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Sony Xperia 1 Smartphone Review: It takes more than just a fancy display to challenge established flagships

Marcus Herbrich, 👁 Daniel Schmidt (translated by Alex Alderson), 07/05/2019

A cinema in your pocket? Sony presents the Xperia 1 as being the first smartphone with a 4K and HDR OLED display with a 21:9 aspect ratio. Cinema ready? Well, there is more to the Xperia 1 than that. The Xperia 1 is a great smartphone, but it may only be ideal for a few people. Read on to find out why.

Sony Xperia 1

The Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona saw ​​Sony introduce its new flagship Xperia smartphone, the Xperia 1. The device has a 21:9 display just like the midrange Xperia 10 series, which Sony calls CinemaWide on account of feature-length films often being filmed in this aspect ratio. The display in the Xperia 1 is also an OLED panel and runs natively at 3840x1644. It supports HDR too and is not interrupted by any notches or punch-holes like the displays of many modern flagships are. The trade-off to having no notch or punch hole is bezels, although these are pleasantly narrow.

Sony equips the Xperia 1 with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC, 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB UFS 2.1 flash storage. All are staples of flagships released in 2019, as are triple rear-facing cameras. Sony has opted for three 12 MP sensors on the Xperia 1, with its main f/1.6 aperture sensor supported by a super wide-angle sensor, along with a telephoto lens that supports up to 2x optical zoom.

The Xperia 1 currently retails for an eye-watering 949 Euros (~US$1,071), which puts it in the firing line of the Huawei P30 Pro, OnePlus 7 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S10+. We shall also consider the Xperia 1 against the Xiaomi Mi 9, a considerably more affordable alternative to our other comparison devices.

Sony Xperia 1 (Xperia Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
6144 MB 
Display
6.5 inch 21:9, 3840 x 1644 pixel 643 PPI, Capacitive touchscreen, OLED, CinemaWide, Corning Gorilla Glass 6, glossy: yes, HDR
Storage
128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash, 128 GB 
, 105 GB free
Connections
1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, Audio Connections: USB Type-C, Card Reader: Up to 512 GB microSDXC cards, 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Accelerometer, barometer, e-compass, geomagnetic rotation vector, gyroscope, hall sensor, magnetometer, RGBC-IR sensor, USB Type-C, OTG, status LED, Miracast
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0, 2G: 850, 900, 1,800, 1,900. UMTS/HSPA+/3G: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 19. LTE/4G: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 32, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 46, 66., Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.2 x 167 x 72 ( = 0.32 x 6.57 x 2.83 in)
Battery
3330 mAh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Android 9.0 Pie
Camera
Primary Camera: 12 MPix , f/1.6, 26 mm, 1/2.6 ", 1.4 μm, 5-axis. 12 MP telephoto lens, f/2.4, 52 mm, 1/3.4", 1.0 μm, 2x optical zoom, 5-axis. 12 MP ultrawide, f/2.4, 16 mm, 1/3.4", 1.0 μm. Camera2 API: Full
Secondary Camera: 8 MPix , f/2.0, 24 mm, 1/4", 1.0 μm
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo speakers, Keyboard: Virtual, Charger, USB cable, quick start guide, warranty card, Sony UI, 24 Months Warranty, SAR: Head - 1.12 W/kg. LTE Cat.19. DRM Widevine: L1, fanless
Weight
178 g ( = 6.28 oz / 0.39 pounds), Power Supply: 48 g ( = 1.69 oz / 0.11 pounds)
Price
949 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Sony Xperia 1
Sony Xperia 1
The Sony Xperia 1 comes in three colours
The Sony Xperia 1 comes in three colours

Sony has covered the Xperia 1 in Corning Gorilla Glass 6 and currently offers the device in black, grey and white. The device has a minimalist design in our opinion, with the 6.5-inch display bordered by narrow bezels. However, the inclusion of a top bezel reduces its screen-to-body ratio to just 82%, which is rather low by today’s standards. The OnePlus 7 Pro, for instance, pushes over 88%.

The Xperia 1 is surprisingly light at 178 g, while its 21:9 aspect ratio display allows it to be narrower than all our comparison devices too. It is just over 0.6 mm thicker than most at 8.2 mm though, but this does not stop it from feeling good in the hand.

Sony has done a good job of placing the physical buttons, with all being easily accessible and well-finished. The dedicated camera button is in an awkward position if you try to press it with the phone in portrait mode. However, it doubles as a shutter button, which is generally found towards the outer edges of a traditional camera or DLSR.

Our review unit is well-built too, although the middle back of the case feels hollow. Sony has returned to using side-mounted fingerprint sensors, having briefly switched to rear-mounted ones for the XZ2 Premium and XZ3. The side-mounted fingerprint sensor means that the device cannot sit firmly on a flat surface like a table. A minor gripe, admittedly.

The Xperia 1 is IP65 and 68-certified against the ingress of dust and water too. We would recommend against placing the device in a saline solution or chlorinated water though.

Sony Xperia 1
Sony Xperia 1
Sony Xperia 1
Sony Xperia 1
Sony Xperia 1
Sony Xperia 1
Sony Xperia 1
Sony Xperia 1
Sony Xperia 1
Sony Xperia 1

Size Comparison

167 mm / 6.57 inch 72 mm / 2.83 inch 8.2 mm / 0.3228 inch 178 g0.3924 lbs162.6 mm / 6.4 inch 75.9 mm / 2.99 inch 8.8 mm / 0.3465 inch 206 g0.4542 lbs158.01 mm / 6.22 inch 73.37 mm / 2.89 inch 8.41 mm / 0.3311 inch 192 g0.4233 lbs157.6 mm / 6.2 inch 74.1 mm / 2.92 inch 7.8 mm / 0.3071 inch 198 g0.4365 lbs157.5 mm / 6.2 inch 74.67 mm / 2.94 inch 7.61 mm / 0.2996 inch 173 g0.3814 lbs

Connectivity

The Xperia 1 has stereo speakers, dual SIM connectivity, a notification LED, and an always-on display (AoD). Sony has included an RGB-IR sensor too, which supposedly analyses ambient light and helps optimise the white balance of the display.

The device supports Miracast too, which worked perfectly with a Sony Android TV during our tests. Sony has also certified the Xperia 1 for Widevine DRM Level 1, meaning that it can stream DRM-protected content from services like Amazon Prime and Netflix in HD.

The Xperia 1 has a USB Type-C port like all modern smartphones. Most operate on the older USB 2.0 standard though, with Sony opting for a new USB 3.1 connection instead. The port supports USB On-The-Go (OTG), which means that you can connect external peripherals like keyboards and USB sticks. USB 3.1 also provides excellent transfer speeds.

As we mentioned earlier, the Xperia 1 has 128 GB of UFS 2.1 flash storage, of which around 105 GB is free upon delivery. You can add up to 512-GB microSD cards should you need more storage, with the device able to read all modern file systems including exFAT. We were unable to format any microSD card as internal storage though, restricting apps and data to just the 105 GB of built-in free space.

Right-hand side: camera button, power button, fingerprint scanner, volume buttons
Right-hand side: camera button, power button, fingerprint scanner, volume buttons
Top side: card slot
Top side: card slot
Underside: microphone, USB Type-C, speaker
Underside: microphone, USB Type-C, speaker
Left-hand side: No connections
Left-hand side: No connections

Software

The Xperia 1 ships with Android 9.0 Pie, atop of which Sony adds its Sony UI. You would be forgiven for thinking that the device runs stock Android though as Sony has kept changes to a minimum. Bloatware is scarce, with Sony only adding a few apps like in-house camera, music, and support apps, among others. These cannot be uninstalled, although you can disable them.

The only notable inclusion is Side Sense, which allows you to launch applications by tapping the sides of the display. You can activate various other functions too.

Incidentally, Sony had pushed out the June 2019 security patch to our review unit when we received it. This was the most up to date patch at the time of testing.

Default app drawer
Default app drawer
Recents pane
Recents pane
Default home screen and preinstalled Google apps
Default home screen and preinstalled Google apps
Settings
Settings
Quick Settings
Quick Settings
Default home screen
Default home screen

Communication & GPS

The Xperia 1 supports LTE Cat.19 for both nano-SIM card slots, theoretically allowing it to achieve up to 1.6 GB/s download speeds. The device can also access 24 LTE bands, including the increasingly more frequently used Band 28, so there is nothing to complain about here. Likewise, the device supports Bluetooth 5.0 and has an NFC chip, so it will work with services like Google Pay.

The Xperia 1 supports all modern Wi-Fi standards up to 802.11ac and has a MIMO antenna that helps it achieve fast transfer speeds. Our iperf3 Client Wi-Fi tests with our Linksys EA8500 router underline this, with our review unit averaging over 500 Mb/s in both tests. However, it simultaneously has underwhelming reception, with the device only able to manage an attenuation of -52 dBm when placed next to our Telekom Speedport W921V router.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Xiaomi Mi 9
Adreno 640, 855, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
678 (min: 549, max: 725) MBit/s ∼100% +10%
Huawei P30 Pro
Mali-G76 MP10, Kirin 980, 256 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
661 (min: 624, max: 683) MBit/s ∼97% +7%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Mali-G76 MP12, 9820, 512 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
633 (min: 561, max: 684) MBit/s ∼93% +3%
Sony Xperia 1
Adreno 640, 855, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
617 (min: 356, max: 662) MBit/s ∼91%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Adreno 640, 855, 256 GB UFS 3.0 Flash
467 (min: 375, max: 519) MBit/s ∼69% -24%
Average of class Smartphone
  (5.9 - 939, n=414)
224 MBit/s ∼33% -64%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Huawei P30 Pro
Mali-G76 MP10, Kirin 980, 256 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
670 (min: 542, max: 717) MBit/s ∼100% +26%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Adreno 640, 855, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
534 (min: 430, max: 578) MBit/s ∼80% +1%
Sony Xperia 1
Adreno 640, 855, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
531 (min: 414, max: 620) MBit/s ∼79%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Adreno 640, 855, 256 GB UFS 3.0 Flash
471 (min: 438, max: 506) MBit/s ∼70% -11%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Mali-G76 MP12, 9820, 512 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
457 (min: 398, max: 508) MBit/s ∼68% -14%
Average of class Smartphone
  (9.4 - 703, n=414)
213 MBit/s ∼32% -60%
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; iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø617 (356-662)
; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø531 (414-620)
GPS Test: Indoors
GPS Test: Indoors
GPS Test: Outdoors
GPS Test: Outdoors

The Xperia 1 uses BeiDou, Galileo, GLONASS and GPS for location services, which helps it achieve a satellite fix with up to four metres accuracy. This applies indoors and outdoors, which is impressive. Our review unit even managed to locate us quickly indoors to our surprise.

We also took the Xperia 1 on a bike ride to compare its location accuracy against our reference bike computer, the Garmin Edge 500. Only 10 metres separated the Xperia 1 from the Garmin after over 9 km, underlining just how accurate the former is. Our review unit still took some questionable detours though. However, you should have no issues with using the Xperia 1 for all general navigation tasks.

GPS test: Garmin Edge 500 - Overview
GPS test: Garmin Edge 500 - Overview
GPS test: Garmin Edge 500 - Cycling around a lake
GPS test: Garmin Edge 500 - Cycling around a lake
GPS test: Garmin Edge 500 – Loop
GPS test: Garmin Edge 500 – Loop
GPS test: Sony Xperia 1 - Overview
GPS test: Sony Xperia 1 - Overview
GPS test: Sony Xperia 1 – Cycling around a lake
GPS test: Sony Xperia 1 – Cycling around a lake
GPS test: Sony Xperia 1 - Loop
GPS test: Sony Xperia 1 - Loop

Telephone Features & Call Quality

Dialler
Dialler

The phone app looks and functions just like the one you would find on Pixel smartphones, except that its three tabs are at the top, rather than the bottom, of the screen. Our review unit has decent, if unremarkable, call quality. Voices sounded clear at both ends of the call, and we experienced no disturbing reception dropouts during our tests. The Xperia 1 supports Wi-Fi calls (VoWiFi) too; we could not find an option for enabling voice over LTE (VoLTE). Please keep in mind that Wi-Fi calls will only work if your carrier has provisioned the Xperia 1. The functionality will not work on all networks out of the box.

Video calls also worked well, which we confirmed by using Skype with the front-facing camera. The speaker reproduced our partner’s voice clearly, although we could occasionally hear our voice echoing in the background.

Cameras

Photographed with the front-facing camera
Photographed with the front-facing camera

As we mentioned at the start of this review, Sony has equipped the Xperia 1 with three 12 MP rear-facing cameras. The main sensor has an f/1.6 aperture, a 78° field of view (FOV) and a 26 mm focal length. Second up is the wide-angle sensor, with its f/2.4 aperture, 135° FOV and 26 mm focal length. Sony has also included a telephoto lens, which has an f/2.4 aperture too, along with a 45° FOV and a 52 mm focal length. Incidentally, the main and telephoto sensors are optically stabilised (OIS).

Sony has paid special attention to the video capabilities of the Xperia 1, allowing it to record in up to 3840x1644 in a 21:9 aspect ratio. The standard rear-facing camera can also shoot in up to 1080p at 960 FPS for slow-motion effect. Sony has preinstalled a dedicated Cinema Pro app to, which contains various settings for manually adjusting colour depth, aperture and focus among others.

The main sensor is the in-house IMX445, which has 1.4 μm sized pixels. Theoretically, the IMX445 should take good photos in low light, but the Xperia 1 cannot compete with the IMX586 in the Honor View 20, for example, as demonstrated below by scene 3. In short, low-light photos are comparatively underexposed, lack detail and they are dominated by image noise.

Predictably, the IMX445 performs better in daylight, with our review unit capturing some impressive and detailed test shots. The sensor shows its shortcomings even here though, with image dynamics and exposure levels falling short of the cameras in other 2019 flagships. The IMX445 generally reproduces colours too warmly for our liking too.

Sony promotes that the telephoto lens supports 2x optical zoom, but it does so with less detail and worse exposure than the IMX445 can. Likewise, the wide-angle sensor has weaker dynamics and captures less detail too, while our tests shots have a fish-eye look to them, as demonstrated below by the picture of the brick wall.

Sony has gone with a Samsung sensor rather than an in-house one for the front-facing camera. The 8 MP sensor has an f/2.0 aperture and delivers mixed results. Image quality is worse than any of the rear-facing sensors, and our test photos look underexposed with washed-out colours even with the HDR mode enabled. Incidentally, the front-facing camera can shoot videos in up to 1080p at 30 FPS. Videos look about as good as photos do too.

Please note: We shall shortly be publishing an article comparing the cameras of current flagship smartphones, of which the Xperia 1 will be one of our test devices. We will also be comparing the OnePlus 7 Pro, Galaxy S10+ and P30 Pro.

Camera Settings
Camera Settings
Camera UI
Camera UI
Camera UI
Photographed with the 12 MP main rear-facing camera
Photographed with the 12 MP main rear-facing camera
Photographed using 2x optical zoom
Photographed using 2x optical zoom
Photographed using the wide-angle sensor
Photographed using the wide-angle sensor

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images
ColorChecker Passport: The lower half of each area of colour displays the reference colour
ColorChecker Passport: The lower half of each area of colour displays the reference colour

We also subjected our review unit to additional camera tests under controlled lighting conditions. The main sensor reproduces colours well compared to ColorChecker Passport reference colours, although it has trouble with black and green tones. Its white balance is too warm, which impacts some of its colour accuracy.

The sensor does a good job of capturing our test chart too, in daylight, that is. Fine lines and structures are visible, but dark fonts on colour backgrounds look frayed. Hardly any of the chart is visible in low light though.

A photo of our test chart
A photo of our test chart
Our test chart in detail
A photo of our test chart shot in low-light

Accessories & Warranty

A look at the Style Cover Touch SCTI30
A look at the Style Cover Touch SCTI30

The Xperia 1 comes with the standard set of accessories for a 2019 flagship. Sony includes a USB cable, a 3.5 mm jack to Type-C adapter and a modular charger (3 A/5 V).

The company also sells a case, which it calls the Style Cover Touch SCTI30. The case has a transparent front panel that allows you to make calls and even use the device with the cover closed. Sony sells other generic accessories like its Open-ear SBH82D headphones too.

The Xperia 1 comes with a 24-month limited manufacturer’s warranty. Please see our Guarantees, Return Policies & Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices & Operation

Sony preinstalls Google Gboard as the default keyboard, which works just as well as it has on other devices that we have reviewed. The Xperia 1 also comes with the same gesture controls that we have seen on Pixel smartphones like the Pixel 3a XL. You can switch to traditional navigation buttons should you prefer though.

The capacitive touchscreen in our review unit is very sensitive and responds accurately, even into the corners of the display. The Gorilla glass protective surface has a pleasantly smooth finish too.

Sony has also included its Side-Sense functionality, which still works well, as does the Xperia 1’s side-mounted fingerprint sensor. It is not the fastest that we have encountered, but it reliably recognised our registered fingers during our tests. The Xperia 1 does not support biometric face unlock like FaceID, but you could use a less secure 2D alternative if you want to unlock your device using your face.

Using the default keyboard in landscape mode
Using the default keyboard in landscape mode
Using the default keyboard in portrait mode
Using the default keyboard in portrait mode
Using the default keyboard in portrait mode
Using the default keyboard in portrait mode

Display

Sub-pixel array
Sub-pixel array

The highlight of the Xperia 1 is its 6.5-inch OLED display, which as we mentioned earlier is also 4K. Strictly speaking, this is not the case as it only operates at 3840x1644, but this still results in a pixel density of over 600 PPI. Hence, you should not notice any pixels even if you have better than 20/20 vision. The Xperia 1 is HDR10-certified, which should appeal to all the movie lovers out there.

The maximum brightness of the display is a bit too low to take advantage of its HDR10 certification though, as it only reaches an average maximum luminosity of 543 cd/m² according to X-Rite i1Pro 2. By contrast, our comparison devices get between 8% and 33% brighter than our review unit. Switching to manual brightness drops the maximum luminosity to just 340 cd/m² too. The more practical APL50 test measures a maximum brightness of 640 cd/m² though, which is more respectable. Moreover, the display is 99% evenly lit, which is a class-leading result.

It is worth keeping in mind that it is tricky to get AMOLED pixels to radiate at their maximum luminosity, so you may achieve higher values if you shine an ultra-bright light on the display. AMOLED panels do not have integrated backlights like their IPS or TN counterparts too, which comes with its advantages and drawbacks. We shall cover the former in the next paragraph. Starting with the latter, OLED panels use pulse-width modulation (PWM) to change brightness, which can look like flickering to human eyes. This flickering can cause health issues like eye strain and headaches for some people. The screen in our review unit flickers at 241.5 Hz when set to 99% brightness and below, although we noticed it flickering at around 121.4 Hz when at maximum brightness too. Both are low enough to cause issues for those who are PWM sensitive.

544
cd/m²
543
cd/m²
546
cd/m²
539
cd/m²
541
cd/m²
544
cd/m²
544
cd/m²
542
cd/m²
542
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 546 cd/m² Average: 542.8 cd/m² Minimum: 2.08 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 99 %
Center on Battery: 541 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 0.8 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 1.2 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
100% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 2.2
Sony Xperia 1
OLED, 3840x1644, 6.5
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
OLED, 3040x1440, 6.4
Huawei P30 Pro
OLED, 2340x1080, 6.47
OnePlus 7 Pro
AMOLED, 3120x1440, 6.67
Xiaomi Mi 9
AMOLED, 2340x1080, 6.39
Screen
-139%
-51%
-25%
-7%
Brightness middle
541
710
31%
597
10%
586
8%
593
10%
Brightness
543
721
33%
608
12%
584
8%
587
8%
Brightness Distribution
99
97
-2%
89
-10%
97
-2%
94
-5%
Black Level *
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
0.8
3.7
-363%
2.2
-175%
1.39
-74%
0.9
-13%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
1.7
10.3
-506%
3.6
-112%
2.7
-59%
2
-18%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.2
1.5
-25%
1.6
-33%
1.6
-33%
1.5
-25%
Gamma
2.2 100%
2.1 105%
2.23 99%
2.243 98%
2.27 97%
CCT
6601 98%
6611 98%
6268 104%
6672 97%
6548 99%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 245.1 Hz ≤ 99 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 245.1 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 99 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 245.1 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9451 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Our custom colour settings
Our custom colour settings

The positive aspect of having no backlight is that it allows AMOLED panels to individually switch off pixels, theoretically giving them 0 cd/m² black values and infinite contrast ratios. This makes colours look more vivid than they would on IPS or TN panels.

Correspondingly, CalMAN certifies the display as being impressively colour accurate, with low sRGB DeltaE deviations even by flagship smartphone standards. The display should even support BT.2020 HDR when set to Creator mode too and achieves an almost ideal colour temperature when set to our customised colour settings. We cannot notice any colour tints either.


CalMAN: Colour Accuracy – DCI P3 target colour space, custom colour settings
CalMAN: Colour Accuracy – DCI P3 target colour space, custom colour settings
CalMAN: Colour Space – DCI P3 target colour space, custom colour settings
CalMAN: Colour Space – DCI P3 target colour space, custom colour settings
CalMAN: Grayscale – DCI P3 target colour space, custom colour settings
CalMAN: Grayscale – DCI P3 target colour space, custom colour settings
CalMAN: Colour Saturation – DCI P3 target colour space, custom colour settings
CalMAN: Colour Saturation – DCI P3 target colour space, custom colour settings
CalMAN: Colour Accuracy – DCI P3 target colour space, cold colour profile
CalMAN: Colour Accuracy – DCI P3 target colour space, cold colour profile
CalMAN: Colour Space – DCI P3 target colour space, cold colour profile
CalMAN: Colour Space – DCI P3 target colour space, cold colour profile
CalMAN: Grayscale – DCI P3 target colour space, cold colour profile
CalMAN: Grayscale – DCI P3 target colour space, cold colour profile
CalMAN: Colour Saturation – DCI P3 target colour space, cold colour profile
CalMAN: Colour Saturation – DCI P3 target colour space, cold colour profile

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
3.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 2 ms rise
↘ 1.2 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 1 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.1 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 2 ms rise
↘ 2 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 1 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (40.1 ms).

The Xperia 1 is easy to use outdoors thanks to its contrast-rich AMOLED display. Our review unit gets bright enough for most lights, but its highly reflective display makes it tricky to read content under bright sunlight. Incidentally, devices like the Galaxy S10+ get noticeably brighter than the Xperia 1.

Using the Sony Xperia 1 outdoors
Using the Sony Xperia 1 outdoors
Using the Sony Xperia 1 outdoors
Using the Sony Xperia 1 outdoors

The Xperia 1 also has excellent viewing angles thanks to its AMOLED panel. We noticed no brightness, colour or image distortions even at acute viewing angles, with the display remaining readable from practically every angle.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

The Xperia 1 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC, the chipset of choice for most Android OEMs this year. The Snapdragon 855 integrates four ARM Cortex-A76 cores with one assigned as a faster "prime-core" that can reach up to 2.84 GHz, while the other three peak at 2.42 GHz. The SoC also has four ARM Cortex-A55 cores that have a maximum clock speed of 1.8 GHz, and a Qualcomm Adreno 640 GPU.

Our review unit performs well in synthetic benchmarks. However, the Xperia 1 generally falls short of the OnePlus 7 Pro and Mi 9 because of its higher resolution display, meaning that the same SoC must render more pixels on the Xperia 1 than it does on those other two devices.

The Xperia 1 is on par with the Galaxy S10+ and its Exynos 9820 SoC though, as it is in GPU benchmarks like GFXBench. The device suffers in off-screen benchmarks though, which is probably because of thermal throttling. 3DMark scores fluctuate by between 20 and 30%, for example, but we will cover this in greater depth in the Emissions section of this review.

Our review unit performs well in daily use too, despite its huge 4K display. 6 GB of RAM is comparatively low these days, but we did not notice any aggressive RAM management during our tests or slowdowns.

Geekbench 4.3
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
7509 Points ∼74%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
10177 Points ∼100% +36%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
8574 Points ∼84% +14%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
7470 Points ∼73% -1%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
7482 Points ∼74% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (7372 - 8024, n=10)
7597 Points ∼75% +1%
Average of class Smartphone
  (663 - 21070, n=310)
4584 Points ∼45% -39%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
11172 Points ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
10259 Points ∼92% -8%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
9880 Points ∼88% -12%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
10812 Points ∼97% -3%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
10999 Points ∼98% -2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (10187 - 11388, n=11)
10932 Points ∼98% -2%
Average of class Smartphone
  (1174 - 11598, n=365)
4570 Points ∼41% -59%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
3506 Points ∼78%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
4505 Points ∼100% +28%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
3306 Points ∼73% -6%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
3472 Points ∼77% -1%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
3523 Points ∼78% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (3406 - 3537, n=11)
3487 Points ∼77% -1%
Average of class Smartphone
  (691 - 4824, n=367)
1365 Points ∼30% -61%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
8760 Points ∼88%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
7812 Points ∼78% -11%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
9135 Points ∼92% +4%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
9974 Points ∼100% +14%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
9035 Points ∼91% +3%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (8342 - 11440, n=10)
9581 Points ∼96% +9%
Average of class Smartphone
  (3227 - 11440, n=359)
5004 Points ∼50% -43%
Work performance score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
10747 Points ∼83%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
9793 Points ∼75% -9%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
12996 Points ∼100% +21%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
11766 Points ∼91% +9%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
10985 Points ∼85% +2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (10330 - 14439, n=10)
12092 Points ∼93% +13%
Average of class Smartphone
  (4096 - 14439, n=527)
5476 Points ∼42% -49%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (Vulkan) Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
2104 Points ∼63%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
2488 Points ∼75% +18%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
3183 Points ∼96% +51%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
3317 Points ∼100% +58%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
3288 Points ∼99% +56%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (2104 - 3365, n=10)
3011 Points ∼91% +43%
Average of class Smartphone
  (2720 - 15735, n=47)
2395 Points ∼72% +14%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (Vulkan) Unlimited Graphics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
5007 Points ∼86%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
5530 Points ∼95% +10%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
4688 Points ∼81% -6%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
5794 Points ∼100% +16%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
5723 Points ∼99% +14%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (4236 - 5862, n=10)
5533 Points ∼95% +11%
Average of class Smartphone
  (5565 - 14536, n=47)
2477 Points ∼43% -51%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (Vulkan) Unlimited (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
3832 Points ∼77%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
4348 Points ∼88% +13%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
4242 Points ∼85% +11%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
4969 Points ∼100% +30%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
4914 Points ∼99% +28%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (3800 - 5012, n=10)
4649 Points ∼94% +21%
Average of class Smartphone
  (4515 - 14786, n=50)
2133 Points ∼43% -44%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
1934 Points ∼44%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
2925 Points ∼66% +51%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
4171 Points ∼94% +116%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
4429 Points ∼100% +129%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
3754 Points ∼85% +94%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (1934 - 4535, n=10)
3778 Points ∼85% +95%
Average of class Smartphone
  (573 - 4535, n=375)
1836 Points ∼41% -5%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Graphics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
5674 Points ∼80%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
5371 Points ∼75% -5%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
4361 Points ∼61% -23%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
7115 Points ∼100% +25%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
7076 Points ∼99% +25%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (5184 - 7115, n=10)
6745 Points ∼95% +19%
Average of class Smartphone
  (76 - 8206, n=375)
1607 Points ∼23% -72%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
3969 Points ∼63%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
4529 Points ∼72% +14%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
4317 Points ∼69% +9%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
6270 Points ∼100% +58%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
5913 Points ∼94% +49%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (3969 - 6312, n=10)
5698 Points ∼91% +44%
Average of class Smartphone
  (94 - 6312, n=378)
1493 Points ∼24% -62%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
2345 Points ∼54%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
3087 Points ∼71% +32%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
4164 Points ∼96% +78%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
4352 Points ∼100% +86%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
3788 Points ∼87% +62%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (2345 - 4703, n=9)
3943 Points ∼91% +68%
Average of class Smartphone
  (375 - 4703, n=389)
1811 Points ∼42% -23%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Graphics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
9158 Points ∼88%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
4449 Points ∼43% -51%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
5767 Points ∼55% -37%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
10420 Points ∼100% +14%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
10291 Points ∼99% +12%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (6358 - 10420, n=9)
9714 Points ∼93% +6%
Average of class Smartphone
  (131 - 14951, n=389)
2202 Points ∼21% -76%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
5552 Points ∼70%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
4052 Points ∼51% -27%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
5313 Points ∼67% -4%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
7955 Points ∼100% +43%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
7449 Points ∼94% +34%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (5268 - 8141, n=9)
7281 Points ∼92% +31%
Average of class Smartphone
  (159 - 8141, n=390)
1869 Points ∼23% -66%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
2705 Points ∼67%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
2977 Points ∼73% +10%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
3849 Points ∼95% +42%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
4063 Points ∼100% +50%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
3758 Points ∼92% +39%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (2705 - 4320, n=10)
3759 Points ∼93% +39%
Average of class Smartphone
  (486 - 4320, n=451)
1765 Points ∼43% -35%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
5663 Points ∼89%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
5186 Points ∼82% -8%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
4400 Points ∼69% -22%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
6248 Points ∼98% +10%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
6355 Points ∼100% +12%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (5663 - 6362, n=10)
6227 Points ∼98% +10%
Average of class Smartphone
  (65 - 6362, n=453)
1333 Points ∼21% -76%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
4556 Points ∼82%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
4452 Points ∼80% -2%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
4264 Points ∼76% -6%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
5581 Points ∼100% +22%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
5509 Points ∼99% +21%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (4556 - 5734, n=10)
5412 Points ∼97% +19%
Average of class Smartphone
  (80 - 5734, n=461)
1270 Points ∼23% -72%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
3656 Points ∼89%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
2875 Points ∼70% -21%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
3828 Points ∼94% +5%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
4091 Points ∼100% +12%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
3614 Points ∼88% -1%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (3505 - 4454, n=9)
3930 Points ∼96% +7%
Average of class Smartphone
  (512 - 4454, n=483)
1673 Points ∼41% -54%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
9447 Points ∼95%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
5303 Points ∼53% -44%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
5431 Points ∼55% -43%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
9845 Points ∼99% +4%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
9963 Points ∼100% +5%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (6122 - 10008, n=9)
9436 Points ∼95% 0%
Average of class Smartphone
  (43 - 10008, n=483)
1811 Points ∼18% -81%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
7197 Points ∼96%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
4465 Points ∼60% -38%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
4969 Points ∼66% -31%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
7501 Points ∼100% +4%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
7166 Points ∼96% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (5251 - 7820, n=9)
7198 Points ∼96% 0%
Average of class Smartphone
  (55 - 7820, n=491)
1550 Points ∼21% -78%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
28223 Points ∼87%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
32302 Points ∼100% +14%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
31483 Points ∼97% +12%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
26936 Points ∼83% -5%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
25339 Points ∼78% -10%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (23877 - 45072, n=9)
31887 Points ∼99% +13%
Average of class Smartphone
  (4811 - 45072, n=643)
13678 Points ∼42% -52%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
105718 Points ∼99%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
70318 Points ∼66% -33%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
63469 Points ∼59% -40%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
106829 Points ∼100% +1%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
106534 Points ∼100% +1%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (106770 - 110432, n=9)
94164 Points ∼88% -11%
Average of class Smartphone
  (11358 - 162695, n=643)
20096 Points ∼19% -81%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
65656 Points ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
55740 Points ∼85% -15%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
51779 Points ∼79% -21%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
64389 Points ∼98% -2%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
62225 Points ∼95% -5%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (69203 - 83518, n=9)
61193 Points ∼93% -7%
Average of class Smartphone
  (11565 - 83518, n=644)
16657 Points ∼25% -75%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
167 fps ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
96 fps ∼57% -43%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
138 fps ∼83% -17%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
166 fps ∼99% -1%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
167 fps ∼100% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (85 - 167, n=11)
159 fps ∼95% -5%
Average of class Smartphone
  (6 - 251, n=671)
35.1 fps ∼21% -79%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
60 fps ∼96%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
58 fps ∼92% -3%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
60 fps ∼96% 0%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
60 fps ∼96% 0%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
60 fps ∼96% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (59 - 91, n=11)
62.8 fps ∼100% +5%
Average of class Smartphone
  (9.8 - 120, n=674)
27 fps ∼43% -55%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
100 fps ∼99%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
67 fps ∼66% -33%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
91 fps ∼90% -9%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
101 fps ∼100% +1%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
100 fps ∼99% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (50 - 102, n=11)
95.5 fps ∼95% -4%
Average of class Smartphone
  (2.7 - 132, n=590)
19.4 fps ∼19% -81%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
60 fps ∼99%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
53 fps ∼87% -12%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
59 fps ∼97% -2%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
55 fps ∼91% -8%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
60 fps ∼99% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (51 - 85, n=11)
60.6 fps ∼100% +1%
Average of class Smartphone
  (5.4 - 115, n=595)
17.8 fps ∼29% -70%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
55 fps ∼77%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
67 fps ∼94% +22%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
56 fps ∼79% +2%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
71 fps ∼100% +29%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
69 fps ∼97% +25%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (35 - 71, n=11)
62.5 fps ∼88% +14%
Average of class Smartphone
  (1.6 - 88, n=451)
16 fps ∼23% -71%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
41 fps ∼71%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
37 fps ∼64% -10%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
47 fps ∼81% +15%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
36 fps ∼62% -12%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
58 fps ∼100% +41%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (36 - 58, n=11)
49 fps ∼84% +20%
Average of class Smartphone
  (3.4 - 110, n=454)
15.2 fps ∼26% -63%
GFXBench
High Tier Onscreen (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
17 fps ∼71%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
16 fps ∼67% -6%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
20 fps ∼83% +18%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
15 fps ∼63% -12%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
24 fps ∼100% +41%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (14 - 26, n=10)
21.9 fps ∼91% +29%
Average of class Smartphone
  (0.86 - 59, n=154)
8.97 fps ∼37% -47%
2560x1440 High Tier Offscreen (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
22 fps ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
17 fps ∼77% -23%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
14 fps ∼64% -36%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
16 fps ∼73% -27%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
16 fps ∼73% -27%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (8.5 - 22, n=11)
16.2 fps ∼74% -26%
Average of class Smartphone
  (0.26 - 31, n=154)
6.24 fps ∼28% -72%
Normal Tier Onscreen (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
34 fps ∼92%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
26 fps ∼70% -24%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
32 fps ∼86% -6%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
23 fps ∼62% -32%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
37 fps ∼100% +9%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (22 - 38, n=10)
34 fps ∼92% 0%
Average of class Smartphone
  (1.8 - 59, n=156)
13.5 fps ∼36% -60%
1920x1080 Normal Tier Offscreen (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
42 fps ∼91%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
46 fps ∼100% +10%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
36 fps ∼78% -14%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
42 fps ∼91% 0%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
41 fps ∼89% -2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (22 - 43, n=11)
40.2 fps ∼87% -4%
Average of class Smartphone
  (0.94 - 63, n=155)
15 fps ∼33% -64%
off screen Car Chase Offscreen (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
42 fps ∼98%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
43 fps ∼100% +2%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
33 fps ∼77% -21%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
42 fps ∼98% 0%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
42 fps ∼98% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (22 - 42, n=11)
40.1 fps ∼93% -5%
Average of class Smartphone
  (0.89 - 54, n=380)
10.8 fps ∼25% -74%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
33 fps ∼87%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
23 fps ∼61% -30%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
27 fps ∼71% -18%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
21 fps ∼55% -36%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
38 fps ∼100% +15%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (21 - 38, n=11)
32.2 fps ∼85% -2%
Average of class Smartphone
  (1.6 - 58, n=384)
9.67 fps ∼25% -71%
AnTuTu v7 - Total Score (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
334123 Points ∼89%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
333277 Points ∼89% 0%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
316199 Points ∼84% -5%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
369294 Points ∼99% +11%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
374820 Points ∼100% +12%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (217967 - 398720, n=11)
351877 Points ∼94% +5%
Average of class Smartphone
  (52607 - 398720, n=272)
130479 Points ∼35% -61%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
1300 Points ∼92%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
1383 Points ∼98% +6%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
1409 Points ∼100% +8%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
1364 Points ∼97% +5%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
1378 Points ∼98% +6%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (1171 - 1431, n=10)
1346 Points ∼96% +4%
Average of class Smartphone
  (7 - 1731, n=602)
742 Points ∼53% -43%
Graphics (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
9318 Points ∼99%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
8401 Points ∼89% -10%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
7758 Points ∼82% -17%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
9421 Points ∼100% +1%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
9270 Points ∼98% -1%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (8125 - 9477, n=10)
9150 Points ∼97% -2%
Average of class Smartphone
  (18 - 15969, n=602)
1943 Points ∼21% -79%
Memory (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
2661 Points ∼51%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
4306 Points ∼82% +62%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
5210 Points ∼99% +96%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
5243 Points ∼100% +97%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
4031 Points ∼77% +51%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (2661 - 7500, n=10)
5081 Points ∼97% +91%
Average of class Smartphone
  (21 - 7500, n=602)
1449 Points ∼28% -46%
System (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
8870 Points ∼97%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
8344 Points ∼91% -6%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
8572 Points ∼94% -3%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
9143 Points ∼100% +3%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
8441 Points ∼92% -5%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (5993 - 9143, n=10)
8586 Points ∼94% -3%
Average of class Smartphone
  (369 - 12202, n=602)
2857 Points ∼31% -68%
Overall (sort by value)
Sony Xperia 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
4112 Points ∼83%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Exynos 9820, Mali-G76 MP12, 8192
4520 Points ∼91% +10%
Huawei P30 Pro
HiSilicon Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10, 8192
4701 Points ∼94% +14%
OnePlus 7 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 12288
4982 Points ∼100% +21%
Xiaomi Mi 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640, 6144
4595 Points ∼92% +12%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  (3847 - 5397, n=10)
4783 Points ∼96% +16%
Average of class Smartphone
  (150 - 6097, n=606)
1420 Points ∼29% -65%

Expectedly, the Xperia 1 is competitive in browser benchmarks too, although it generally languishes in a tightly packed midfield. Websites load quickly on the preinstalled Google Chrome browser as does media content. In short, you shouldn't experience any slowdowns in daily use.

Jetstream 2 - Total Score
OnePlus 7 Pro (Chrome 74)
62.5 Points ∼100% +5%
Huawei P30 Pro (Chrome 73)
60.469 Points ∼97% +2%
Sony Xperia 1 (Chrome 75)
59.453 Points ∼95%
Xiaomi Mi 9 (Chrome 73)
57.207 Points ∼92% -4%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 (45.5 - 63.1, n=9)
57 Points ∼91% -4%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus (Samung Browser 9.0)
44.128 Points ∼71% -26%
Average of class Smartphone (14.5 - 108, n=81)
30.6 Points ∼49% -49%
Speedometer 2.0 - Result
Huawei P30 Pro (Chrome 73)
67.8 runs/min ∼100% +6%
Xiaomi Mi 9 (Chrome 73.0.3683.75)
65.7 runs/min ∼97% +2%
Sony Xperia 1 (Chrome 75)
64.2 runs/min ∼95%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 (46.7 - 67.9, n=8)
62.9 runs/min ∼93% -2%
OnePlus 7 Pro (Chome 74)
61.5 runs/min ∼91% -4%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus (Samsung Browser 9.0)
56 runs/min ∼83% -13%
Average of class Smartphone (6.42 - 123, n=73)
34.4 runs/min ∼51% -46%
WebXPRT 3 - ---
Huawei P30 Pro (Chrome 73)
122 Points ∼100% +15%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus (Samsung Browser 9.0)
115 Points ∼94% +8%
OnePlus 7 Pro (Chrome 74)
111 Points ∼91% +5%
Xiaomi Mi 9 (Chrome 73.0.3683.75)
108 Points ∼89% +2%
Sony Xperia 1 (Chrome 75)
106 Points ∼87%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 (94 - 114, n=11)
106 Points ∼87% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (19 - 161, n=134)
63.4 Points ∼52% -40%
Octane V2 - Total Score
OnePlus 7 Pro (Chrome 74)
24730 Points ∼100% +6%
Xiaomi Mi 9 (Chrome 73.0.3683.75)
24534 Points ∼99% +5%
Sony Xperia 1 (Chrome 75)
23318 Points ∼94%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 (17011 - 25640, n=11)
23123 Points ∼94% -1%
Huawei P30 Pro (Chrome 73)
22447 Points ∼91% -4%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus (Samsung Browser 9.0)
20849 Points ∼84% -11%
Average of class Smartphone (1994 - 43280, n=663)
6281 Points ∼25% -73%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Average of class Smartphone (603 - 59466, n=683)
10792 ms * ∼100% -429%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 (1852 - 2611, n=10)
2122 ms * ∼20% -4%
Sony Xperia 1 (Chrome 75)
2039.9 ms * ∼19%
Huawei P30 Pro (Chrome 73)
2009.1 ms * ∼19% +2%
OnePlus 7 Pro (Chrome 74)
1965 ms * ∼18% +4%
Xiaomi Mi 9 (Chrome 73.0.3683.75)
1873.2 ms * ∼17% +8%
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus (Samsung Browser 9.0)
1856.6 ms * ∼17% +9%

* ... smaller is better

Sony has equipped the Xperia 1 with UFS 2.1 flash storage which, while being fast, falls short of the write speeds of the UFS 3.0 in the OnePlus 7 Pro. Overall, only the Galaxy S10+ has slower transfer speeds than the Xperia 1 of our comparison devices, according to AndroBench.

While we like that Sony included a microSD card reader, we cannot understand why it opted for one that can only read and write files at approximately 30 MB/s. This is not only well short of the capabilities of our Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 reference card but is also over half the speed that the readers in the Galaxy S10+ and P30 Pro manage. Disappointing stuff, Sony.

Sony Xperia 1Samsung Galaxy S10 PlusHuawei P30 ProOnePlus 7 ProXiaomi Mi 9Average 128 GB UFS 2.1 FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
44%
153%
51%
166%
84%
-3%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
27.84 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
60.74 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
118%
68.19 (Huawei NanoSD 128 GB)
145%
61.5 (27.8 - 72.4, n=17)
121%
48.6 (9.5 - 87.1, n=405)
75%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
31.34 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
73 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
133%
82.6 (Huawei NanoSD 128 GB)
164%
77 (31.3 - 88.2, n=17)
146%
66.7 (8.1 - 96.5, n=405)
113%
Random Write 4KB
24.16
22.7
-6%
159.22
559%
24.8
3%
165.32
584%
83.2 (18.2 - 250, n=37)
244%
20.1 (0.14 - 250, n=712)
-17%
Random Read 4KB
147.32
135.16
-8%
174.36
18%
174.1
18%
149.36
1%
138 (98.9 - 158, n=37)
-6%
44.8 (1.59 - 175, n=712)
-70%
Sequential Write 256KB
206.87
249.06
20%
250.82
21%
387
87%
388.27
88%
206 (182 - 503, n=37)
0%
92.2 (2.99 - 503, n=712)
-55%
Sequential Read 256KB
749.82
811.17
8%
849.48
13%
1468
96%
666.06
-11%
747 (427 - 912, n=37)
0%
259 (12.1 - 1468, n=712)
-65%

Games

As we have discussed in previous reviews, the Adreno 640 is a powerful GPU that can handle all modern mobile games with ease. As our GameBench frame-rate graphs below demonstrate, Asphalt 9: Legends and PUBG Mobile are always playable, even if there are occasionally some dropped frames. We doubt that most people would notice the difference between 37 FPS and 41 FPS in PUBG Mobile or 26 FPS and 31 FPS in Asphalt 9 though.

Additionally, the touchscreen and all associated sensors worked perfectly during our gaming tests. We had no issues with using accelerometer-based steering in Asphalt 9, for example.

PUBG Mobile
PUBG Mobile
Asphalt 9: Legends
Asphalt 9: Legends
PUBG Mobile
01020304050Tooltip
: Ø39.9 (37-41)
Asphalt 9: Legends
010203040Tooltip
: Ø29.2 (26-31)

Emissions

Temperature

The Xperia 1 generally manages its surface temperatures well at idle, with its case averaging around 26 °C. However, two areas reach 28 °C, which is a bit warm. The device should never feel uncomfortable to hold even during prolonged gaming sessions, although most of the display reaches between 35 °C and 37 °C. The back is marginally cooler though, with our review unit averaging 32.1 °C.

We also subjected the Xperia 1 to a series of GFXBench benchmarks, each of which we left to run for 30 times simultaneously. We recorded any changes in frame rates and battery levels to determine how the device managed its performance under sustained load.

Most smartphones that we test cannot maintain peak performance in the challenging Manhattan test (OpenGL ES 3.1), and the Xperia 1 is no different. Frame rates gradually drop after the first five tests until they stabilise at the ninth run-through. This throttling represents approximately a 10% drop in performance, which you may notice during prolonged gaming sessions.

Max. Load
 36.4 °C
98 F
35.9 °C
97 F
32.5 °C
91 F
 
 37 °C
99 F
36.9 °C
98 F
32.7 °C
91 F
 
 37.1 °C
99 F
35.7 °C
96 F
32.3 °C
90 F
 
Maximum: 37.1 °C = 99 F
Average: 35.2 °C = 95 F
30.8 °C
87 F
31.1 °C
88 F
32.6 °C
91 F
30.6 °C
87 F
31.7 °C
89 F
34.3 °C
94 F
29.8 °C
86 F
32.5 °C
91 F
35.9 °C
97 F
Maximum: 35.9 °C = 97 F
Average: 32.1 °C = 90 F
Power Supply (max.)  24.8 °C = 77 F | Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 35.2 °C / 95 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 37.1 °C / 99 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 35.9 °C / 97 F, compared to the average of 34 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 26.5 °C / 80 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.
Heat map of the front of the device under load
Heat map of the front of the device under load
Heat map of the back of the device under load
Heat map of the back of the device under load

Speakers

Pink Noise speaker test
Pink Noise speaker test

Sony has equipped the Xperia 1 with stereo speakers, which reached a maximum of 83 dB(A) during our tests. While our measurements reveal a fairly linear frequency response for mid-tones, the speakers under-represent ultra-high and bass tones. In short, the speakers in the Xperia 1 do not cover as wide of a frequency range as many of the ones in its competitors do.

The speakers sound good enough for general or occasional use though, and we have no complaints about using the speakers when watching a YouTube video. However, it seems a missed opportunity for Sony not to have included some punchier and better-balanced speakers when it is marketing the Xperia 1 as being capable of delivering a cinematic experience.

You could always connect external audio equipment for a better listening experience. You can only do so with Bluetooth or USB Type-C though, as Sony decided against including a headphone jack. A Type-C adapter is in the box though, should you want to connect traditional headphones or speakers. The Xperia also supports aptX, aptX HD, AAAC and LDAC via Bluetooth.

The Xperia 1 has a trick up its sleeve too. Sony has integrated a Dynamic Vibration System (DVS), which analyses audio files in real-time and converts them into vibrations. DVS can be activated for video-streaming services like Netflix and YouTube and adds to the atmosphere when watching a movie. However, the vibration motor lacks the precision and intensity of its rivals, like the one in the OnePlus 7 Pro, stymieing the potential of DVS somewhat.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2042.242.42531.234.43127.223.74023.731.2503135.86322.7288022.825.110024.420.712520.922.416020.329.720019.131.825016.438.23151642.740017.652.450015.260.863014.669.380015.472.3100014.873.6125015.272.4160015.668.6200014.868.8250014.671315014.368.2400014.669.1500014.771.1630015.372.6800015.372.61000014.968.21250015.356.61600015.643.1SPL27.382.5N0.953.5median 15.3median 68.2Delta1.214.134.832.622.424.922.724.923.820.930.930.920.422.42320.821.123.416.936.317.853.315.650.614.855.616.262.714.364.513.865.913.769.814.869.814.673.414.974.713.975.414.276.313.875.714.678.515.578.314.478.814.277.215.174.415.271.515.167.614.863.526.787.80.872.7median 14.8median 69.80.69.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseSony Xperia 1Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Sony Xperia 1 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (82.5 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 37.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.9% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (3.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (25.8% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 59% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 30% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 75% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 19% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (87.8 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 22.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.7% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (3.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.6% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (2.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (17.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 3% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 92% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 27% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 66% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Power Management

Power Consumption

The Xperia 1 is a comparatively power-efficient smartphone. Only the Mi 9 of our comparison devices has a lower average power draw than our review unit. The latter has comparatively high consumption at idle, with it consuming a minimum of 1 W. The Xperia 1 excels under load where it averages just 3.76 W.

The included fast charger can re-charge the Xperia 1 from 0% to 50% in just 30 minutes. Our review unit reached 100% charge in just over 1 hour too. The device does not support wireless charging, though.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.02 / 0.31 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 1 / 1.48 / 1.56 Watt
Load midlight 3.76 / 8.48 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Sony Xperia 1
3330 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
4100 mAh
Huawei P30 Pro
4200 mAh
OnePlus 7 Pro
4000 mAh
Xiaomi Mi 9
3300 mAh
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
 
Average of class Smartphone
 
Power Consumption
-15%
-20%
-28%
11%
-9%
-2%
Idle Minimum *
1
0.73
27%
0.68
32%
0.9
10%
0.67
33%
0.917 (0.6 - 1.3, n=10)
8%
0.879 (0.2 - 3.4, n=747)
12%
Idle Average *
1.48
1.53
-3%
2.6
-76%
1.8
-22%
1.26
15%
1.555 (1.01 - 2.35, n=10)
-5%
1.733 (0.6 - 6.2, n=746)
-17%
Idle Maximum *
1.56
2.07
-33%
2.77
-78%
2.9
-86%
1.29
17%
1.933 (1.13 - 2.9, n=10)
-24%
2.02 (0.74 - 6.6, n=747)
-29%
Load Average *
3.76
6.03
-60%
3.74
1%
5.5
-46%
3.71
1%
4.55 (3.64 - 5.8, n=10)
-21%
4.06 (0.8 - 10.8, n=741)
-8%
Load Maximum *
8.48
9.18
-8%
6.82
20%
8.2
3%
9.3
-10%
8.76 (7.49 - 10.2, n=10)
-3%
5.88 (1.2 - 14.2, n=741)
31%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Sony has equipped the Xperia 1 with a 3,300 mAh battery, which seems a curious decision when it has a 6.5-inch 4K display and a flagship chipset. By contrast, all but the Mi 9 of our comparison devices have at least 4,000 mAh batteries. Unsurprisingly, the Xperia 1 finishes bottom of our battery life tables, and at least 10% short of all our comparison in all but our battery life under load test.

Our review unit lasted a measly 7:21 hours in our Wi-Fi battery life test, during which we set the display to 150 cd/m² and ran a script that simulates the load required to render websites. This runtime only just about represents a full workday’s use, so expect your Xperia 1 to need recharging before the end of the day.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
17h 47min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
7h 21min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
11h 52min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 06min
Sony Xperia 1
3330 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
4100 mAh
Huawei P30 Pro
4200 mAh
OnePlus 7 Pro
4000 mAh
Xiaomi Mi 9
3300 mAh
Battery Runtime
15%
71%
37%
25%
Reader / Idle
1067
1560
46%
1966
84%
1745
64%
1650
55%
H.264
712
921
29%
1193
68%
802
13%
1008
42%
WiFi v1.3
441
483
10%
838
90%
768
74%
546
24%
Load
246
187
-24%
344
40%
236
-4%
194
-21%

Pros

+ fantastic OLED panel
+ high-resolution display
+ well-built
+ precise GPS module
+ good connectivity
+ impressive performance

Cons

- little content optimised for a 21:9 display
- front-facing camera
- disappointing low-light photos
- poor Wi-Fi attenuation
- battery life
- slow microSD card slot
- no wireless charging
- high MSRP
- late release

Verdict

Sony Xperia 1 smartphone review. Test device courtesy of Cyberport.de.
Sony Xperia 1 smartphone review. Test device courtesy of Cyberport.de.

Sony has done a good job overall with the Xperia 1. It has an eye-catching display, is well-built and it has decent performance. However, the device has taken almost five months to come to market having been unveiled at MWC19 in February, which makes its 950-Euro (~US$1,071) MSRP unpalatable when other flagships have already started coming down in price. While you can find the Xperia 1 online for closer to 900 Euros (~US$1,015), the Galaxy S10+ and OnePlus 7 Pro have dropped even further to around 700 Euros (~US$790). Likewise, the P30 Pro has plummeted to just 650 Euros (~US$729) in the wake of the Huawei and US government trade-war.

The Sony Xperia 1 is an ideal companion for those who like to watch movies on the move. There are better options out there though if you do not fit this niche.

Setting price to one side, the Xperia 1 makes too many compromises to be considered as serious opposition to the best flagships of 2019. Above all is the 21:9 display. It looks great and is practical for multitasking, but hardly any content is optimised for it, forcing you to watch letterboxed or zoomed-in videos. Neither are ideal and underline that 21:9 currently has more disadvantages than it does benefits.

The Xperia 1 does not have great cameras either. The 8 MP front-facing sensor is subpar, as is the low-light photography of the main 12 MP rear-facing sensor. The omission of wireless charging is a minor gripe, but it is one that reminds us that the Xperia 1 is not as feature-rich as its rivals. Inexplicably, Sony has included a 3,330 mAh battery, which was never going to last long when powering a 6.5-inch 4K display and a Snapdragon 855 SoC.

In short, the Xperia 1 is an excellent smartphone in isolation. It scores highly on its design, display and performance, but it falls short when comparing it against other more feature-rich, and often cheaper, flagship smartphones released this year.

Sony Xperia 1 - 07/04/2019 v6
Marcus Herbrich

Chassis
88%
Keyboard
66 / 75 → 88%
Pointing Device
94%
Connectivity
44 / 60 → 73%
Weight
90%
Battery
91%
Display
92%
Games Performance
71 / 63 → 100%
Application Performance
77 / 70 → 100%
Temperature
92%
Noise
100%
Audio
71 / 91 → 78%
Camera
80%
Average
81%
89%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Sony Xperia 1 Smartphone Review: It takes more than just a fancy display to challenge established flagships
Marcus Herbrich, 2019-07- 5 (Update: 2019-07- 9)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor
I got my first smartphone aged 11, my first PC aged 12 and I have been tinkering with electronics ever since. I like to keep abreast of the latest news and technology, which inevitably leads me to switch my laptop and phone every few months. When I'm not writing for Notebookcheck, you will find me seeking out new coffee shops, bars and trying to find some hidden gems in record stores.