Sony’s new smartphone could entice shutterbugs away from Apple and Google


Sony used to be a fairly major player in the smartphone space, but its offerings never quite made a splash in the US. Despite that, the company has been pumping out yearly refreshes of its Xperia line of smartphones and the looks like the perfect device for both amateur and professional photographers. Sony, after all, is no slouch .

The sixth-generation of the company’s flagship smartphone is filled with so many camera-centric features that it could actually lure people away from rival iPhone and Pixel devices. There’s a true optical zoom, AI-assisted autofocus and a telephoto camera for snapping macro shots.

This breaks down to three cameras on the back, in the form of a 24mm main camera with a 48-megapixel Sony Exmor T sensor, a 16mm ultrawide and the aforementioned 85-170mm variable zoom telephoto camera. That last one provides 3.5x to 7.1x magnification when compared to the main camera. The ladybug in your yard is begging for its closeup.

As for that AI-assisted autofocus, Sony touts a technology called “human pose estimation” that can recognize a person’s body and head position to provide the perfect focus. The camera system also supports filming video in 4K HDR at 120fps. All of these features work together within Sony’s new unified camera app, so people don’t have to constantly jump between different software to get the job done.

Of course, this is a smartphone and not just a bunch of cameras attached to a rectangle. The Xperia 1 VI boasts the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, 12GB of RAM and a choice between 256GB and 512GB of storage. Sony says the integrated 5,000mAh battery should allow for up to two days of use before requiring a charge. To that end, the device supports both 15W wireless charging and wireless battery sharing to other devices.

There is an OLED display which is nice, but it’s 2220 x 1080 and the . The aspect ratio gets a hit here too, downsizing from 21:9 to 19.5:9. This display does now offer a variable refresh rate between 1Hz to 120Hz, however, and it can achieve a 50 percent higher peak brightness when compared to last year’s model. Also, 4K resolution on a phone screen is kind of unnecessary and this thing can shoot in 4K, which is what really matters.

The Sony Xperia 1 VI is available for preorders now in the UK, starting at the jaw-dropping asking price of $1,640 in US dollars. There’s some more bad news for US consumers. Unlike previous versions, the company has no current plans to bring this phone stateside.

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