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Sony's Xperia 1 goes on sale July 12 for US$949

Sony's Xperia 1 is the first smartphone with a 4K HDR OLED display. (Source: Sony)
Sony's Xperia 1 is the first smartphone with a 4K HDR OLED display. (Source: Sony)
Arguably the most anticipated Sony flagship smartphone for some time, the Xperia 1 has finally got an official launch date. First revealed in February, the device will officially go on sale from July 12 priced at US$949 and will bring with it the first 4K HDR OLED display on a smartphone with a 21:9 aspect ratio.

Sony’s keenly anticipated Xperia 1 flagship smartphone finally has an official launch date. The device was first revealed at MWC back in February and will now ship on July 12 priced at US$949. It is the first smartphone with a 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED display and also features an unusually tall display aspect ratio of 21:9 which Sony is calling CineWide. This format means that it will show many movies without black banding at the top and bottom of the image. Sony argues that it also improves the multitasking experience.

As you’d expect for an Android flagship released in the 2019, it packs a Snapdragon 855 SoC and is mated to 6 GB of RAM that should keep things ticking along nicely. It will ship with Android 9 Pie out of the box with Sony’s trimmings, which for the most part don’t steer to far away from stock Android. Sony has been right on top of its Android update program and is probably the leading OEM in this regard at the moment behind only Google. 

It is also the first Sony smartphone to have its cameras tuned by Sony’s own Alpha camera division and features its Bionz X technology for image co-processing. Sony has also partnered with Zeiss and Samsung on the camera set up as well, so with any luck, this should be the first Sony smartphone in recent times to have a camera good enough to challenge the best on the market. Given that Sony supplies the sensors for most flagship smartphones it has been something of an embarrassment that it hasn’t been able to get the image processing right on its own devices.

If you’re in the UK, you’ll be able to get your hands on the Xperia 1 from as early as May 30, a couple of weeks ahead of the US for £899.

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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2019-05-18 (Update: 2019-05-18)