sony has been great at software updates. It can't beat Pixel for sure, but it is much better than other manufacturers like Samsung. Side sense is a feature you will learn to appreciate once you get the gist of it. The slide-down-to-go-back gesture is particularly useful at any situation. Durability is also a given with IP68 rating and Gorilla Glass 6. The fingerprint sensor placement is perfect. However, success rate is lower than my Xperia XZ Premium.Overall, Xperia 1 is not just a great phone, a mobile cinema, a versatile point-and-shoot camera, it is also an industrial design masterpiece. At 7xx USD price point, there isn't much argument to not recommend this phone any more. It stands out in the smartphone market not only with its 21:9 long form factor, but most importantly - its uniqueness.Ameer70December 19, 2019Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!I think Xperia 1 can benefit greatly from a major software update, especially for its camera.The dark mode from Android 10 is missing in certain places like camera settings, Google search, contacts, etcI struggle to print using direct WiFi printer due to software issueI had an issue with touch ID when weather was cold outsideBiggest complaint I have is the unreliable GPS navigation, on Google maps it gets me the wrong direction for example, the device fails to accurately pinpoint my location and I got lost multiple times abroad while on vacation, not cool Sony, not coolBattery is weak, it doesn't last a day on heavy use, also lack of wireless charging is unacceptable for a flagship deviceOn the bright side, I really love the gorgeous 4k OLED panel, perfect for watching movies, though sound system on Xperia is mehPerformance is top notch, very good build quality, feels good in the hand, and I appreciate native support for dual shock 4Things to improve:Make it display a bit widerBigger batteryBetter sound systemBetter software for camera systemOffer trade inBring more PlayStation support, for example Sony used to offer special PlayStation mobile store with awesome games and apps exclusive for Xperia, bring it back and make the device a proper gaming handset, it's ridiculous that Sony owns PlayStation and no one thought of bringing native PlayStation emulator on Xperia handset?! Really? It'll be an excellent selling point, make it work SonyAlso, if Sony could get us a bigger phone to make better use of the 4k panel that would be greatAnd please do something about your camera Sony, why isn't 5 axis stabilization on Xperia anymore? Sony is still holding back on camera tech for its Xperia, again unacceptableel_sur90December 19, 2019Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!Reception and Call quality: stellar, although I wish the loud speaker peaked at higher volume when making callsDisplay: amazing sharpness and clarity, but would like for it to get dimmer at nightForm Factor: love it, watching movies and reading articles/e-books is amazing on this deviceEcosystem - Sony provides regular updates with security patches, and my phone was already updated to Android 10. 'Nuff said.Battery - good, not great. Should last for a day with average use.Cameras - great, but not top of the pack.Durability - can definitely take on on the chin. I've dropped this thing several times on concrete with no case, and not a scratch. Also, I've used this device underwater in the pool to shoot video several times - works like a charm.Seriously, this phone is worthy of a look. Sony did an amazing job on this one.Patric80December 19, 2019Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!A great phone in many ways. Beautiful screen and great sound . Nice software and system . Fast and smooth and easy to use . Camera is good but not great , no quite as good as my old P30 pro camera. Battery life is on usually lasts the day for me. The major down side for me is the fingerprint scanner which seems to work half the time and drives me mad the other half. Overall a good phone that with a slightly better camera and fingerprint scanner could have been a great phoneSteven70December 19, 2019Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition. - EngadgetAvril100December 19, 2019Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!I put my phones through a lot of abuse. I game on them, I play music, I watch videos, I browse the internet, I go on social media, I take (A LOT) of photos, I make video calls - everything. This phone is powerful enough to not crash on me, even as I toggle between a game and other apps.The 16:9 screen suits me perfectly. It allows me to do things on my phone which I would, in the past, only do on my tablet or PC.The camera is great. Photos are stunning, even on auto. The battery has a longer life that what is being said in this review. My husband uses his phone for GPS for at least 15 hours a day. This eventually depletes the battery, but that is to be expected. It really depends on how you manage your apps, background activity, settings, etc.As an end user, I find it thoughtless and offensive that someone would say, "4K is totally unnecessary on smartphones." People use mobile phones for different reasons. I would purchase a device simply because it creates a better mobile gaming experience for me. So, based on my needs, yes, 4K is more than necessary.Ian100December 19, 2019Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!So, I pre-ordered this phone. Pros:It's display is phenomenal. Literal the best I've used. (And I have had quite a few phones)Fingerprint reader as long as you are right handed, is very handy.The little bits they added to the phone like side sense is handy and useful for multitasking. Updates are consistent about every three months it seems. Android 10 already.On the software side, it is essentially vanilla Android with a few more modules and driver's. Still feels snappy and fresh.Speakers have crisp sound.The tall phone helps me read things more fluidly without having to scroll as much.Battery lasts all day, I use it decently heavily for books and videos...Battery care on the phone is awesome, mechanism that keeps battery at 90% through the night so your better doesn't stay at 100% as much ( which is bad for the battery's longevity)Cons:It's speaker sound is a bit on the not loud side.Every once in a while, someone will say they can't hear me when I hear them perfectly fine.Wish the camera has more mp but it still takes a decent picture. I am not really a camera specialist so don't really know if it's me or not