I’m watching a 4K trailer of Spider Man: Far From Home in 21:9 cinematic screen ratio, with Dynamic Vibration maxed out. Instead of the entire room shaking around me, it’s only my hands. But the experience is still pretty cool. That’s because I’m testing out Sony’s latest Android phone, the Xperia 1.
The company says this phone encompasses its vision for mobile technology, delivering the best of its professional display, camera and audio technologies. If this video is any indication, I believe the claim. Thinking back, the last three Sony products I bought were a MiniDV camcorder (2002), Mavica digital camera (1997) and a Walkman (1980 or so). All three were excellent products in their respective decades. Before last week, I had yet to try any of the brand’s smartphones.
My early impression: This is one super cool phone. It sports a 6.5-inch screen, yet you can easily hold and operate it with one hand. There’s room to comfortably operate two windows simultaneously without stressing your eyes. The 4K OLED display looks terrific, by the way. The Xperia 1’s triple lens camera — 12MP+12MP+12MP — features Eye Auto Focus and up to 10 frames per second of burst shooting with Auto Focus/Auto Exposure tracking for precision focus and exposure. Sports photographers will love it, as will people who like to snap photos in low-light situations. The three lenses, by the way, are a 16mm super wide-angle, versatile 26mm, and a 52mm lens with 2x optical zoom. My photos came out exceptionally crisp from all three vantages. And you can use a physical shutter button on the top right of the phone, when you take pictures in horizontal mode. It feels much more natural than tapping a virtual button on the screen. Videos come out great, as well, and in 4K when you select the option. Sony’s collaboration with engineers from “CineAlta” branded digital cinema camera team means Xperia 1 can reproduce true colors. There is of course a video stabilization option, and cinematic Dolby Atmos multi-dimensional sound. The phone’s pre-loaded with CineAlta’s Cinema Pro video editing software.
It’s also zippy, thanks in part to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor and 6 GB of RAM. I ran informal web browsing and app opening benchmark tests against my lightning fast Google Pixel 2XL, and found the two models to be comparable to one another. One thing I liked on the Sony right off the bat is that the fingerprint scanner is located on the right side of the phone, instead of on the back as it is on many phones. This just seems to be a more convenient position for it. Sony has loaded many other features onto this phone — including of course its own PlayStation app — but there are too many to detail in a short column like this. You can also add a 512 GB microSD card for additional memory.
After a week of testing Xperia 1, I’m impressed. The tall and slender form factor took a little bit of getting used to. But controlling all of the functions is fairly easy and intuitive. If your phone has become tired, slow or unexciting, it’s certainly worth considering.