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Sony Xperia 1 VI officially unveiled: Big zoom but it's not all rosy

The Sony Xperia 1 VI. (Source: Sony)
The Sony Xperia 1 VI. (Source: Sony)
Sony has now unveiled its flagship smartphone designed to rival offerings like the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and Xiaomi 14 Ultra. The new Xperia 1 VI arrives with significant zoom upgrades but also some head-scratching downgrades, particularly at its hefty €1,399 MSRP.

Sony has now officially debuted its main flagship smartphone for the year, the Xperia 1 VI, just as promised. The 1 VI is available on pre-order across Europe with an MSRP of €1,399 (£1,299 in the UK) and a WH-1000XM5 as a bonus gift.

As teased, zoom is the focus of the new Xperia 1 VI, as it upgrades the zoom lens from last year's model, going from an extended variable max focal length of 125 mm to 170 mm—effectively granting the Xperia 1 VI 7.1x optical zoom capabilities. With Samsung ditching the 10x zoom lens on the S24 Ultra, that leaves the Xperia 1 VI as the most powerful zoom smartphone on the market. 

Contrary to the rumors, however, no other camera hardware upgrades are present relative to the Xperia 1 V (buy on Amazon). A 48 MP 1/1.35" sensor serves as the main shooter and is joined by a 1/2.5" sensor beneath an ultra-wide-angle lens, and a 1/3.5" beneath the aforementioned new telephoto setup. A 1/2.9" 12 MP works as the selfie snapper. All-in-all, acceptable camera hardware but perhaps a tad disappointing.

Under the hood of the Xperia 1 VI is a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, aided by 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. Like its Xperia 10 VI sibling, that looks to be the only available configuration for the flagship—although storage is expandable via a microSD slot.

Sadly, the Xperia 1 VI marks a departure from Sony's history with its flagship phones. For one, it gives up the long 21:9 aspect ratio in favor of a 19.5:9 ratio like most other devices on the market. The display resolution gets a downgrade, too, from 4K to FHD+. That may well be an attempt at delivering better battery life but fans of the series would likely have been better served with a WQHD+ screen and not a FHD+ one. Thankfully, the display on the Xperia 1 VI remains a 120 Hz OLED panel.

Other listed features of the Xperia 1 VI include IP68 certification, Gorilla Glass Victus, a 5000 mAh battery, 30 W charging, USB 3.2, three years of OS upgrades, and four years of security updates. The Xperia 1 VI is available in three color options: Khaki Green, Platinum Silver, and Black. Shipping begins on June 3 in Germany, and June 6 in the UK.


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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2024 05 > Sony Xperia 1 VI officially unveiled: Big zoom but it's not all rosy
Ricci Rox, 2024-05-15 (Update: 2024-05-15)