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Sony Xperia 1V Review


Sony, renowned for their massive presence in the technology scene, has given us some real game-changers. From the PlayStation that’s become a household name, to the Walkman that revolutionized portable music, and not forgetting the Xperia, making waves in the mobile phone market.

But let’s be realistic, it’s been a bit of a tough ride for the Xperia lately, especially with giants like Apple and Samsung setting the bar pretty high with a huge marketshare between them.

Sony’s been in the phone game for ages, and I’ve had the chance to check out a bunch of them while writing for different sites. They pack some solid hardware but often come with a hefty price tag.

Sony’s got a bunch of other phones available right now with the 5V and more budget friendly 10V, so when they said they’d send over me an Xperia 1V for a review, I was really excited to see what the flagship model could produce.

This is a review of the Sony Xperia 1V where I used it as my main phone with my main SIM card for all my daily tasks so could really get a good feel for what the company were aiming for.

The device was sent to me by Sony UK PR and on the review was finished was returned back to them so other reviewers can get hands on it for their coverage.

No offer of a device to keep was made and no one else had any input in any of this review as it is going live for everyone to see at the same time.


I will explore the details of the selfie camera in the camera coverage later in the review, but to mention fot now it features a 12MP lens with the ability to capture 4K video, which matches the specifications from last years model the Xperia 1 IV.

The screen boasts a respectable 6.5-inch size and utilizes OLED technology for deep blacks and vibrant colors. It also features a 120Hz refresh rate, ideal for those interested in high-frame-rate gaming or who appreciate smooth, silky animations.

Additionally, the 4K resolution, when used for viewing compatible content, is simply breathtaking in quality and is unmatched in this area even when you look at the most recent Samsung displays.

The large screen takes up all the front with no physical buttons to be seen, just the large screen which looks great for watching content back on.

It’s interesting to see that Sony has once again chosen not to adopt a pinhole or notch for the camera. They have maintained a 21:9 aspect ratio display without any cutout for the camera, opting instead for a traditional phone design with a top bar to accommodate it.

On the left side, there are no buttons or switches; the only features that interrupt the smooth, flat surface are two small areas of differing color. These are designed to enhance signal strength and have been seen on multiple phone models previously.

On the right-hand side, there is a volume rocker for adjusting the volume up and down, as well as a power button in the center that offers a built in fingerprint sensor. This allows for quick unlocking or contactless payments through Google Pay. Fortunately, both speed and reliability were excellent, making it easy to use and very reliable.

Finally you have a dedicated camera button which is something Sony have been doing for years on their phones, it gives you a real camera experience by half pressing to focus, then fully pressing to take a photo.

At the top, there is one of the dual microphones designed for noise cancellation and stereo recording. Additionally, the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack is appreciated, allowing the use of personal headphones without requiring an adapter or taking up the USB-C port at the bottom.

At the bottom, there is an additional microphone that complements the dual setup. Additionally, there is a USB-C port available for data transfer or fast charging at 30W.

While this charging speed is respectable, it is slower compared to some competitors. However, this model supports wireless charging, which is conveniently reversible, allowing you to charge other devices quickly if needed, although at a very slow rate.

The Xperia 1V features a Nano SIM slot for your preferred network SIM, along with Dual SIM support, allowing you to use two different networks simultaneously with eSIM support, should your network provide this option.

It’s worth mentioning a small but appreciated detail: you don’t need a pin to remove the sliding holder, unlike most other phones. There’s a small slot that allows you to use your fingernail for quick removal, which is excellent for anyone who frequently swaps SIM cards since there’s no need to search for a pin.

It’s super handy not having to hunt for a PIN every time you want or need to swap SIMs. Just one of those little things that make a big difference, especially when you’re on the go.

Turning over to the back you have a full glass panel with the Sony logo slap bang in the middle.

The device features a triple camera setup that includes a main 48-megapixel lens withan LED flash to boost low-light photography. Additionally, it includes a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens perfect for capturing landscape shots, along with a 12-megapixel telephoto lens for zoomed-in images.

Sample photos and videos taken from each camera can be found later on in the review so you can see what the quality is like.


Sony has reduced the level of customization applied to their skin of Android over the years, this allows for future software updates and versions to launch quickly as there is little that they need to change before launching against the competition.

Additionally, there is less pre-installed bloatware, including muiltiple apps for identical tasks. For example, previously there was both an Album app and Google Photos for managing pictures. Now, there are only a few select Sony apps designed to enhance the user experience without being intrusive or feeling too much but still offerig that Sony experiance.

The latest version of Android brings with it the new design language with flatter icons and shapes, for example the number pad to unlock the phone is now large circles with basic feel that makes everything just easier to understand and use.

Also the notification slider has been redesigned with easier to understand notifications and optioned to customise quickly, it is the same content as before just much better in design and overall layout.

The tall screen introduces allows for extra software features, enabling multitasking with two apps simultaneously in a 50/50 split. Despite the screen’s height, the content remains sufficiently large for practical use.

Sony has done a good job on the software front with little bloatware and quick software updates such as to the latest Android 14, and this is a big improvement from the old Sony software experience on older devices.

One feature that you may quickly come to either love or hate is the dynamic vibration mode when playing back video content. The concept is that it enhances the viewing experience with subtle, timed vibrations that coincide with the video content when needed. For instance, during the scene in Jurassic Park where the T-Rex causes the water in the cup to ripple, this feature is a nice idea. However, it might be irritating for some, so Sony has made it simple to toggle this feature on or off.


The performance is exceptional, as expected, given that the Xperia 1V is equipped with a top-tier Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. At the time of writing, it remains one of the highest-performing chips available on the market even though right now it is not the most recent having just been replaced with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.

This is supported by 12GB of RAM, ensuring smooth multitasking capabilities, even with graphics-intensive games. During my gameplay sessions with Call of Duty and PUBG, I experienced no performance issues on the 12GB model equipped with 256GB of storage.

The included battery has a capacity of 5000mAh, ranking it among the top models currently on sale. This is particularly impressive given the phone’s OLED screen, which operates at 120hz, and its support for 5G. Having such a large battery is handy when it comes to gaming. Additionally, while the Xperia 1V supports 30w charging, it takes longer to fully charge from zero compared to some competitors.

The Xperia 1V comes with support for 2G/3G/4G/5G so you have a wide range of connectivity options depending on your network and sometimes price plan of choice (not all plans include 5G access)

Naturally, the device comes equipped with standard features such as GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, and built-in WiFi for navigation and communication. Additionally, the WiFi is compatible with the latest standards, offering enhanced and faster data speeds when paired with the appropriate router.”


Sony has established a significant presence in the camera industry, which one would expect to extend to their Xperia smartphone line. However, this has not consistently been the case with previous models, particularly regarding 4K video recording, which often suffers from overheating issues.

The selfie camera keeps the 12MP lens from last year’s model, which delivered decent performance. However, it falls short in megapixel count compared to some modern phones that boast 32MP selfie cameras. Despite its high cost, this phone does not offer a higher megapixel selfie camera.

The quality is suitable for selfies and their primary use, which is sharing on social media and video calls. However, considering that phones in this price range often feature 16/32/40 megapixel selfie cameras, a higher megapixel count would have been better for greater detail, as previously mentioned.

Selfie videos are decent too, but with a lower megapixel count you do lose some of the creative opportunity such as cropping in and keeping the footage really sharp, but for most uses it will do a good job.

Sony has opted for a three-lens setup, featuring a main 48-megapixel camera and a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera suitable for all conditions in addition to a 12-megapixel telephoto camera for zooming in closer to objects.

In good lighting the captured photos seem decent packing a lot of details and colour which was good to see, it does not have the boosted contrast which Samsung seem to love doing in there photos that make greens really over the top which is a good thing although some people do like that style of photo. 

Here are  photos taken using each of the three cameras so you can see what quality you can expect to see.

Normally, night photos struggle to capture many details compared to some of the competition in the past for me. However, it seems that Sony has managed to enhance their quality and capture some really good photos, even under the toughest conditions, which was great to see.

In an attempt to make things easier and more streamlined, Sony have now gone with a single app for the camera and a separate one for their Pro video mode.

In previous models, there was a standard camera for basic photography and Pro models for those seeking greater control over their settings. With the Xperia 1V, there is a unified camera system for both photography and videography.

On loading, you enter the Basic mode, ideal for those who prefer to ‘point and shoot’ to capture a decent photograph. By tapping this setting in the corner, you get all the professional modes and tools necessary to achieve the best possible photo, provided you have the knowledge to utilize them correctly as there is a lot to learn if you want the best photo this phone can capture.

Cinema Pro, the included professional video recorder, can produce exceptional content. Those familiar with Sony cameras will recognize many settings and toggles to optimize device performance. However, individuals who favor a point-and-shoot approach might find the large amount of on-screen options somewhat daunting.

It is clear that Sony are leaning on their fanbase of existing Sony users who will understand what they are looking at when loading the Cinema Pro app to record video.

A significant problem with older Sony phones was the overheating warning displayed while recording 4K video. It appears that the company has finally addressed and resolved this major issue, allowing for worry-free 4K recording.

Final Thoughts

So, the Xperia 1V comes with a hefty £1200 price tag here in the UK. It’s Sony’s top-tier model, so it’s pretty intriguing to see how they’re positioning it in a market that’s overrun by Samsung and Apple. Plus, you’ve got these rising stars like Oppo, OnePlus, and Xiaomi shaking things up. It’s a bold move by Sony for sure keeping the same design language which to some will appear outdated.

If you’re one of the many who can’t get enough of Sony, you’re going to feel right at home here, Sony’s got a solid group of enthusiasts all over the world who just can’t help but rave about everything they put out and with good reason when you look at the companies backgroud in technology.

The challenge for Sony mpany is with attracting new customers from different devices to the Sony brand, which is an uphill battle even though the Xperia 1V offers a very satisfying experience.

With its excellent specifications that provide good value for money, it’s unfortunate that many people may not discover this.

If you want to save some money then Sony offer a fantastic alternative in their Xperia 5V model which has some great specs in a smaller design, if however you want the best that Sony have to offer including that improved camera, larger screen and gorgeous 4K HDR display then the Xperia 1V is worth every penny

If you asked me if I would recommend this device. I would actually have to say yes, take out the competition and what they have to offer and look at this phone for what it has to offer, and you’re getting a great smartphone that will last a long time.

Something worth pointing out though is the main focus of this phone if you can excuse the pun is of course that professional camera, whilst the 1V can put out some great point and shoot style photos, to get the most from this phone you will need to play around with the Pro mode and understand how a camera works, with this is mind it will not be the phone for everyone.

Again a big thanks to Sony for sending out the Xperia 1V for review.

Sony Xperia 1V Review
The best Sony have to offer right now with a high price tag but also high performance to go with it.
Gorgeous 4K Display
High Performance
Great Camera Performance
Outdated Design
High Price Tag

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