Sony Xperia 1 VI vs Xperia 1 V: The Times They Are a-Changin’


The times they are a-changin’, as Bob Dylan sings, and in the case of Sony flagship phones, this change manifested itself in the latest Xperia 1 VI phone. It’s different, but not radically different from its predecessor.

Today we’re going to dive deep into all the differences between the Xperia 1 V and the new Xperia 1 VI. Even though some fundamentals, such as the aspect ratio and resolution of the screen, have changed, the new Xperia is still unmistakably Sony.

So, without further ado, let’s get to it. Here’s our detailed Xperia 1 V vs Xperia 1 VI comparison.

Xperia 1 VI vs Xperia 1 V differences:

Table of Contents:

Design and Size

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If you put the Xperia 1 VI next to its predecessor, the difference will be pretty obvious. The new phone uses a different aspect ratio, which translates to a difference in size. The thing is, if you just have one of these phones on you, it will be extremely difficult to tell which one it is, especially from a distance.

The design is quite similar, with an elongated camera system housing the three snappers on the back. Even the LED and mic placement are identical on both phones, along with the ZEISS T* logo.

The button and port placement and the materials used are also identical; both phones feature a grippy, textured Gorilla Glass Victus on the back and Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on top of the display. The ridged aluminum frame is also extremely similar, and the only perceivable difference, at least at first glance, is that the Xperia 1 VI is 3mm shorter and 3mm wider than its predecessor.

However, when you take the new Xperia 1 VI in your hand, there’s a different feel to it. It feels much more like the Galaxy S24 Ultra than anything else. Your hand kind of feels these additional three millimeters more than your eyes.

Sony didn’t bother to change the colors either. There are three color options, and they are exactly the same for both models: Khaki Green, Platinum Silver, and Black.

The retail box is also identical—just a white cardboard two-piece box with a sleeve to hold it together. No cable, no charger, nothing. So, with all this out of the way, let’s focus on the most obvious change: the display.

Display Differences

Where’s my 4K?

This is a typical “good news, bad news” situation. The Xperia 1 VI features a 6.5-inch OLED display with FHD+ resolution (1080×2340) and a dynamic 1-120Hz display refresh rate. This translates to around 396 PPI, which is not the greatest pixel density out there, especially on a flagship phone. The aspect ratio is now 19.5:9, similar to the one found on many modern high-end phones, the Galaxy S24 Ultra being one example.

The old Xperia 1 V features a 4K OLED panel with the same diagonal and Sony’s 21:9 aspect ratio, something of a staple for Xperia phones of late. Well, until now. The 4K panel can do 120Hz but can’t dynamically change the refresh rate. The pixel density here is a whopping 643 pixels per inch.

Display Measurements:

Sony claims that the display in the Xperia 1 VI is 50% brighter than its predecessor, and we can confirm that the new panel is indeed very bright. Actually, the 1,500 nits we measured translate to more than 50% increase compared to the previous model. 

The other parameters, such as color accuracy, temperature, and minimum brightness, are extremely similar between these two. So, in the end, we’re getting a much brighter LTPO display, sacrificing a few pixels in the process (3.5 million to be exact, the 4K screen of the Xperia 1 V sports 6+ million pixels, while the Xperia 1 VI comes with only 2.5 million).

When it comes to biometrics, both phones use a similar, side-mounted fingerprint scanner (which was Sony’s bane for a couple of generations), but it seems to work rather well in the new model. The only gripe we have with it is the tiny surface area.

Performance and Software

The vapor chamber is cool, literally!
In terms of hardware, we have the typical generation leap. The new Xperia 1 VI comes with the latest silicon from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, while the predecessor uses Gen 2. The big difference, however, is the presence of a vapor chamber in the cooling system (for the first time in a Sony phone). This is pretty cool (both literally and metaphorically), as there have been some overheating issues in the past with Xperia phones, especially under continuous load.

Performance Benchmarks:

The synthetic benchmarks show some expected results. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 performs as advertised in the new Xperia 1 VI, and the thermal situation seems to be better, compared to the previous model. Subjectively, we felt the new phone slightly cooler under load.

Regarding RAM and storage, there’s no difference between the two phones. Both start at 12GB/256GB and offer one additional storage option at 512GB. Both come with a microSD card slot, so the storage can be expanded with up to 1TB.

There’s one big and important difference in the software department. The new Xperia 1 VI features a single Camera app, which houses inside all the pro-grade software we know (and some of us love) from the previous generations. The Xperia 1 V, on the other hand, comes with separate apps such as Photography Pro, Cinematography Pro, and Videography Pro.

This move is kind of understandable, as Sony is obviously trying to cater to a wider audience and make things easier for the normal point-and-shoot crowd out there.

Another important change concerns the software support cycle. The new phone will receive three major OS updates and four years of security patches. Not on the same level as a Pixel phone, but still an improvement.


Zoom in, more, more, more
On paper, the only hardware difference between the Xperia 1 VI and Xperia 1 V in the camera department is the extended zoom range on the new model. The telephoto on the 1 Mark V offers 85–125mm focal length with everything in between, as it’s a true vario system. The new phone extends the range to 170mm, or 7.1x if we compare it to the main camera of the phone.
Speaking of the main camera, it’s the same on both phones, using the Exmor T sensor for mobile. It’s a 1/1.35″ sensor with a 1.12 μm pixel size, sitting under a lens with an F1.9 aperture. The ultrawide camera has been carried over to the new model as well, so no changes here; the same 12MP, 1/2.5″ sensor with an F2.2 lens resides in both phones.

Sony boasts new AI-infused algorithms in the new Xperia 1 VI, so we have to snap some samples and put them side by side to see if the Japanese company has indeed jumped on the AI bandwagon.

Main Camera

The photos from the main camera look very similar, which is not surprising given the sensor and lenses are identical. What’s different is the exposure and white balance. The sample from the new phone looks brighter, probably due to the Sony AI algorithms doing their job behind the scenes. Overall, not a huge difference, though.

Strangely enough, in low-light conditions, the roles seem to be switched. The Xperia 1 VI produces darker images, but the dynamic range also seems a bit wider. Again, the samples are very closely matched, and differences might be attributed to fluctuations in processing algorithms.

Zoom Quality


At 3.5x magnification, things look pretty similar between these two. One noticeable difference lies in color tonality. The sample from the Xperia 1 VI looks colder, while the one taken with the previous model has a warmer tone to it. Other than that, detail, sharpness, and dynamic range are pretty similar.

7.1X vs 5.2X

We’ve decided to include the end of the telephoto range for both phones in order to show you how the frame looks at 5.2x and 7.1x magnification. The Xperia 1 VI can get the object closer optically, but the image looks a bit washed out, there’s some loss of detail, and the dynamic range has grown narrower at 7.1x. The Xperia 1 Mark V photo looks a tad better to us, even though it’s a bit darker.


There’s a big difference between the samples taken at 10x magnification, which is digital. Here’s where Sony AI kicks in (or we would assume so), and as a result, the 10x photo from the Xperia 1 VI looks much better, with better sharpness and resolved detail.

Ultra-wide Camera

Ultrawide shots display the same differences as the images from the main camera. Both phones sport the same hardware here as well, so the differences can be attributed to different post-processing algorithms. The Xperia 1 VI produces brighter and warmer photos.


Selfie shots are nearly identical, with the Xperia 1 VI sample a little on the darker side, but again, this can be due to changing conditions during the photoshoot. Both phones snap great selfies with lots of detail and good natural background bokeh.

Video Quality

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Here’s a quick video comparison between the two Xperias. Which one do you like better?

Audio Quality and Haptics

The similarities continue in the audio area; both phones feature the same front-firing stereo speakers. They are good; the quality is decent, but the overall loudness could’ve used a bump up. The good news is that the 3.5mm audio interface is still present on both phones, so you can use your audiophile headphones with either of these two devices.We suspect the haptic engine is also the same on both phones, but we can’t confirm without doing a JerryRig procedure, and Sony won’t be happy about it, we suspect. Overall, there’s no perceivable difference between these two when it comes to audio and haptics.

Battery Life and Charging

Same capacity but fewer pixels to drive

There’s a 5,000mAh cell in both phones, but Sony advertises the new Xperia 1 VI as a “two-day phone.” We understand where this comes from. One of the most power-hungry components of a smartphone is its display. The older model has over six million pixels to drive, while the Xperia 1 VI, with its FHD+ screen, has only two and a half million.

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:

And looking at the results it’s clear to see that the screen downgrade has paid off. The Xperia 1 VI obliterates its predecessor when it comes to battery life in all three categories of our battery life test. 

PhoneArena Charging Test Results:

On the charging front, things have remained unchanged. Sony doesn’t list the exact charging speed, but we know it’s 30W if you charge wired and around 15W wireless. It’s rather disappointing, even when you compare it to regular non-Chinese flagship phones (the Galaxy S24 Ultra supports 45W).

Specs Comparison


Well, there you have it, the last two Sony flagship phones head to head. We can safely say that there’s little to no reason to upgrade if you already own the Xperia 1 V. Things are more complicated if you’re looking to buy your first Xperia phone today or if you’re coming from a much older Xperia flagship.

If you want the 21:9, 4K screen of the old Xperia, as well as separate sophisticated pro-grade software, you should go for the Xperia 1 V. Even more so now that the new model has been officially unveiled at the same starting price of 1,399 euros. Expect huge discounts on the previous generation, and this might be the best time to get the old Xperia 1 V, actually.

But if you want to try the new 19.5:9 aspect ratio and the new size of the Xperia 1 VI, as well as the more mainstream approach in the camera department,  you should check out the new model. 

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