Sony Xperia 1 Unlocked Smartphone 6.5" 4K HDR OLED CinemaWide Display, 128GB - Black - (US Warranty)
• You’re buying this phone for the display. The 21:9 display dominates everything about this phone. With a 4k viewing, it’s the best cinema movie screen I’ve ever seen, in phone size. 21:9 is what you usually see in the movies. Under this display layout, the widescreen appearance is applied to the movies you’re watching on this phone. You won’t get any black bars on the top or bottom of the display (because of the 21:9 layout) as you’ll only get a full 4k image. No other phone does this and it’s the reason you’ll buy this one.
• One other feature of the display is that gaming on this phone is really fun. The screen aspect ratio, and the Snapdragon 855 chip, makes gaming quite an experience. The screen is so large that your thumbs never get in the way of playing.
• The design is very premium. All gorilla glass, front and back, while providing a narrow design. It’s not bulky or heavy, has curved metal edges, and overall a unique design from the rest of the smartphone crowd.
• System-wise, the phone is fast and efficient like any other smartphone. Quick Bluetooth connectivity, fast internet connection, and the expected performance for the average daily user.
• The button layout is perfect for those who are right-handed as the fingerprint scanner is on the side that provides convenient access to my thumb.
• Because of the tall display, I found it efficient to be able to split the screen into two separate apps. This is the first phone that actually works well with this feature.
• There are a couple of short cuts to be able to use this phone one-handed. The best one I think is, with the large display, just double tapping the home buttons will shrink the whole interface down so your thumb can reach anything that it couldn’t originally reach. This features a small perk, but it’s well made.
• One juicy gift is Sony’s Cinema Pro app. This is a real beauty because it gives complete control on how you want to film with the camera. Color settings, stabilization, manual focus frames, brightness, saturation, and so on. This is such a cool app because you can modify the look of what you’ve filmed all on the phone. Filmmakers are going to love this if they’re on the go and need to do some color correcting.
• Another awesome feature is Sony’s Creator Mode. When turning this feature on and watching “Stranger Things” with the Netflix app, the colors became much more accurate and vibrant than my past experience with the iPhone X. Note that this mode is softer on the eyes and displays less artificial tones. Honestly any movie you’re watching on this, you need to turn this on.
• The camera system has great eye-tracking autofocus. When you get a group photo, you can see a little green box on the screen to let you know which person is focused. It works great and is very helpful for those who need to know if everyone is in focus.
• Launching the camera is super quick as you have a button on the side for it. You just press and photo is taken. Quick and the photos are reliable.
• Filming on this gives you a lot of options. You can record 21:9 content, to get that movie feel, alter key settings like white balance, resolution, shutter speed, color filter, etc. Overall, this is a phone with a hell of filming experience.
• It does alright taking night photos for a phone that doesn’t have a dedicated night mode feature. It takes a little more time to shoot a pic, but that just means that the camera is gathering all the light it can before presenting your shot. Shooting on the sidewalk at 11 at night does give you solid results.
• The charging on this phone is quick. Plugging it in, from 0 to 60%, took around 36 minutes. The system has a feature called Adaptive Charging where the phone regulates the charging speed if you leave your phone plugged in overnight. One of the killers in batteries is overcharging and this feature ensures that it won’t happen. Sony thinks ahead of longer-term battery health so my hats off to them.
• The speakers are extremely loud and have great directional separation.
• Water resistance. I didn’t test this one, but Sony states it. You might have to look at some videos to confirm if this is true.
Cons and Oks:__________
• The Camera app is horrible. It’s slow to launch, to take shots and you have to swipe through the end of the app in order to switch from rear to front camera. It’s laborious, not user-friendly, and ruins the point of getting a casual capture as you have to dig around the app in order to take the picture that you want. Yes, you have a quick camera button on the side, but taking a shot really depends where you’re at, the number of peoples, the time, etc. You need to make sure the setting you want will fit the picture you’re taking. The app provides this but it’s poorly laid out.
• The camera is decent but not as near as good in what you expect. In dull lighting, the images look flat and on clear sunny days, they looked a little washout. I do wish that the telephoto provided a little more zoom, and the wide angle lens is way too wide. It makes the picture look unnaturally stretched, like a fish-eye lens.
• The selfie camera sucks. Without modifying it, it applies some of the most significant beauty filters I’ve seen in a camera.
• There is no night mode. It does an alright job without this feature, but it’s not nearly as good in what you want a night picture to be.
• No wireless charging. With a price this high, you expect this feature to be common sense.
• No headphone jack. This is a movie phone and no headphone jack reduces the experience. You get a USB-C adapter that attaches to the phone’s charging port, but that’s one more thing to carry.
• The speakers are loud but 80% of the clarity comes at the bottom speaker. In landscape mode, it’s easy to cover this speaker with your hand. Not the best in the arrangement.
• The screen is too dim. Forget watching movies outside as even in max brightness it becomes a challenge to see what you’re watching, or filming. Another issue is when you’re using the camera, because of the screen’s low brightness, videos can be overexposed and you won’t be able to notice it. I found this out when transferring my shots to my computer and saw the significant brightness of my shots that my phone screen didn’t display enough.
• Because of the design of this phone, it never sits in my front jeans properly and the narrow design always makes me feel that it can bend at any moment. It feels sturdy but, with a thin body, I assume bending this phone will be easy.
• Not a great phone if you’re left handed as all the buttons (volume, fingerprint sensor, separate power button, and the camera button) are on the right side of the phone.
• Kind of annoying that the fingerprint sensor and power button are not combined. You now have this extra button that adds a little more nuisance into the experience.
• The nuisance grows even more when the fingerprint sensor isn’t even reliable. I had a lot of issues trying to get the sensor to recognize my fingerprint. Multiple times I’ve gotten the “Too many attempts” error to the point that I had to use my pin. The scanner isn’t reliable.
• On the filming side you can’t use the flash to brighten your shot, the image stabilization needs to more effective, and there is no built-in editing software. This is a con because the whole point of this phone if the play movies and customize your viewing experience. If this is targeting filmmakers you expect this phone to come with some form of editing software.
• Sony’s Side Sense feature is frustrating. I can never get this feature to work and when I don’t try it pops up. Software issues need to be made here.
• Another annoying feature is having the phone vibrate in sync with the sound. This Dynamic Vibration vibrates with the music games you play. It does do well when you get a notification or a call, but watching a film isn’t a need for this. It takes you out of the moment if you’re watching something and suddenly vibrations come from your phone. Disable this feature.
• The battery life is not great. With a 4k display, you’re going to sacrifice a decent amount of battery life. Around 8 hours of life, this includes watching a 90-minute video. You’ll get through the day with it but will have to charge it every day.
• Only one SIM Slot
• There is very little grip on this phone. Because of all-around glass design, it makes everything slippery. Simple vibrations on the phone will move the phone thanks to its smooth surface. Never place this on any edge without a case.
• I have the 128GB and 20GB is already used out of the box.
• A fingerprint magnet on every part of this phone.
• There is bloatware of programs you’ll almost certainly never use.
• Not all apps will match with the display. Just like a tablet, you’re going to get black bars running down either side of the screen if it doesn’t automatically resize.
• The movie 21:9 experience is only for videos that are adapted to that. Most YouTube and sitcoms will not offer this feature. It’ll becomes a 4:3 or a 16:9 display, depending on your choice (like any other phone)
It’s a movie phone, plain and simple. As I mention in the first pro, you’re getting this phone because of the display. A 4k screen viewing, that can provide you a 21:9 immersion, is a great experience if you’re in your bed or on an airplane. You get complete customization on how your display will look and with a narrow premium design, you’re bound to turn heads. I had a great time watching shows on this phone.
Still, there are a lot of issues on the phone itself. The camera app, the dim lighting, and the fact that if you’re left-handed this phone is going to be a little more of an inconvenience. The reason I’m giving it 4 stars is because of the viewing experience of this phone when watching movies. Without the 21:9 feature this would’ve been a three-star layout. I can only hope software updates will resolve the numerous issues that have lower the value of what the phone is. For a price this high, you should stick with Sony Xperia 10 Plus until the bugs are fixed.
Overall: A movie theater in your pocket but nothing more than that.
Hope I was a help to you.