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Sony Xperia 1 release date, price, news and features

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Sony has issued a new flagship phone every six months for the last few years, and the company has done so yet again with the brand new Xperia 1.

This is the flagship phone following up the Xperia XZ3, but instead of the long rumored Xperia XZ4 name the company has decided to slim down its branding for a more easy to understand Xperia 1 name.

The company isn’t starting from the bottom in terms of hardware though – this is the most advanced Sony phone yet taking a lot of what made the Xperia XZ3 great, mixing in a little of the Xperia XZ Premium and a few extra features and quirks we’ve never seen before on a Sony phone.

We’re soon set to try out the phone at MWC 2019 where we’ll be sure to share with you all of our first impressions of the phone, but for the time being you can find below all of the details we know so far about Sony’s flagship choice.

Sony Xperia 1 release date and price 

Image Credit: Sony

We’ve yet to find out when the Sony Xperia 1 will be on sale, but it’s expected to land in Q2 2019. Exactly when that’ll be has yet to unveiled, and we don’t know how much it’s set to cost either.

We’d expect it to be a similar price to the Xperia XZ3 that cost £699 / $899 (around AU$1,260) at launch.

Sony Xperia 1 display 

The big upgrade here is a brand new display technology, and for another generation the company is exploring the possibilities of a 4K display on a phone.

The Xperia 1 comes with a 6.5-inch display, and while on paper that may sound huge it’s unlikely to feel as big in the hand because of the new aspect ratio the company is using which is 21:9.

It’s an OLED display with the company’s own BRAVIA tech division working toward improving the panel so it should be the same quality as the display on the Xperia XZ3 or even better.

The company has adopted the 21:9 aspect ratios to give you a bigger display for watching films and when you’re looking at photos. The reasoning here is because most filmmakers make their projects in 21:9, so why can’t you watch in that same aspect ratio on your phone?

If you’re watching other content in a different aspect ratio it’ll appear with black bars along the edges of the phone, but the company says that shouldn’t happen a lot as almost 70% of films on Netflix. Lots of content on other streaming services is also available in 21:9.

Films you buy from Sony’s own virtual store can also play in that aspect ratio too, but if you’re watching TV shows that weren’t originally shown in that aspect ratio it’s unlikely they’ll play on your phone without black bars down the sides.

Sony Xperia 1 design 

Image Credit: Sony

Because of the aspect ratio, the Xperia 1 is a much longer phone than others you’ve seen on the market. It has dimensions of 167 x 72 x 8.1mm, but we don’t currently know how much it’s weighs.

There’s Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection of the glass panel on the rear of the phone, and there’s a long border at the top of the display to house the important front-facing camera tech rather than a notch at the top of the display.

You’ll have the choice out of black, grey, white or purple colors for the phone. It doesn’t feature a 3.5mm headphone jack, and the phone is IP68 water resistant so you’ll be able to let this slip into the sink without worrying about the internals flooding.

There is a fingerprint scanner on the Xperia 1 and it’s it’s built into the side of the handset on the right hand edge. To use it, you can just place your finger and it’ll wake up the phone. There’s no in-screen fingerprint scanner technology here.

Sony Xperia 1 OS and spec 

Under the hood is the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, so you’ll get all the benefits of the top-end processor working behind the scenes but it’s important to note this phone isn’t capable of connecting to 5G.

Sony has yet to unveil when it plans to move into the world of 5G, but you’ll have to upgrade your phone in future to make full use of that technology. It does come with NFC, Bluetooth 5.0 and a USB-Type C port at the bottom of the phone.

Back to the internals, and you’ll find 6GB of RAM which should be more than enough to keep this phone chugging along and there’s 128GB of storage so you can fill it up with apps and media. 

If you want more space for the movies you’re going to watch on this wide-screen display you’ll make full of the 512GB microSD card capacity.

When it comes to audio, the phone has Dolby Atmos hi-Res audio built into it and the speakers are, according to Sony, some of the best the company has ever made. We’ll be sure to push them to their limits during our full review.

Sony Xperia 1 battery and camera 

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Powering this phone along is a 3,330mAh battery with fast-charging support but there’s no wireless charging here if you were hoping to avoid using the USB-C jack.

As for the camera, this is the first time we’ve seen Sony embrace a three sensor rear setup. The company has also dropped the megapixel count in its camera too and instead now uses three 12MP sensors at the same time.

There’s a 12MP wide-angle lens combined with a Super Wide 12MP and a 12MP telephoto shooter. All three parts of the camera are set to work in tandem, and the idea here is that you’ll be able to get super wide shots that are easy to view on the 21:9 display.

There’s also 4K video recording with a variety of other features including a new mode called Cinema Pro. The idea here is that you can film and edit video like a professional using the app that’s supplied directly on the handset, and we’ll be sure to test this out further soon.

On the front of the phone sits an 8MP front-facing camera, which doesn’t sound like much but considering Sony’s recent history we’re hoping it’ll be a suitable selfie shooter.

Be sure to check back soon for our hands on review of the Sony Xperia 1, and if you haven’t read them already read our hands on Xperia 10 review and our hands on Xperia 10 Plus review too.

MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world’s largest showcase for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2019 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar’s world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone. 

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