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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Sony Xperia 1 Review: Kind Of A Stretch

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- This video is sponsored by Upsie.

(upbeat music)

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.

(upbeat music)

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.

(upbeat music)

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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Thanks to Upsie for sponsoring this video.

(upbeat music)

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.

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