Sony Strikes Back: Xperia 1 VI & Xperia 10 VI announced!

Apple, Samsung, and Google are always in the conversation for the performance of their smartphone cameras, but in terms of prowess, none compare to Sony’s Xperia 1 devices. This enthusiast smartphone line has historically provided standout camera features, and it doesn’t look to be changing for their newest addition, the Sony Xperia 1 VI.

However, Sony has made significant changes in other aspects of this year’s phone edition, more so than its predecessors. With these adjustments, it seems the company is looking at luring more mainstream consumers into the ecosystem. Let’s check out what these changes are!

Sony Xperia 1 VI

Sony Xperia 1 VI & Xperia 10 VI: Xperia 1 VI KV
Introducing a revamped Sony Xperia 1 VI with features that more users can enjoy

The Xperia 1 has always been about excess. Take last year’s Xperia 1 V, for instance, which came with a uniquely tall 21:9 ratio OLED display at 6.5 inches, providing a 4K resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. Sony has tweaked this for 2024.

The 6.5-inch size, OLED panel, and 120Hz refresh rate stay the same for the Sony Xperia 1 VI, but now the phone will have more ‘conventional’ dimensions and specs for its display. First, the aspect ratio is now 19.5:9 — shorter than previous phones, but broader too. Next, the resolution is no longer 4K. Now, it caps out at 1080p; a move to aid battery life and app compatibility. The OLED panel is also now LTPO, which can now variably adjust the refresh rate between 1Hz and 120Hz for more power efficiency.

While the lower resolution sounds like a massive downgrade for Sony’s flagship phone, the company assures that quality has not been compromised. Sony has taken inspiration from their acclaimed BRAVIA TV line and replicated the image quality precision here, with colour data equivalent to 1 billion colours. Brightness also sees a massive improvement of 1.5x and includes a Sunlight Vision feature to improve screen visibility under direct sunlight.

Now, we move on to the phone’s highlight: the cameras’ capabilities. In contrast with the display, the cameras do not see much change from their predecessor, but there are notable differences to discuss.

Its triple-camera system—a 48-megapixel primary camera, 12-megapixel ultrawide, and 12-megapixel telephoto—is mostly the same as the Xperia 1 V. Where the similarities end is in its zoom capabilities. The telephoto optical zoom lens now has an upgraded focal length of 85mm to 170mm, offering users a new, more precise 7.1x zoom. The improvements continue with the addition of telephoto macro photography, providing 2x macro magnification.

Sony Xperia 1 VI & Xperia 10 VI: Xperia 1 VI Cameras
The phone retains that vaunted camera system

The most significant change is on the software side. Previously, the Sony Xperia 1s had dedicated apps for photos and video that gave pro users a ton of options, but were awkward to navigate for everyday users. Now, the company is streamlining everything into one app.

The new camera app will feature a more convenient and user-friendly interface for all, while still allowing power users to take advantage of the Sony Alpha-inspired tools under the Pro mode tab in the same app. Those are the big highlights, but you can expect other spec updates, like the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor with 12 GB of RAM and Android 14, to come with the device.

The Xperia 1 VI will be available in Black and Khaki Green versions and is available for pre-order now at Sony Singapore physical stores and on the company’s official website.

An early bird promotion also offers it at a retail price of S$1,989 from 16 May to 30 June 2024!

Sony Xperia 10 VI

Sony Xperia 1 VI & Xperia 10 VI: Xperia 10 VI KV
The Xperia 10 VI is aimed towards the mid-range space

Alongside the Xperia 1 VI, Sony has also announced the Xperia 10 VI—their latest addition to the mid-range series. While the Xperia 1 VI evolves from the previous iteration, the Xperia 10 VI is more of an update from its predecessor.

If you’re sad that the 21:9 aspect ratio of the Xperia 1 VI is gone, you’ll be glad to know that the Xperia 10 VI is keeping it. In fact, everything else about the screen remains unchanged. That includes the 6.1-inch display, OLED panel, 1080p resolution, and 60Hz refresh rate.

Camera-wise, the Xperia 10 VI sports a dual-camera system at the back, which consists of a 48-megapixel primary camera and an 8-megapixel ultrawide—the previous edition’s telephoto camera is not featured here. But now, the cameras can record 4K videos at up to 30fps, allowing you to create higher-quality videos.

This goes hand-in-hand with the new Video Creator app, which lets users easily create custom short videos. The cool feature of the app is that it can automatically edit the video for you, generating the result in less than a minute (depending on the number of videos and photos selected).

Let’s talk about the other specs of the phone. It will come with a Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 chip inside, with 8GBs of RAM alongside it — you won’t get flagship performance, but it’ll still be powerful enough to be usable for most users’ daily needs. It’ll also come with the latest Android 14, with three years of Android updates and four years of security updates. Like the Xperia 1 VI, the Xperia 10 VI also included a large 5,000mAh battery with a touted two-day battery life. Other notable features include IP65/68 waterproof and dustproof performance, as well as improved stereo speakers that produce louder and clearer sound.

Sony Xperia 1 VI & Xperia 10 VI: Xperia 10 VI Battery Life
The hefty 5,000mAh battery has enough juice to provide two days’ worth of use, according to Sony

The Xperia 10 VI will offer two colour options, Black and Blue, with an early bird promotion running from 16 May to 30 June 2024 that lists the phone at S$689 and comes with ULT Wear Headphones (worth S$299) and a first-party case (worth S$50). You can likewise pre-order the device from Sony Singapore’s physical stores and online.

Sony has never been afraid to cater to the niche with their series of tech devices, so the reveal of Sony Xperia 1 VI’s features sparks some surprise. However, the changes seen here may finally be enough for general users to take a chance with the Xperia 1 line. If anything else, it possibly adds another argument for the best phone camera experience for general users.

Meanwhile, the Xperia 10 VI keeps things rolling with updated specs for 2024, providing another mid-range option for consumers to consider. 

Visit the official Sony website to learn more about Sony’s two newest smartphone devices.

Visuals courtesy of Sony Singapore.

Russell Matthew Loh

Watcher of films and player of games. Dabble with writing in between.

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