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MWC19 | The Xperia 1 consolidates the best of Sony technologies into a flagship smartphone

The Sony Xperia 1 features a 4K HDR OLED panel. (Source: Sony)
The Sony Xperia 1 features a 4K HDR OLED panel. (Source: Sony)
Sony has announced its flagship Xperia 1 at MWC 2019 today. The Xperia 1 brings the best of Sony technologies across photo, film, and television, and aims to create an immersive viewing experience with its 21:9 4K OLED HDR screen. The Xperia 1 comes with 2019 flagship specifications and is expected to be available sometime late spring.

Leaks and rumors about Sony's MWC 2019 offerings have been doing the rounds for the past few weeks but today we have the real deal. Sony has announced the flagship Xperia 1 with a 4K OLED screen and triple cameras that borrow a lot from the company's photography and movie making expertise. the rest of the specs, too, are very much flagship-worthy. 

The Xperia 1 is powered by Qualcomm's latest and greatest Snapdragon 855 SoC along with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage. The phone's chassis made of metal covered by Corning Gorilla Glass 6 on the front and back, and is IP68 rated for water resistance. A 3,300 mAh battery power the phone, but we'll have to see if it would last long enough to power the 4K screen.

The USP of the phone is its unusually tall 21:9 4K OLED HDR display. The display caters to those who enjoy both watching and creating movies on the go. While Sony did use a 4K display in the Xperia Z5 Premium back in 2016, the Xperia 1 now has the color richness and deep blacks afforded by OLED.

The Xperia 1 has a triple camera setup at the back, each with its own focal length — a wide-angle 16 mm lens, a normal 26 mm lens, and a telephoto 56 mm lens. All three cameras are 12 MP and the wide-angle and telephoto lenses come with OIS support. They also feature eye autofocus tracking from Sony's A7 III mirrorless camera and come with a new RAW noise reduction algorithm that allows for 10 fps AF/AE tracking. An 8 MP front camera helps with the selfies.

Sony says the Xperia 1 has a Creator Mode powered by CineAlta, the company's digital camera division. Creator Mode is inspired by Sony's Master Monitor color reproduction used by professional filmmakers, which means native support for 10-bit color and the ITU-R BT.2020 color space. The phone also uses the X1 chip to bring BRAVIA color and contrast along with a Cinema Pro mode that allows creating 21:9 cinematic videos at 24 fps. Other features include a 'game enhancer' mode and Dolby Atmos audio.

While the specifications are truly drool-worthy, it remains to be seen how well the UI scales for such a long screen. Also, most YouTube videos are 16:9, which means black bars are inevitable for the most part. Overall, the Xperia 1 brings the best of Sony's expertise in other niches into the smartphone space. The company is yet to announce pricing and availability details but given the specs, expect to cough up enough to match them.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 02 > The Xperia 1 consolidates the best of Sony technologies into a flagship smartphone
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2019-02-25 (Update: 2019-02-26)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - News Editor
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.