It feels like 2019 has been all about moving towards phones with fancy features like bezel-free screens, foldable displays, or nifty in-display fingerprint readers. But the Xperia 1 has none of these things. With its sizable forehead, extra tall 21:9 display, and a row of buttons and sensors running down its right side, the Xperia 1 looks lanky, maybe even a bit ungainly, like a teenager that just hit a growth spurt. Because of its slightly awkward appearance, a lot of people will never give this phone a chance. It’s a shame because the Xperia 1 might be the most underappreciated phone of 2019.
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Yes, Sony is still making smartphones, and no, it's not going to stop churning them out despite the face that no one is interested in buying one. CEO Kenichiro Yoshida says the company will keep flogging its Xperia handset because it doesn't want to miss out on a juicy piece of the pie. Considering it's been living off crumbs for a while now, we'll see how that decision pans out.
Phones are getting weird again and in just the past couple days, we’ve seen a wildly expensive bendable phone, a phone that can read your palm, and a bug-eyed phone with five cameras on its back. And while Sony’s latest batch of Xperia phones aren’t quite that strange, there’s something undeniably intriguing about Sony’s new handsets.
Whether it's because you've got small hands, prefer a more pocketable device, or simply don't care about having a giant display, when it comes to truly small phones, there just aren't a lot of options. Your choices are essentially the iPhone SE, the standard Pixel 2, and this: the Xperia XZ2 Compact. However, with Apple not having bothered to update the SE in more than two years, and the Pixel 2 having been cursed with a half-assed design that makes it seem like the neglected member of Google's 2017 offerings, even those handsets have issues. I know small phones aren't super popular, but it's almost comical at how little effort companies put into making a modestly-sized devices with competent specs.
You wouldn't know it, because Sony never seems to have brought its phones to the US until well after the fact, but not too long ago, Sony was a force (at least design-wise) in the smartphone world thanks to devices like the OG Xperia Z and the innovative Xperia Play. It was making cool looking phones while also pushing features like built-in water resistance that people now take for granted. But lately Sony's phones have felt half-hearted.
Sony makes really, really good cameras. The company's professional series cameras are currently coveted by even grumpy old pros reluctant to upgrade, and its camera sensors are found not just in Sony products, but in many competitors, too. So it's no surprise that for years the company has made a big show of playing up the cameras in its smartphones. The Sony Xperia XZ Premium is no exception.
The new Sony Xperia Touch is very cool. You watch this tiny 720p laser projector in action, and even when it bugs out and doesn't immediately respond to your every fat fingered press it's still so neat you're almost inclined to not care. But I have no idea who is going to buy this €1600 device. That's nearly $2300 at current exchange rates... for an Android laser projector.
Sony announced today that its Xperia Z5 Premium will be an Optus exclusive.
The Xperia Z5 Premium scores the bragging right of being the world's first 4K smartphone. Other stand-out features include a "completely reimagined" 23MP camera that uses Sony's Alpha camera technology (that lets you capture moments at a speed of 0.033 seconds), PS4 Remote Play compatibility and a ridiculous two-day battery life.
As the old saying goes, there are lies, damned lies and advertised internal storage capacities for mobile devices. Manufacturers misrepresenting usable space on devices is a trick with a long and storied history, but Sony's Xperia M4 Aqua is the most shameless fakery I've ever seen.