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Sony Launches World’s First 4K OLED Phone at MWC 2019

February 25, 2019

7:06 am

Sony has announced four new phones at MWC today, including a new flagship — the Xperia 1 — and the wallet-friendly Xperia L3.

We round-up everything you need to know about the phones, and speculate whether these will be the handsets to get Sony’s ailing mobile division back on track. The phones include:

  • Sony Xperia 1 – a premium 6.5-inch smartphone with a 4K, HDR, OLED screen
  • Sony Xperia 10 – a 6-inch screen (not OLED) with triple rear camera
  • Sony Xperia 10 Plus – like the Xperia 10, but with a 6.5-inch screen and better battery
  • Sony Xperia L3 – budget phone ($199) with a 5.7-inch HD+ screen

Check our guide to the Best Phone Brands for 2019

Sony Xperia 1

The Xperia 1 is Sony’s new flagship phone and it comes with one big, standout feature. It’s the first phone ever to offer a 4K HDR OLED display. This sort of tech had only previously been seen on TVs, and it’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out on a phone. At 6.5-inches, the Xperia 1’s display is a full 30% larger than the screen on its predecessor, the Xperia Xz3.

Continuing the themes of ‘first’ and ‘more’ the Xperia 1 is also the first Sony phone to offer three rear cameras. All of its three snappers are 12Mp, but with varying focal width for use in different situations. It can also record 4K HDR video in the 21:9 format, and supports 960 frames-per-second super slo-mo videos

  • 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED screen
  • 21:9 aspect ratio
  • Three 12-megapixel lenses in rear camera
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB storage, expandable to 512GB with microSD
  • 3,300mAh battery with fast charging
  • Android Pie
  • Available Late SpringPrice TBC

Sony Xperia 1 MWC 2019

Sony Xperia 10

The Xperia 10 is the smaller of Sony’s new mid-range offerings. It borrows the same tall-and-skinny 21:9 display aspect ratio from the Xperia 1 but drops OLED tech and triple cameras to help cut the price down. The Xperia 10 also gets the slower Snapdragon 630 processor, compared to the Xperia 1’s 855, and it has a smaller 2,870mAh battery.

On the whole, though, the Xperia 10 looks like a very promising mid-range phones, especially for its low price, rumoured to be just £399.

  • 6-inch full HD+ display
  • 21:9 aspect ratio
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor
  • 3GB RAM, plus 64GB expandable storage
  • dual rear-facing cameras: a 13-megapixel and a 8-megapixel with optical zoom
  • 8-megapixel front camera
  • 2,870mAh battery
  • Side-mounted fingerprint sensors
  • Android Pie
  • Available early April for $399

Sont Xperia 10 Small mwc

Sony Xperia 10 Plus

In comparison to the 10, the 10 Plus comes with an improved battery capacity, a slightly better processor, another gig of RAM, and a display that’s bigger by a half inch. The front camera and side-mounted fingerprint sensors are the same, while primary rear-facing lens is just 12-megapixels, down from 13.

The Xperia 10 Plus costs about $500, another Benjamin up from the 10’s starting price. Here are the full specs:

  • 6.5-inch full HD+ display
  • 21:9 aspect ratio
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor
  • 4GB RAM, plus 64GB expandable storage
  • dual rear-facing cameras: a 12-megapixel and a 8-megapixel with optical zoom
  • 8-megapixel front camera
  • 3,000mAh battery
  • Side-mounted fingerprint sensors
  • Android Pie
  • Available early April for $499

Sony Xperia 10 Plus small

Sony Experia L3

The Xperia L3 is the cheapest new Sony phone, and should start from about $199. It drops the 21:9 aspect ratio, in favor of the slightly more conventional 18:9 ratio. The display is also smaller, standing at a not-inconsiderable 5.7-inches. You also don’t get the latest version of Android. Instead, you have to make do with Oreo. This is disappointing, especially as it might slow down the rate at which you get security updates.

  • 5.7-inch HD+ display
  • 18:9 aspect ratio
  • MediaTek 6762 processor
  • 3GB RAM
  • Dual rear-facing camera with a 13-megapixel lens and a 2-megapixel lens
  • 8-megapixel front camera
  • 3,300mAh battery
  • Android 8 Oreo
  • Available early April for $199

Sony Xperia L3 small

Should You Buy Them?

Eh. In the end, these phones are serviceable but don’t bring anything new to the table, particularly when compared to the competition: Samsung’s flashy new foldable phone looks genuinely cool and certainly innovative, and the Samsung S10 might prove to be the best phone of 2019.

LG and Huawei are both launching their long-awaited 5G phones at this year’s show, as well. Sony, though, hasn’t done anything new.

None of these new Xperia phones are likely to be bad, per se. Instead they feel like perfectly good, predictable smartphones.

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Adam is a writer at Tech.co and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for the last decade. He's also a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry (and Digital Book World 2018 award finalist) and has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect. When not glued to TechMeme, he loves obsessing over 1970s sci-fi art.