Sony’s Xperia 1 VI Drops the 4K Display in Favor of 7X Camera Zoom

Why Trust Techopedia
Key Takeaways

  • Sony has introduced the Xperia 1 VI and 10 VI.
  • The Xperia 1 VI doesn't have a 4K display, but gets a 7X optical zoom camera.
  • The phone ships in June, although a U.S. launch isn't clear.

Sony has unveiled its new flagship phone, the Xperia 1 VI, and has dropped the signature tall 4K display in exchange for extra camera prowess.

The new model instead uses a more conventional 19.5:9 ratio, 6.5-inch 1080p OLED screen. While not as sharp as on the Xperia 1 V, Sony said it’s 50% brighter than before. It should also improve battery life and compatibility with apps, some of which didn’t always display correctly on a 21:9 phone.

In return, the 1 VI received a string of camera upgrades. Its centerpiece 12-megapixel optical zoom camera now extends to 7.1X instead of last year’s 5.2X, and starts at 3.5X. You can capture more distant subjects without resorting to digital zoom.

The new Xperia’s main 48MP camera also promises better low-light photography and dynamic range, according to Sony. Like other smartphones, you can also now use the full resolution when sharpness matters most.

Software plays an important role. In addition to improved image processing, Sony has unified its three camera apps. The new program still has an advanced mode for serious photographers, but you no longer have to switch between apps when you want to use certain features. The company is using AI for eye tracking, subject pose estimation, and camera settings like exposure and white balance, but you won’t find generative AI editing here.

Performance has stepped up. The Xperia 1 VI now uses the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 you expect in this year’s Android flagships, along with 12GB of RAM. Vapor chamber cooling should prevent the overheating that has sometimes plagued Sony phones, too. There’s either 256GB or 512GB of microSD-expandable storage, and the 3.5mm headphone jack remains intact.

The Xperia’s 5,000mAh battery delivers up to two days of battery life, according to Sony. The company also touted battery health technology that could offer four years of strong performance.

Sony has already opened pre-orders for the Xperia 1 VI starting at £1,299 in the UK, with orders shipping June 6th. There’s no word yet on U.S. availability, but the 1 V originally sold for $1,399. We’d expect similar pricing if and when the 1 VI comes stateside.

The company also introduced a mid-range counterpart, the Xperia 10 VI. It uses a 6.1-inch 1080p OLED display and has a mid-tier Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 chip, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of expandable storage. It still includes a 5,000mAh battery, and the £349 (about $440) price makes it more competitive with rivals like the Nothing Phone 2a.

The Xperia 1 VI may be appealing to smartphone fans who miss expandable storage and headphone jacks, as well as mobile photographers who value optical zoom and advanced controls. At this pricing, though, Sony still faces a familiar challenge: it’s competing against the most expensive devices from rivals, including Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro Max and Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Ultra. Those phones have higher-resolution displays and their own unique camera features, not to mention wider availability and lower-priced versions.