Review of the smartphone Sony Xperia 1: long, but thin

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⇣ Content

You can endlessly watch how fire burns, how water flows, and how Sony’s mobile division is changing the concept of its flagship smartphones. On the one hand, we all love variety very much, on the other hand, everything looks as if Sony completely lacks any tactics that the company would adhere to. Here we had a wonderful Xperia Z5, and then once — and a year later, the Xperia X Performance comes out, completely different from the previous flagship, and in general — frankly — faceless. A year later, with the release of the Xperia XZ, the concept changed again, and these changes were received extremely positively. A year later, the company did not change anything, so the XZ1 was perceived as a small update, but the XZ2 was again transformed beyond recognition. Instead of a strict rectangular shape and a monolithic metal structure, we got the most streamlined glossy case — the result of another change in concept. And if earlier these gestures implied a change in model indices, then last year this did not happen. Too difficult, isn’t it? Of course, this year we were waiting for another rethinking of what a flagship smartphone should be.

  Sony Xperia 1, official portrait

Sony Xperia 1, official portrait

In my opinion, the Sony Xperia 1 is most reminiscent of the flagships of yesteryear with the Premium prefix. Remember Xperia Z5 Premium, Xperia XZ Premium? Those were heavily pumped flagships with enlarged displays and 4K resolution. In the flagship of 2019, we again have a 4K screen, and this time it is especially thin and long, with an aspect ratio of 21:9. But, frankly, this fact should interest us much less than the fact that Sony is finally using cameras with sane resolution. 12 megapixels (not 23, for example) is what the doctor ordered. There is hope that the camera will now be able to compete with the giants. If not with Huawei and Google, then at least with Apple and Samsung. But otherwise, from a purely technical point of view, we have a typical flagship Android smartphone of the 2019 model in the best sense of the word.


Sony Xperia 1 Huawei P30 Pro Samsung Galaxy S10+ Apple iPhone Xs Max One Plus 7 Pro
Display 6.5 inches, OLED, 3840 × 1644 dots (21:9), 643 ppi, capacitive multi-touch 6.47 inches, OLED, 2340 × 1080 dots (19.5:9), 398 ppi, capacitive multi-touch 6.4 inches, Super AMOLED, 1440 × 3040 (19:9), 522 ppi, capacitive multi-touch 6.5″, Super AMOLED, 2688 × 1242 (19.5:9), 458 ppi, capacitive multi-touch, TrueTone technology 6.67 inches, AMOLED, 3120 × 1440 pixels (19.5:9), 516 ppi, capacitive multi-touch
Protective glass Corning Gorilla Glass 6 No information Corning Gorilla Glass 6 No information Corning Gorilla Glass 5
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 855: eight cores (1 × Kryo 485 Gold, 2.84 GHz + 3 × Kryo 485 Gold, 2.42 GHz + 4 × Kryo 485 Silver, 1.8 GHz) HiSilicon Kirin 980: eight cores (2 x ARM Cortex A76 @ 2.6GHz + 2 x ARM Cortex A76 @ 1.92GHz + 4 x ARM Cortex A55 @ 1.8GHz); HiAI architecture Samsung Exynos 9820 Octa: eight cores (2 × Mongoose M4, 2.73 GHz + 2 × Cortex-A75, 2.31 GHz + 4 × Cortex-A55, 1.95 GHz) Apple A12 Bionic: six cores (2 × Vortex + 4 × Tempest) Qualcomm Snapdragon 855: eight cores (1 × Kryo 485 Gold, 2.84 GHz + 3 × Kryo 485 Gold, 2.42 GHz + 4 × Kryo 485 Silver, 1.8 GHz
Graphics controller Adreno 640 ARM Mali-G76 MP10, 720 MHz ARM Mali-G76 MP12 Apple GPU (4 cores) Adreno 640
RAM 6 GB 8 GB 8/12 GB 4 GB 6/8/12 GB
Flash memory 64/128 GB 128/256/512 GB 128/512/1024 GB 64/256/512 GB 128/256 GB
Memory card support Yes (microSD up to 512 GB) Yes (Huawei nanoSD only) Yes (microSD up to 1 TB) Not Not
Connectors USB Type-C USB Type-C USB Type-C, mini-jack 3.5 mm Lightning USB Type-C
SIM cards Two nano-SIMs Two nano-SIMs Two nano-SIMs One nano-SIM and one eSIM Two nano-SIMs
Cellular 2G GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz CDMA 800 GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz CDMA 800 / 1900 GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
Cellular 3G HSDPA 800 / 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 MHz HSDPA 800 / 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 MHz HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 MHz HSDPA 800 / 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1800 / 1900 / 2100 MHz HSDPA 800 / 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
Cellular 4G LTE Cat. 19 (up to 1600/150 Mbps), bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, 26, 28, 29, 32, 38, 39, 40, 41, 46, 66 LTE Cat. 21 (up to 1400/150 Mbps), bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20, 26, 28, 34, 38, 39, 40 LTE Cat. 20 (up to 2000/150 Mbps), bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 32, 38, 39, 40, 41, 66 LTE Cat. 16 (1024/50Mbps): bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 29, 30, 32, 34 , 38, 39, 40, 41, 66, 71 LTE Cat. 19 (up to 1600/150 Mbps), bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 26, 28, 29, 32, 38, 39, 40, 41, 66
WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0
NFC There is There is There is Yes (Apple Pay) There is
Navigation GPS (dual band), A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo GPS (dual band), A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo, QZSS GPS (dual band), A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou, SBAS
Sensors Light, proximity, accelerometer/gyroscope, barometer, magnetometer (digital compass), color spectrum sensor Light, proximity, accelerometer/gyroscope, magnetometer (digital compass), IR sensor Light, proximity, accelerometer/gyroscope, barometer, magnetometer (digital compass), heart rate sensor Light, proximity, accelerometer/gyroscope, magnetometer (digital compass), barometer Light, proximity, accelerometer/gyroscope, magnetometer (digital compass), barometer
The fingerprint scanner Yes, on the right side Yes, on screen Yes, on screen Not Yes, on screen
Main camera Triple module, 12 + 12 + 12 MP, ƒ / 1.6 + ƒ / 2.4 + ƒ / 2.4, phase detection autofocus, LED flash, five-axis optical stabilization in the main and telemodules Quad module, 40 + 20 + 8 MP (periscopic) + TOF, ƒ / 1.6 + ƒ / 2.2 + ƒ / 3.4, phase detection autofocus, optical stabilization, dual LED flash Triple module: 12 MP with variable aperture ƒ / 1.5 / 2.4 + 12 MP, ƒ / 2.4 + 16 MP, ƒ / 2.2, phase detection autofocus, optical stabilization in the main and telemodules, LED flash Dual module: 12 MP, ƒ / 1.8 + 12 MP, ƒ / 2.4, autofocus, four-LED flash, optical stabilizer in both cameras Triple module, 48 + 8 + 16 MP, ƒ / 1.6 + ƒ / 2.4 + ƒ / 2.2, phase detection autofocus, dual LED flash
Front-camera 8 MP, ƒ/2.0, fixed focus, no flash 32 MP, ƒ/2.0, fixed focus, no flash Dual module: 10 + 8 MP, ƒ / 1.9 + ƒ / 2.2, autofocus with the main camera 7 MP, ƒ/2.2, no autofocus, no flash 16 MP, ƒ/2.0, fixed focus, retractable design
Nutrition Non-removable battery: 12.65 Wh (3330 mAh, 3.8 V) Non-removable battery: 15.96 Wh (4200 mAh, 3.8 V) Non-removable battery: 15.58 Wh (4100 mAh, 3.8 V) Non-removable battery: 12.06 Wh (3174 mAh, 3.8 V) Non-removable battery: 15.2 Wh (4000 mAh, 3.8 V)
The size 167×72×8.2mm 158×73.4×8.4mm 157.6×74.1×7.8mm 157.5×77.4×7.7mm 162.6×75.9×8.8mm
Weight 178 grams 192 grams 175 grams 208 grams 206 grams
Hull protection IP65/IP68 IP68 IP68 IP68 There is no data
Operating system Android 9.0 Pie Android 9.0 Pie, EMUI shell Android 9.0 Pie, native shell iOS 12 Android 9.0 Pie, OxygenOS 9.5.8
Current price 720$ $620 for 256 GB version $720 for 8/128 GB version, $1220 for 12/1024 GB version From $720 for 64GB version to $1020 for 512GB version from $520 for the 8/256 GB version to $620 for the 12/256 GB version

⇡#Design, ergonomics, software

The screen with an aspect ratio of 21:9 could not but affect the aspect ratio of the body — the current Sony flagship is noticeably longer than most competitors. It would seem that the first reason to be skeptical about the Xperia 1. In practice, no disaster happened — I would even say that the smartphone is convenient in everyday use due to its small width. The difference of half a centimeter in width with the iPhone Xs Max seems just huge, even the difference of two millimeters down from the Samsung Galaxy S10 + is well felt.

But perhaps the most striking impression when first meeting with the Xperia 1 leaves the screen. We will talk about the matrix technology and test results separately, but now you should pay attention to the complete absence of “cutouts”, “bangs”, “mono-brows” and other vicious inclusions on the screen. In their quest to copy Apple, manufacturers seem to have forgotten that no one really needs this cutout. Let’s face it: this was initially a bad idea, albeit introducing a new competitive discipline — «who has a smaller neckline.» Sony can hardly compete with Samsung, Huawei or Apple in terms of sales and market share right now, but the company does not lose its temper and continues to ignore the dubious trend. Very commendable.

The smartphone is presented in four colors: black, white, gray and purple. Purple smartphone, as you can see, we got for the test. The case, of course, is completely glossy — rather slippery and easily soiled. All flagships are guilty of this today, even Apple had to abandon the metal back panel in order to support wireless charging, as the market demanded. At Sony, everything went exactly according to this scenario, but for some reason the Xperia 1 does not support wireless charging, although it was in past devices — for example, in the Xperia XZ3.

Both in front and behind the glass is not simple, but protected — Gorilla Glass of the sixth generation. And the perimeter of the case is occupied by a thin and the same easily soiled metal frame with barely noticeable slots for better antenna performance. The fingerprint scanner is again on the side, as in the classic models of the Xperia Z series and Xperia XZ / XZ1. It is located exactly in the center, which is very convenient given the increased length of the smartphone — the thumb of the right hand naturally rests on the sensor, and it seems that unlocking happens by itself, without any action on your part. The pros and cons of such a solution have long been known: you can easily unlock your smartphone when it lies on the table with the screen up, but any left-hander is doomed to suffering, that is, to use the right hand to unlock it.

In addition to the fingerprint sensor, on the right side are all the other buttons: volume control, power and a dedicated camera button — an integral attribute of Sony smartphones. You can argue for a long time about its necessity in past models, but in the case of the Xperia 1, the button has an undeniable plus — pressing it reduces the risk of the device falling. The case, let me remind you, is very slippery and rather heavy — it will be more reliable to hold it with your thumbs from below than to reach for the button on the screen.

Another nice little thing is the ability to open the SIM card tray without using a special paper clip. The plastic plug on the upper end of the case can be easily pry off with a fingernail. And oddly enough, this approach did not affect the waterproofness of the device in any way — Xperia 1 complies with IP65 / IP68 standards. This means that it can be kept under water at a depth of one and a half meters for half an hour, and nothing will happen to the smartphone. And here it is worth recalling that it was Sony who first introduced the fashion for such case protection, which was then followed by all other manufacturers, including Apple.

The operating system uses pure Android 9.0 Pie with minimal modifications from Sony. As such, there is no interface shell here, there are only a few pre-installed programs and games, as well as special settings for quick access to frequently used applications and a two-window mode. Something similar has long been implemented by Apple on the iPad, as well as in smartphones from other manufacturers, but it seems to me that the aspect ratio of 21:9 is conducive to parallel work with two applications especially.

And there are no restrictions in this. Want to read a book and look at Google Maps at the same time? Please. Watch YouTube and weather forecast? No problem. There are quite logical features of use. For example, when the keyboard is displayed on the screen, one of the application windows shrinks and becomes almost useless. In the screen settings, you can set three pairs of applications for quick activation through the Side Sense menu. Yes, this is a new phenomenon in Sony smartphones, vaguely reminiscent of the Edge Sense feature in recent HTC smartphones (U11+, U12+).

The right and left edges of the screen are sensitive to touch — this brings up a separate menu, which has quick access to some applications, settings, as well as to the mentioned pairs of applications in dual-window mode. In the same place, by the way, you can select arbitrary programs for such a display, but it will take you a little more time.

It should be noted that the Xperia 1 especially has a lot of display settings. And now I mean not only quick access to Side Sense and the ability to run two applications in parallel. Even the active area itself on the sides of the screen can be changed to prevent accidental triggering: position it higher, lower, make it longer or shorter. It is clear that in most cases all this will be adjusted once and for a lifetime, but still such care is pleasant.

⇡ # Display and sound

The screen of the Xperia 1 is a point of particular pride for Sony. This is an OLED-matrix with a diagonal of 6.5 inches and a resolution of 3840 × 1644 pixels, without notches and other cutouts for the speaker or front camera. The pixel density is very high — 643 ppi. Outside — tempered glass Gorilla Glass 6 with high-quality oleophobic coating. The viewing angles are maximum, otherwise it simply could not be. Flagship smartphones with IPS-matrices are gradually becoming a thing of the past, and even in the middle price segment, OLED / AMOLED is becoming more and more. Well, we can only rejoice at this, because, other things being equal, it also has a good effect on battery life.

The display always runs at native resolution, so the picture remains equally crisp whether you’re watching a video or browsing through settings, and your phone doesn’t go into 1080p mode to save power, as it once did on the Xperia Z5 Premium. However, it was not without tricks at all. So, for example, in the manual mode of screen brightness control, you will not set the maximum possible level, the maximum is achieved only in automatic mode in bright ambient light.

  Maximum display brightness of Sony Xperia 1 in professional mode

Maximum display brightness of Sony Xperia 1 in professional mode

Measured maximum brightness level is 392 cd/m2 — quite a familiar indicator for an OLED matrix. Exactly the same value was shown by the Samsung Galaxy S10+. Curiously, the maximum brightness differs slightly in the standard and professional display modes, in the standard it is slightly lower — 358 cd / m2. There are no questions about the operation of automatic brightness control — it works clearly and smoothly. There is no feeling of too smooth growth when, for example, you leave a dark entrance to a street with a bright sun.

There are quite a few screen settings in the Sony Xperia 1. You can not only choose one of two color display modes (Standard Mode and Creator Mode), but also separately adjust the white balance for each, turn on the night mode, which makes the picture warmer and more pleasing to the eye, as well as adjust the font size and control mode of one hand. By the way, the latter can be launched from the Side Sense menu, which is quite convenient.

We carried out all laboratory measurements in two modes — Standard Mode and Creator Mode. The latter mode in words is characterized by accurate color reproduction and supports the wide color space of ITU-R BT.2020, as well as DCI-P3.

Sony Xperia 1, gamma in standard color mode. The yellow line is the Xperia 1 performance, the dotted line is the reference gamma

  Sony Xperia 1, color gamut in Standard Mode.  Gray triangle - sRGB coverage, white triangle - Xperia 1 coverage

Sony Xperia 1, color gamut in Standard Mode. Gray triangle — sRGB coverage, white triangle — Xperia 1 coverage

  Sony Xperia 1, color temperature in Standard Mode.  Blue line - Xperia 1 performance, dotted line - reference temperature

Sony Xperia 1, color temperature in Standard Mode. Blue line — Xperia 1 performance, dotted line — reference temperature

In the standard mode, the average gamma value corresponds to the reference one — 2.20, and the color temperature turns out to be very high: its average value is 8500 K against the norm of 6500 K. It can be seen with the naked eye that the picture gravitates towards bluish, cold shades. You should not, however, think that Sony does not know how to customize displays. They do great. It’s just that focus group survey results consistently show that users themselves tend to find the bluish tint more attractive. For the sake of such people, manufacturers are trying. Thank you that lately we increasingly have a choice between a subjectively more attractive picture and more honest color reproduction. The average deviation for the extended Color Checker palette (grayscale + wide range of color shades) in Standard Mode is 5.67 with an upper limit of 3.00, and the color gamut is noticeably superior to the sRGB color space.

  Sony Xperia 1 gamma in Creator Mode.  The yellow line is the Xperia 1 performance, the dotted line is the reference gamma

Sony Xperia 1 gamma in Creator Mode. The yellow line is the Xperia 1 performance, the dotted line is the reference gamma

  Sony Xperia 1, color temperature in Creator Mode.  Blue line - Xperia 1 performance, dotted line - reference temperature

Sony Xperia 1, color temperature in Creator Mode. Blue line — Xperia 1 performance, dotted line — reference temperature

  Sony Xperia 1, color gamut in Creator Mode.  Gray triangle - sRGB coverage, white triangle - Xperia 1 coverage

Sony Xperia 1, color gamut in Creator Mode. Gray triangle — sRGB coverage, white triangle — Xperia 1 coverage

In Creator Mode, the gamma slightly exceeds the reference value and is 2.39, the color gamut is narrowed, and the color temperature is slightly closer to the reference value, averaging 7500 K. The average DeltaE deviation for the extended Color Checker palette also becomes smaller — in Creator Mode it is 4.23. Which, however, still goes beyond the upper limit of the norm.

But in terms of sound, Xperia 1 becomes almost a reference flagship. Unless I really liked the way the system speakers of a Sony smartphone sound. The iPhone, even the old iPhone 7 Plus, not to mention more modern models, has much better sound. And there is no mini-jack, which is not surprising, since Sony focuses on sound quality in wireless headphones. And in combination with the Sony WH-1000XM3, which was given as a gift when buying a smartphone in company stores until July 7, 2019, the smartphone works just perfect. aptX HD and LDAC profiles are supported, so even music lovers won’t feel left out.

However, the philosophy of using a 21:9 aspect ratio screen raises some questions. Sony makes every effort to emphasize that this ratio is ideal for watching movies on OKKO and Netflix, but in my case (and I tend to believe that my smartphone usage scenario is quite typical), YouTube videos are most often watched on a smartphone. So there is practically no content in 21:9 format. The absolute and vast majority of commercials are still presented in 16:9. And something tells me that in the near future the situation will not change much.

⇡ # Hardware and performance

The Xperia 1 is one of the few smartphones that still has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 on board. We already had a separate article about this system-on-a-chip with testing of a reference prototype smartphone, and of the live devices using this platform, there were only Xiaomi Mi9, ASUS Zenfone 6 and OPPO Reno 10x Zoom, so we all knew in advance what can you expect from a Sony flagship in terms of performance.

Let me remind you, Snapdragon 855 is the first Qualcomm platform, which is produced using a 7-nm process technology. The central processor is eight cores, one of them is called Kryo 485 Gold and operates at a frequency of 2.84 GHz. It is this core that is responsible for all single-core operations, and it is this core that determines the first digit in the results of Geekbench 4. In addition, the CPU contains three Kryo 485 Gold cores at 2.42 GHz and four Kryo 485 Silver cores at 1.8 GHz. Andreno 640 acts as a GPU, the maximum clock frequency of which is still not indicated anywhere.

In Geekbench 4, the Sony Xperia 1 holds up slightly worse than the Xiaomi Mi 9 built on the same platform, and slightly better than the top-end Samsung and Huawei handsets. The difference is small and generally manifests itself only in multi-core modes. In AnTuTu, the smartphone also performed a little worse, which is also somewhat strange. But the greatest oddity manifested itself in the WebXPRT browser benchmark, which Sony frankly fills up. For the purity of the experiment, I conducted a test in different browsers, but this did not have a noticeable effect on the result.

In tests that measure performance in games, everything is in order — they clearly show the superiority of the Snapdragon 855 over alternative flagship platforms. But at the same time, it again makes one wonder how Apple is ahead of everyone and gives the best headroom for the future. However, the current Qualcomm system-on-a-chip has a complete order with this — on Xperia 1 you will be able to play absolutely all games for another 3 years at least.

The Snapdragon 855 performs especially well in neural network computing, due to the presence of a dedicated module for such tasks. In AI Benchmark results, Xperia 1 even outperforms Xiaomi Mi 9, albeit by a tiny margin.

Cooling on the Xperia 1 is good, but not perfect. In the CPU Throttling Test, the frequency reduction is fixed at 76% of the maximum with an average performance of 159 GIPS. Well, I would not say that the smartphone gets very hot in games — no, on the contrary, the case remains moderately cool.

The Sony Xperia 1 comes with 6GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB storage. There is enough RAM, albeit less than the flagships of Samsung and Huawei. Galaxy S10 + generally offers up to 12 GB of RAM, but there are questions about the amount of memory on the built-in drive. Or rather, just one question: is it not too small for a smartphone that is positioned as an ideal device for watching movies in high quality? Yes, we have the possibility of expanding the memory with a 512 GB microSDXC card, but, firstly, this is additional money, and, secondly, the presence of a memory card excludes the possibility of using a second SIM card. Sony is not thinking about eSIM support yet.

⇡#Communication and wireless communications

Previously, for some reason, Sony divided flagships into models with one and two SIM-cards. But now this does not happen, Xperia 1 exists only in a modification with two SIM cards. True, the slot here is combined — you will have to choose between a second operator card or memory expansion. Moreover, the problem of choice will be acute, because the maximum amount of internal memory in Xperia 1 is only 128 GB.

Both SIM cards can work in LTE networks, there are no restrictions here. The built-in modem allows you to work with LTE category 19, where the theoretical download speed is 1.6 Gb / s, and transmission — 150 Mb / s. However, in practice, such speeds are hardly achievable, the maximum that I managed to get in Moscow is about 900 Mbps.

And of course, Xperia 1 has all the wireless modules that a modern flagship should have. There is only an infrared port, the rest is in place: NFC, Bluetooth 5.0 (LDAC and aptX support), Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, and support for all necessary navigation systems: GPS (including A-GPS ), GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo. Navigation works absolutely perfect, you can’t fault it. But you can still find fault with the fact that the smartphone reboots when changing the SIM card. Rather, a reboot occurs every time the tray is removed, even if no SIM card was there and did not appear after being removed. What is the sacred meaning of this ritual is not clear.


Let’s rejoice for Sony — common sense finally prevailed. The Xperia 1 has a triple main camera module, but this is just not the main thing. Most importantly, the company has ditched its past high resolution sensors (19, 21 and 23 megapixels) and opted for 12 megapixel BSI-CMOS sensors in all three cameras. However, the optics are different.

The main camera has a lens with an equivalent focal length of 26mm and aperture of ƒ/1.6. It has optical stabilization and phase detection autofocus with Dual Pixel technology. The telephoto lens has twice the focal length (52mm equivalent, ƒ/2.4), giving us a 2x optical zoom. Here, too, there is optical stabilization — I would say that its presence is much more important here, and PDAF autofocus. The third lens is an ultra-wide angle (16mm, ƒ/2.4) and no longer has autofocus or stabilization. It should be noted that at such a focal length, the depth of field is so great that autofocus is not needed, as it were, except to shoot very close objects. But let’s be indulgent, because what Sony has implemented in the Xperia 1 is already a huge improvement over what it was before.

The shooting interface is simple and minimalistic, it is convenient to work with it. Switching between cameras occurs sequentially. By default, the main camera with a 26 mm lens is always activated, the first press on the dedicated button activates a 2x zoom, that is, it switches to a telephoto lens, and the second one turns on the ultra-wide-angle camera, and with a one and a half to two second delay. With what it is connected — it is difficult to say. I hope this is a small software glitch that will be fixed in the next firmware update.

The quality of shooting by Sony standards is simply incredible: detail does not suffer, color reproduction is good, high sharpness is as natural as possible (instead of abuse of the Sharpen filter) — in general, all this is absolutely amazing, you can see for yourself in the examples above. There is a good portrait mode that copes not only with a living person, but also, for example, with a monument.

Examples of shooting on Xperia 1 in portrait mode

It is a pity that a separate night shooting mode did not appear in the Xperia 1. The smartphone perfectly recognizes scenes and displays the name in the lower left corner of the screen, but this does not affect the quality of shooting in the dark. Sony still lags behind Google, Samsung and Huawei. However, I would refrain from drawing conclusions for now: let’s just wait for all the flagships of this year — the new iPhones, the new Pixel — and arrange a big comparative test.

The front camera is familiar from other Sony smartphones — it is an 8-megapixel sensor and a lens with a focal length of 24 mm equivalent, ƒ / 2.4. There is no autofocus, there is no separate flash — it is quite successfully replaced by the display, which has long become a standard feature from Apple. The quality of shooting self-portraits, I would describe as average — nothing outstanding. The most important thing (for me personally, anyway) is the ability to completely turn off obsessive beautification and present faces in their original form, with all skin imperfections and natural age-related changes.

Examples of shooting on the front camera Xperia 1

Video recording is possible in 2160p resolution at 30 frames per second. There is no 4K recording capability at 60fps on the Xperia 1, although the Snapdragon 855 supports it perfectly. 60 fps can only be obtained when switching the resolution to Full HD, and slow motion at 960 frames per second is also possible in it.

An example of shooting on Sony Xperia 1 in 4K 30p An example of shooting on the Apple iPhone Xs Max in 4K 60p

And, with all the technological advantages (good bitrate, stabilization that works at the maximum resolution), it is clear that the Sony Xperia 1 still does not reach the iPhone Xs Max in video quality. Pay attention to how the frame twitches when moving.

A highlight of the Sony Xperia 1 launch was the Cinema Pro app, developed in collaboration with CineAlta (their cameras shoot most big-budget movies). This application allows you to shoot video with manual settings and overlay color profiles that are typical for CineAlta movie cameras. At first glance, the idea is good, but the application interface can hardly be called thoughtful. Yes, it looks professional, but it is much less convenient to work with than with a standard shooting application.

Yes, here we have more manual settings, down to ISO setting, shutter speed selection and even manual focusing. But let’s be honest: manual focusing on a smartphone when shooting video hand-held is an extremely dubious pleasure. And the automatic focus in the Cinema Pro application works only in the center of the frame and does not allow you to use the tracking mode while keeping focus on the person’s eyes. In general, the presence of this application does not interfere with life at all, but it seems to me that for serious shooting (even if not a movie, but at least a travel blog or something like that), a standard application is much better suited, and at the same time an external stabilizer like DJI Osmo Mobile or Zhiyun Smooth 4.

⇡#Offline work

For its size, the Sony Xperia 1 has a battery with a completely unremarkable capacity — 12.65 Wh (3330 mAh, 3.8 V). It seems to me that the volume of the case made it possible to install a battery of at least 4000 mAh without any problems and risks, but Sony prefers to think not about increasing capacity, but about optimizing power consumption. With this, Sony is really doing well, but at the same time, there are no records to speak of. In our standard test, which involves continuous video playback at maximum screen brightness, with an active Wi-Fi connection, the Sony Xperia 1 lasts just over 11 hours. This is worse than competing devices from Samsung, Huawei and even Xiaomi. Approximately the same result is demonstrated by the iPhone Xs Max, which is enough for a day of work without recharging. I won’t say that this is bad, but in 2019 I would like more.

A little higher, I already mentioned that the Xperia 1 for some reason does not support wireless charging, although it was in the Xperia XZ3. It is not clear what exactly the refusal of this function is connected with, let it remain on the conscience of the manufacturer. Fast wired charging is still supported — Sony’s flagship uses USB Power Delivery 2.0 technology and an 18W power adapter. This allows you to charge the battery exactly half in just 30 minutes. A full charge of the smartphone is within an hour and a half.


Let’s congratulate Sony on finally having a flagship that we’re not ashamed of. To be honest, the idea of ​​a smartphone for watching movies is not close to me, it seems rather absurd, because in 95% of cases we all watch YouTube on a smartphone, or, in general, vertical Stories on Instagram. However, the screen with an aspect ratio of 21:9 turned out to be convenient for completely different reasons — with it, the smartphone managed to maintain a comfortable body width with a large screen diagonal. In a vertical format, more content is placed on the screen — it is more convenient to scroll feeds in social networks, it is convenient to read long reads on websites and books. The screen is well configured, so watching videos and photos on it is a pleasure.

It’s great that Sony isn’t following the notch cutout craze and isn’t trying to beat the competition by a tenth of a millimeter in bezel thickness. In principle, this whole race is meaningless, in Xperia 1 the frames simply allow you not to resort to exotic design solutions and not sacrifice the integrity of the display. The design of the Xperia 1 differs from the previous flagships of the company, but when looking at the new product, the manufacturer is unmistakably guessed — this is important for true Sony fans.

Unfortunately, Xperia 1 is not without family ailments. I don’t know what has to happen for Sony to finally let us change the SIM card without having to reboot the device. I do not quite understand how it was possible to first give us the possibility of wireless charging, and then take it away. And the last point is the price. At the start of sales for Xperia 1 they ask for $720. Everyone who managed to buy a smartphone before July 7 this year got an expensive gift — Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones, which cost almost $300 separately in Russia. And in this case, the purchase turned out to be extremely attractive, and the price no longer seemed too high. But the action is fleeting, and sales are still going on and will go on for a long time … Are we waiting for new shares?


  • very comfortable dimensions with a large screen;
  • beautiful 4K OLED display;
  • protection against dust and moisture;
  • decent triple camera;
  • high performance.


  • easily soiled and slippery body;
  • little built-in memory;
  • no wireless charging;
  • reboot when changing SIM card.


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