Sony Xperia 1 II review: seeing the smartphone differently
Sony remains a major player in new technologies, the firm remains however a little behind on the global market of telephony. The Japanese manufacturer is still trying to seduce with a refresh of its ranges. The Sony Xperia 1 II is a perfect example.
Design: the signature format seems to please Sony
In the global cell phone market, the Japanese company remains quite marginal compared to the competition. It offers smartphones with a 21:9 aspect ratio and is the only brand to offer this kind of design, which is both atypical and surprising. The Sony Xperia 1 II is 16 centimeters long and 7 centimeters wide. This translates above all into an assured grip of the mobile without taking away its touch of elegance. We will note however some overflows within a pocket but nothing really dramatic. Certified IP 68, its very rare immersions in water will not be problematic, but you still have to take care of your device.
In its general appearance, the Sony phone is a product of rare elegance. As mentioned above, its atypical format plays a big part in this. As far as the choice of materials is concerned, it has the right to a brushed aluminum on the rear face while being protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass. The first will is to protect the product from possible falls, but the consequence of this choice is the proliferation of fingerprints. A simple passage with a chamois and the problem is no longer a problem.
As for the front panel, Sony has also played the card of originality. Exit the notches or punches that swarm on the surface of mobiles. The Japanese firm has chosen to propose a small border on the top of its Xperia 1 II. Within this small band is housed the front photographic sensor. For the rest, the buttons are located in places easy to access, such as the lock button, where the fingerprint sensor is located. This one falls easily under your thumb.
Screen: less bright but devilishly effective for video content lovers
In addition to its smartphones, the Japanese company Sony is also known for its TVs. The brand has a real know-how in this field. For its Xperia 1 II, it would be legitimate to think that the brand has offered the quintessence of its technology. The truth is more nuanced. On paper, it is an OLED panel that is offered on the phone, capable of displaying content in 4K. By default, the phone displays in Full HD. With a size of 6.5 inches, this slab will especially delight fans of series. A surprising choice, however, disrupts this pretty picture. Sony has decided not to align itself with a 90 Hz screen refresh, offering a fluid result all the same.
In use, the screen of the Sony Xperia 1 II still suffers from a slight defect in terms of brightness. Compared to the competition at the same price, the interface is 554 cd/m², which is well below average. This slight element does not, however, mar the user experience of the touch screen, which is truly exceptional. The OLED panel does its job perfectly by offering you high quality performance. This is also reflected in the color fidelity with a Delta E of 1.9 measured by the laboratory of 01net.com. For gaming, the mobile is already capable of providing nice performances. It is especially in the viewing of content that the Sony mobile draws its pinnacle of the game.
Performance: Snapdragon 865 surrounded by a solid configuration
For its high-end device, Sony chose to insert a Snapdragon 865 processor, which is still the best chip for Android phones. The Sony Xperia 1 II is built around this powerful processor and has a nice internal configuration. The smartphone has 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. It is even possible to expand the internal memory using a Micro SD card to push it up to 1 TB. As you can imagine, the graphics chip is also from Qualcomm’s factories since it is an Adreno 650. On paper, the Japanese brand offers the best on its flagship mobile.
In everyday use, the phone is able to respond to each of your requests. The superposition of applications does not pose any problem in the use of the mobile since the multitasking allows you to change between applications or to surf the Web. Mobile games are also perfectly managed by the smartphone, whether in 2D or 3D. You will not suffer from a loss of fps or any slowdowns. The measurements recorded by the 01net.com laboratory show an Antutu V8 score of 561583 points placing it strictly ahead of a Huawei Mate 40 Pro in terms of raw power.
The operating system offered on the Sony Xperia is based on Android 10. The Japanese brand has hardly added any of its own touches, except for a few in-house applications, especially for managing the photographic part. If you are already used to a pure Android experience, you will not be disoriented by the experience offered on this Xperia 1 II.
Autonomy: the main point of progress at Sony
Despite its good performance in general, the phone has a real weak point: its autonomy. At the moment, many manufacturers are really focusing on the charging technology as well as on the performance offered by the battery. The Sony Xperia 1 II offers a Lithium Polymer battery charged at 4000 mAh. On the other hand, the mobile does not benefit from a fast charging technology. According to the measurements of charge made the device, it arrives at 100% after an hour and 58 minutes. This is much slower than most high-end phones currently on the market.
On the autonomy side, the results are not very convincing. Used in a versatile way, whether for video playback, the mobile offers barely 12 hours of autonomy for an average of about 13 hours in the competition. It is especially a video streaming, yet a strong point of the phone especially at the level of its screen, that the autonomy fails. You can count on 8 hours and a half of life. Sony is undoubtedly aware of its delay in terms of autonomy, which will allow it to progress even more in the years to come.
Photo: the Sony Xperia 1 II seeks to give you a premium experience but is still fumbling
With this smartphone, Sony seeks to mark its territory in the photo part. For this, the Xperia 1 II benefits from a triple back camera system. The characteristics of the lenses are as follows:
- The main module of 12 megapixels, wide angle opening at f/1.7
- The second lens of 12 megapixels, telephoto, opening to f/2.4
- The last sensor of 12 megapixels, ultra wide angle, opening at f/2.2
In addition to this, you can choose between two applications for photography. A simple “Camera” for a standard experience as you find on any smartphone. Sony also offers a “Photo Pro” software a little less intuitive but will allow lovers of beautiful shots to have fun.
Although Sony is a great supplier of photographic sensors for smartphones, the presence of a simple 12-megapixel lens may be surprising. For an average user, the pictures offered by the Sony Xperia 1 II are quite satisfactory. The lack of light does not seem to scare it while the photos in daylight are good.
The camera of the Sony Xperia 1 II is very responsive, but offers quite refreshing performance. Especially with a very professional side for amateurs. The photo part of the Japanese mobile and very good but it lacks some details to be at the level of the best.
Conclusion: what to remember about the Sony Xperia 1 II?
The Japanese brand has very often encountered a pitfall on its high-end devices. Able to provide excellent components, the manufacturer was unable to find a recipe that works. With this Xperia 1 II, Sony is on the right track on many elements, provided that certain details are taken care of. The OLED screen is excellent in almost all areas, but suffers from a lack of brightness at this level. The performance places the smartphone at the level of the best, but the autonomy still struggles to follow. Similarly, the photo part has improved considerably, but there are still a few things to correct. On paper, Sony has everything to seduce, especially thanks to its design. The Xperia 1 II offers a refreshing vision of telephony by following its own path.