Sony Xperia 1: Review. Sony Xperia 1: Price, features

The Sony Xperia 1 cell phone is a unique phone that has excellent specifications, a very good construction and, for the first time in a phone of the Japanese company, three rear cameras, in addition to that it is also an ideal cell phone to watch movies anywhere .

The Sony Xperia 1 has a beautiful 4K OLED screen with HDR with an aspect ratio of 21: 9, something we have not seen on a cell phone.

Juan Garzn / CNET

Its 4K HDR OLED screen offers excellent viewing quality and its 21: 9 aspect ratio makes it the only cell phone that can take advantage of movie viewing by completely removing black bars (unused screen spaces with content) and no need to expand the image because part of the content will be blocked.

The cell phone, however, has no wireless charge, its front camera is average and, although the rear cameras are good, there are other cell phones that for their price offer better results. In addition, the battery life is below average.

That said, the Sony Xperia 1 cell phone cannot support its suggested price of US $ 949, unless you are too fond of the Sony brand or want a cell phone to, mainly, watch movies. If you bought it in presale and received the headphones for free Sony WH-1000XM3I think it was a good idea because they make the cell phone have a fairer price. These headphones are my favorite noise cancellation and have a suggested price of US $ 350.

If you did not buy it in the presale and you have not been able to buy it on offer or with such promotion, there are other more complete options in the market for a similar or even lower price. In any case, read all the analysis to know in detail the excellent and benefits of the Sony Xperia 1.


The price of the Sony Xperia 1 is US $ 949 in the United States and 949 euros in Spain.

In presale, Sony presented the WH-1000XM3 headphones that are my favorites for noise cancellation, offering not only that but also excellent sound. Undoubtedly, this offer, which includes headphones with a suggested price of US $ 350, makes more sense to buy the Sony Xperia 1 and justifies its price much more.


Sony WH-1000XM3

The Sony WH-1000XM3 Bluetooth headphones correct the main deficiencies of their predecessors (WH-1000XM2) and improve to be at the top of their category.

Read Our Analysis

Sony Xperia 1: Features and specifications

  • screen: 6.5 inches with aspect ratio of 21: 9
  • Resolution: (4K) 3,840×1,644 pixels
  • Processor: 2.84GHz Snapdragon 855
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • MicroSD slot: S
  • Battery: 3,330mAh (not removable)
  • OS: Android Pie
  • Fast loading: 18 watts
  • Wireless charging: Do not
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11ac (2.4 and 5GHz), Bluetooth 5.0
  • Unlock functions: Side fingerprint reader (right), basic facial recognition, pattern, PIN, password
  • Rear camera: Triple 12 megapixels (f / 1.6) with optical stabilization + wide angle of 12 megapixels (f / 2.4); 12 megapixel telephoto (f / 2.4) with optical stabilization
  • Front camera: 8 megapixels (f / 2.0)
  • Waterproof: IP68
  • Sound: Double horn with Dolby Atmos
  • Size: 167x72x8.2mm
  • Weight: 178 grams

Design and display: A cell phone higher than normal

The Sony Xperia 1 marks a major change in the design of Sony cell phones, but it certainly maintains different features that have been in the company's DNA for years.

For example, the Sony Xperia 1 has a very rectangular shape, with very sharp and pronounced corners that make it look almost like a brick block, but thinner.

In addition, the Xperia 1 maintains that button dedicated to the camera that we liked so much generation after generation and an interface that closely resembles what pure Android offers.

The cell phone, however, no longer has a fingerprint reader in the back like the past two generations and, although it is located right on the right side edge as it was from the first Sony cell phone with fingerprint reader, it is not integrated on the power button.

In case you doubted it, that fingerprint reader of the Sony Xperia 1 works the same in the United States and is not disabled as in previous generations with the side fingerprint reader.

Both the fingerprint reader, such as the power button, the volume bar and the camera button, are located on the right side edge, which can lead to button errors. In addition, for someone left-handed it can be more difficult to unlock and control the buttons.

The truth is that this fingerprint reader works well and it is very comfortable to have the camera button available because it allows you to press it just a little to focus and with more force to capture, as is done with cameras.

The Sony Xperia 1 does not have a headphone jack, but it keeps the microSD card slot in the same drawer of the SIM card and, as it was years ago, it is not necessary to use a tool to remove that drawer, but you can take it out with the ua of your fingers

Although the Galaxy S10 Plus (left) has a screen almost the same size as the Sony Xperia 1 (6.4 vs. 6.5 inches), Sony's cell phone is certainly taller because of its aspect ratio.

Juan Garzn / CNET

Also, the phone has the rear glass and a metal frame that makes it more resistant. However, the Xperia 1 does not support wireless charging such as the Xperia XZ3 and Xperia XZ2, which can be interpreted as a recoil.

One of the great novelties of the Sony Xperia 1 is undoubtedly on its screen, since it is not only 4K HDR, like that of a TV, but it is also OLED and has an aspect ratio of 21: 9, which It makes it the highest I've ever tried on a phone. Most modern cell phones with small bezels have an aspect ratio of 18: 9 or 18.5: 9.

The idea of ​​this screen is that you have the ability to better enjoy the cinematic experience compared to other cell phones, since the aspect ratio is also 21: 9, usually in the filming and playback of movies.

This means that when you play movies, generally, the content occupies the entire screen, without having to have sidebars or up and down, as with all cell phones today. Therefore, the Sony Xperia 1 cell phone is unique and is therefore the one to watch movies.

That said, most of the content we see on our cell phones are usually videos on YouTube or Facebook, content that is not optimized to take advantage of a screen with the aspect ratio that it has since the content has not been created from it The way movies do.

True, on YouTube you can zoom so that the content occupies the entire screen, but this also causes the content to be cut, which hurts the experience.

The good thing is that Netflix and Amazon Prime Video movies usually have this kind of aspect ratio, so the Sony Xperia 1 is indicated to view content from providers of streaming like those. In addition, it is not only the aspect ratio, but because the 4K screen offers more detail and color reproduction.

Even though Sony's screen brightness is not the best, it is enough to be visible even in full sunlight.

Finally, this is undoubtedly the Sony cell phone with smaller bezels that the company has launched, but it does not mean that they are as small as for example the OnePlus 7 Pro or the Galaxy S10 Plus.

Its high screen makes it very comfortable to hold in one hand, although it will be necessary in most cases to use the other hand to control the top of the screen. The Xperia 1 offers the same way to one hand.

Juan Garzn / CNET

Performance: As you would expect

In terms of performance, the Sony Xperia 1 phone behaves at the height of a device with these first-class features, such as the Snapdragon 855 processor and 6GB of RAM.

Navigating through screens, mens and apps is very fluid and the screen also responds well to commands. The only problems I've had has been with the camera app, which is sometimes a little slower than I expected.

In addition, I still find it very strange that the interface does not rotate when you want to take a photo with your left hand (it is upside down).

In our performance tests, the Sony Xperia 1 achieved as good results as we expected, very close to what we have obtained with cell phones such as the Galaxy S10 Plus and the OnePlus 7 Pro, but even a little higher in all tests. I do not consider the difference to be so dramatic in daily use, but certainly there is some difference present in all tests.

Test of performance:

Galaxy S10 (Snapdragon 855)


Geekbench 4: Single-core (one core)

Geekbench 4: Multi-core (multiple cores)

3DMark Ice Storm (unlimited)


Longer bars represent better performance

Battery life

With its 4K screens, Sony has had trouble offering a good battery life and the Xperia 1 is no exception.

It is worthwhile to make it clear that like the other Sony 4K phones, the screen is not always reproducing that high resolution, but depending on the content it implements it for example in 4K videos.

In daily use, the Sony Xperia 1 lasts a whole working day with a single charge which is good, but it is not easy to achieve it after a full day of use.

In our Wi-Fi video playback tests, the Sony Xperia 1 achieved 11 hours and 41 minutes, well below cell phones such as the Galaxy S10 Plus, which achieved 21:30 minutes or the OnePlus 7 Pro, which achieved 16 hours .

Battery life:


Sony Xperia 1

Galaxy S10 Plus

OnePlus 7 Pro

LG G8 ThinQ

Pixel 3 XL

Huawei P30 Pro

Moto G7 Power


Duration in test (hours: minutes)






five pm









Three rear cameras and one front

The Sony Xperia 1 is the first cell phone of the company with three rear cameras and with this it offers more versatility than before by allowing traditional photos, wide-angle photos (more space from the same distance) and closer photos.

This means that the cell phone has a regular camera with optical image stabilization, a wide angle and a telephoto with 2X optical zoom and optical image stabilization, all of 12 megapixels.

The three 12 megapixel rear cameras of the Sony Xperia 1.

Juan Garzn / CNET

The three cell cameras are shared well and achieve good results, but I don't consider them necessarily the best. For example, it seemed to me that the Pixel 3 (and even the Pixel 3A) manage to give better details and colors more frequently, in addition to making the portrait photos end in more detail, especially if the subject moves.

Also, that portrait mode also works best with all kinds of objects in the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, something that is not achieved so easily in the Sony Xperia 1.

Returning a little to the quality of the photos, I consider that it is also a little below what the Galaxy S10 Plus offers, although it has similar problems of portrait photos.

The cameras of this Sony cell phone have artificial intelligence that is responsible for detecting the scene to help you achieve better results. In use, artificial intelligence works well, but it also makes sometimes the exposure of the scenes are worth more than expected, but despite the fact that the Sony Xperia 1 does not have a night mode, the cell phone surprises taking photos with more lighting and detail than expected in situations with very little light.

The telephoto is the one that suffers the most bad lighting and often ends up overexposing the scenes, while the wide-angle camera has more difficulty capturing good detail and is distorted more than the others, something that happens practically in all cell phones with that type of camera.

Something outstanding is that the Sony Xperia 1 offers the technology, functions and even interfaces more similar to a digital camera. For example, the cell phone has the Eye AF technology, which allows to follow the movement of the eyes and people to achieve better approaches, as do the excellent Alpha professional cameras of the manufacturer.

Also, the Sony Xperia 1 has a separate app called Cinema Pro, which allows you to record in 21: 9 format, such as movies, and also offers different manual controls similar to what Sony offers in its professional professions.