news · 03/06/2024 0

Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V


The Sony Xperia 1 VI is out now, but many of you are probably wondering if the hefty price tag (€1,399) is really worth it or if last year’s Xperia 1 V would do just fine—especially considering the lower price tag of around €850. That’s nearly twice as cheap.

If it were that simple, we wouldn’t have done an extensive comparison between the two. The newer Xperia 1 VI does things a little differently, and we believe that most of the changes are for the better. Still, it’s hard to justify the huge price gap, so we dive deeper into the different aspects like display, battery life, performance, camera, etc. Nothing trumps real-world experience.

So how much better is the Sony Xperia 1 VI to deserve its price premium? Let’s look into it.

Table of Contents:

For starters, you can compare the complete specs sheets or directly continue with our editor’s assessment in the following text.

Size comparison

Sony Xperia 1 VI
Sony
Xperia 1 VI

192 g

162.0 x 74.0 x 8.2 mm
(6.38 x 2.91 x 0.32 in)

Sony Xperia 1 V
Sony
Xperia 1 V

187 g

165.0 x 71.0 x 8.3 mm
(6.5 x 2.8 x 0.33 in)

Despite the Xperia 1 VI and Xperia 1 V sharing the same screen diagonal, dimensions are quite different, and perhaps everyone will have an opinion on which one feels nicer to hold.

Since Sony changed the display’s aspect ratio, the newer 1 VI turned out to be wider and shorter. This is in line with the current design standards and steers away from the “remote control” feel of its predecessor. The latter is sensibly slimmer and taller, making it easy to hold, but reaching the top part of the display with your thumb is a challenge.

No significant change in thickness and weight, though. At least not a noticeable one.

Display comparison

Sony Xperia 1 VI
Sony
Xperia 1 VI

6.50″

LTPO OLED
120Hz
1080×2340
pixels
396
ppi

Sony Xperia 1 V
Sony
Xperia 1 V

6.50″

OLED
120Hz
1644×3840
pixels
643
ppi

This is perhaps the biggest change in this year’s Xperia 1 VI. Some may say it’s a downgrade, but it’s for the better.

The new Xperia 1 VI offers a 6.5-inch OLED display like last year, but dials down on resolution. It’s now 1080 x 2340px with a more popular 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The older Xperia has a 21:9 aspect ratio and a 1664 x 3840px resolution – a standout configuration in the smartphone world as a whole.

However, the 4K resolution was rarely utilized. In fact, there are only a couple of scenarios (video playback included) that triggered the full 4K resolution. The rest of the time, the system prefers 1080p. So, at the end of the day, you aren’t missing out on pixels.

Moreover, the most recent Xperia employs a more energy-efficient LTPO OLED panel with a variable refresh rate and achieves considerably higher brightness in auto mode – 1,310 nits vs. 936 nits, according to our tests.

Battery life

The two Xperia’s have dependable battery lives, but the clear winner is the newer 1 VI. It’s not only better in terms of overall endurance (17:27h vs. 12:24h Active Use Score), but it also beats its predecessor in most scenarios.

The Xperia 1 VI’s web browsing and video playback runtimes show a huge improvement over the last generation as well as a measurable one in the gaming test. Our best guess is that the more efficient FHD+ LTPO display is the one to blame. Interestingly enough, the last year’s 1 V scored better in the 4G talk scenario.

Charging speed

Sony Xperia 1 VI
Sony
Xperia 1 VI
5000 mAh

30W

15min
27%
30min
50%
Full
90min

Sony Xperia 1 V
Sony
Xperia 1 V
5000 mAh

30W

15min
27%
30min
50%
Full
97min

Both handsets aren’t particularly competitive in this regard, so it’s safe to say that the Xperia 1 VI and Xperia 1 V are equally slow to the finish line. The two phones are both rated at 30W of max charging power, but in our testing, the newer Xperia is a tad faster to charge to 100%. The difference is just 7 minutes, though.

Upon further testing, we found out that the Xperia 1 VI plays well with faster-charging adapters, so you will be able to squeeze out a couple of percentage points if you use a higher-rated USB Power Delivery charger.

Speaker test

Although Sony didn’t emphasize much on the improved sound system on the Xperia 1 VI, we noticed a few things.

Firstly, the 1 VI is notably louder than its predecessor, and secondly, it has nice tuning overall. In fact, it’s probably safe to say that the Xperia 1 VI has one of the best speakers we’ve heard in a while. The sound is warmer, fuller and more lively compared to the Xperia 1 V., which sounds dull and flat compared to the 1 VI.

Performance

Naturally, the newer Xperia 1 VI is faster than the older 1 V as it employs a more recent chipset. We have the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 vs last year’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered Xperia 1 V. Both the CPU and GPU promise a noticeable bump in raw performance.

Sony Xperia 1 VI
Sony
Xperia 1 VI

Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
4 nm
256GB 12GB RAM

Sony Xperia 1 V
Sony
Xperia 1 V

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
4 nm
256GB 12GB RAM

No change in the memory configurations, though. Both devices ship with 12GB/256GB. Storage is still expandable – a rarity among flagship smartphones. Unfortunately, the 512GB variant is available only in Japan for the time being.

Benchmark performance

Sony Xperia 1 VI
Sony
Xperia 1 VI

AnTuTu 10
1,612,156
Geekbench 6
6,119
3D Mark
16,109

Sony Xperia 1 V
Sony
Xperia 1 V

AnTuTu 10
1,310,354
Geekbench 6
4,916
3D Mark
6,316

There’s a measurable difference between the two phones, with the Xperia 1 VI offering about 25% faster CPU and more than twice the GPU performance; our 1 VI unit didn’t seem to utilize the SD8 Gen 3’s full potential as it posted lower benchmark scores than other flagships. Still, our CPU and GPU throttling tests showed favored the Xperia 1 VI over the 1 V.

Camera comparison

The two Xperias share the same camera hardware, but there are a couple of changes to the telephoto camera in this year’s 1 VI that add value to the overall user experience. The new telephoto is capable of 7.1x optical zoom and 4cm focusing distance at 120mm, which suggests some solid macro capabilities.

The main camera uses a 48MP, 1/1.35″, 1.12µm sensor coupled with f/1.9 aperture. The telephoto is 12MP f/2.3-3.5, 1/3.5″ with variable optical zoom 85-170mm, which roughly translates to 3.5x-7.1x. The older Xperia uses the same setup but with up to 5.2x zoom.

The third camera is 12MP f/2.2, 1/2.5″ ultrawide and also remains unchanged between the two generations. The same goes for the 12MP f/2.0 selfie unit.

A notable difference between the two phones lies in software. Sony has streamlined the camera experience this year and is putting all the Pro-oriented features in the default camera app. No need for apps like Cinema Pro, Video Pro, etc. All features and settings are available in the newly designed camera app. Some of the Pro video capturing options available on the Mark V will only be added to the new camera app on Mark VI this Fall.

However, the Xperia 1 VI gets a new full-res 48MP mode on the primary camera. The ultrawide camera has also gotten an automatic Closeup mode. And overall, the new camera app feels a lot snappier than before.

Image quality

When it comes to quality, the main and ultrawide cameras output almost identical stills. It’s hard to notice any difference at all, but we did see a different tonal curve on the Xperia 1 VI, leading to brighter and crisper highlights.

Xperia 1 VI: 0.7x - f/2.2, ISO 64, 1/2500s - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V
Xperia 1 VI: 1x - f/1.9, ISO 25, 1/1250s - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V
Xperia 1 VI: 2x - f/1.9, ISO 25, 1/1250s - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V

Xperia 1 VI: 3.5x - f/2.3, ISO 32, 1/640s - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V
Xperia 1 VI: 5.2x - f/2.8, ISO 32, 1/400s - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V
Xperia 1 VI: 7.1x - f/3.5, ISO 32, 1/200s - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V

Xperia 1 VI: 0.7x • 1x • 2x • 3.5x • 5.2x • 7.1x

The Xperia 1 VI pulls ahead in this comparison with considerably sharper and more detailed 2x crop zoom stills from the main cam. The quality improvement is easily visible.

Xperia 1 V: 0.7x - f/2.2, ISO 64, 1/3200s - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V
Xperia 1 V: 1x - f/1.9, ISO 25, 1/1600s - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V
Xperia 1 V: 2x - f/1.9, ISO 25, 1/1600s - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V

Xperia 1 V: 3.5x - f/2.3, ISO 32, 1/1250s - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V
Xperia 1 V: 5.2x - f/2.8, ISO 32, 1/500s - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V
Xperia 1 V: 7.1x - f/2.8, ISO 32, 1/500s - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V

Xperia 1 V: 0.7x • 1x • 2x • 3.5x • 5.2x • 7.1x

Interestingly enough, the Xperia 1 V seems to offer nicer 3.5x zoom photos. The samples are cleaner and more detailed. The 5.2x comparison between the two is a pretty close call, but the Mark V’s 5.2x pictures again look a tad better. And in good light, the 7.1x optical zoom provided by the 1 VI is marginally better compared to the digital zoom from the Xperia 1 V at the same zoom level.

Xperia 1 VI: 0.7x - f/2.2, ISO 1000, 1/8s - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V
Xperia 1 VI: 1x - f/1.9, ISO 800, 1/10s - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V

Xperia 1 VI: 3.5x - f/2.3, ISO 1250, 1/20s - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V
Xperia 1 VI: 5.2x - f/2.8, ISO 1250, 1/10s - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V

Xperia 1 VI: 0.7x • 1x • 3.5x • 5.2x

Nighttime photography seems to be relatively the same this year, with little to no difference in the main and ultrawide cameras’ processing. The newer Xperia has a slight advantage over its predecessor in the telephoto department with nicer noise reduction and a tad better sharpness and detail in the 3.5x zoom mode. However, the 5.2x lowlight zoom photos come out unsatisfactory from both phones.

Xperia 1 V: 0.7x - f/2.2, ISO 1250, 1/13s - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V
Xperia 1 V: 1x - f/1.9, ISO 640, 1/6s - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V

Xperia 1 V: 3.5x - f/2.3, ISO 400, 1/8s - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V
Xperia 1 V: 5.2x - f/2.8, ISO 1000, 1/8s - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V

Xperia 1 V: 0.7x • 1x • 3.5x • 5.2x

Sony deserves praise for the new telemacro mode offered by the Xperia 1 VI. It is probably the first phone on the market to offer telemacro photography with such a high magnification. However, getting good shots out of it requires a tripod and good lighting.

Telemacro mode: 120mm - f/2.8, ISO 500, 1/50s - Sony Xperia 1 VI review
Telemacro mode: 360mm - f/2.8, ISO 200, 1/20s - Sony Xperia 1 VI review
Telemacro mode: 120mm - f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/60s - Sony Xperia 1 VI review
Telemacro mode: 360mm - f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/50s - Sony Xperia 1 VI review
Telemacro mode: 120mm - f/2.8, ISO 250, 1/60s - Sony Xperia 1 VI review
Telemacro mode: 360mm - f/2.8, ISO 200, 1/30s - Sony Xperia 1 VI review
Telemacro mode: 120mm - f/2.8, ISO 250, 1/60s - Sony Xperia 1 VI review
Telemacro mode: 360mm - f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/30s - Sony Xperia 1 VI review
Telemacro mode: 120mm - f/2.8, ISO 40, 1/60s - Sony Xperia 1 VI review
Telemacro mode: 120mm - f/2.8, ISO 80, 1/60s - Sony Xperia 1 VI review
Telemacro mode: 120mm - f/2.8, ISO 40, 1/60s - Sony Xperia 1 VI review

Xperia 1 VI telemacro mode

Video quality

The two cameraphones record identical-looking videos with their main and ultrawide cameras, but there’s a noticeable difference in the telephoto’s output. Neither zoom camera delivers standout video quality, but for some reason, the older Xperia has a tad clearer and more detailed videos across all zoom lengths – 3.5x, 5.2x, and 7.1x included.

Xperia 1 VI: 0.7x - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V
Xperia 1 VI: 1x - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V
Xperia 1 VI: 3.5x - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V

Xperia 1 VI: 5.2x - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V
Xperia 1 VI: 7.1x - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V

Xperia 1 VI: 0.7x • 1x • 3.5x • 5.2x • 7.1x

Xperia 1 V: 0.7x - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V
Xperia 1 V: 1x - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V
Xperia 1 V: 3.5x - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V

Xperia 1 V: 5.2x - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V
Xperia 1 V: 7.1x - Sony Xperia 1 VI vs. Xperia 1 V

Xperia 1 V: 0.7x • 1x • 3.5x • 5.2x • 7.1x

Verdict

The Xperia 1 VI is surely Sony’s best Xperia yet. It arrives with plenty of upgrades – the better display overall (we don’t miss the rarely used 4K resolution), the longer battery life (among the best there is), the more simplifсed and versatile camera experience (with telemacro mode and up to 7.1x stepless optical zoom) and one of the best speakers we’ve experienced.

The Xperia 1 V, however, offers largely the same user experience as its successor, so the question remains whether these upgrades are worth the €550 price premium. If the price gap between the two wasn’t as wide, we would have easily recommended the newer Xperia, but for the time being, that’s not the case.

    Sony Xperia 1 VI

    Get the Sony Xperia 1 VI for:

  • The brighter display with conventional aspect ratio.
  • The longer battery life.
  • The nicer speakers.
  • The longer optical zoom.
  • The new telemacro mode and automatic Closeup mode on the ultrawide.
  • The incredibly detailed full-res 48MP photos from the main cam.

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    Sony Xperia 1 V

    Get the Sony Xperia 1 V for:

  • The considerably lower price.
  • The better telephoto quality in some cases.
  • The unique tall design and aspect ratio.

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