Sony Xperia 1: Price, release date, specs and all the latest news
We’re now just days away from the date we expect to see the Sony Xperia 1 – the Japanese firm’s 2019 flagship phone – announced. Sony’s event takes place the day before MWC 2019 starts and comes a few days after Samsung launched the Galaxy S10.
After a series of disappointing phones, Sony finally impressed us last year with its OLED-toting Xperia XZ3. It ditched the Omnibalance design we’d suffered with for ages, replacing it with something a whole lot more appealing. It wasn’t the perfect phone and Sony still had ways to go to compete with Google, Huawei and Samsung, but it was a start.
With the Xperia 1 now on the horizon, here’s everything we know so far about Sony’s next flagship.
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Sony Xperia 1: The very latest leaks
Just days ahead of Sony’s MWC press conference, a couple of huge leaks hit the web, courtesy of 91Mobiles and Evan Blass. The biggest reveal? It turns out we were all wrong about the name of Sony’s next flagship smartphone. It will be called the Sony Xperia 1 − not the Sony Xperia XZ4, as previously thought.
According to 91Mobiles, the Xperia 1 will feature a 6.5-inch, 4K HDR OLED display with a 21:9 ‘Cinema-Wide’ aspect ratio, a metal and glass sandwich design with Gorilla Glass 6 at both the front and back, IP68 water- and dust-resistance, a trio of rear cameras, and the ability to capture 4K HDR videos in 21:9 format.
There will also be a Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, and a 3300mAh battery with fast charging. It will apparently cost 1099CHF, which is roughly £850, and will allegedly come out in June.
It will reportedly be joined by the Xperia 10, Xperia 10 Plus and Xperia L3.
Sony Xperia 1: Release date and price
Sony is holding its MWC 2019 press conference, where we’re expecting it to pull the covers off the Sony Xperia 1, on February 25.
The launch event will take place in Hall 3 of the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, and will kick off at 8.30am CET (that’s 7:30am GMT) on February 25. So you might have to set your alarms a bit earlier than usual.
Sony will be live streaming the Xperia 1 launch, and we’ll let you know how to tune in once Sony makes an announcement.
It isn’t clear when the Xperia 1 will actually hit shelves, but we had expected it to be at some point in March. However, the aforementioned leak from 91Mobiles suggests we’ll have to wait until June.
Sony Xperia 1: Design and display
The biggest rumours surrounding the Xperia 1 have focused on its display, and it could be the part of the phone we’re most excited about.
An alleged Xperia 1 specs list first leaked in January, and suggested that the handset will come with a 6.5-inch, 3360 x 1440 OLED display with a 21:9 aspect ratio, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of expandable storage and a hefty 4400mAh battery with with Qnovo Adaptive Charging (via Sumahoinfo).
And another leaked image (also posted by SumahoInfo) suggests the Xperia 1 will be an unusually tall handset.
LetsGoDigital has spotted a new trademark filing by Sony Mobile Communications for the term ‘CinemaWide’, which could well be a nod to the unusually long and thin 21:9 display that’s expected to feature on the phone. The trademark was filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office on February 4. You can view the details of the filing here.
Sony has been criticised for its use of somewhat samey designs in recent years but the Xperia 1, it seems, will offer something different. It will apparently be equipped with a long and thin 21:9 display.
Given most handsets offer an 18:9 or 19:9 – aspect ratio depending on whether there’s a notch present – this handset will offer a wider display when viewing videos in landscape mode.
It also appears that Sony isn’t going the ‘notch’ route with the Xperia 1. According to multiple leaks, there’ll be a thin bar above the display, which will house the handset’s camera sensors and earpiece.
Unlike its predecessor, the Xperia 1 will apparently rock a completely flat display. The XZ3, on the other hand, has a display that curves at the edges. It’s also believed that all of Xperia 1’s buttons will be on the right-hand edge, with a gap for a USB-C charging port at the bottom.
Sony Xperia 1: Camera
In January, Sony Mobile’s vice president of marketing, Don Mesa, told Digital Trends that we can expect to see a smartphone that offers “a much better camera experience”, likely linked to the fact that Kimio Maki recently became Sony Mobile’s new head of development, having transferred from the Japanese giant’s camera division.
According to leaks, the Xperia 1 will feature a trio of rear camera sensors all stacked on top of each other (as shown in the render above, posted by @UniverseIce), with an LED flash sat directly above them.
Sumahoinfo also claims to have the skinny on the Xperia 1’s heavily rumoured triple rear camera setup (via MySmartPrice).
The handset will apparently be equipped with a 52-megapixel main camera sensor with an f/1.6 aperture. That’s said to be the main sensor, and it will reportedly be flanked by a 16-megapixel telephoto sensor with an f/2.6 aperture and a 0.3MP Time of Flight sensor for measuring depth.
According to 91Mobiles, however, it will use three 12-megapixel sensors: a normal lens, a super wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens with OIS.
Above the Xperia 1’s display, meanwhile, is apparently a single 8-megapixel front-facing sensor.
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Sony Xperia 1: Specs and features
GizChina claims to have spotted an AnTuTu benchmark score for a phone believed to be the Xperia 1 around the turn of the year, and Sony fans will be praying that it’s the real deal. The handset has a score of 395,721.
AnTuTu benchmark scores suggest the Kirin 980-powered Huawei Mate 20 Pro (309,628) is currently the most powerful mainstream Android smartphone on the market, with the Apple A12 Bionic-toting iPhone XS a little way ahead of it (358,091).
If this alleged Sony leak is accurate, the Xperia 1, which will almost certainly be powered by Qualcomm’s next-gen Snapdragon 855 processor, could leave them in the dust.
The @UniverseIce leak above suggests the Xperia 1 will either feature an in-display fingerprint scanner or a side-mounted one, rather than a rear-mounted sensor. Unfortunately, we’ve also heard there will be no headphone jack.
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Sony Xperia 1 Compact?
There aren’t very many small-screened handsets on the market these days, and Sony’s Xperia Compact phones − such as the Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact − are some of the best known. However, Sony Mobile’s marketing VP, Don Mesa, has hinted that the rumoured Xperia 1 Compact might not materialise.
“We stuck with Compact for a very long time, because of the ease of use,” he said in January. “There’s always room for different sizes, but people want a lot more surface area for their content now.”
If the entire Xperia Compact line has indeed been ditched, plenty of people will be sad to see it go.
What are you hoping to see from Sony and the Xperia 1 at MWC 2019? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.