By Steve Costello

Sony reboots Xperia line with latest flagship

Sony announced a new flagship it said redefines its smartphone vision, using a familiar tactic of touting wider entertainment and content creation credentials at the unveiling.

“Xperia smartphones have always been the closest touchpoint to our customers. They connect users and creators through Sony’s unique technology in camera, television and audio,” said Mitsuya Kishida, president of Sony Mobile Communications.

“Our new Xperia will deliver genuine technologies with a multitude of professional-grade features, to create entertainment experiences that are only possible with Sony,” he continued.

Xperia 1 has a 6.5-inch, 21:9 ratio 4K CinemaWide display, which the company said “delivers a cinema aspect ratio and accurate colour reproduction that films are created in”. It also features Dolby Atmos audio which has been tuned in collaboration with Sony Pictures Entertainment.

In terms of cameras, the device has a three-lens main configuration, offering ultra-wide, standard and telephoto imaging. Sony said technology from its Alpha interchangeable lens cameras have been inherited, and the device also supports what was claimed to be the world’s first eye autofocus.

Away from media, the 21:9 screen can be used to run two apps simultaneously, enabling split-screen use. Sony also unveiled two mid-tier devices with 21:9 screens, Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus.

Xperia 1 will be available in four colours – black, purple, grey and white – in “select markets” from late Spring 2019.

5G potential

While 5G is a big theme among device vendors here at MWC19 Barcelona, Sony stopped short of detailing its plans for the technology. But Kishida was keen to talk up the potential for the company’s products: “As a creative entertainment company underpinned by technology, Sony is making a revolution in content creation. 5G will be essential to realising the full potential of Sony across all our businesses.”

“This 5G future is essential for our Sony group, and Sony Mobile will be more relevant than ever to content creation, viewing and sharing. Sony will continue to pursue our passions in mobile: in the near future, empowered by 5G capabilities, the mobile device will be more versatile and enrich your life,” he said.