It’s no surprise the company behind Sony Pictures Entertainment has developed the perfect phone for cinephiles. If you’re tempted by the Xperia 1 but don’t know where to start, read on for everything you need to know about its pros, cons and tech specs.
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The Sony Xperia 1 was made with binge-watchers in mind. Its most distinctive feature is its top-of-the-range display and matching audio, which makes it great for turning a train trip into a cinematic experience.
It also runs on Android 9, an operating system known for its adaptability. It learns how you like to use your phone and adjusts accordingly to give you a smoother experience. Your favourite apps will be locked and ready to load when you need them, while the brightness and battery settings will be automatically adjusted to suit your usage.
The phone’s Gorilla Glass 6 construction lends extra protection to the front and back of the phone, complemented by water resistance.
OLED capacitive touchscreen
Black, grey, purple, white
12MP rear camera
8MP front camera
4K video recording
IP65/IP68 dust and water-resistant
64GB / 128GB storage
The next step after the Sony Xperia 1 is the Sony Xperia 1 II – an update on the flagship model. There are a lot of similarities between the two models, including the display and the fingerprint sensor used to unlock the screen. They also both have triple rear cameras and the same 21:9 aspect ratio.There are some important differences between the two, though, which are fairly subtle. The Xperia 1 II is slightly smaller than the original, but the way it's shaped means it actually ends up heavier. You do get significantly more storage space though, with 256GB internal storage versus 128GB. A key difference is that the Sony Xperia 1 II allows for wireless charging and also has a bigger battery, so you’re more likely to get power for longer. The Sony Xperia 1 has a 3330mAh battery, while the Sony Xperia 1 II has a 4000mAh battery that you can charge on the move.
The big pro of the Sony Xperia 1 is its 4K HDR OLED display, which is perfect for watching shows and films and really brings them to life. The screen also has a unique 21:9 screen aspect ratio, chosen because of its compatibility with video content. The sharp image is perfectly complemented by similarly cinematic audio, which comes from Dolby Atmos.
The Sony Xperia 1 doesn’t just cater to the audience – it also has advanced video capabilities for those who like to make their own films. You can take 4K HDR movies and the image stabilisation system helps keep your footage steady.
While the big screen can make for a better viewing experience, it does mean the Sony Xperia 1 takes up more space. It’s long rather than wide, so you can still get it in a handbag phone pocket, but it’s something to take into consideration if you prefer a model that’s more compact.
And it’s not just the screen that’s sizeable – this phone carries a hefty price tag. Of course, the exact number depends on the deal you get, so it’s worth checking out the Sony Xperia 1 deals offered by different service providers, as laid out below.
It’s also worth noting that the Sony Xperia 1 is not 5G-compatible. That’s not such a big deal while the service is still being rolled out, but it may be something to consider as it becomes a more common feature among newer models.
There’s already 128GB of storage space built-in to the system, which is perfect for saving all your pictures and files, and there’s a 6GB ram processor to help your phone run smoothly.
Another notable feature is side sense: a customisable menu that allows you easy access to your frequently used apps. It’s designed to make it easy to use your phone with one hand because all you need to do is to double-tap the side of your screen.
Before you take the plunge with the Sony Xperia 1, it’s important to shop around and find out what deals are available. Whether you decide you want to pay for the handset upfront or take out a contract and pay it off over a year or two, different network providers will be able to offer different incentives and prices.
Given that the Sony Xperia 1 is a popular choice for watching videos, it’s likely you’ll need a lot of data so you can stream when you’re on the move. Make sure you check out the different data packages available and find out how much it would cost to add additional data throughout the month.
If you prefer to keep your monthly costs low, you can always pay for the handset up front. SIM-free deals are available, but they can be expensive. A contract allows you to spread the cost over 12 to 24 months but it does mean you’ll be tied into your network provider throughout that period. It’s worth considering how likely you are to want to switch phones again in the near future and also worth working out how much extra you’ll be paying for the handset if you spread the payments out over a period of time rather than purchasing it upfront.
The Sony Xperia 1 is one of the more expensive devices, so many will want to consider getting it on a contract. While that does tie you to a set device for the length of the contract, the Sony Xperia 1 uses a lot of cutting-edge technology so it’s not going to feel dated any time soon.
If you’ve got an existing contract with a network provider, you may be able to upgrade your handset to the Sony Xperia 1. Networks typically provide the opportunity to upgrade either at a pre-agreed point or at the end of your contract, and it can make the transition quick and easy from one phone to the next. You can also often get a discount on the handset you want to switch too, so it’s worth enquiring if you’ve got your eye on an expensive pick.