The new smartphone might not look that different from its predecessors on the outside, but Sony is promising big camera improvements.
Sony has announced its latest flagship smartphone, the Xperia 1 V. At first glance, it doesn’t look too different from the Xperia 1 IV that proceeded it, with its tall 21:9 display, vertical row of rear cameras, and sensible squared off design. But internally it’s using a new “Exmor T for mobile” sensor for its main camera, which Sony describes as a “2-layer Transistor Pixel stacked CMOS image sensor” that’s 1.7 times larger than the sensor in last year’s model. Sony claims this makes for double the low-light performance versus the Xperia 1 IV, helping to produce images with “rich colors and textures.”
Like Sony’s other recent flagships, the Xperia 1 V is priced at the premium end of the spectrum. In the US, preorders open today for $1399.99 with shipping expected from July 28th. Meanwhile in Europe the phone will cost €1399 / £1299 and is due to ship in late June.
As well as being larger, the new sensor is also higher resolution than what Sony’s included in past Xperia phones. GSMArena reports that its total resolution is technically 52 megapixels, but says it has a 4.3:3 aspect ratio that means there’s a little cropping for either 4:3 stills or 16:9 video. The result is an effective 48 megapixels of resolution which is designed to output binned 12-megapixel stills. Meanwhile, the telephoto and ultrawide cameras still use 12-megapixel sensors.
On the software side, Sony has made some improvements to its Photo Pro and Video Pro apps with a new vertical UI, and support for focus peaking when you’re adjusting focus manually. Other camera features include support for continuous shooting of up to 30 frames per second and eye-tracked autofocus. There’s also a new microphone placed near the rear camera that aims to keep your subjects audible even when filming in noisy locations.
Sony has continued to include increasingly rare but fan-favorite features in the Xperia 1 V. There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack, a microSD card slot, and a dedicated camera shutter button on the side of the phone. It’s tall 6.5-inch OLED display has a 120Hz refresh rate, and is flanked by dual stereo speakers that Sony optimistically claims offer “an authentic viewing experience of movies and music without a need for an additional speaker.”
Internally, the phone is powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 flagship processor paired with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of expandable storage. You get a 5,000mAh battery with support for 30W wired charging, and up to 15W wireless charging, per Stuff’s review. Sony claims various optimizations should mean the battery will still hold 80 percent of its charge after 3 years of use.
Alongside the Xperia 1 V, Sony has also announced the midrange Xperia 10 V. It’s got a less premium design and is powered by a less powerful Snapdragon 695 chipset, but is significantly more affordable at €449 (£399, around $490). It’ll be available in mid-June in Europe, but there’s no sign of a US release in Sony’s press materials.