Sony's Xperia 1 is a purpose-built flagship for cinema fans

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Sony hasn’t had much luck in differentiating itself from the plethora of other Android smartphone makers vying for your hard-earned dollars. At Mobile World Congress 2019, however, the company is mixing things up a bit in hopes of attracting some new eyeballs.

The new flagship Xperia 1 turns to Sony’s filmmaking heritage for inspiration. Front and center is a 6.5-inch, 4K HDR OLED display with a 21:9 CinemaWide aspect ratio that Sony says delivers a “viewing experience that’s true to what creators envisioned.”

“The display, together with originally developed image processing, supports wide colour space ITU-R BT.2020 as well as DCI-P3 with Illuminant D65.”

Powering the Xperia 1 is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 SoC alongside 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage that’s expandable via micro SDXC card support.

Around back is a triple lens camera system comprised of three 12-megapixel shooters – a 26mm f/1.6 lens, a 16mm f/2.4 lens and a 52mm f/2.4 lens. Up front, you get a single 8-megapixel shooter with f/2.0 aperture lens and an 84-degree field of view. It’s all powered by a 3,300mAh battery with fast charging technology and Android 9 Pie.

Sony's new Xperia 1 is an unusually tall handset that should look great playing back supported cinematic content. Sony is also putting an emphasis on multitasking with the ability to pin an app at the top of the screen while using the lower section to display a "full-size" app as you normally would on other phones.

Sony intends to ship the Xperia 1 this spring. No word yet on potential pricing.

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TechSpot Chancellor
I understand that more people are viewing media on their phones... but I just wish that someone would make the "phone" a priority.... like, excellent voice quality, no dropped calls, etc...
They pretty much all run on the same Chipset, Modem and Microphones. Arial placement I guess could be a differentiation but they're all pretty solid these days. At least, I haven't had a phone with hopelessly bad call quality or dropouts for years now.

Onto the phone, I'm still using my trusty Sony Xperia XZ Premium and still love it, still get timely software updates from Sony and when I did have a problem (bottom speaker stopped working) their support was actually top notch (also didn't realize I got 2 years of Warranty out of the box). I'd buy another Sony.

Mr Majestyk

TS Maniac
*****ic aspect ratio, *****ic resolution. Stick to cameras Sony, your phones are ugly and the market has spoken, your sales suck.
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TechSpot Staff
Staff member
For all the gadget rich history and the brand cache Sony has, this could and should have been a lot more exciting.


TS Evangelist
The only problem with this device is browsing. Browsing especially unoptimized for mobile websites. I use fee of those, why would I buy a phone that will be almost useless for viewing desktop only websites?
Sorry sony, you should have made a foldable phone in this format.


TS Evangelist
This is a lacking argument.
No. It isnt usable on built for desktop screens websites because this device is too long. You will have to move the text left to right and so on until you finish reading or always tilt it to horizontal position which some people rightfully dont like to do when they read on news websites for example.
As soon as you make a device like this experia, you can watch the movies without bars in wide format. But then immediately you are punished suffering on some websites that weren't very well optimized to read on mobile devices. You can go around by zooming out, but on device as narrow as this one it is no use. Even when you would zoom out you would still not see the right side completely because this screen is too narrow, physically.