Sony Xperia 1 ii Review
Sony Mobile Communications Inc. is a company headquartered in Lund, Sweden. The city is home to one of the largest mobile phone companies in the world. Sony’s battered smartphone division has been suffering from rising competition. Some analysts believe the company should sell its mobile business. It once had the second-largest smartphone market share in the U.S. behind Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and the third-largest in Europe. Sony has a long history of failing to create a buzz when it comes to new Sony phones, and although they have much better and more functional phones, they couldn’t create the right buzz. In recent years, the company has announced its exit from major markets such as India and Indonesia.
Indonesia used to be a stronghold for Sony Mobile, but it seems like they are almost dead. Now that they have announced their exit from the country with the release of the Xperia Z5. The last device to be sold there seems to have been the Sony Xperia Z5. We have seen this coming, as Sony mobile has stopped releasing new devices in Malaysia for some time, and it also seems that it has withdrawn from Indonesia much earlier. Sure enough, the company definitely lost a lot of its market due to a lack of innovation and slow production rates. But there are still a lot of people who are a fan of these phones.
Sony Rising again?
The very first Xperia had one of the best overall designs available at that time. Aside from that, Sony’s Xperia phones also let you enjoy the best features of Android, such as a large camera, good battery life, and a powerful processor. By the recent launch by the company, I believe Sony failed because they stepped into the smartphone market at the wrong time. Their latest offering has the best of Sony. Camera, Display, and Sound quality.
Sony Xperia 1 ii release date
The Sony Xperia 1 ii has already been released in Europe and is currently for sale all over the country. Sony plans to release this phone-in America on the 24th of July 2020.
Let’s take a look at how has Sony planned to regain its share in the smartphone market with this phone.
Design of Sony Xperia 1 ii
Since this is the 2nd version of the Xperia 1, the Sony Xperia 1 ii has a very similar design to its predecessor. The name of the phone is very much inspired by Sony’s camera lineup. The phone is a glass and aluminum sandwich and weighs a mere 181.4 grams. The phone is 6.5 inches long, 2.80 inches wide, and 0.30 inches thick. The sides of the phone are flat instead of being rounded which when looked from a photography perspective is favorable. One can make the phone stand on a flat surface for a stable photo or video. The sim tray of this phone is also different as you can fling it out just by using your fingers. You don’t need to carry around an ejector pin. In terms of the glass, the phone is coated with Gorilla Glass 6 on both the back and the front.
Despite the change in the sim tray design, the phone is still dust and water-resistant and comes with an IP68 rating.
Display of Sony Xperia 1 ii
I am happy to say that you can expect the picture quality of the Bravia lineup TVs. No, I am not overexaggerating here. The Sony Xperia 1 ii has a mammoth 6.5 inch 4K AMOLED display with an aspect ratio of 21:9. The display also supports HDR. This 4K display makes anything look amazing on this phone. This is the best cinematic hardware that you can find on any phone to date. Sadly, most streaming apps still don’t support this aspect ratio. The display lacks a high refresh rate as Sony wasn’t able to source such a high-resolution display that could refresh at 90 Hz or higher. However, Sony has tried to simulate this fast and fluid effect through software. A plus for the effort but the difference isn’t quite noticeable.
The display by default is set to flaunt the vibrant and punchy colors that one would expect from an OLED AMOLED panel but the phone comes with a creator’s mode. The creator’s mode basically strips the display of the punchy colors and all those pizazz. This gives the display a more subdued yet practical look. I think this can also help save battery. If this much was not enough, the phone also comes with white balance control. This is very useful for cinephiles who are very particular about the white balance of their screen. Coming back to the 4K display, is it really a necessity? No, it isn’t but it looks awesome so why not take it right?
Sony Xperia 1 ii specs
Although this phone seems like a camera focussed one but it has some amazing hardware as well. The phone is equipped with the latest and greatest the industry has to offer. The phone is equipped with a Snapdragon 865 chipset along with 8 GB of RAM. This is more than enough to plow through hardcore gaming and daily tasks. You may compare this to competitors like the Galaxy S20 or One Plus 8 Pro which have 4 more gigs of RAM but I’m sure those extra 4 gigs are never required to be used. The phone was able to handle multiple rounds of Call Of Duty comfortably on high setting without any lag. The only downside here was my gaming skill.
The phone also has some amazing front-firing stereo speakers (thanks to Sony’s amazing audio division). It looks like Sony genuinely has put an effort to make the speaker sound good. Pair these speakers with the amazing 4K display and you get a cinematic experience while watching your favorite movie. Sony thought of this and went a step ahead. The phone has a “dynamic vibration” feature which enables the phone to rumble at certain movie scenes and songs. While this feature looks good on paper, I would suggest you to not use this feature as it just detracted my experience rather than enhancing it.
The Sony Xperia 1 ii has a comparatively light UI in terms of software. The device has an almost stock Android 10 with a few tweaks and touches from Sony. Unlike other smartphone companies like Mi, it has a lot less company trash apps. In fact, the preinstalled apps are pretty useful ones. It has 2 pro photography apps from Sony which is pretty handy. The only garbage app here is the Sony news app which looks like it was made about 10 years back. It also comes with a preinstalled game i.e Call of Duty which in my opinion is pretty cool as one can just unbox the phone and get to gaming straightaway.
The phone comes with a decent 4000 mAh battery and supports 21W fast as well as 11W wireless charging.
The phone has a gigantic screen which we are all familiar with. No matter how amazing it looks, these large screens always possess a problem when it comes to accessibility. Sony has thought about that and has included some gestures that can come handy. The phone has a split-screen mode with easy app access. This gives you the ability to do things simultaneously such as editing photos while watching a YouTube video. Another feature is SideSense. This feature enables you to access some useful apps by precisely double tapping on the side of the screen.
Instead of going through a whole list of apps, one can just double tap on the side and have quick access to those apps. The third and most useful feature enables one-hand mode. If you have small hands but still want a phone with a big screen then this feature is the most useful for you. Just double-tap the home button and the screen shrinks and moves to a corner of the phone.
Sony Xperia 1 ii Camera
Let’s talk about the elephant in this room – the camera. Let me tell you, Sony has knocked it out of the park with this one. The camera was even better than the Pixel 4. This alone is something that is capable of getting Sony some smartphone market shares back. The phone has a 4 lens setup. Let’s have a look at each one of those –
- The primary lens is a 12MP ultra-wide-angle camera with an aperture of f/2.2 and phase detection autofocus. The camera is capable of capturing a field of view of about 124 degrees. This is equivalent to a 16 mm lens and there is minimal barrel distortion.
- The second lens is also a 12MP shooter but its a telephoto camera, with optical image stabilization. The lens has an aperture of f/2.4 and can shoot up to 70 mm. The zoom seems pretty decent here but the photos are a tiny bit to the soft side.
- The third lens is actually a 3D time-of-flight sensor that helps the other 3 lenses with focus. It has a relatively short range of 15 feet and is wedged between the cameras.
- The Fourth and the best lens is also a 12MP shooter but has a large aperture of f/1.7. Since the sensor physically larger than the other 2 sensors, it just gobbles up the light. The result? Stunning photos in low light conditions even without a dedicated night mode.
Sony Xperia 1 ii vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
The camera department looks pretty strong here and the photos taken from this phone were amazing as well. Some things to note here are that the cameras are shielded by Zeiss’s T * lens coating which keeps out reflections that can ruin your photos. The attention that Sony has given to the camera on this phone has surely worked well for this phone. Another thing to note here is that rather than using a huge 108MP sensor like Samsung, Mi, and Huawei, the company decided to keep things plain and simple by using 12MP sensors for all the sensors.
You might think that Samsung’s camera specs look much better than this so Samsung should definitely be better. But some things only look better on paper. Sony has managed to shrink everything and put it in a relatively small setup. The camera setup is not only better but also does not compromise the design of the phone (Samsung take notes!). The phone also has a dedicated shutter button on the side which accurately simulates one of a DSLR camera. It also has 2 pre-installed photography and videography apps if you want to go all pro mode. Those apps are pretty nice and actually useful rather than being just a bunch of bloatware ones. We would have been glad to test the camera to its full potential but sadly, we don’t have a review unit. I would be glad if Sony could provide us one (wink).
Sony Xperia 1 ii Price
The Sony Xperia 1 ii is currently available in Europe for about GBP 1100. Sony is set to launch this phone in the United States on the 24th of July and will be selling it for about $1200.
Considering that Sony trying to regain its smartphone market shares, launching a flagship smartphone is a bold move. Motorola did it recently with the Edge plus but failed miserably. Luckily for Sony, I think it will work pretty well. This phone in every way is an Android guy’s dream phone. The phone has all the basic flagship features and has some extra features as well. The 4K screen is amazing and the stereo speakers are like icing on a cake. The camera exceeds the customer’s expectations and produces DSLR quality pictures.
Sony has given this one its all by combining the best from all its divisions. I would definitely buy this phone but there are some problems. The problems are not with the phone but with Sony’s marketing strategy. Sony has only planned to launch this phone in Europe and the US. For some reason, they have left Asia, which has the largest consumer base. Secondly, if you are looking to buy this phone in the US to use a 5G network, the phone won’t be able to do so. 5G works fine on this phone in Europe but for some reason, it does not in the US. Although, Sony has confirmed that it will release a software update a few days down the launch which might fox this issue. This will also give the phone the ability to capture RAW photos and will improve battery life.