Sony Xperia 1 II sets a new speed benchmark, providing continuous shooting up to 20fps4, with AF/AE tracking 5, real-time autofocus tracking and image capture of human and animal Eye-AF9, and A21: 9 CinemaWide 6.5 inches 4K HDR OLED display, and excellent display audio, including front speakers and headphone jack.
If the Sony Xperia 1 II is a beautiful device, it is too lightly written: it has smooth lines, a slim and elegant shape, and is very narrow, so you can easily hold it. Sony also includes an incredibly incredible camera that can rival the best phones and can beat them in some cases.
Unfortunately, all these features are wrapped in disappointing errors and under-written software, the phone lacks 5G connectivity, and many of the standard features you see on other flagship products are missing. To make matters worse, its price is as high as $1200.
- Beautifully crafted.
- Photos can sometimes truly wow you.
- Outrageous price.
- Lacks 5G connectivity.
- The software is full of bugs.
- Easily overheats in warm weather.
- Frustrating camera app gets in the way of taking good photos and videos.
Sony phones have never been the most popular choice. It was a Nokia at the time, then BlackBerry, and later the iPhone took over. In the Android era, Sony has never completely defeated Samsung or even a fast-moving Chinese mobile phone manufacturer.
But Sony has been fighting: this cool outlier is not suitable. If you are old enough, even in an era when the phone has buttons and a small 1-inch screen, the Sony Ericsson phone can stand out with its stylish design, while other phones and cameras cannot match it.
Today, Sony is still the company that produces camera sensors for most leading smartphones, and it is precisely this Alpha series of cameras that has completely changed the digital camera market.
DNA has not changed. You can say that the company knows one or two things about photography and design.
- Package Dimensions: 7.5 x 3.6 x 2.2 inches
- Item Weight: 1 pound
- Batteries: 1 Lithium-ion battery required. (included)
A large number of people who support “clean” Android. There is a very good reason: cleanly assume that you have no inflated software, no duplicate applications, and no worries. Sony’s Android version is technically clean Android, but it convinces me that clean Android is also a bad thing unless the bug is cleared.
I have been used too many functions on other phones before, for example, local screen video recording is not available here, and I did not choose the option to automatically enable dark mode after sunset.
- Playing a concert on Spotify while browsing Facebook News Feed causes the music to be continuously disturbed.
- It’s disturbing to zoom in on the images in the Photos app every time.
- Gesture navigation usually doesn’t work properly, especially when the app switches to the landscape.
Sony also deleted a bad page from the Pixel phone: the Google search bar on the home screen could not be deleted. People who use this feature will not mind, but if you do not use this feature, there is nothing you can do, and it will always appear on your home screen.
That iconic Side Sense feature? Double-tap on the side of the phone to open some useful applications, but I can’t make it work as I tried.
Let me say it again, these are not people who disrupt transactions, not people who disrupt transactions. They sneered at things that could have brought a better experience, and we can and should expect super-premium phones to be better at this price.
Design and Display
It is impossible not to notice how narrow this phone is. It stands out from the crowd, and you won’t believe such a narrow phone has a 6.5-inch display. The reason for this number is that it has an ultra-high aspect ratio of 21 x 9, of course, holding Xperia 1 II feels more like holding a TV than a smartphone.
We don’t mind this: the narrow-body holds the phone firmly, so you’re less likely to drop it. It does cause some inconvenience, that is, sticking out some pockets, then trying to put it in the pocket, and then sit down and tie the shoelaces… However, this is common for people looking for a mobile phone named after XL Trouble.
All buttons are on the right: the fingerprint scanner is built into the embedded power button in the middle, the volume button is above it, and the bottom is the dedicated camera shutter button, which is Sony’s signature touch. I don’t like the embedded power button. Such a position makes touch and press operations more difficult, but because a fingerprint reader is used, this is a necessary compromise.
Other buttons are not as clickable and responsive as competitors’ phones. There are a USB-C port and a microphone on the bottom, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack on the top. Sony bundles the phone with the excellent $200 WF-1000XM3 true wireless earbuds for early reservations, so it can skip the headphone jack, but I am happy that it offers this option.
The loudspeaker faces forward and is cleverly placed in two small cutouts, one at the bottom of the phone and one at the top of the phone. You can also use the speaker during the call. The audio quality will be further discussed later.
The display is the core of the smartphone, and its clarity is incredible. This is a 6.5-inch AMOLED screen with a resolution of 4K, or 1644 x 3840 pixels, and a pixel density of 643 pixels per inch.
This is more than any other phone, but remember that even on such a small smartphone screen, even if the resolution is so high, its resolution is more subtle than most phones. However, subtlety does not mean invisible, if like me, you lie in bed and watch a lot of things.
Sony has also added a series of marketing terms to the display specifications table to impress people: “Cinema Wide”, “4K HDR”, “amazing cinematic quality”, “professional color reproduction”.
Sony has an entire text on the screen on its screen: “Inspired by the color of the Master Monitor, the color is derived from Sony’s professional technology, used in Hollywood’s leading studios, now you can use “supported by CineAlta” Creator mode, experience unprecedented color accuracy. Turn content into reality exactly as expected, including Netflix series and movies.”
Another thing about this screen is that it is not as bright as its competitors. This makes using the phone a challenge in broad daylight. There are also some problems with irregular automatic brightness adjustment.
There is no sign of rapid refresh here! OnePlus, Samsung, Huawei, and almost every Android company have adopted the technology in their high-end phones. Unfortunately, not Sony. Although I think 120Hz has a great impact on the battery.
Performance and Security
The phone under the hood is powered by Snapdragon 865, which is the most powerful chip you can get on Android now, and it incorporates 8GB of RAM. And it’s fast. As you would expect, the phone can perform daily operations smoothly and without trouble.
What you wouldn’t expect is that this phone will overheat. If you use a 4K video, you will receive a warning about overheating on your phone, which is not normal. Not at least in 2020. When music was playing in my car in June, the temperature of the phone was so high that it worried me.
The same is true of the game: the phone pre-installed “Call of Duty Phone”, I played a few rounds, and the phone is too hot.
At least in terms of specifications, Xperia is loaded: it has up to 256GB of onboard storage, and it also supports removable storage.
In terms of biometrics, you can embed a traditional fingerprint scanner in the power button on the side of the phone. There is no facial recognition of any kind.
Setting up a fingerprint scanner is easy, and works well in most cases. It is not the fastest, but there is no slack. However, I do have questions about embedding it in the power button.
First, because you put the phone back in your pocket, it is difficult to quickly press the power button to activate the lock screen without accidentally unlocking the phone, and second, because that is where the thumb rests when you put the phone back in your pocket.
Since my thumb is naturally placed on the fingerprint scanner, I am not sure if I accidentally unlocked the phone when I put it in my pocket whether it was indeed unlocked a few times.
Camera Specification, Apps and Notifications
We finally reached the foundation of Sony’s experience, that is, the reason for the existence of Xperia 1 II: its camera. Spoiler alert: It’s great, sometimes better than the best phones on the market, and there are some outrageous issues around the camera app, but if you can solve it, it’s great.
Sony managed to make the simplest operation too complicated: for example zooming. Pinch to zoom, the phone can only zoom up to 3 times. Strange, right? Most mobile phones have a zoom factor of at least 10 times, and many mobile phones have a zoom factor of 50 times or even 100 times.
Well, Xperia can zoom 9x, but to get that zoom, you first need to switch to the telephoto camera before you start zooming in. Do you choose to use a 3X telephoto camera? Sorry, you cannot zoom out to an ultra-wide lens.
You must first tap to return to the main camera before you can zoom out. I have never seen other phones so weird, let alone a flagship of $1200.
Click Settings. When you select 4K recording for the first time, you will receive a warning that your phone may overheat! Unexpectedly, especially in 2020.
One thing you can’t see on the spec sheet will still have a huge impact on the touchscreen experience. It’s been a year and a half since my colleague Preslav complained about the unpleasant touch on Android.
Unfortunately, Sony still believes that the company’s vibration motor is still fragile and fragile. This sounds like a trivial matter, but it is not. The fact is that most people I know never turn on the sound on the phone.
Hearing notifications all day can quickly become annoying. Instead, you put your phone in a vibrating state and keep it in this state unless you are waiting for important messages or calls.
- Photo Quality: However, all camera problems can be solved, and if it can be solved, you will be pleasantly surprised. The photos that this phone can capture can make you amazed, even the best there can’t do.
- Daylight Photos: When I saw Xperia on the screen, I knew that the photos from the Xperia main camera had something special, but later viewing them on a large professional screen made me speechless.
The quality of these images is just what you cannot see on your smartphone. Realistic colors, clear but never artificially modified details, good dynamic range, all of which are combined magically to create images, if you walk with people, it is memory. However, that depends on you.
- Ultra-Wide Camera: The ultra-wide camera provides the same beautiful colors as the main camera, so you can get a wider field of view without losing image quality. Although we do have a lot of problems with the camera app experience, the photos look great.
- Selfies: This phone has one of the best selfie cameras we have used so far: it focuses on your face, the details are crisp and clean, there is no artificial over-sharpening and color, compared with other phones, the colors are bright and beautiful, lifelike. Of course, don’t expect the front camera to work wonders in low light, but for all other lenses, this is quite amazing.
- Night-Mode: Thank you for having the “Night Mode” option, but this will take extra time and you need to remember to enable it manually, which means you will rarely use it. We want it to be automatic because it can greatly improve photos taken in extreme darkness.
Audio and Video Quality
The phone cleverly hides the two speakers in tiny cutouts towards your top and bottom. Unfortunately, these speakers fail on a key indicator: they are not loud enough.
Compared with iPhone and Galaxy, the sound is pale and weak, especially compared with the incredible Google Pixel 4 series of speakers. This doubles the fun of playing YouTube videos and music on your phone.
However, if you use headphones, you can use a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Early bird who booked the phone in advance had a chance to get the truly wireless headphones of Sony WF-1000XM3 that sounded good.
The 4K option here has the same pleasant colors as in the photo and provides a lot of detail. We also didn’t notice any focusing issues, so we used the camera to easily shoot videos.
One thing I find difficult to explain is the contradiction between many Android phone manufacturers. Video recording in Xperia is a good example. Sony was one of the first companies to introduce Super Slow Motion, which at an incredible 960fps recording speed allows you to reduce the real speed by as much as 32 times.
This is an mm head, but one of the coolest. Well, Sony Xperia 1 II completely abandons this feature created by Sony itself. It disappeared without explaining why. Currently, you cannot even record 240fps slow motion on Xperia 1 II, it can only record at 120fps, which is worse than most phones on the market.
Battery Life and Charing
The Xperia 1 II is equipped with a 4,000 mAh battery, which may be a bit unprepared compared to most of today’s XL and Max-sized phones: the Galaxy S20 Plus is equipped with a 4,500 mAh battery, and the OnePlus 8 is equipped with a 4,300 mAh battery. Only the iPhone with the same function as Xperia 11 Pro Max.
But in real life, my battery life is no problem. As far as my use is concerned, I have about 6 hours of screen display time before the phone crashes, which is suitable for me. This phone is not a two-day endurance champion, but it will take you through even the longest days.
Xperia comes with an 18-watt power adapter that has a USB-C port, which is a welcome change to the earlier standard USB port. USB-C is the future, and we are happy that Sony is jumping in that future.
However, the charging speed is OK: it is not the fastest charging method, and it only takes 2 hours to fully charge. I should also mention that in the past few years, Sony has implemented the function of protecting the battery of mobile phones, and still supports these functions.
It will learn your charging habits and skillfully manage the charging cycle to reduce the pressure that usually occurs when the battery is charged for a long time in the last few percentage points.
The phone also supports Qi wireless charging, which means it is fully compatible with most wireless chargers.
Sony seems to have given up all efforts to improve the existing Android experience, it does not have any exciting new features in the Android world, such as fast refresh rate, fast charging, or remote zoom. And it doesn’t even provide a 5G connection.
If the price of the phone does not exceed $1200, I will easily ignore this. In the end, this phone will not be available for sale until July 24, 2020, three months after the arrival of all other Android phones.
Sony’s price is too high. Objectively, you can buy more technologically advanced mobile phones with less money, but we humans do not always pursue objectively, so we must understand its advantages and disadvantages, and Let you wholeheartedly use your favorite device.