Sony has had a rough history when it comes to smartphones. Last year, the company vowed to do away with its boxy design philosophy and adopt more modern sensibilities. But the tech landscape changes quickly, and those phones are already starting to look a little dated. At Mobile World Congress 2019, Sony unveiled three new phones it hopes will lead the company into the future, though whether Sony really has a future in the mobile business remains to be seen.
There are a few major differences between the phones, but they also have a few things in common. For example, the devices all offer a 21:9 aspect ratio — they are the first in the world to do so — and that’s perfect for people who watch a lot of content on services like Netflix, as it’s the aspect ratio movies are filmed in.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Sony Xperia 1, Xperia 10, and Xperia 10 Plus.
Sony Xperia 1
Perhaps the most important new phone from Sony, the Xperia 1 is the flagship of the lot. The phone is tall, thanks to its 21:9 aspect ratio, but that doesn’t mean it looks as modern as Samsung’s latest Galaxy S10 range. For example, instead of adopting a notch or a hole-punch camera, Sony has opted to keep a rather large forehead bezel at the top. The bezels around the sides and at the bottom are quite slim, thankfully.
Perhaps more important than what’s around the display is the 6.5-inch screen itself. It’s the world’s first 4K OLED screen on a smartphone, and it supports HDR10, too. In layman’s terms, you’re getting an incredibly sharp screen, with vivid colors and inky blacks. HDR movies you stream from services like Netflix or YouTube that support HDR10 will look even better on this phone.
Other design elements include a fingerprint sensor on the side of the phone and a USB-C port on the bottom.
Under the hood is a powerful phone. The Xperia 1 has Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 processor, coupled with a hefty 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. While that’s probably plenty of storage for most, the device also has a MicroSD card slot. The phone comes packed with a 3,300mAh battery, though we’ll have to wait and see just how long that battery lasts given the 4K display.
On the back of the phone, there’s a triple-lens camera, with one 12-megapixel standard lens with optical image stabilization (OIS), one 12-megapixel telephoto lens with OIS, and one 12-megapixel Super Wide lens. That’s quite a similar setup to the new Galaxy S10 phones. The camera offers some cool software features, too. There’s the new Cinema Pro feature, which allows you to shoot video while adjusting many things you would be able to adjust on a pro-grade camera. Sony is really trying to up its camera game here, as the company said it worked with the Sony camera team to bring Sony Alpha tech over, and the result is apparently better noise reduction and up to 10 frame-per-second autofocus. Interestingly enough, it also has eye-tracking focus, which is great for both stills and video. On the front, there’s an 8-megapixel sensor.
The phone comes with IP68 water-resistance, as well as Android 9.0 Pie, which is the latest and greatest version of Android. There’s also a new app called Game Enhancer, which houses all your mobile games for quick and easy access.
The Sony Xperia 1 will be available in black, gray, white, and purple, though only the black and purple versions are available on U.S. shores. It’s currently available on Amazon, as well as Best Buy, B&H Photo. Prices for the Xperia 1 start from $950. There’s also a version of the phone with Alexa built-in, which is available for $100 off — bringing the total to $850 — from August 13 to August 26. It’s available from Amazon.
Sony Xperia 10
The Sony Xperia 10 is decidedly less high-tech than the Xperia 1, but it still has some nice features. The device looks very similar to the Xperia 1, but has a slightly smaller 6-inch display with a 21:9 aspect ratio. The LCD edge-to-edge display has a Full HD+ resolution, with the forehead at the top. Like the Xperia 1, there’s also a fingerprint sensor on the side.
Under the hood, the phone features a Snapdragon 630 processor, coupled with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, though there’s also a MicroSD card slot. The phone does away with the triple-camera setup, but it still has two lenses on the back, including one 13-megapixel sensor and one 5-megapixel sensor for depth-sensing. On the front, there’s another 8-megapixel sensor. Powering it all is a 2,870mAh battery, which charges via a USB-C port on the bottom.
The Sony Xperia 10 comes in black, silver, navy, or pink, and is newly available for purchase. Prices will start from $350.
Sony Xperia 10 Plus
The Xperia 10 Plus is similar to the Xperia 10, but a little larger and slightly more powerful. It trades in the 6-inch display for a 6.5-inch one, but keeps the Full HD+ resolution. Inside the phone, you’ll find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor, coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, along with a MicroSD card slot. The battery on the device is slightly bigger that the Xperia 10’s, sitting in at 3,000mAh, and it charges through a USB-C port.
The camera on the phone is also dual-lens, but it has a 12-megapixel sensor and an 8-megapixel sensor. On the front, the device has an 8-megapixel sensor.
The Sony Xperia 10 Plus comes in black, silver, navy, or gold, but only the black and silver models will be available on the U.S. The device is now available from Best Buy, Amazon, and some other retailers, with prices starting at $430.
Updated on August 14, 2019: The Sony Xperia 1 is available for $100 off.