For 2019, Sony is trying to shake its failures of the past and start fresh. Following the unsuccessful Xperia XZ series, Sony is changing the name of their flagship to a single number: Xperia 1. With the name change comes a few upgrades, one of which is its new look. Secondly, its new display is unmatched in the mobile space.
The Xperia 1 is one impressive phone. Not only does it look different from other 2019 phones, but it sets itself apart with its display. Instead of following the bezel-less trend, it focuses on a better screen, one with a higher resolution and a better panel. While its tall aspect ratio isn't for everyone, this isn't a phone to ignore.
Jump to a section: Standout Features | Dates | Storage | Price | Body | Basics | Software | Skin | Display | Performance | Battery | Front Camera | Rear Camera | Audio | Media Formats | Sensors | Connectivity | Security | Box Includes
The Xperia 1 is Sony's first 4K HDR OLED panel on a smartphone. It has a 21:9 aspect ratio, making it one of the first ultrawide mobile displays and perfect for widescreen movies and games. It also has a triple camera array on the back, stereo speakers, and a pro mode for videography that's perfect for burgeoning vloggers.
The Xperia 1 was announced during Mobile World Congress 2019 on February 24. The Xperia 1 will release on July 12 at Best Buy, Amazon, B&H Photo, Focus Camera, and Beach Camera. Preorders start on June 28, although apparently, Amazon and B&H Photo are allowing you to order now.
To entice buyers, Sony is including their top-of-line noise-canceling headphones, the WH1000XM3, for free ($350 value) for those who preorder. To take advantage of this offer, you must preorder within the first two weeks from one of the online retailers listed previously.
- Release date: July 12, 2019
- Preorder date: June 28, 2019
- Announced: Feb. 24, 2019
The Xperia 1 comes in one storage option, 128 GB. However, it supports expandable storage via microSD cards. With a one-terabyte memory card just being announced, you should have more than enough storage for all your HDR videos and photos.
- Storage available: 128 GB
- Expandable storage: yes, up to 2 TB (theoretical)
Sony announced it will retail for $949.99. With its predecessor retailing at $899.99, this price increase was expected. While it is pretty high, it's still cheaper than other 2019 flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy S10+.
- Price: $949.99
The Xperia 1 is protected from scratches thanks to Gorilla Glass 6, the latest glass from Corning. With Gorilla Glass 6, it will be able to take multiple drops consecutively from one meter onto a rough surface without any damage, something most of us wouldn't ever want to test.
- Frame: glass, aluminum
- Finish: black, purple
Be aware this is a tall phone. At 6.57 inches, it's taller than Apple's iPhone XS Max and Samsung's Galaxy Note 9. It is, however, not a heavy phone at 7.09 ounces.
- Height: 6.57 inches
- Width: 2.83 inches
- Depth: 0.32 inches
- Weight: 7.09 ounces
- Dust/water resistance: IP65/68
- Supported carriers: AT&T, T-Mobile
- Infrared blaster: Unknown
- Version: Android 9 Pie
The Xperia 1 will run the latest version of Xperia UI on top of Android 9 Pie. This is one of the lighter skins, with small changes to how Settings is arranged and few additional features such as Side Sense, which lets you access your favorite apps and sensors with a double tap of the edge of the display.
- Version: Xperia UI
For the first time, Sony is putting a 4K HDR screen on a non-Premium variant. And unlike the Xperia XZ2 Premium, this is an OLED panel for deeper blacks and better contrast. It's a 6.5-inch CinemaWide screen, which is just a marketing term for the 21:9 aspect ratio on the phone.
This ratio makes the Xperia 1 one of the only ultrawide displays on a smartphone and comes with a few advantages. For one, since most movies are recorded at this ratio, you can watch videos in widescreen mode without vertical black bars. Gaming is also better since the additional real estate allows you to see more, whether it is more of the road or enemies lurking in your periphery. Of course, like video, this depends on whether support is provided by the developer.
As for 4K content, the only app confirmed to work is YouTube. Amazon Prime Video offered 4K video streaming on older Sony phones with 4K screens, so we expect they too will include support, but nothing has been announced. Additionally, the Xperia 1 includes BRAVIA (Sony's TV brand) 4K upscaling and HDR remaster technologies to convert content in a lower resolution or SDR to 4K HDR.
- Screen size: 6.5 inches
- Screen resolution: 3840 x 1644 pixels
- Total pixels: 6,312,960 pixels
- Pixel density: 643 ppi
- Screen type: OLED
- Notch: no
- Screen-to-body ratio: 82% percent
- Aspect ratio: 21:9
- Minimum brightness: Unknown
- Maximum brightness: Unknown
- Refresh rate: 60 Hz (60 Hz for touch-sensing)
- Color temp: Unknown
- Color gamut: 100% DCI-P3, HDR BT.2020
The Xperia 1 comes with the latest and greatest from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 855. This SoC is 40% faster than last year's Snapdragon 845 and more power efficient thanks to the 7 nm process. It uses a different configuration from previous Qualcomm processors, opts for three categories for cores instead of two.
The first category is one Gold core which runs at 2.84 GHz. The second group is three additional Gold cores which run a lower frequency of 2.42 GHz. Finally, there are four Silver cores which are used for background tasks and run at a lower frequency. With these three categories, battery usage is reduced, as the group better addresses the needs of specific tasks.
- Memory: 6 GB RAM
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
- Chip size: 7 nanometer
- CPU frequency: 2.84 GHz 1x Gold + 2.42 GHz 3x Gold + 1.8 GHz 4x Silver
- CPU cores: 8 (4x Gold + 4x Silver)
- GPU: Adreno 640
- GPU cores: Unknown
Surprisingly, Sony only included a 3,330 mAh battery. With such a powerful display, it seems odd they wouldn't include a bigger battery. However, since only a handful of apps support 4K output, running at a much lower resolution of 1080p in most day-to-day tasks will allow this phone to manage all-day battery.
For charging, the Xperia 1 uses USB PD or Xperia Adaptive Charging. The latter was developed by Sony to monitor the battery during charge and adjust the voltage and current to accordingly minimize the heat exposed to the battery.
- Battery: rechargeable lithium-ion
- Capacity: 3,330 mAh
- Wired charging: yes, Xperia Adaptive Charging + USB Power Delivery 18W
- Wireless charging: yes, Qi charging
There is a single 8 MP camera in the front. It can take HDR photos and supports SteadyShot, Sony's technology to reduce shaky photos. It is a wide-angle lens and can create a bokeh effect for photos.
- Resolution: 8 MP
- Aperture: ƒ/2.0
- Pixel Size: 1.12 µm
- Sensor Size: 1/4"
- Zoom: no
- Flash: yes, screen flash
- Image stabilization: yes, SteadyShot
- HDR: yes
- RAW support: Unknown
- Object detection: Unknown
- Formats: Unknown
The Xperia 1 comes with three lenses: one regular, one ultrawide, and one telephoto. Sony brought some of the technologies from their Alpha DSLR series to the camera, such as improved autofocus and the BIONZ X imagine processing engine. There is also eye autofocus and 10 fps AF/AE. The latter is a feature which helps to keep subject in focus in burst mode while they are moving.
- Resolution: 12 MP + 12 MP + 12 MP
- Pixel size: 1.4 µm + 1.0 µm + 1.0 µm
- Sensor size: 1/2.6" + 1/3.4" + 1/3.4"
- Aperture: ƒ/1.6 + ƒ/2.4 + ƒ/2.4
- Zoom: yes, 2x optical + 5x digital
- Flash: yes, LED
- Image stabilization: yes, OIS on first and third camera
- HDR: yes
- RAW support: yes
- Lens cover: Unknown
- Object detection: Unknown
- Formats: Unknown
The Xperia 1 can record in 4K HDR. It uses a hybrid stabilization system which leverages OIS and EIS for smooth videos free of shakes. There is also CineAlta, a feature which lets you record in the same parameters as professional including 21:9 ratio, 4K HDR, and 24 fps, the fps of choice for most media content in the US. There is also LOOK, a color setting that allows you to adjust the colors of your video.
- Resolution: 720p, 1080p, and 4K
- Max frame rate: Unknown
- HDR: yes, up to 4K HDR
- Slow motion: yes, 960 fps at 1080
- Time-lapse: Unknown
- Photos: Unknown
- Zoom: Unknown
- Flash access: Unknown
- Image stabilization: yes, hybrid OIS/EIS
- Object detection: Unknown
- Autofocus: yes, hybrid
- Audio: stereo
- Formats: Unknown
Stereo speakers make a return; however, they are not front-facing. The earpiece is used in tandem with a single bottom-firing speaker for stereo sound. There is also no headphone jack like previous Sony devices, but there is support for Hi-Fi audio codecs such as Qualcomm's aptX HD and Sony's LDAC.
- 3.5 mm headphone jack: no
- Stereo speakers: yes, earpiece and bottom firing speakers
- Mics: Unknown
- Max speaker volume: Unknown
The Xperia 1 supports high-resolution audio such as FLAC and DSD. Using a dongle, you will be able to output these lossless audio formats for a high-quality sound. On the video front, it supports the usual formats, including the open-source VP9 which Google requires for YouTube Signature Device certification.
- Audio: AAC-LC, AAC+, eAAC+, AAC-ELD), ALAC, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, DSD, FLAC, MIDI, MP3, PCM, Opus, Vorbis, WMA, MPEG-H
- Video: MPEG-4 Video, H.263, H.264, H.265, VP8, VP9 MPEG-2
Nothing unusual when it comes to sensors, you will find all the usual staples here.
- Accelerometer: yes
- Ambient light: yes
- Barometer: yes
- Color temperature: no
- Compass: yes
- Gravity: no
- Gyroscope: yes
- Hall: yes
- Infrared: yes
- Laser: no
- Pedometer: no
- Proximity: yes
In the North American variant of the 1, location sensing is limited to GPS and GLONASS, which are the standards used in the United States and Russia, respectively. There is no support for European or Asian satellite location systems such as BeiDou, Galileo, or QZSS.
- GPS: yes
- aGPS: yes
- Glonass: yes
- BeiDou: no
- Galileo: no
- QZSS: no
Despite having the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, there is no support for Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax). Otherwise, nothing unusual here.
- Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 4x4 MIMO
- Bluetooth: 5.0
- NFC: yes
- Cellular: nano-Sim
- Port: USB Type C (USB 3.1)
There is support for T-Mobile and AT&T's key bands. There could potentially be support for Verizon as LTE-only if it receives the Verizon certification.
Model number A.
- 850/900/1800/1900 UMTS HSPA+ (3G)
The Xperia 1 returns the fingerprint reader to side. However, unlike previous generations, this doesn't double as the home button.
- Fingerprint scanner: yes, side-mounted
- Face scanner: no
- Iris scanner: no
- Manual authentication: password, PIN, pattern, swipe
Currently, we don't know what included in the box.
Keep Your Connection Secure Without a Monthly Bill. Get a lifetime subscription to VPN Unlimited for all your devices with a one-time purchase from the new Gadget Hacks Shop, and watch Hulu or Netflix without regional restrictions, increase security when browsing on public networks, and more.
Other worthwhile deals to check out: