The Sony Xperia 1 VI is official with a TV-like display and 7.1x optical zoom

Say hello to the latest camera-centric phone from Sony: the Xperia 1 VI!

If you’re sure that you’re experiencing the greatest déjà vu ever right now, let me assure you: you’re not.

It’s just that in the last couple of weeks, the Sony Xperia 1 VI leaked heavily several times, leaving virtually nothing to the imagination.

Now, though, Sony’s 2024 flagship is official, so let’s leave those rumors behind and see what’s the deal with this gorgeous looking handset.

Right off the bat: you’ll notice that something is very different about the Xperia 1 VI on the outside. Yup, the aspect ratio – or the proportions – of the display has changed.

Instead of the tall (and unique) 21:9 aspect ratio, the Xperia 1 VI comes in 19.5:9 aspect ratio, identical to the Galaxy S24 Ultra.

This display draws inspiration from Sony’s Bravia TVs (we’ll talk more about that in a minute).

The real deal, however, is the fact that the Xperia 1 VI comes with a 7.1x optical zoom, leaping big ahead of the Xperia 1 V’s optical zoom which topped out at 5.2x magnification.

Sony clarifies that the 7.1x optical zoom is “planned to be delivered at the next Android OS version update”, so it remains to be seen what they mean by that and how the telephoto camera will perform out of the box.

Photography whistles and bells

Usually, we start a phone’s unveiling report with details about the chipset and other “traditional” specs.

The Xperia 1 line, though, does not fall in any category that could be called “traditional” – or at least it tries not to.

Let’s not kid ourselves, the Xperia was and still is a photography (and videography) centric handset.

So, let’s dive right into it!

Users can expect a rear triple camera setup:

  • Main camera: 24mm equivalent focal length
  • Ultra-wide camera: 16mm equivalent focal length
  • Telephoto camera: 85mm-170mm optical zoom

That Exmor goodness is still here!

The main camera utilizes the Sony-developed Exmor T for mobile sensor. Pair this with the obligatory AI processing (it’s 2024, after all!) and users should get pretty decent results. I’m highly skeptical about the “picture quality equivalent to full-frame cameras” statement from Sony themselves, but, hey, marketing is a tough racket.
All in all, the Exmor T for mobile should enable less noise and wider dynamic range in low light, and should make videos look full of cinematic color expression.

Macro shots with the telephoto

If you’re into macro, get this, there isn’t a dedicated macro lens, but the telephoto comes with a maximum magnification of approximately 2x and a minimum focus distance of 4 cm.

AF tracking from Sony: the bee’s knees

The Xperia 1 VI is newly equipped with AF tracking with human pose estimation – an AI feature cultivated with the Alpha series cameras (you know, the world-wide renowned dedicated Sony cameras!)

The rear camera integrates AI technology to recognize the human skeleton, enabling precise AF tracking even in challenging shooting scenarios due to potential obstructions that conceal the subject’s visibility. This advanced functionality ensures consistent and accurate tracking, optimizing image capture in a diverse series of environments.

A new camera app

The camera app on the Xperia 1 VI has undergone a significant update, Sony says. The app now features a user-friendly interface designed for seamless navigation. This enhancement prioritizes convenience without compromising on the array of creative tools available, such as special shooting modes and customizable color presets.

There’s touch tracking, capable of automatically setting brightness and color adjustments, alongside the introduction of the new Pro video mode. This one offers detailed settings control for video capture and users can effortlessly capture both photos and videos with intuitive control and precision.

The shutter button grows and grows

A welcomed upgrade: the Xperia 1 VI features a larger shutter button than its predecessor, the Xperia 1 V, offering enhanced control while capturing photos.

The display draws inspiration from the Bravia TVs

Apart from being photo-centric flagships, the Xperia 1 handsets are known for their top-quality displays. The Xperia 1 VI will not disappoint, as it promises a state-of-the-art display technology inherited from the Bravia 9 TV.

The main goal is to improve contrast, color, and clarity. This technology works for your own content and even streaming services.

The Xperia 1 VI packs a Full HD+ display that can be adjusted between 1 and 120Hz for energy-efficient operation with LTPO technology. As you know, LTPO technology for mobile phone screens helps to save battery life by dynamically adjusting the screen’s refresh rate based on the content being displayed.

As we mentioned before, this Sony champion comes with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Also, the tech giant claims, it offers the brightest display in Xperia history, ensuring a visually stunning user experience.

Moreover, there’s a new Sunlight Vision mode for better visibility in tricky outdoor lighting conditions.

Furthermore, this new Sunlight Vision mode delivers improved visibility in outdoor environments, not only brightening the image, but also performing AI image processing to prevent overexposed highlights by analyzing the frames and the environmental brightness in real-time.

Sony discloses that the new display is 1.5 times brighter than the previous model.

Yup, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is in the house

You didn’t expect a 2024 Sony flagship without the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, did you?

The Xperia 1 VI is by no means a powerhouse, but the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is one capable beast. This powerful processor “enhances the Xperia 1 VI’s AI capabilities, offering unrivaled camera, audio, gaming, and display performance”, Sony claims.

Indeed, there’s a new Game Enhancer feature: “FPS Optimizer”!

FPS Optimizer dynamically optimizes CPU usage and frame rate based on the gaming environment. Touch input has been refined, offering three tracking speeds and two levels of tap accuracy, ensuring an unparalleled gaming experience for both gameplay and live-streaming where the swiftest of reactions are a must.

The 240 Hz touch sampling rate is said to enable “unparalleled responsiveness, delivering near-instant reactions to touch inputs for quicker in-game actions and heightened control”, but you’ll have to see for yourself if it’s any good.

The phone incorporates a Game Enhancer and a vapor chamber for improved thermal management, promising a smooth and uninterrupted gaming experience, even during extended play sessions.

Additionally, the L-y Raiser adjusts image details in dark areas of the game, making it easier to see opponents in the dark.

Design: hot and tactile

Sony Xperia phones look good – did I say that already? Or was I describing them as unique? Never mind.

The Xperia 1 VI will make users happy with a textural rear panel finish – think of comfort, functionality, and beauty. And grip. Yes, the grip (any photographer will confirm this is very important) and the convex microfabrication of hard glass have been improved, alongside a frosted finish that makes it more resistant to fingerprints and surface scratches.

It comes in a choice of colors to suit your style:

  • Black
  • Platinum Silver
  • Khaki Green

Also, there’s a newly bundled ring strap that can be attached to the cover: even more stability! Moreover, the stand supports both horizontal and vertical orientations for added convenience.

The Xperia 1 VI maintains a sleek profile, measuring just 8.2 mm in thickness (that’s thinner than the previous Xperia models) and weighing a mere 192 grams.

Battery: give me power!

The Xperia 1 VI is powered by a 5000mAh battery that shouldn’t be disrespected. The battery is designed for two days of typical use, Sony claims. There’s a vapor chamber heat-dissipating component. Not only does it support rapid charging, achieving approximately 50% capacity in just 30 minutes, Battery Care and Xperia Adaptive Charging ensures the battery isn’t overworked as it charges, giving you four years of healthy battery life.

Additionally, Xperia 1 VI supports the new wireless standard Wi-Fi 7 which is to come later in 2024. This latest communication standard enables high-speed data exchange, enhancing the user experience.

New sound for the users

Sony is not letting go of the 3.5mm headphone jack. I like that!

Featuring a new Premium Audio Circuit for 3.5mm wired headphones, a new higher-performance speaker, and innovative audio technologies, the Xperia 1 VI promises to sound great.

The speaker unit’s performance has undergone significant enhancements. Through the reduction of distortion at high volumes and optimization of low-frequency output, Sony claims a “marked increase” in the sound pressure level.

The Xperia 1 VI allows you to explore the latest audio industry technologies and formats by supporting:

  • High-Resolution Audio
  • High-Resolution Audio Wireless
  • LDAC (a technology that allows for high-quality wireless audio streaming over Bluetooth connections)
  • Bluetooth LE Audio (Low Energy)
  • Snapdragon Sound

When paired with select wireless headphones, activating the AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) Connection mode enhances sound quality further, even in “bustling urban environments”.

Accessibility features

Sony doesn’t want people left behind because of physical differences. This is how they’re being inclusive:

Pricing, availability and software updates

Xperia 1 VI will be available to buy from early June for approximately €1399 / £1299. For now, the number of years of software support hasn’t been disclosed, but we’ll update the article once it’s announced.

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