Should I buy the Sony Xperia 1?

Sony Xperia 1 in the test

With a giant display on the one?

Viviane Osswald

The CHIP test center evaluated these products. More info.

Conclusion from November 1st, 2019

Sony is starting again with the new Xperia 1, a powerful smartphone in the cinema format 21: 9. In the test, the Xperia 1 achieved good to very good values ​​in the display and performance categories. Photos with the triple camera are still good, but not as good as hoped. The battery life is even below average. That cannot be said of the price: Sony charges a proud 950 euros.

advantages
Strong 6.5-inch OLED display in cinema format
Great performance
Triple camera with wide angle and zoom lens
disadvantage
No wireless charging
Below average battery life
No photos in 21: 9 format possible

From € 428.00: Find the best price for Sony Xperia 1

Sony Xperia 1 in the test: new name, new level?

Long-time Sony fans should be surprised at first, because Sony is not continuing the well-known "XZ" series of titles with its new flagship, but has decided on a new name: Xperia 1. A fresh start with many innovations.
The most obvious: While the Xperia XZ3 (click here for the test) was still built in 18: 9 format, Sony opted for the cinema format in 21: 9 this year. Competitor LG made a similar attempt ten years ago with the BL40 - without success.
With a diagonal of 6.5 inches, the Xperia 1 is still relatively narrow (72 mm), but also very long. Believe it or not, it measures 167 mm in height. Compared to the Xperia XZ3, the display area has increased by around 30 percent. The format is ideal for films and games, especially since Sony has installed a 4K HDR OLED panel for the first time. 4K usually refers to a 16: 9 format with 3840 x 2160 pixels; But that doesn't prevent Sony from calling the resolution of 3,840 x 1,644 pixels in the X1 4K as well.
Contents are razor-sharp, the color space is huge (around 150 percent of the standard RGB color space) and with a checkerboard contrast of 203: 1, the Xperia 1 achieves one of the best values ​​in our mobile phone best list. You can enjoy HDR films on Netflix or Youtube in full color, because the Xperia 1 covers the relevant DCI-P3 color space 100 percent. The maximum brightness is usually a good 412 candela per square meter. In some apps, such as the photo app, the device sometimes turns up a lot more (for example, when bright light falls on the sensor): We measure and rate a maximum of 656 cd / m² here. Unfortunately, that doesn't work in the browser.
If the display is too long for you, you can switch to one-hand mode by double-tapping the home button. With the side-sense function, you can quickly start various apps, such as the camera, with one hand. There is also a split screen mode - after all, you get plenty of space for two applications at the same time. The fingerprint sensor is embedded in the right side, but is not on the on and off button, but under it. He is easy to reach and reacts very quickly.
Overall, the Xperia 1 in the glass case (Gorilla Glass 6) in black, white, gray or purple makes a high-quality impression, but it also looks very slippery in the hand and magically attracts fingerprints. According to IP68 it is officially protected against water and dust.
Top 3 shops for Sony Xperia 1
Offer from BestCheck.de | Prices include VAT plus shipping

The Sony Xperia 1 with three cameras: weak photos in dim light

On the back of the Xperia 1 there is a triple camera with wide-angle, zoom and ultra-wide-angle lenses, each of which takes photos with 12 megapixels. Only the ultra-wide-angle lens has to do without an optical image stabilizer. A new feature is an autofocus that specifically detects eyes. The zoom lens enables a double optical zoom, and the wide-angle camera can record super slow motion videos at up to 960 frames per second in full HD - but only for a length of about three seconds. From five seconds, slow-mo recordings are only possible with up to 120 fps. You shoot normal videos in 4K "only" with up to 30 fps, although the processor would also manage 60 fps.
The photo quality is still very good, but some of the photos have noisy areas. Nevertheless, the quality is decent even in the twilight. Selfies with the 8-megapixel front camera, which incidentally is not in a notch, are sometimes very noisy. The portrait mode still has a lot of room for improvement, here the cropping does not work at all. A cool feature on the other hand: With ultra-wide-angle shots, you can set the distortion to be corrected automatically - you can clearly see the difference, as you can see in the photo below. In our photo gallery you can see various photos that we took with the Xperia 1 in Venice.
It is a bit of a shame that photos and videos in the standard camera app can only be recorded in 16: 9 (or 4: 3 and 1: 1) but not in 21: 9 format (especially since the smaller Xperia 10 and 10 plus master this). The new "Cinema Pro" app is also installed on the Xperia 1. This enables 4K HDR videos to be shot in 21: 9 format and various settings such as color depth, exposure time, focus point and various filters to be specified individually. It's fun, but we miss the option of viewing photos that we took in full format on the Xperia 1.

Sony Xperia 1 in the test: Strong Snapdragon 855 and weak battery

Under the hood of the Xperia 1, the newest and most powerful processor from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 855, works with a clock frequency of up to 2.8 GHz. It is supported by 6 GB of RAM. This means that the performance is at the highest level, even demanding applications such as 4K video recording and editing as well as multitasking or complex games do not cause any problems. Android 9 (Pie) is installed as the operating system. The security patch was up to date at the time of testing in early June.

The battery has a capacity of 3,330 mAh. In our opinion, the size of the OLED display should be a bit more. For comparison: Samsung's new 6.4-inch Galaxy S10 Plus has a 4,000 mAh battery and lasts around 10 hours in the test. The Xperia 1 achieves a runtime of 7:50 hours under constant load and average brightness of 200 candelas per square meter - that is at best mediocre. It can be charged via USB-C, and it takes a moderate 126 minutes with the included 18 watt power adapter. Wireless charging, on the other hand, is not possible.
Top 3 shops for Sony Xperia 1
Offer from BestCheck.de | Prices include VAT plus shipping

Sony Xperia 1 in the test: good equipment with a few gaps

The Xperia 1 leaves little to be desired in terms of equipment, apart from the lack of Qi compatibility. For around 950 euros, it offers internal storage space of 128 GB, of which around 118 GB are available. If that is not enough, it can be expanded by up to 512 GB using a microSD card. Alternatively, there is space for a second SIM card in the slot.
For a simulated cinema experience there is "Dolby Atmos" sound for the ears. If you don't wear headphones, the stereo loudspeaker also delivers a decent spatial sound. Unfortunately, we have to do without a classic 3.5 mm jack connection, but a corresponding adapter is included in the box. Bluetooth transmits according to the latest 5.0 standard, WLAN-ac and NFC are also on board. The Xperia 1 supports LTE Cat. 19 with up to 1,600 Mbit per second in the downstream.
Note: Our first test device showed unusual results in the camera and display categories. We therefore repeated the test with a second device and updated the test report in the appropriate places. The Xperia 1 and the Xperia 5 are now largely on par.

Smartphones in the test

  • Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

    Review
    • Performance (1.1)
    • Equipment (1.3)
    • Battery (1.2)
    • Display (1.1)
    • Camera (1.0)
    • Appstore (1.0)
  • Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

    • Performance (1.1)
    • Equipment (1.2)
    • Battery (1.9)
    • Display (1.0)
    • Camera (1.0)
    • Appstore (1.0)

    price

    from 1.200,00

    Price estimation

    Very expensive (5.0)
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G

    Review
    • Performance (1.1)
    • Equipment (1.3)
    • Battery (1.5)
    • Display (1.1)
    • Camera (1.3)
    • Appstore (1.0)
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G

    Review
    • Performance (1.2)
    • Equipment (1.3)
    • Battery (1.1)
    • Display (1.4)
    • Camera (1.4)
    • Appstore (1.0)
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus 5G

    Review
    • Performance (1.2)
    • Equipment (1.3)
    • Battery (1.5)
    • Display (1.1)
    • Camera (1.3)
    • Appstore (1.0)