Today’s flagship phones come in a wide variety, but only one is designed specifically for amateur and professional photographers. It is the model with the 4K display, front-facing stereo speakers, premium cameras with a hardware shutter key, and a classic design with good grip. It is a Sony Xperia 1, the fifth model in the series.
The Sony Xperia 1 V is only a slight improvement over the Xperia 1 IV, which is not surprising given how excellent it was. The 1 V does, however, include the most recent Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, which now boasts a superior cooling system and promises less throttling and no overheating. There is a 52MP multi-aspect primary camera that has been upgraded, and, drum rolls please, Night Mode is now available.
You are looking at the only non-rugged smartphone that merits a Perfect rating for grip thanks to deliberate design improvements. The rear Gorilla Glass Victus panel of the Xperia 1 V is matte with a dotted pattern for added grip and has two Gorilla Glass Victus panels. A premium phone may offer an exceptional grip experience without sacrificing aesthetics because to the ridged metal frame.
The front-facing stereo speakers, which now have an upgraded amplifier for better sound, are here to stay just like the 4K OLED display. There is also the beautiful haptic feedback for which Xperias are renowned.
The camera is the topic at hand. With a multi-aspect 52MP Sony sensor and an actual 48MP resolution, the principal imager received a significant improvement. Sony claims that because of the innovative stacked design, it should provide the dynamic range and noise performance of a full-frame camera (in low light).
A 12MP telephoto with a 3.5x-5.2x continuous optical zoom, a 12MP ultrawide-angle with autofocus, and a 12MP selfie camera with a fixed focus are the other cameras that are identical to those on the Xperia 1 V. While the front camera can only record in 4K60, the rear cameras support 4K120.
A 5,000mAh battery powers the Sony Xperia 1 V, which also supports 30W cable charging, wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging. The phone uses the Xperia UI on Android 13.
Here are the detailed specifications.
- Body: 165.0×71.0x8.3mm, 187g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus), aluminum frame; IP65/IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 min).
- Display: 6.50″ OLED, 1B colors, 120Hz, HDR BT.2020, 1644x3840px resolution, 21:9 aspect ratio, 643ppi; Runs at 1096 x 2560 pixels except for select use cases.
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (4 nm): Octa-core (1×3.2 GHz Cortex-X3 & 2×2.8 GHz Cortex-A715 & 2×2.8GHz Cortex-A710 & 3×2.0 GHz Cortex-A510); Adreno 740.
- Memory: 256GB 12GB RAM; UFS 4,0; microSDXC (uses shared SIM slot).
- OS/Software: Android 13, Xperia UI.
- Rear camera: Wide (main): 52 MP, f/1.9, 24mm, 1/1.35″, 1.12µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS; Telephoto: 12 MP, f/2.3, 85mm, f/2.8, 125mm, 1/3.5″, Dual Pixel PDAF, 3.5x-5.2x continuous optical zoom, OIS; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 124˚, 16mm, 1/2.5″, Dual Pixel PDAF.
- Front camera: 12 MP, f/2.0, 24mm (wide), 1/2.9″, 1.25µm.
- Video capture: Rear camera: [email protected]/25/30/60/120fps HDR, [email protected]/60/120fps; 5-axis gyro-EIS, OIS; Front camera: [email protected], [email protected]/60fps, 5-axis gyro-EIS.
- Battery: 5000mAh; 30W wired, PD3.0, PPS, 50% in 30 min (advertised), Wireless, Reverse wireless.
- Connectivity: Dual SIM 5G; eSIM; Wi-Fi 6; BT 5.3, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive; NFC; 3.5mm jack.
- Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); front-facing stereo speakers; Native Sony Alpha camera support (Creator app).
We are overjoyed to see that Sony is continuing to support 3.5mm audio jacks and microSD expansion, and we adore its steadfast commitment to notch-free screens. One of our favourite Sony trademarks is the pair of symmetrical front speakers.
The Xperia 1 V’s tiny notification LED is one feature that has been retired. We believe Sony is still unable to provide dynamic refresh rate, which is crucial for longer battery life, but we will discuss it in more detail later.
Let’s introduce the Sony Xperia 1 V right now.
Unboxing of Sony Xperia 1 V
The packaging used for shipping the Sony Xperia 1 V is compact and constructed of recycled paper. There is nothing else inside save the Xperia itself.
Sony doesn’t provide a cord or a charger. Additionally, Sony’s 30W XQZ-UC1 charger bundle costs around €50 if you want the best charger (and cable) for your new Xperia 1 V.
The Sony Xperia 1 V is undoubtedly all about the photographic experience, and it succeeds where the majority of camera phones fall short: having a premium design with excellent grip.
Few people actually know how to hold a cameraphone properly, therefore we are happy that Sony is making improvements every year. But the clean, ageless, classic design language is still in place.
The Sony Xperia 1 V maintains the Xperia distinctive design with two Victus flat Gorilla Glass panels (Victus 2 front and Victus 1 rear) sandwiched between a solid metal chassis. Of course, the Sony Xperia 1 V is also IP65/IP68 certified for both water jets and clean water submersion, just like many of the earlier generations, so the Victus panels are not the only protection you receive.
Since the Xperia 1 V’s predecessor, there have been two significant design upgrades.
The back panel is the first thing that stands out; it is still entirely matte, as before, but now it also has a tactile blister texture, which is made up of thousands of small bumps that are spread out as a barely perceptible mesh. The design is reminiscent of the Alpha ZV-E10 camera from Sony’s grip. Additionally, the Xperia 1 V grip is superb, and the entire device is smudge-proof. What do you say?
Next is the frame, which is directly taken from the Xperia Pro-I. It is composed of metal and has a special riged design that provides a secure grip and added comfort. The two-step hardware shutter key, which has the same gripping surface as the back panel, should also not be overlooked.
One of the two focal points of the Xperia 1 V is the triple camera. The entire camera kit—12MP ultrawide, 52MP main, and 12MP telephoto—is housed in a tiny metal island. Here, the Zeiss-logo can be seen together with the LED flash and the microphone for voice enhancement. Although the casing sticks out a little bit from the back, the Xperia 1 V moves very little, which is admirable.
The front-facing 6.5-inch 4K OLED screen is the other focal point. Neither the top nor bottom bezels are particularly ugly. In actuality, the lack of a cutout is a sight to behold, and we adore it.
There is a long, narrow speaker outlet on each bezel. A 12MP selfie camera and a number of sensors are also included in the top model.
Now let’s look at the Xperia 1 V’s sides.
On the left, just unending stripes are present.
The two-step shutter key, power/lock key, and volume control are all located on the right one. The always-on fingerprint reader can be placed on the surface of the power key. It is incredibly quick and dependable, and like on many other phones, you can switch the scanning trigger from Touch to Press.
A second microphone and a 3.5mm audio jack are located on the top of the Xperia 1 V.
The hybrid-SIM card tray, USB-C connector, and primary microphone are all located on the bottom. The latter may be removed with the tip of your fingernail and doesn’t require a pin to do so (another Xperia benefit). Two nano-SIM cards can fit in the tray, or a microSD card can fit in the second bed.
The Xperia 1 V is similar to the 1 IV in size (165.0×71.0x8.3mm) and weight (187 grammes). This makes it one of the market’s most portable, lightest, and sturdy smartphones.
The enduring Xperia design is still a great classic that is still available and doesn’t look antiquated. The Sony Xperia 1 V, on the other hand, is likely one of the few phones that looks equally good in both informal and extremely professional settings. Black, Khaki Green, and Platinum Silver are the available colours.
The Xperia 1 V is also a pleasure to use; it boasts the best grip we’ve found on a non-rugged smartphone and a small, light body that is well protected. It would have been the only phone to receive a perfect score of ten on our scale for design and grip.
The Sony Xperia 1 V is now the best smartphone available in terms of design, quality, and handling, to put it succinctly. Only Sony can provide such a carefully considered build while making no compromises in the process. Well done, Sony!
The Sony Xperia 1 V uses a display similar to that found in the Xperia 1 IV, 1 III, and Pro-I, which yet feels futuristic. 3,840 x 1,644 pixels, or 643 pixels per inch, is the exact resolution of the 6.5-inch OLED display of the Xperia 1 V’s 21:9 aspect ratio 4K display. It’s a screen, so naturally there are no cutouts!
The 4K resolution is not always active, just like on the previous models—that would be a battery and app compatibility headache. Instead, the majority of the information is being displayed by the Xperia 1 V at enhanced Full HD quality (2,560 x 1,096 pixels). Most multimedia apps, including Photos and video playback/streaming on various providers, utilise the full 4K resolution.
A wide colour gamut and 10-bit colour depth are supported by the OLED panel. Also, it has HDR10 certification.
A 120Hz refresh rate is also supported by the screen, although it puts a strain on the battery. while enabled, the phone uses 120Hz for the majority of the time and only switches back to 60Hz while playing videos or using incompatible programmes (such as Google Maps, the camera apps, etc.).
The results of our display testing are excellent.
When using the sunshine auto brightness increase, the screen may be as bright as 866 nits, or roughly 590 nits when the brightness is manually adjusted.
A slight brightness bump is possible while using the Creator mode, notably when using the default (Medium) White Balance setting. Here, the maximum automatic brightness was 936 nits, and the maximum manual brightness was 640 nits.
The exceptional minimum brightness at point white was only 1.9 nit.
There are many colour settings available for the Xperia 1 V.
The first one is “Image quality,” where you may choose between Creator and Standard settings. Additional adjusting is accessible in the “White balance” area, where options include Warm/Medium/Cool presets, custom colour temperature, and RGB sliders for more in-depth adjusting.
For 4K resolution in HDR with BT2020 colour gamut and 10-bit colour, creator mode is designed. When working with such content, this is the mode you should be using because it will give a true representation of the colours. And in fact, this image has excellent colour fidelity.
The default setting, Standard mode, provides a punchier sound without necessarily aiming for precision. Even if the shades of white and grey are more bluish and the blue colours are more intense, it is still largely true. This is because the Standard Mode by default utilises a Cool white balance setting; switching to a Medium or Warm setting will get rid of the blue tint.
In Standard mode, there is an option for the phone to automatically engage Creator mode when presented with content that is suitable.
There are only two possible refresh rates: enabled and disabled. Even when displaying a static image, the display will always use a refresh rate of 120Hz when it is turned on. Of course, there are the typical exclusions like Google Maps, video playback, and the viewfinder of a camera.
When it comes to handling refresh rate behaviour, Sony is far behind the competition, and we are disappointed to see that another year has gone by with no change.
On the plus side, Sony enhanced the thermals on the Xperia 1 V, and we no longer saw display throttling like on the Xperia 1 IV. After extensive benchmark testing, the screen that was set to 120Hz stayed at that speed.
The refresh rate is handled differently in each game. For games that support frame rates above 60fps, you can change the display’s refresh rate from its default setting of 60Hz to 120Hz using the Game Enhancer app. Even if you are certain that the game supports a higher frame rate, you can still force it to 120Hz just to be safe. That is carried out per game.
You might discover a 240Hz option while using Game Enhancer. When using the 120Hz option, which the game supports, Sony refers to as “blur reduction,” it uses frame interpolation to lessen blur.
streaming and HDR
The 21:9 aspect ratio, 1B colours, HDR10, and 4K resolution of the Sony Xperia 1 V OLED make it the perfect device for streaming movies. Unfortunately, Dolby Vision is not supported.
Although Netflix supports 1080p SDR streaming and does not currently support the Xperia 1 V, keep in mind that the device won’t be available for at least another month.
Both YouTube and Prime Video offer streaming in such high-resolution and do recognise the screen as 4K HDR10.
Finally, there is a setting called Video Image Enhancement (X1 for Mobile) in the Image Quality Settings. This is turned on by default and uses Sony’s X1 engine to enhance the quality of videos.
Additionally, a real-time HDR drive is supported, which applies the appropriate tone curve after analysing HDR videos frame by frame.
A haptic Feedback
We only have a few things to say about the screen’s haptic feedback, which is among the best we’ve ever experienced and has lovely haptics you can feel exactly where you’ve tapped.
Although dynamic vibration, which syncs with your audio and video, is available, we’ve never been big fans of the function.
Similar to the Xperia 1 IV, the Sony Xperia 1 V has a 5,000mAh battery inside.
The Sony Xperia 1 V performed flawlessly in our battery test, earning an exceptional endurance rating of 115 hours. In the call, web, and video tests, it performed fantastically.
The Sony Xperia 1 V is compatible with wireless and reverse wireless charging in addition to 30W fast wired charging.
The Xperia 1 V does not come with a charger or a cord. Sony will gladly sell you its own 30W XQZ-UC1 PD charger/cable combo if you don’t already have one. Of course, you can purchase any third-party charger that supports USB Power Delivery at least at 30W.
With a suitable 30W power adapter, Sony promises a 50% charge in 30 minutes.
Our charging test using a 65W Baseus charger with a dedicated 30W USB-C connector is now complete.
On the mentioned charger, the Xperia 1 V was recharged from 0% to 27%. And as promised, we successfully captured 50% of the energy within 30 minutes.
According to Sony, the battery within the Xperia 1 V may operate at optimal efficiency for three years before you see and feel signs of a decline in battery performance. This indicates that for those three years, it will retain more than 80% of its useable capacity.
You can further increase the lifespan of your battery by selecting the Battery Care option from the Battery options. Either use the Auto procedure or manually specify the time and percentage charge limits.
Reverse wireless charging is made possible by the Battery Share feature. Here, you may also set % for the remaining charge and time restrictions.
The stereo speaker combos that Sony is known for are still there on the Xperia 1 V, exactly like they were on earlier versions. Those seem to be perfectly balanced and of equal size.
Since the Xperia 1 IV, there has been an improvement; a new amplifier is in use here, and it should provide a fuller sound with more bass.
First, let’s discuss the audio options.
Dolby Atmos is supported by the Xperia 1 V speakers, and it results in somewhat louder and better sound. The Dolby Atmos output is superior, and you should leave this function turned on, according to our tests.
For immersive sound, the Sony Xperia 1 V also supports 360 Reality Audio. You may totally customise your experience and manually select the apps it should be compatible with. It works with headphones.
Other intriguing alternatives are DSEE Ultimate audio elevating, which upscales your compressed music using AI technology. There is also a sophisticated wind filter for the microphones. Additionally, there is built-in capability for spatial audio.
The Xperia 1 V speakers received a Very Good rating (Good without Dolby Atmos) in our loudness test. We can attest that the audio is audibly loud at 100% and exceptionally rich in sound, from the bass to the voice to the upper frequencies. Don’t simply believe us; put on some headphones and listen to the sample below.
The Sony Xperia 1 V runs Android 13 under the skin of the most recent Xperia UI, which has a relatively stock Android feel, while there are house-made components if you dig around long enough.
Starting with the fundamentals, Google’s Ambient display, often known as the always-on display feature (AOD), offers a rather constrained range of customization possibilities.
A customizable clock, a shortcut to the camera, and a Google Assistant shortcut are all present on the lockscreen as usual.
The homescreen is also completely typical. The leftmost window is the Google feed, but if that’s not your thing, you can turn it off. Google also owns the fast toggles and notification section. Unlike some more radically customised UIs, this version of Android has Conversations features like Bubbles shortcuts and Notification history, both of which are accessible on the Xperia.
Via the Wallpaper and Style options, the Android OS can be highly customised. There are both static and live wallpaper options available here. The many effects that are applied to the wallpapers in real-time using the live option are cool; one such effect is a cool disturbance when charging.
Depending on the wallpaper, the standard colour schemes are available for selection. They can also be altered. The system icons will match the colour scheme if you choose Themed Icons, although the feature is still in development and may not always function as intended.
This takes us to a Sony unique that, despite being old, deserves to be mentioned: the multi-window switch. You can choose one of two stacked task switcher rolodexes with your currently active applications to display on the top half and bottom half of the screen. You can access it through the task switcher or via the dedicated shortcut icon on the homescreen. You can launch a new app instead of only selecting one from the ones that are already open in the rightmost pane in each half.
Three previously used pairs are stored on the phone and are readily available. It’s important to note that, in addition to 50/50, the window split can be performed in almost any other arbitrary ratio.
Another one of the proprietary Sony features is side sense. A handle on the phone’s side unlocks a menu of shortcuts to apps and features, the majority of which may be customised by the user. The three pair shortcuts in the standard task switcher do not include the 21:9 multi-window pairings, but they can be customised here. A widget to control the Sony headphones app has recently been added to the menu; it’s useful if you own a set of those.
As well as a one-handed mode and intelligent backlight control, there are a fairly conventional set of gestures for handling calls. The two basic methods of navigation are gestures and a navbar, and they may both be found in this menu.
Sony’s Game Enhancer is included in the Xperia’s software set because professionals can occasionally enjoy playing games as well. It is a thorough tool with two primary user interfaces: a game hub/launcher and an overlay you may take out while playing.
Sony’s Game Enhancer is included in the Xperia’s software set because professionals can occasionally enjoy playing games as well. It is a thorough tool with two primary user interfaces: a game hub/launcher and an overlay you may take out while playing.
Another setting, 240Hz, places a black frame in between each 120Hz frame. Sony advises using this option in games that support 120 frames per second since it lessens blur.
Additionally, there is H.S. power control, an option for managing power. The feature, called “Heat Suppression,” will only roughly satisfy your current power needs while the phone is plugged in and enabled (search for it in the Settings menu while playing the game). This will prevent unneeded heat buildup.
You can stop annoying alerts, disable adaptive brightness, disable the camera button, and disable side sense feature in the Focus setting to reduce distractions.
Additionally, there are features for screenshot and video capture.
The phone manages its gallery and files using Google’s own Photos and Files. Sony’s own music player is included, though.
Up until last year, Bravia Core was only available on Bravia televisions. It offers a big selection of Sony Classics films, some of which you may view for free as a trial. Movies up to 4K60 resolution are available on the site, and some titles even include MAX enhanced audio. The best thing is that your new Xperia 1 V comes with free, market-dependent access to Bravia Core for a year.
You can record singing and musical instruments with Sony’s Music Pro, a subscription service, and send the recording to the cloud for editing. The audio will then be altered to sound as though it was recorded using a top-notch condenser microphone in a studio with natural acoustics. The Xperia 1 V now supports podcast and piano file types.
There is also the Creators app, which makes it simple to connect to Sony Alpha cameras.
The common Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, not the Samsung-exclusive one, is what the Sony Xperia 1 V utilises. It is combined with UFS (likely version 4.0) storage chips and LPDDR5X RAM.
An octa-core CPU, sometimes known as a 1+2+2+3 arrangement, is included in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 device. It has one prime core, four performance cores (2+2), and three efficient cores. This indicates that the CPU has 3×2.0GHz Cortex-A510, 1×3.2GHz Cortex-X3, 2×2.8GHz Cortex-A715 CPU cores, and 2×2.8GHz Cortex-A715 CPU cores.
The next GPU is the Adreno 740 GPU, which is currently the most powerful mobile GPU available.
The Sony Xperia 1 V comes in a single model and has 256GB of storage and 12GB of RAM. The phone supports microSD expansion, possibly making it the only premium smartphone that does.
The Xperia 1 V and its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset perform admirably on the CPU tests, and even though its results weren’t the best (they were still in the same range as the rest of the SD8G2 handsets), you can tell the phone has the newest technology.
The GPU scores are the same. Remember that the Xperia 1 V performed the GPU tests at 1,096 x 2,560 resolution, giving it an advantage over handsets that feature 1440p resolution, such as the Samsung and Xiaomi Ultra versions.
The Xperia 1 V is comparable to the OnePlus 11 and near to the remainder of the SD8G2 group based on the combined AnTuTu 9 tests.
Like any self-respecting flagship, the Xperia 1 V is equipped with Qualcomm’s most recent Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset.
Previous Sony Xperia devices were notorious for their overheating and throttling, which affected both the CPU and the display.
According to Sony, this has been addressed, and the new Snapdragon chip will provide better heat dissipation and lower power consumption when coupled with an upgraded thermal sheet.
We have looked into this in great detail, and the news is mixed. Let’s begin with the poor choice.
The bad news is that since the Xperia 1 IV, the CPU and GPU stress tests haven’t improved. The Xperia 1 V received a 53% stability rating, which is decent considering that after the first 15 or so minutes, the CPU becomes frozen at roughly 60% performance.
With 45% stability, the GPU test is unimpressive; the throttling started after 6 minutes of running at maximum GPU performance.
Here is some good news.
First off, the Xperia 1 V was never uncomfortable hot; it was always warm.
Second, even after extensive benchmark testing, there is no display throttling; the screen refresh rate stayed at 120Hz.
Third, the most significant development is the end of camera overheating! A camera phone no longer overheats after only five minutes of 4K video recording, which was a terrible problem (see at you, Xperia 1 IV). The Xperia 1 V is not even warm after 30 minutes of 4K recording, which is fantastic news.
Although the camera overheating warnings are still present in the settings for some features, we never encountered them and we sincerely hope that you won’t either.
The Xperia 1 V did not get hot or throttle during the half-hour we spent playing a game, at least not clearly. Because of this, we believe that even if the improved thermals were not evident in the synthetic testing, the majority of gamers and photographers would still be pleased with them.
Hardware of Camera
Similar to the Xperia 1 IV, the Sony Xperia 1 V sports three cameras on its back: a wide-angle primary camera, an ultrawide-angle secondary camera, and an enhanced telephoto camera with continuous optical zoom. The new model also includes the improved selfie camera from the Xperia 1 IV.
The Xperia 1 V has one significant advance over previous models: it uses the first stacked CMOS sensor with 2-layer transistor pixel technology.
The Sony ExmorT IMX 888 sensor, a multi-aspect 1/1.35″ imager with 52MP resolution (48MP effective), 1.12m pixels, and a stabilised (OIS) 24mm f/1.9 lens, is featured in the Sony Xperia 1 V’s primary camera.
Despite being 1.7 times bigger than the sensor on the Xperia 1 IV, the new sensor is not particularly unique. It is an improvement over the stacked ExmorRS generation, which is still found in the majority of modern smartphones, Instead of sitting one next to the other as is typical, the photodiodes and matching transistors on the new ExmorT are located on two different layers. While demanding micron-level alignment accuracy, it has also resulted in larger photodiodes that can capture twice as much light and reach saturation levels that are up to three times higher. A cleaner signal with less noise is the consequence of the optimisation of the transistors located on a separate layer.
Compared to the common 4:3 sensor, the 4.3:3 multi-aspect sensor has a greater surface area, which can be used to enhance video stabilisation.
Similar to the Xperia 1 IV, the ultrawide camera has a 12MP Sony IMX 563 1/2.55″ sensor with 1.4 m pixels and is mounted behind a 16mm f/2.2 lens. Dual Pixel AF is also supported by this camera.
Additionally, the zoom camera is the same as the one in the Xperia 1 IV. It uses a Sony IMX650 1/3.5″ 12MP 1.0 m pixel sensor with PDAF. It sports a cutting-edge stabilised lens (OIS) that provides continuous optical zoom over the primary camera between 85mm f/2.3 (3.5x) and 125mm f/2.8 (5.2x). Zooming between these two levels is effortless.
Sony claims that there is no need for a ToF camera in the Xperia 1 V. Instead, the creator uses depth data produced by AI.
The selfie camera also features a 20mm f/2.0 lens with a fixed focus at infinity and a 12MP Sony IMX 663 1/2.9″ sensor with 1.m pixels.
It’s great to see that the Photo Pro and Video Pro applications now support vertical UI!
The Xperia 1 V comes with a few new features. A new S-Cinetone picture profile with enhanced skin tones and cinematic colour is available for the Video Pro app. It has a melancholy appearance. It offers a decent default output for those not familiar with S-Log or colour grading.
The second new feature is the Product Showcase mode, which was adapted from the Alpha cameras and is intended for product vloggers. In this mode, the camera can automatically concentrate on the object you are holding rather than your face.
Photo Pro Mode
Sony’s Photo Pro is the pre-installed camera app on the Xperia 1 V. When you don’t care much about creative control, you’ll spend the majority of your point-and-shooting time in its Basic mode. Here, Night View is one brand-new feature. We’ve basically been waiting for the Night Mode, which is simply Auto or OFF. Sony claims that compared to the competition, it is more conservative and activates in dimly lit conditions. If the Night View has activated or not, the camera’s Basic mode gives no signal, but the Auto mode view does.
Right next to the shutter release are the controls for the (implied) white balance, exposure correction, bokeh mode, drive mode, flash, and aspect ratio. Almost everything can be operated with only one thumb without using the other hand because the zoom selector is close by as well. Additionally, you can employ either the physical or virtual shutter keys.
Additionally, the burst firing speed has been raised from 24 to 30 frames per second.
You’ll discover a More button, a shortcut to Google Lens, a Menu button to access the (quite extensive) Settings menu, and a button to switch between this Basic mode/app and its Pro counterpart at the other end of the viewfinder, all of which need the use of your other hand.
You can choose from the traditional Programme, Shutter priority, Manual, Auto, and Memory Recall modes in Photography Pro’s Pro area. You can also save a pre-set state of settings for rapid access using the Memory Recall feature.
Only modified for smartphone use, the Photo Pro UI is similar of a dedicated Sony Alpha camera. You may adjust photographic settings like focus mode, area, white balance, ISO, and exposure compensation on the right. You would need to use the mechanical shutter since there isn’t a virtual one available.
The Xperia 1 V additionally has access to the Video Pro app. This tool spares you the trouble of post-color grading the footage (we have Cinema Pro for that); instead, it adds finer exposure adjustments and additional frame rates to the original app. Because of this, it is appropriate for direct out-of-camera (phone) uploads to your preferred video-sharing websites.
This app also allows live YouTube broadcasting. You sign in with your account, choose the name and quality, then press “Rec” to go live. Since Sony and YouTube reached an agreement to eliminate those requirements, you don’t even need to meet the YouTube minimum subscriber criteria.
Apart from that, Video Pro’s UI has a similar layout, with settings on the right and a sizable viewfinder on the left. Two sliders, one for focus and the other for zoom, are always available. Up top, there is an Auto switch that enables the phone to handle everything for you. There is also a lock button that turns off all controls to prevent accidental activation.
The Menu button provides access to the exposure adjustments and other shooting options. But be aware that it’s a different button from the hamburger [menu] button, which is a somewhat perplexing UI decision that took us some time to understand.
You select the lens (camera), resolution, frame rate, SDR/HDR, stabilisation, and flash using the first tab in the menu. The maximum resolution you can record at is 4K120, which is also normal 16:9 4K (3840x2160px as opposed to 3840x1644px in Cinema Pro). It would only play back in slow motion on the phone, which is a little limitation. Anywhere else, you need to use a video editor to slow it down. There is also a “slow motion” mode, however that only goes up to 60 frames per second, and the clips play back at 30 frames per second, or half-speed.
The white balance, shutter speed, and ISO settings are on the second tab.
On the other hand, the hamburger menu contains less often used settings like ISO restrictions, codecs, mic mode, and controls.
Camera Pro Mode
Sony’s most sophisticated app, Cinema Pro, gives you fine-grained control over every aspect of shooting. It opens up frame rates and resolutions not included in the free version of the app, such as 4K up to 120 frames per second (fps), however only in a 21:9 aspect ratio (which is actually the sole ratio in this app).
You have the last say over the shutter speed (which you select using the shutter angle), ISO, and f-stop (if necessary), as well as white balance and a ‘look’ – similar to a colour profile, of which there are many (Venice CS, Opaque/BU60YE60, Bright/BU20YE60, and so on). You can see how close you are to the metered exposure setting by looking at the -2 to +2EV indicator scale in the lower left corner of the viewfinder.
The ability to rack focus between predetermined focus distances (A-B) with control over the transition time is one of Cinema Pro’s most helpful features. Additionally, there is tap-to-focus capabilities, but since there is no tracking, the phone won’t follow your subject as it moves around the frame; instead, it will focus on whatever is in the box where you pressed.
Oh, and there is an option immediately below the viewfinder that enables focus peaking in Cinema Pro as well.
Eye AF is still only available in the other two apps; it isn’t available in Cinema Pro.
The 12MP binned images from the main camera are some of the nicest we’ve seen on a smartphone. Okay, that’s something we’ve mentioned quite a bit over the past few months as we’ve examined some of the best cameraphones available. Even though the Xperia 1 V doesn’t have a 1″-type sensor, it still applies to it and its camera(s).
Even in the farthest reaches of the daylight samples we collected with the Xperia 1 V, there is an abundance of detail and no discernible noise. All scenes have perfect white balance, and the colours are true to life.
Though some of the photographs’ contrast could be higher, the dynamic range is excellent. The highlights on certain photographs (such as the first image below and a few others) seem pushed down and less dazzling than they should be. A cursory glance at the histogram demonstrates this. Since it appears on the ultra-wide camera as well, it is unrelated to the new sensor.
The clear, detailed images produced by Sony’s sophisticated image processing deserve particular mention because they are all quite naturally complex particulars. No oversharpening, overly vibrant colours, or inflated dynamic range are present.
The improved resolution of the sensor might, in principle, aid in better zoom. We took a couple images at a 2x zoom, and they appear chopped and upscaled compared to the 1x output by default. Although there has been some smoothing, which did not degrade overall quality (unlike some competitors who drastically over-sharpened), there has not been enough processing to qualify as lossless. There is certainly less resolved information.
The Xperia 1 IV’s ultrawide camera (12MP, massive 1.4 m pixels) and image quality are equal. This imager’s 12MP pictures have a tonne of detail, fantastic sharpness, and expert noise reduction. The colour rendition and white balance are consistently accurate.
Most images have a high contrast, with the exception of a few (see the first image and a few others) where the highlights weirdly are subdued.
Everything, from greenery to buildings to cars, seems realistic thanks to Sony’s processing, which is also visible in images taken with the ultrawide camera. Even the most difficult scenes produced beautiful pictures. Oh, and the corners at the extremes are also very neatly treated and straightened.
The ultrawide camera has autofocus, however it cannot do macro because the minimum focus distance is just about 20 cm.
You can use any zoom level between the two fixed zoom shortcuts on the viewfinder, which are 3.5x and 5.2x. With an f/2.3 aperture, optical zooming begins at 3.5x and goes up to 5.2x with an f/2.8 aperture. Naturally, there is a 10x shortcut displayed and you may zoom north of 5.2x, but anything beyond that is digital zoom.
First, let’s discuss the 3.5x zoom.
The telephoto camera’s photographs have the least striking amount of information and absolute sharpness because it has the smallest sensor out of all four cameras. Don’t get us wrong, the detail is sufficient, but only passable.
The other image characteristics, such as the outstanding dynamic range, accurate colours, and low noise levels, are just as good as with the other cameras. The highlights are lovely and bright, unlike with the main camera, and the contrast is also excellent.
Although there are certain areas where you can see the detail outshining the sensor and becoming smeared, the rendition is generally good.
5.2X Zoom photos
After 3.5x, there is a minor loss of sharpness and detail with each additional zoom level. Naturally, the least amount of detail is shown in the photographs captured at the 5.2x maximum zoom. Let’s now look into these.
They have the same colours, dynamic range, contrast, and rendition as the 3.5x zoomed images, although having significantly less resolved clarity and sharpness. We like that Sony didn’t try to hide the amazing photos taken at 5.2x magnification by severely over-sharpening them.
10X Zoom photos
Since the continuous optical zoom is a breakthrough, moving from 3.5x to 5.2x isn’t really all that significant. In fact, we are confident that cropping and upscaling the 3.5x photographs would have produced results of a similar calibre. If the technology increased from 5x to, let’s say, 10x or 3.5x to 7x, it would unquestionably make sense. However, it serves no purpose at this low magnification scale, and its advantages are not apparent at the present level of image quality.
Here are some 10x zoomed images that have been upscaled and cropped from the 5.2x images. The level of detail offered is really low.
The Xperia 1 V lacks a dedicated portrait mode, and an AI-powered depth map has replaced the ToF sensor this year. Naturally, the Bokeh option is available, and we shot some photos in this mode.
We can see why Sony felt confident enough to get rid of the ToF camera because the ones we took with the main camera have excellent subject separation. Also quite great is the bokeh.
The topic in the images is vivid, detailed, and well-exposed. The dynamic range is sufficient and there is little to no noise.
Since the Xperia 1 IV, low-light photography has seen a tremendous improvement. First off, the improved sensor can capture twice as much light while simultaneously decreasing noise. Additionally, Sony has made Night View, or Night Mode, available, however it is automatic and only operates in the absolute darkest settings.
If used, the Night View adds an additional 1 or 2 seconds to the 4 required to take a standard picture. Yes, regardless of whether Night View is enabled or not, the Xperia 1 V needs roughly 4 seconds to take a picture. There is a Night View indication, but it only appears in Auto and Pro photo modes and is not visible in Basic photo mode.
Only the first four scenes—not the other five—had the Night View activated. It functions differently from how Huawei, Samsung, and Xiaomi smartphones that compete with them do. It delivers improved highlight retention and occasionally a brighter sky, making it more like HDR. That’s pretty much it.
Therefore, the images captured by the Auto Night View are exceptionally high-quality; they are detailed, some of the sharpest we’ve seen, and the noise is amazingly low. The dynamic range is good, and the colour saturation is wonderful.
Once more, the natural reproduction is notable, and each image appears perfectly sharp without being overly processed or overexposed.
These photos of Night View OFF are mirror images of the scenes where Night View was actually triggered. Here, you can see the overexposed areas and, occasionally, the significantly dimmer skies. The remaining data closely matches the output of Night View.
2X Zoom photos
Here are some images taken with the main camera at a 2x zoom. Although unremarkable, it is one of the finer digital zoom outputs we’ve encountered, so if you use 2x zoom or something similar, you won’t be dissatisfied. Even though the detail isn’t as high as it is in the default photographs, it’s still adequate for night photography.
Now let’s talk about the ultrawide lens. Here, Night View is activated in the sceneries and performs the same functions as the primary camera, including restoring blown highlights, brightening the skies, and possibly exposing some shadow detail. All of these benefits come at the cost of a small loudness increase.
Therefore, the Auto NV ultrawide images are excellent because they have a wide enough dynamic range, good detail levels, and a good level of exposure. Also excellent is the colour saturation. The Night View images are a little noisy, as we mentioned, but not overly so.
The ultrawide images captured with Night View deactivated are clear of noise and have a little more detail. However, they have blown highlights and a smaller dynamic range, and their appearance is generally darker.
Simply turn off Auto Night View to get the desired improvement if you don’t like the noise in the default ultrawide photo.
3.5X Zoom photos
The telephoto camera’s 3.5x zoomed photographs were taken with Auto Night View, and they are good. There is sufficient detail, outstanding colour saturation, and a nice dynamic range overall. We don’t find the visual noise to be particularly obtrusive, and the noise reduction is mild, which accounts for the maintained detail and good sharpness.
The shots that appear a little washed out are the ones where the Night View genuinely activated.
Here are some samples of Night View in OFF mode, which you may contrast with samples of Night View in Night View in the batch above. Although they have a smaller dynamic range and darker skies, the NV OFF photos are a little bit sharper and more detailed.
5.2x Zoom photos
The same is true of the 5.2x zoomed photographs; while a little noisy, they nevertheless have adequate information, good colours, and a wide dynamic range. The Night View examples have the same washed-out appearance.
And much as the photographs taken in daylight, those taken in low light show a slight loss of information and overall clarity when the magnification is increased to 5.2x.
The photographs will be darker but crisper if you turn off Night View.
All four cameras on the Xperia 1 V can capture video at a resolution of 4K30. There is also a 1080p/60fps option if you prefer a faster frame rate. You must switch apps for any other resolution and frame rate.
With the Cinema Pro app, you can access a variety of additional frame rates for all rear cameras, including 4K at 24, 25, 30, and 120 frames per second (fps), however this isn’t the full 16:9 UHD sort of 4K but rather a 21:9 3840x1644px. The word “Pro” in the name suggests that the user has a greater understanding of the video capture settings and workflow. You probably won’t be taking casual 4K60 movies using the Camera Pro app because post-processing the film demands a certain level of skill (and willingness).
If you want a point-and-shoot 4K at 60fps or 120fps clip that doesn’t necessarily need to be processed later, using the Video Pro app also unlocks 4K mode up to 120fps on all rear cameras (4K60 for selfies).
All cameras can use SteadyShot stabilisation, which combines optical (where available) and electrical stabilisation. High quality, standard quality, and off are all options.
We also wish to commend the High Quality SteadyShot for maintaining the quality of the footage. Although the crop reduces the field of vision, the resolved detail and sharpness remain unchanged.
Additionally, you can see how much FoV you’d need for stabilisation.
The bit rate for the 4K video is around 55Mbps, while the bit rate for the stereo audio is 156 kbps. If wind noise is present, you can turn on Intelligent Wind Reduction, a real-time filter. Additionally, every tape we captured has exceptional audio quality with deep, rich sound.
Wide Dynamic Range is still a viable choice. It’s not your default setting for a reason—when filming in WDR, the video stabilisation and 60 frames per second capture are deactivated. This is accomplished by merging many frames.
All cameras have access to the WDR video, which, as promised, increases the dynamic range by preventing the highlights from clipping. Additionally, it intensifies the shadows and raises contrast. Additionally, the footage may be a little bit clearer, and the colour saturation may have somewhat decreased (to a more realistic level).
As the recordings are significantly darker than they should be and are essentially useless, WDR are not suited for nighttime photography.
The daytime WDR films were marginally more enjoyable to watch than the Standard ones. However, SteadyShot stabilisation is not included, even though we believe it to be crucial.
We have learned to expect superb smartphones from Sony, and the Xperia 1 V does not disappoint. Improvements to thermal imaging and Night View for all cameras are included in addition to the new main camera and enhanced chipset. Additionally, the battery life, sound system, and design have all received thoughtful upgrades.
One of the nicest smartphone designs we’ve seen recently, the Xperia 1 V immediately won us over with its robust, well-protected, lightweight, and superior grip.
The superb 4K OLED HDR10 screen follows, which is a visual feast. Additionally, it supports 240Hz touch responsiveness and 120 refresh rate, which means that unlike the Xperia 1 IV, it no longer has to shut off due to overheating. It is also colour accurate. Only a dynamic refresh rate management would be nice.
You must personally use the Xperia 1 V’s front-facing speakers in order to fully appreciate them. They have great sound quality, are powerful, and are well-balanced. Additionally, we appreciate the long battery life, pristine system interface, and excellent performance.
We’ve said a lot of good things about the cameras: if you know what you’re doing, they provide consistently excellent photo and video quality and unequalled customization choices. Since there isn’t much of a difference in magnification between 3.5x and 5.2x, we don’t consider the zoom system to be a deciding factor. Sony is working to expand its continuous zoom mechanism in the hopes of providing longer zoom for its upcoming flagship model.
There are certain drawbacks, though. The camera has no macro option, the Night View isn’t all that amazing, and thermal throttling is still present even if it doesn’t affect the camera or the screen. Additionally, the detail in the video capture may use some improvement.
However, even in its current state, the Sony Xperia 1 V remains one of the greatest smartphones available and a quite distinctive cameraphone. Additionally, it is the only phone designed for inventive photographers who are on the run, giving it an advantage over its rivals.
The Xperia 1 V will probably tick the majority of the boxes on your list, and if it does, you won’t regret buying it.
Pro’s & Con’s
- Elegant style, light weight, and excellent ingress protection.
- outstanding grip.
- Excellent 4K 21:9 OLED screen that can produce true colour.
- long-lasting battery.
- Excellent front speakers, with loud, well-balanced, and rich sound.
- the most recent Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor.
- Excellent picture quality with all cameras, day or night.
- Excellent sound, dependable video quality, and top-notch stabilisation.
- a straightforward launcher built on Android 13.
- several apps for professional cameras.
- physical camera shutter key, microSD expansion, and a 3.5mm jack.
- There is no cable or charger in the box.
- The screen’s refresh rate is not dynamic.
- no macro mode on the camera.
- The Night View resembles low-light HDR more than we anticipated, which is less.
- Although it still throttles under extreme loads, this time it’s largely the GPU.
- Particularly at night, the main camera’s video processing could use some fine-tuning.