Sony Xperia 1 goes up for pre-order in the US at a shockingly high price
by Adrian Diaconescu / Mar 13, 2019, 4:57 AM
That's one tall phone with one tall price point
While it's rarely a good sign when a company announces a new high-end smartphone without detailing its price and availability info, LG pleasantly surprised us earlier this week by substantially undercutting Samsung's "regular" Galaxy S10 variant and essentially positioning the G8 ThinQ against the inexpensive Galaxy S10e. Unfortunately, we can't say we're very pleased about the price point of another flagship unveiled at the MWC 2019 trade show a couple of weeks back under a veil of secrecy.
Said veil has been lifted with the start of US pre-orders, and... the Sony Xperia 1 is even costlier than we expected. Namely, it fetches $999.99 on Amazon in an unlocked configuration backed by a standard US warranty, which is actually higher than the direct conversion of the handset's British price tag without VAT. That's pretty unusual, but then again, the Sony Xperia 1 is a pretty unusual device.
Although the shock factor of an ultra-premium phone commanding a price in the four-digit ballpark has greatly diminished this past year or so, a thousand bucks remains hard to swallow for a non-Apple and non-Samsung flagship. It goes without saying this is also an incredibly bold choice on Sony's part, given the microscopic sales numbers of the company's mobile devices lately.
Then again, if we look back at last year's Xperia XZ2 Premium and Xperia XZ3, this no longer feels like such a shocking move. The latter model, equipped with a 6-inch OLED screen sporting 2880 x 1440 resolution, debuted at $900 in October, recently scoring a fairly modest $170 discount. The former was even costlier off the bat, at $999.99, with a higher-resolution LCD panel in tow, but also ridiculously thick bezels and a chunky profile.
Hence, we could say it almost makes sense for the Sony Xperia 1 to set early adopters back a full one thousand bucks. After all, this looks like a major upgrade over both the XZ2 Premium and XZ3, at least at first glance. What's hard to explain is why there aren't even any deal sweeteners offered with Xperia 1 pre-orders. That's in stark contrast with Sony's two 2018 high-enders, both of which initially shipped alongside free wireless Xperia Ear Duo headphones.
Then there's the inevitable comparison with new rivals from Samsung, LG, and even Nokia, where Sony can't possibly come out on top. The Xperia 1 is priced significantly higher than the Nokia 9 PureView and LG G8 ThinQ, matching the entry-level Galaxy S10+ configuration. The latter has already earned great praise in our in-depth review, not to mention all those gifts its early buyers were or still are eligible for.
But what if the Sony Xperia 1 is worth it?
We know, it feels highly unlikely, but there is an outside chance Sony made a phone as good as or slightly better than the Galaxy S10+. If that's the case, the $999.99 price point would certainly be justified. Of course, it's hard to believe the 3,330 mAh battery will deliver better endurance than the 4,100 mAh monster powering the 6.4-inch screen of the S10 Plus. But the 6.5-inch "CinemaWide" OLED panel on the Xperia 1 is definitely... something else, with its 21:9 aspect ratio, 4K resolution (3840 x 1644 pixels), and HDR support.
Made for professional content creators and hardcore content consumers, this bad boy also comes with "cinematic" Dolby Atmos sound technology and a "pro-quality" triple lens camera system. While the Galaxy S10+ is undoubtedly a photographic powerhouse, its triple shooter arrangement arguably falls short of perfection. Sony could swoop in and steal that crown... from Google with the help of its Alpha division, although we obviously won't know if that's the case until we get to rigorously review the Xperia 1.
At the end of the day, you probably shouldn't disregard this as a 2019 heavyweight title contender just yet, but you absolutely shouldn't hurry and pre-order it already either. Especially given the December 31 release date currently listed on Amazon (which is naturally a pretty hilarious mistake).
Posts: 1272; Member since: Jun 20, 2012
...and as usual the skyrocket-high price of the Xperia 1 will translate to prices same or lower than the Samsung Galaxy S10+ elsewhere in the world but the damage is done, because the internet is dominated by US centered news. Something for Sony Mobile marketing department to think about.
posted on Mar 13, 2019, 5:07 AM 3
Posts: 15; Member since: Aug 17, 2018
According to tests on this site, the S10+ 4100 "monster" battery isn't that great.
posted on Mar 13, 2019, 5:34 AM 8
Posts: 165; Member since: Nov 17, 2012
Lol preorder now and it ships Dec30 2019. Bye
posted on Mar 13, 2019, 6:17 AM 2
Posts: 59; Member since: Nov 20, 2015
I highly doubt that's the actual date. Looks like a place holder to me. Still scary that they don't know when it's going to ship though.
posted on Mar 13, 2019, 8:53 AM 1
Posts: 18; Member since: Sep 01, 2015
This writer got the wrong date for sure. Who in the hell would pre-order something and release after 9 months? This site really has nothing good to say about Sony phones. What's wrong with a non-apple and non- samsung phone? If the phone is built premium, of course, it will cost high.
posted on Mar 13, 2019, 9:51 AM 1
Posts: 870; Member since: Oct 17, 2011
It's a Sony so no surprise there. Sony is known to sell at high price but after only a few months when they realize people are not falling for it and are not buying their so-called premium phone price will fall. Sony disappoint again.
posted on Mar 13, 2019, 8:31 AM 0
Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 13, 2019
iPhone XS Max is $1099 at Amazon. So Xperia 1 is $200 cheaper! It is hardly "shockingly high price." It's not even high price. It's actually a good price for 6.5 inch with OLED screen. It's a great alternative to iPhone users.
posted on Mar 13, 2019, 8:45 AM 6
Posts: 503; Member since: Apr 22, 2011
Sony should advertise it's PS4 functionality more as a exclusive to it's phones. Sony has one of the only flagship phones this year that doesn't have a notch or hole in the display LED notification too
posted on Mar 13, 2019, 9:23 AM 1
Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 13, 2019
Assuming the Xperia can not be priced at this level because it is not a Samsung or iPhone, and that it will not be as good in any way. What is shocking is the small-mindedness of this article.
posted on Mar 13, 2019, 10:29 AM 1
Posts: 6; Member since: May 28, 2016
Man you said it!!!! "We know, it feels highly unlikely, but there is an outside chance Sony made a phone as good as or slightly better than the Galaxy S10+. If that's the case, the $999.99 price point would certainly be justified. Of course, it's hard to believe the 3,330 mAh battery will deliver better endurance than the 4,100 mAh monster powering the 6.4-inch screen of the S10 Plus." HIGHLY unlikely?? lol Samsung phones have gotten A LOT better over the last couple years, but dude please! Yeah there are some bezels, but they've been scaled back since 2-3 years ago, and also..........NO NOTCH OR STUPID SAMSUNG CUTOUTS!! I'd rather have a little bezel than a notch. Compare ANY two comparable TVs and if one has a notch or cutout and one doesn't, which one YOU gonna go for? lol I'm not worried about the battery. People make such a big deal about Sony's batteries without reviewing ALL the facts. Like that the XZ3's battery was 3300 mAh on GSM Arena, yet had a 90 HOUR BATTERY LIFE RATING vs. Huawei Mate 20 Pro's 4200 mAh that only had 85, or (my) OnePlus 6T's 3700 mAh battery that also had 90............so 400 mAh more with the SAME rating! Just sayin' people. The 1's battery is 3330 mAh, so slightly more than 3300. Not really any different, but every little bit helps. Same with RAM...........Sony's VERY efficient with their RAM as well. In my experience of owning both Sony and Samsung phones, 6 GBs of Sony's RAM is the same as 8 GBs of Samsung's.
posted on Mar 13, 2019, 12:04 PM 1
Posts: 1777; Member since: Nov 17, 2011
At the same time they have to understand that the US is clearly not their biggest market for smartphones. For one, they're not sold through carriers so would-be buyers have to dole out the cash or get a credit card to pay for one. Two, they're just not that popular and Sony needs to think strategically if they want to sell phones here or just don't bother. If the other two conditions were not true then yes, go for it.
posted on Mar 13, 2019, 12:42 PM 0
Posts: 1091; Member since: Mar 31, 2017
Everything about this phone is shaping up to be one of the best phones of the year mostly no compromises are made with the exception of no headphone jack. Plus using two apps at a time on the 21:9 ratio will be a pleasure.
posted on Mar 13, 2019, 4:41 PM 0
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