- This video is sponsored by Upsie.
There are two reasons to buy a phone this long
one you want to watch super modern 21:9 video,
or two, you want to film super modern 21:9 video.
If you're really into mobile cinematography
and you were let down by last year's RED Hydrogen One,
well the Sony Xperia 1 might be the phone for you.
If you're basically anyone else though,
you can get what you need for much less.
Sony built the Xperia 1 around this 4K OLED display,
and folks, it's a grand slam.
It's not just that it's one of the sharpest screens
you can find on a phone.
Sony also knows how to showcase it.
Watch the tasteful animations here as you transition
from always on display to the lock screen
into Android 9 pie.
This is one of the only phones I've kept
the stock wallpaper on for the whole review period,
because of just how it makes this screen sing.
I'll be honest, I don't watch a lot of 21:9 videos,
so the aspect ratio is wasted on me
and as is the focus on delivering
the most accurate HDR colors for cinema files,
but stand the phone up in portrait mode, and I'm in heaven.
Reddit, Twitter, Google Now,
anything that presents information
as a vertically stacked list.
So most of what you look at on a phone,
has so much more space to spread out.
I've carried the Xperia 1 alongside a Pixel 3
and OnePlus 7 Pro for the past week.
And whenever I've switched back to the Google phone,
it's felt cramped, and the OnePlus has felt huge.
The only time the screen has been a pain is in Instagram,
which has always had trouble adapting
to Android various aspect ratios,
but we forgive them for that
you know it's not like they're backed
by the full weight and resources
of a multi-billion dollar global conglomerate or anything.
That display sits with refreshing notchlessness
in a chassis that comes in your choice of boring black
or princely purple.
My review loaner from Clove Technology is the purple one
and it's absolutely gorgeous in person.
I'll drop a link to Clove in the description
if you want to order one of these.
Behind that pretty face you've got the brawn,
a flagship should have in 2019.
Day to day use is plenty snappy
and games like World of Warships really shine
on this screen.
If you fill up the onboard storage,
you can add more with a micro SD card
and the stretched shape helps
with the lower tech use case too.
Talking on a long narrow phone is more comfortable
and when you switch over to speakerphone.
The bottom firing speaker works in concert
with the earpiece to give you a semblance of stereo.
(gentle music) To this solid foundation,
Sony has added less chrome than in previous years,
but it still tosses in more than it needs to.
The dynamic vibration feature,
is supposed to fool you
into thinking the phone has more bass than it does
by using judicious haptic bursts from the vibration motor
but it mainly just comes off feeling
like you're getting notifications while you're trying
to watch your video.
Side sense tries to add value in the form of shortcuts
you can trigger using gestures at the edge of the screen,
but I found it at once too hard to activate intentionally
and too easy to activate by accident.
Fortunately, you can disable the cruft
while still enjoying useful features like Battery Care.
See, fast charging is great,
but too much of it will reduce the life of your battery
in the long term.
So if you're not in a rush to top up like say,
when you're charging overnight,
you can tell Battery Care to charge slowly instead,
so it hits full right before you wake up.
If you're buying a phone to last you a few years,
this is an awesome feature
and more manufacturers should adopt it.
Up till now this mix of standouts and stumbles
has favored the former,
but the phone starts to fall down on its camera.
There's great potential here,
you get the versatility I crave
with three 12 megapixel cameras,
a primary, a 2X telephoto and a third
with 130 degree wide angle lens.
From boiling cheese to Bow Market to a BMW.
It lets you fit a lot more in the frame.
And while sometimes that tends to distort the end result,
well, sometimes that's exactly the look I'm going for.
And when it's not, the fix is just a click away.
And during the two weeks I've used this phone
I've managed some respectable captures.
Shooting side by side with the Pixel 3,
Sony even edged out Google a few times.
Feature wise, it's amazing.
There's eye tracking to keep focused
when humans are your subject.
And if you're a filmmaker who loves shooting on mobile,
the Cinema Pro app gives you tons
of control over your video camera,
more than any phones since the LG V20 I think.
Also making its return super slow motion filming.
Sony paved the way
for this crazy 960 FPS mode two summers ago,
and I just can't get enough of it.
As you can tell, it really works best
when water is involved.
So it's fortunate that the Xperia 1 is IP 65
and IP 68 water and dust resistant.
Now unfortunately, it's not all lilacs and lavender.
That super slow motion,
it's exactly the same as it was two years ago,
a tiny three or six second buffer
and none of the motion activated conveniences,
Samsung brought along
with its own Super Slow-Mo mode last year.
As for that wide angle camera I love so much,
it doesn't have variable focus,
nor can it double as a super macro lens
like the one on Huawei's P30 Pro.
And as for just everyday casual shooting,
well for every time where the Xperia outperformed
the Pixel 3,
every three or four where the Google phone came out on top.
I found that the Xperia usually blew out the highlights.
Look at the washed out details on hull and superstructure
of the K panel open here,
while the Pixel preserves them without crushing the shadows.
Same deal with this swan I met on my way to dinner,
which looks like a radioactive ghost bird on the Sony.
Much more true to life on the Pixel 3.
I was already used to this
by the time we sat down to dinner.
So it came as no surprise that the Xperia continued
to fall behind the Pixel
and even at times the OnePlus 7 Pro.
Now, I don't mind having to do a little editing
to pull out the good stuff if I love shooting
with the phone.
And you could make the argument
that this phone is targeted people
who expect they have to do that work.
But Sony's camera software is too buggy to love
at this point.
Way too many times I toggled over to video mode
and the whole camera would just freeze and crash.
This has only been reported a handful of times
that I can see,
I asked Sony for a comment and we'll edit below
if the company offers one.
But other issues are widespread,
like choppy 4K video with dropped frames,
the phone heating up quickly when shooting said video
and taking so long to switch between the three cameras
that you stand a good chance of missing the shot
you were trying to get.
Then there's the little stuff like the dedicated camera key.
One of the very greatest things about Sony phones,
is that they've preserved this component,
which lets you half press to get focus
and full press to capture.
But in his review, my friend Hayato Huseman reported
that it wasn't a two-stage button.
This is not because he's sloppy or negligent,
it's because all the buttons on this phone are so mushy,
you can barely tell the camera key has that halfway detect.
Then if you pop open that SIM tray to swap SIMs
or put in a memory card you'll notice
that the plastic is so flimsy.
That in league with the mushy buttons,
make the phone field cheaper than it should.
There's also no wireless charging
which would be forgivable if the battery were larger,
(buzzer blares) but it's not.
The Xperia 1 always took me to the end of the day
but not with the kind of charge to spare
that I can get from comparable phones.
And that Gorilla Glass 6 on front and back,
well as these hairline scratches demonstrate,
even Gorilla Glass 6 is still glass.
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Folks, you might call my complaints
about the Xperia 1 nitpicks,
and if this were a cheaper phone,
or if Sony were still offering that amazing pre-order deal
of free XM3 headphones with purchase,
you'd have a good point,
this would be a no brainer in that case,
if you jumped on that pre-order,
good for you and it was smart.
But for those buying now,
$949 for just this phone, that's steep,
you can get a more consistent camera
on the Pixel 3 for $150 less or a more fully featured phone
in the Galaxy S10 for $250 less,
and you might be tired of hearing about it
but that Pixel 3a just continues to throw a wrench
into everybody's plans down at 399.
It's great to see Sony's mobile division finally starting
to leverage the imaging and display
and audio expertise of Sony as a whole.
And I hope that leads to a reinvigorated Sony
as well as a renewed effort
to keep its phones updated more often.
But that hope needs to be backed up by evidence
that it's not hoping in vain.
Before I can recommend this phone to the average consumer
at its current price point.
I said it up top and I'll say it once again,
the target customer
for the Xperia 1 will probably be quite happy with it.
But that target customer base,
is almost as narrow as the phone itself.
For another take on the Xperia 1,
check out that aforementioned review from Hayato Huseman
at Android Central.
He had the variant designed for North America.
So you'll want to go there
for reception reporting and other network specific things.
My device was a retail 8110 sample
that's the European version from Clove Technology.
Thanks again to them.
If you want this Europe-specific version,
hit them up at the link in the description.
Until next time, thanks for watching.
And stay mobile, my friends.