Sony Xperia 1 VI Best full review 2024

Source: Sony - Sony Xperia 1 VI  Best full review 2024

This is Sony's 2024 Xperia flagship, the Xperia 1 Mark VI. Like its predecessors, it's a top ti camera phone, but what changes have come about this time around? I'm Will for Call Arena and let's find out in our Xperia 1 Mark VI review.

Design and build:

Source: Sony / Sony Xperia 1 VI  Design and build

The Xperia flagships are well known for their advanced cameras and the Mark VI continues that tradition, even bringing an upgraded telephoto cam and a revamped camera interface, and as ever, you get a dedicated two-step shutter button for the cameras.

Arguably the more prominent changes this year are with the form factor and the display.

The Mark VI is actually wider than previous Xperias, which had a tall and narrow 21 by 9 screen aspect ratio. The new one has a more conventional ratio of 19.5 by 9, so you get less of a TV remote vibe this time around. 

Besides that though, the overall design is the same as before, Not flashy or eye-catching, but practical.The back is made of Gorilla Glass Victus, though it doesn't feel like glass. It has a rough texture that adds some extra grip.

This grip is further enhanced by the ribbed texture on the aluminum frame.
Of course, you again get ingress protection on the Xperia 1 Mark VI, rated at IP65-IP68

Screen specs and features:

Source: Sony / Sony Xperia 1 VI  Best full review 2024

Like I mentioned, the display has gotten an overhaul.
 It's again a 6.5-inch OLED with a 120Hz refresh rate and Gorilla Glass Victus II protection.

But now you have the different aspect ratio, LTPO tech, and a lower resolution than last year, at 1080p. Xperia flagships have been well known for their 4K displays, but Sony has gone in a different direction.

On paper, it is a downgrade, but we don't really mind. At 396ppi, this display still appears plenty sharp to the eye. Plus, the 4K screens in the past more often than not ran at Full HD resolution for regular content anyway.

The Xperia uses Bravia's AI tech to improve the picture quality, and there's also support for 10-bit color and HDR10 video. It is nice to have an adaptive refresh rate this year. Last year's refresh rate was fixed, and thanks to the LTPO technology, it can dial down extra low when idling to save energy.

We observed it going down to 15 Hz, though Sony claims even as low as 1 Hz should be possible in certain scenarios. There's also an improvement when it comes to max brightness. 

The new model is able to go up to around 800 nits with the manual slider, and it can boost to above 1300 in auto mode when needed. That's about a 30% increase over last year's model.

Besides that, Sony has improved the legibility in sunlight quite noticeably with the new sunlight feature. You can more easily see all the detail in the highlights and shadows when watching videos outdoors. 

Headphone jack and stereo speakers test:

Source: Sony / Sony Xperia 1 VI  Best full review 2024

When it comes to audio, the Xperia 1 Mark VI is still one of the only flagships available with a traditional 3.5mm headphone jack. And this time around, they've added something they call premium circuitry to make sure the quality is the best it can be.
There's also a pair of full-stage front-facing stereo speakers. The loudness is higher than last year, scoring excellent on the charts, and the sound quality is excellent too, well-balanced, with great sounding bass. 

Side-mounted fingerprint reader/power button:

Source: Sony / Sony Xperia 1 VI  Best full review 2024

For biometrics, the Xperia 1 Mark VI has a side-mounted fingerprint reader built into the power button. It's snappy and accurate

Storage options.

You get
512GB of storage on board the Xperia 1 Mark VI if you buy it in Japan or East Asia. The rest of the world gets the 256GB variant. But regardless, the storage is expandable through microSD card, a feature that's a bit rare nowadays. 

Android 14 and UI:

The interface of the Xperia 1 Mark VI is very close to stock Android in look and feel. There's at least one aesthetic difference though, the appearance of the quick toggles and the notification shade.

 There are also a few proprietary features sprinkled in, like multi-window switch. It's basically two task switchers stacked on top of one another, meant for navigating between and opening apps in split-screen mode. 

And with SideSense, a handle on the side of the phone opens up a menu where you can store shortcuts. Another neat feature is that you can easily connect to Sony Alpha cameras and use the phone as an external monitor.

Like before, there's a feature-rich game enhancer, which provides several options for your gaming, and it can be accessed within a menu or as an in-game overlay.
What you don't get here are advanced AI-based features like you'd find on Samsung's flagships.
Sony claims that there is extensive use of AI, but specifically for the camera processing. 

Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 performance:

Source: Sony / Sony Xperia 1 VI  Best full review 2024

Like many other current flagship phones, the Xperia 1 Mark VI is equipped with Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset. 
There's some extra customization here as well, The system uses an FPS optimizer to balance between frame rate, graphics quality, and power consumption while gaming.

Benchmarks and CPU throttling:

Source: Sony / Sony Xperia 1 VI  Best full review 2024

Unfortunately, when it comes to benchmark scores, the Xperia 1 Mark VI does not seem to be at the same level of the best performers in the industry. When it comes to sustained performance, the Xperia is far from the best. 

Despite it having a vapor chamber cooling system, we observed heavy thermal throttling during our prolonged stress tests. 

Battery endurance and charging test:

Source: Sony / Sony Xperia 1 VI  Best full review 2024

The Xperia 1 Mark VI deserves nothing but praise when it comes to battery life though, which was improved by a huge margin when compared to last year.

With its 5,000 mAh battery, the Mark VI was able to earn an awesome active use score of 17 hours and 27 minutes in our tests. That's among the best we've ever measured, and great for someone who consumes a lot of multimedia. 
Charging isn't quite as exciting. In fact, it's rather slow. The Mark VI supports the same 30W charging as last year, and was able to charge from zero to 50% in half an hour. A full charge took 90 minutes.
If you use a faster third party charger, you might get a bit faster charging times. There is support for wireless charging and reverse wireless charging too.

Camera specs:

Source: Sony / Sony Xperia 1 VI  Best full review 2024

The Xperia 1 Mark VI's camera setup is similar to last year. There's a 48 megapixel main cam, a 12 megapixel ultra wide camera with auto focus, and a 12 megapixel telephoto with continuous optical zoom. 

That one has been upgraded though. now able to zoom up to 7.1 times instead of 5.2 times. All of the cameras seem to be using the same image sensors as last year's model, including the excellent stacked CMOS sensor with two-layer transistor pixel technology for the main camera. 
One thing that set the Xperia flagships apart was their use of multiple camera apps, one for shooting photos, one for videos, and one for in-depth video recording settings. Now it's all integrated into one camera app, which is more intuitive especially for more casual users.
And it's even able to better visualize the camera's HDR effect in the viewfinder, so you see a better preview of the final image. The new camera app does have a pro mode, but it's only for photos right now. Sony expects to release a video pro mode through an update sometime in fall 2024. 

Main camera: photo and video quality:

Source: Sony / Sony Xperia 1 VI  Best full review 2024

Shots from the main cam come out at 12 megapixels by default, and they are excellent. There's abundant detail, rendered in a very natural way, and there's no visible noise.
The white balance is spot on across all of the scenes and the colors are accurate too.

The dynamic range is very good and highlights are left bright. This means that they're more lively than they were on last year's model but they can clip occasionally. 
This year there's a new full res 48 megapixel mode. The file size is much larger this way but the results are worth it. 

You get amazingly natural detail rendition especially noticeable in grass and foliage. Overall the colors are quite balanced and there's no visible over sharpening or noise.
The low light photos by the main cam are rich in detail and quite sharp with again a nice natural rendition. The color saturation is great too. You can see clipped highlights though, just like on the Xperia 1 Mark V.

However, processing nighttime photos is much faster on this year's model, and you get a better preview in the viewfinder of how the photo will turn out. The video recording from the main cam is nice, like last year. 

You get plenty of detail, and again, natural processing.
In low light, videos from the main camera are quite okay too. We see better definition and better color saturation compared to last year. However, the highlights are still clipped in the same way, and shadows are darker than on competitors. 

Telephoto camera: photo and video quality:

We get a further reach on the stepless zoom camera. Now we can go all the way to 7.1 times zoom and it's optical all the way. This provides a level of versatility that other camera phones need multiple cameras to achieve.

We see a bit of a barrel distortion which is absent on the Xperia 1 Mark V, but it's nothing major. At 5.2x zoom, the colors, dynamic range, contrast, and rendition are like the 3.5x zoomed ones, though the resolve detail is a tiny bit less, and so is the sharpness. 

The results are more or less the same as the Xperia 1 Mark V. And finally, we reached the maximum 7.1x zoom level, which is new this year. The colors, dynamic range, contrast, and overall rendition are a match to the 5.2x zoom. Image quality is quite good, at least in good light. At night, the zoom camera holds its own at the wider end, and you get nice photos with pleasant color saturation and nice exposure. 

Zooming further than that quickly degrades the quality. Getting sharp handheld shots gets increasingly harder. The 5.2x zoom photos are still passable, but they're a bit noisy and darker than the competition's. 

The zoom camera can record 4K video, and the videos are solid, with a good amount of detail, natural rendition, and accurate colors. We're even glad to see improvements in the level of detail and dynamic range, compared to the Xperia 1 Mark V. Zooming to 5.2 times leads to a further drop in sharpness and contrast.

Bokeh mode:

The bokeh mode is intended for capturing people with an artificial shallow depth of field. The rendering of bokeh in these shots looks nice and the subject separation is usually spot on. The subject itself is well exposed, detailed, and skin tones come through quite nice. 
But if you're shooting out in harsh light, you'll probably get some clipped highlights, as the HDR algorithm seems to dial down as soon as you turn bokeh mode on. 

Telephoto macro mode:

This year you also get close focusing capabilities with the telephoto cam. The new telephoto macro mode at 120mm, or 5x zoom, can focus from as close as 4cm. With the right setup, it has the potential to capture some spectacular looking macro shots. 

It also allows you to zoom digitally up to 360mm, which is like 15x zoom. Though in either case, the usual caveats apply, you'd better use a tripod, and a still subject, because it's manual focus only, and the depth of field is very shallow, so even the focus peaking is of little help. 

Ultra wide camera: photo and video quality:

the Ultra Wide Cam, which has autofocus, has a new close-up mode, which triggers automatically and zooms in on closed subjects.

Speaking of the ultra-wide cam, it's the same camera as last year, so it provides the same great quality. There's plenty of detail and excellent sharpness.

The colors, dynamic range, and contrast are very good too. Just like with the main cam, here we no longer see the suppressed highlights that we got on the Xperia 1 Mark V. 

The 4k videos from the ultra wide camera are superb. They look natural and well balanced with plenty of detail and nice colors. Video stabilization works quite well on both the main and ultra wide cameras.


The photos from the 12 megapixel front facing camera are top notch. The selfies have plenty of detail and great sharpness. 

The rendition is quite natural and the subject is well exposed. This camera also shoots some great 4K videos.


Source: Sony / Sony Xperia 1 VI  Best full review 2024

So that's the Xperia 1 Mark VI. It's a great multimedia device thanks to its bright and efficient display, class leading battery life and excellent speakers. 

You get the no nonsense Sony design and the natural approach to camera processing is a breath of fresh air too.

Sony has gone for a more mainstream approach this time around when it comes to the display and the camera interface to appeal to a wider audience. But while that means that this Xperia misses out on a bit of unique charm. 

The Xperia 1 Mark VI still delivers a high-quality Sony flagship experience, just in a more efficient and user-friendly way, and it deserves a recommendation, and not only for Sony fans. 

Next Post
No Comment
Add Comment
comment url