Sony Xperia 1 review
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Update: We found an error in the review score calculation. One of the sub-scores was doubled by mistake and some of our readers were quick to spot that something was wrong. This has now been corrected and it led to devaluation of the score from 4.6 to 4.2.

Sony has completely revamped its Xperia series yet again, and this year the common denominator is the cinematic screen. Every new Xperia smartphone gets a 21:9 panel for the most immersive viewing experience, but the Xperia 1 is special. It is the Xperia Premium reborn, with a large 6.5" OLED 4K HDR display and today we'll get to know it better.

Sony is the only maker that keeps delivering 4K screens on the go and with the Xperia 1 it has really outdone itself. The Xperia 1 has a properly large 6.5" OLED with 21:9 aspect ratio, 4K resolution, HDR and BT.2020 color space support, and no pixels were left behind as there are no cutouts whatsoever on the screen. And in spite of this technological marvel, Sony managed to keep the bezels impressively thin, which is yet another achievement.

But the Xperia 1 isn't just excelling in the viewing department. Sony has put the latest Snapdragon 855 chip inside, all the connectivity options you may need, too, and one very interesting triple-camera setup. Sure, we've seen plenty such wide/ultra/tele combos elsewhere already, but Sony is bringing some advanced features as dual-pixel Eye AF and HDR video capturing in an attempt to one-up the competition. Let's hope those pan out well.

And before we list all the important specs, we have to say the Xperia 1 is also a looker - a very sleek and stylish smartphone. Plus, it's dust and water resistant, not that we expected anything less from the maker that made water resistance a must in any flagship.

We have to admit we are not big fans of the 8MP selfie shooters that Sony insists on using. Sure, they've always turned out to be pretty good, but the competition is well ahead of Sony in the selfie race and it is high time the Japanese company redirects some efforts towards the selfie photography in its flagships.

We couldn't miss the 3,300 mAh battery, which seems a bit inadequate for such a demanding and large screen, but we are yet to see how it will behave in our battery test. Sony has been known to include a laundry list of battery modes and technologies, so it may as well deliver plenty of autonomy.

The Xperia 1 has a rather big retail box, noticeably larger than the phone itself. It doesn't contain an enormous Xperia though, but a surprisingly compact and comfortable-to-use smartphone. The tall aspect ratio really makes a difference in handling.

The retail bundle has all necessities but with a few twists. There is a USB-PD charger rated at 18W and you get a USB-C to C cable for charging and connections - both a first for Sony for a Sony retail box.

Then you will also find a pair of in-ear headphones ending on a 3.5mm plug and a separate adapter to USB-C. The Xperia 1 has no audio jack, so the headset would always require the use of the adapter.

Sony Xperia 1 review
Sony Xperia 1 review
Sony Xperia 1 review

Sony Xperia 1 review at a glance

  • Body: Aluminum frame; Gorilla Glass 6 on back and front; 167 x 72 x 8.2 mm; 180 grams; IP65/68 ingress protection rating; Color options: Black, Grey, Purple, White
  • Screen: 6.5" OLED; 21:9 aspect ratio; 4K (1644 x 3840 px); 643ppi; HDR BT.2020; DCI-P3 color space
  • Rear cameras: Primary: Motion Eye 12MP (1/2.6" Exmor RS), f/1.6 aperture (ISO 3200), 26mm lens, Dual Photo Diode; 12MP (1/3.4") telephoto, f/2.4, 52mm lens; 12MP (1/3.4") wide, f/2.4, 16mm
  • Additional camera features: Predictive Capture (Motion/Smile), Autofocus burst with up to 10 fps AE/AE tracking; Eye Autofocus; Predictive Hybrid Autofocus; Anti-distortion shutter; Optical SteadyShot with Intelligent Active Mode (5-axis EIS + OIS); RAW noise reduction
  • Video capture: 4K (16:9 or 21:9), Super slow motion 960fps at FullHD
  • Front camera: 8MP (1/4" sensor), f/2.0 fixed-focus
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 855 chipset, octa-core processor (1x2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 485), Adreno 640 GPU.
  • Memory: 6GB of RAM + 64/128GB storage; Up to 512GB microSD card support
  • OS: Android 9.0 Pie
  • Battery: 3,330mAh Li-Ion; USB Power Delivery fast charging; Smart STAMINA, Battery Care, Xperia Adaptive Charging
  • Connectivity: Dual-SIM/ Single-SIM options available (market dependent); 5CA LTE 4x4 MIMO, Cat.19 LTE (Up to 1.6Gbps download speed); USB 3.1 Type-C; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; GPS + GLONASS; Bluetooth 5.0; NFC.
  • Audio: Hybrid stereo speaker setup, Dolby Atmos, DSEE HX, LDAC, Qualcomm aptX HD
  • Misc: Side-mounted fingerprint reader, X1 For mobile engine, TRILUMINOS display, BIONZ X for mobile (Eye autofocus); Cinema Pro app for cinematic video recording