Sony Xperia 1V Review: Camera Test and More

Reviewing the Sony Xperia 1 V after using it as my primary phone, with details on the battery life, camera test, and more. The Sony Xperia 1 V is a significant increase over the Mark IV, providing an appropriate point-and-shoot photography experience, cooler performance, and other improvements. But compared to the Samsung S23 Ultra, iPhone 14 Pro, and other phones, is it the greatest phone for you in 2023?

Design

Sony Xperia 1 V Design

First, though it may not sound excited, Sony has given the Mark V a new look. It is significantly more gripping since the edges and back have a surface that is more tactile. This means that it isn’t nearly as slippery as earlier generations, which constantly caused heart-stopping moments when you were taking it out of your pocket because you were afraid it may flinch. It is still a bit of a slippery bugger, though, since it frequently slides down sofa arms and other surfaces. With its new design, the Xperia 1 V doesn’t personally strike me as being as sophisticated and stylish, but other from that alteration, it continues to be the same Xperia we know and love—or just like, depending on your perspective.

Despite its lofty 21:9 aspect ratio, the 189-gram weight is nevertheless manageable in the hand. Additionally, if you need to access something towards the top of the screen, a useful one-handed mode is only a swipe away. When it comes to the screen, it is shielded by Gorilla Glass Victus 2, while the rear is protected by conventional, everyday Victus glass. There are no dents, scratches, or scuffs even after a full week of misuse. This phone is also IP68 water and dust proof making it more durable than a Wetherspoon’s Gammon stick in general.

Three colour options are available: all-black, cocky green, and platinum silver. If you don’t mind spending a little more money, Sony has a new design cover for the Xperia 1 Mark 5 that incorporates a grip for both horizontal and vertical supports.

Software and Features

Sony Xperia 1 V Software and features

The Xperia 1 V runs Android 13 with the customary Sony flavour. Although it’s not as fantastic as many competitors, this phone comes with a few guaranteed OS updates and three years of security patches. All of a sudden, companies like Google, Samsung, OnePlus, and others provide better support. I have to admit that thus far, using the Xperia 1 Mark 5 has been a little janky. It seems as though this monster has been sneaking you volcanic tonics or something. Though it is somewhat expected given that it is a very early pre-release gadget with pre-release software.

When you’re outside in intense sunshine, for instance, the screen may periodically decide to stay extremely dark even if the auto brightness feature typically works well. On the other hand, occasionally it will decide to scorch your retinas while you’re resting in bed in total darkness. I discovered that the screen responsiveness would occasionally completely freeze without warning, generally right after waking up. Phantom screen taps appear to be the issue, which makes the Xperia 1 Mark 5 start acting erratically. In these situations, it’s recommended to instantly hibernate the phone once more and wait a few seconds before accidently texting your nan your whole stock of super-effective, hentai. We can only hope that Sony will fix these minor issues prior to the Xperia 1 Mark 5 going on sale in a few weeks.

Regarding the remaining Sony software, or “experience,” it differs significantly from standard Android in numerous respects. The venerable Side Sense, which makes multitasking a breeze, and all the other iconic features that have long been a part of Xperia handsets, are still there and accounted for. As usual, Sony also provides for the needs of creators. Video fans can use the stunning 4K screen as a camera monitor, for example, to check levels and parts, make sure the focus is on target, and even make a backup recording. If you enjoy singing along to a few songs, perhaps with some keyboard or guitar accompaniment, Music Pro will enable you to rapidly put together a professional-level production.

Due to its stretched aspect ratio, the Xperia 1 Mark 5 is also perfect for split-screen multitasking, and switching between the top and bottom apps while multitasking is incredibly simple. Going over the remaining specifications, the Xperia 1 Mark 5 supports both conventional SIM cards and eSIM. Furthermore, the storage options are 256 or 512 gigabytes, which is quite a bit, and it is expandable through microSD, unlike pretty much every other flagship phone available.

The actual fingerprint sensor is included into the edge-mounted power button and typically functions correctly the first time. However, since it’s almost flush with the edge, it did take me a few tries during the first few days to get my full fingertip on there. However, that wasn’t really a problem anymore after the old muscle memory set in. Unfortunately, the Xperia 1 Mark 5 does not include face unlock functionality, which is a great disappointment given that even modern smartphones like the Pixel already have some Face Unlock functionality. Although it is less secure, having a backup plan is usually a smart idea.

Display

Sony Xperia 1 V Display

The Xperia 1 V will now appeal to movie and music fans in addition to makers. The very same panel, with the same cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio, was utilised in last year’s Mark IV, which had a 6.5-inch, 4K OLED display. This is ideal for taking in a contemporary film in all its splendour or when you just don’t want to leave the cosiness of your blanket. The 4K resolution is overkill for the majority of applications you’ll wind up using on this tablet, and anything with a more square composition will be crushed between giant black pillars. However, whether analysing your images or Ultra HD film, it’s fantastic for spotting little details.

Sony’s customary Creator Mode antics are supported by the Xperia 1, which is undoubtedly intriguing for movie buffs who want to view supported films with authentic images. All you need to know is that your 10 video appears incredibly lifelike, even if the contrast isn’t as good at lower brightness levels, as nobody else will give a damn about it. Furthermore, the display doesn’t use LTPO technology like the majority of other premium smartphones in 2023, so the refresh rate can’t be reduced to extend battery life. Furthermore, you must access the display settings to enable the 120Hz option because it is off by default. The fact that you have simple shortcuts to change the audio and display settings when playing music, podcasts, videos, or anything else is something I really appreciate.

Audio

Speaking about audio, the stereo speakers on the Xperia 1 Mark 5 give some real hefty kicks. They produce loud, clear audio that apparently has more bass than the model from the previous year, however I don’t have the Mark IV to use as a benchmark. Additionally, as is customary with Xperia smartphones, Sony has added a real headphone port, something that the majority of flagship phones just don’t bother with. Regarding Bluetooth 5.3 wireless streaming, I had no problems at all while streaming to speakers or headphones, even in crowded spaces or at a considerable distance. Additionally, you receive all the standard Sony smarts, such as Dolby Atmos and high-res audio support as well as LDAC support, a digital sound improvement engine for enhancing the quality of compressed files.

Performance

Sony Xperia 1 V Performance

Now, instead of the Snapdragon HN1 chipset that made the Xperia 1 from a year ago an all-too-effective hand warmer, Qualcomm’s more recent 8 Gen 2 is included in the Mark V, supported by 12 gigabytes of RAM. This significantly keeps things cooler. I didn’t notice any unexpected overheating at all during my week of use with this device. Praise be to the gracious gods above! The only time the Xperia 1 Mark 5 overheated in the previous week was when I used it for about 15 to 20 minutes outside in the sweltering midday sun, just like I would with any other smartphone. Apart from that, it only becomes comfortably warm when playing hard video games or capturing 4K films for an extended period of time.

Sony Xperia 1 V Performance and Game Feature

Speaking of gaming, the Xperia 1 Mark 5 easily handles even the most memory-intensive Android games, as you could expect from a Snapdragon HN2 powerhouse. No matter what you’re doing, you can count on a delightful and fluid gaming experience thanks to titles like Call of Duty Mobile’s support for 120 frames per second action. And yes, even when you turn the Genshin Impact graphic settings all the way up, this little, skinny creature doesn’t falter. A few swanky new features have been added to Sony’s game enhancer tool.

You can easily take screenshots with the shutter button and record gameplay while keeping an eye on performance, temperature, and other factors while gaming. The standard features, such as respectable live streaming support, customizable screen sensitivity, notification blocking, adjustable contrast, etc., are all present and functioning properly. One of the best smartphone gaming modes now available, it gives you a significant advantage over the competitors or, in my case, allows you to survive for a few more seconds.

Battery Life

The battery life is fine, therefore there aren’t any major problems. A 5,000 milliamp-hour battery is once again included in the Sony Xperia 1 Mark 5. On one or two times when I was really pushing the limits of camera technology, capturing literally hundreds of images and a sizable amount of 4K video in a single day, I did manage to nearly exhaust it before going to bed. Apart than that, you shouldn’t have any problems retiring to bed with a little bit of battery life remaining on the phone if you use your screen for your normal five or six hours each day.

Unfortunately, it only supports 30-watt cable charging when you need to recharge it, which is similar to Google’s Pixel phones and far slower than other Chinese competitors. But at least you have wireless charging support built in for versatility.

Cameras

Xperia 1 Mark 5 Camera App

Let’s now talk about the Sony Xperia 1 Mark 5’s camera technology. Sony has made various modifications to the model from last year, including the addition of a brand-new 24mm Xmore T sensor. Despite having a 52-megapixel sensor, it uses pixel binning to produce 12-megapixel photographs. There isn’t an ultra-high resolution mode, which is unfortunate. When you open the Sony Photo Pro software, you have a variety of choices. It functions in basic mode like a point-and-shoot setup but has more functionality. You can switch between multiple sensors, modify the aspect ratio, enable burst mode, change the brightness and contrast levels, add various filters, toggle night mode, and switch between various filters.

Switching to Auto mode, which performs similarly to basic mode but with a DSLR-style setup, will give you more control over your photos. The majority of control settings are still handled automatically by the Xperia 1 Mark 5, so utilising the shutter button is still a point-and-shoot experience. Utilise Programme Auto mode to modify the EV, ISO, white balance, and other settings for even more control. Additionally, there is a manual exposure option for more intricate control and a shutter speed priority mode for action photos or low-light shooting.

AI algorithms have improved the autofocus on the Xperia 1 Mark 5, ensuring perfect focus even on distant subjects. White balance calculations and exposure correction are also done using AI. In general, the autofocus is effective, particularly when used in conjunction with the superb face and eye focusing. The Xperia 1 Mark 5’s autofocus performs admirably, even in difficult circumstances, and the burst shutter option is useful for taking action pictures. The phone also has a slider for adjusting the nice bokeh effect’s intensity.

According to reports, the new Xmore T sensor in the Xperia 1 Mark 5 is 1.7 times bigger than the sensor on the previous flagship device, giving it better low-light shooting capability. You can take sharp pictures in general lighting, and the image quality is good all the way up to complete darkness. The Xperia 1 Mark 5 isn’t able to match the night photography capabilities of devices like the Galaxy S23 Ultra or Xiaomi 13 Ultra in auto mode, though. When using the Pro controls, you can modify the EV levels and shutter speed for more artistic outcomes.

There are two 12-megapixel sensors on the Xperia 1 Mark 5. The 16mm Xmore RS ultra-wide-angle camera produces passable landscape photos, although its colour capture is less reliable than that of the primary sensor. Up to 15.6x zoom is possible with the variable 85-125mm Xmore RS telephoto camera, although the highest zoom range results in fuzziness. The telephoto lens performs less admirably in environments with bright light and softer illumination. Overall, compared to smartphones like the Pixel 7 Pro or Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, the extra camera options available in addition to the Xmore T sensor are a little lacking.

Similar to previously, the Cinema Pro app gives you control over a variety of parameters, including focus and sensor selection. The maximum resolution for video recording is 4K, and 8K is not an option. However, all three lenses may be used to capture Ultra HD video at a speed of up to 120 frames per second, giving you versatility. Remember that while moving between sensors, colours and detail levels may be somewhat altered. Unless you deliberately touch to select a subject, the focusing on the Xperia might occasionally suffer when there are several faces in the photo. Although powerful lighting may look blown out, nighttime video quality can be respectable. If you want your comments to be heard well in your videos, make sure stereo audio pickup is selected in the video settings; otherwise, your voice can sound shaky.

Last but not least, there is a 12-megapixel selfie camera that performs admirably, especially for fast and shareable pictures. Your photos won’t suffer from bright backdrops, and the Xperia 1 Mark 5 can capture reasonable levels of detail even in low light. Even in darker surroundings, skin tones look to be rather true.

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