The Sony Xperia 1 V is a very cool phone - it has a classic lightweight design with the most durable glass panels, top-notch ingress protection, and outstanding grip. The 4K OLED screen is still an Xperia trademark and its 21:9 aspect ratio is perfect for scrolling apps like Insta and Facebook. Let's not forget the powerful front-facing speakers, and the unique cameras with their excellent photos and videos.
The flagship Xperia 1 V is intended for creators, and it gives them a complete set of tools to capture great photos and videos at the price of a bit more involvement and higher skill requirements. There are also optional accessories to boost your experience, as well as apps that can connect to other Sony equipment.
The Sony Xperia 1 V launches at €1399, which is a bit expensive, considering the lackluster bundle, but in line with most current flagships we'd say. It is not the only cameraphone on the market, though, so let's explore some competitors.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is the ultimate smartphone right now with the most versatile camera setup available thanks to the two telephoto shooters for 3x and 10x optical zoom. The large Dynamic AMOLED and the S-Pen are surely nice treats, too. The Galaxy S23 Ultra can be found about €200 cheaper than the Xperia, too.
The Xiaomi 13 Ultra is yet to launch on the international markets, but it has already gone to the #1 spot in many wishlists for its outstanding Dolby Vision OLED, incredibly good camera kit and quality, and blazing fast charging solution. If point-and-shoot photo and video quality are what's most important, this is the one to get.
The €1199 vivo X90 Pro is also a globally available phone, and it impressed us with its design, speed, and, more importantly, the incredibly natural photo and video processing, easily rivaling Sony's. The only downsides - it has a shorter 2x optical zoom, and you won't find as many prosumer-oriented features.
Finally, the recently launched Huawei P60 Pro is a great alternative if you can live without Google Mobile Services and 5G. The phone has a great screen and fast enough hardware, but its primary camera with variable aperture and the telemacro option on its 3.5x telephoto are really captivating. It is not a smartphone for the mainstream user, but you can overcome the lack of Google's services, and the camera capabilities and quality are sort of one of a kind.
The Sony Xperia 1 V is an excellent smartphone, something we've come to expect from Sony. In addition to the new main camera and upgraded chipset, it also brings improved thermals and Night View for all cameras. There are also thoughtful updates on the design, speaker system, and battery life.
The Xperia 1 V impressed us right out of the box with one of the greatest smartphone designs we've experienced lately - solid, well-protected, lightweight, and with the best grip on the market.
Then comes the excellent 4K OLED HDR10 screen, it's a feast for the eyes. It is color accurate, too, and supports 240Hz touch response and 120 refresh rate, which no longer has to turn off due to overheating like on the Xperia 1 IV! We only wish it had a dynamic refresh rate management.
The front-facing speakers on the Xperia 1 V are also something you have to experience for yourself to appreciate them. They are loud, balanced, and of excellent sound quality. We are also happy with the battery life, the clean system interface, and the top-notch performance.
We've said a lot of positive things about the cameras - they offer consistently great photo and video quality and unmatched options for tuning if you know what you are doing. We don't consider the zoom system as a decision maker, as the difference between 3.5x and 5.2x magnification is not that groundbreaking. Hopefully Sony will offer longer zoom for its next flagship by working to expand its continuous zoom system.
It's not all great, though. There is no macro mode for the camera, the Night View is nothing that impressive, and the thermal throttling is still here even if it doesn't concern the screen and the camera. The video capturing could use some boost in the detail, too.
But even as is, the Sony Xperia 1 V is one of the best smartphones on the market and a pretty unique cameraphone. It is also the only phone intended for creative photographers on the go, which gives it an edge over every other competitor.
Everything boils down to whether the Xperia 1 V checks the most boxes on your list - if it does, we are sure you will not regret getting it.
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