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Sony delivers final verdict on loss-making Xperia smartphone lineup

After years of lagging behind Samsung and Apple, Sony has finally revealed its decision on whether or not to continue its loss-making Xperia smartphone line.

Despite an operating loss of $879.45 million (£695.86 million), Sony will continue to manufacture smartphones, as it sees the devices as “necessary” for a sustainable hardware brand.

Related: Best smartphones

Reuters reports that CEO Kenichiro Yoshida has said: “We see smartphones as hardware for entertainment and a component necessary to make our hardware brand sustainable. And younger generations no longer watch TV. Their first touch point is smartphone.”

Sony has reported record-breaking profit — but that’s no thanks to its smartphones business, which has a global market share of only 1% and ships just 6.5 million handsets annually. By comparison, Samsung sold 291.3 million units, ahead of Apple on 206.3 million (via Digital Trends).

Recently Sony gave its existing smartphone lineup a face lift, no doubt hoping to improve its flagging sales.

This includes the Sony Xperia 1, a new flagship that succeeds the Xperia XZ3. We haven’t yet given this unreleased device a full review, but when we tried it we dubbed it a “promising powerhouse” and a “step in the right direction”.

It features a Snapdragon 855 processor, like the one found in the OnePlus 7 Pro, and a 3330mAh battery. The rear triple camera comprises three 12-megapixel sensors, and it’s capable of shooting 4K HDR video at 24fps.

But the main selling point is its 6.5-inch screen, with a 21:9 aspect ratio for a widescreen experience when watching full-screen videos. It’s not just big: it’s also the first-ever 4K HDR OLED display in a smartphone, born from Sony’s Bravia TV technology.

If it lives up to the hype, this might just be the smartphone to reverse Sony’s fortunes for the better.

If you’re looking for a less expensive alternative from Sony, the Xperia 10 features the same 21:9 aspect ratio, but we were disappointed with its underpowered performance and below-average battery life.

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