Sony Xperia 1 vs. Xperia 10 Plus vs. Xperia 10: Battle of the ultrawide phones

Which new Xperia phone is the best? We weigh all the ultrawide options here

Sony Xperia 1 review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Sony might not be showing off a futuristic folding phone or fancy 5G hardware at MWC 2019, but it has brought three unique new phones. The Sony Xperia 1, Xperia 10, and Xperia 10 Plus are the latest in Sony’s flagship and midrange lineup, and they all come with something we haven’t seen before in a smartphone — an ultra-wide display that stretches up to a 21:9 aspect ratio.

With that in mind, is there any real difference between the three? If you’re looking for a new smartphone and you love Sony’s style, which one is best for you? We pitted these three head-to-head to find out.

Specs

Sony Xperia 1
Sony Xperia 10 Plus
Sony Xperia 10
Size 167 x 72 x 8.2 mm (6.57 x 2.83 x 0.32 inches) 167 x 73 x 8.3 mm (6.57 x 2.87 x 0.33 inches) 155.7 x 68 x 8.4 mm (6.13 x 2.68 x 0.33 inches)
Weight 180 grams (6.35 ounces) 180 grams (6.35 ounces) 162 grams (5.71 ounces)
Screen size 6.5-inch OLED 6.5-inch IPS LCD 6.0-inch IPS LCD
Screen resolution 3,840 x 1,644 pixels (642 pixels per inch) 2,520 x 1,080 pixels (422 pixels per inch) 2,520 x 1,080 pixels (457 pixels per inch)
Operating system Android 9.0 Pie Android 9.0 Pie Android 9.0 Pie
Storage space 64GB, 128GB 64GB 64GB
MicroSD card slot Yes, up to 512GB Yes, up to 512GB Yes, up to 512GB
Tap-to-pay services Google Pay Google Pay Google Pay
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 Qualcomm Snapdragon 630
RAM 6GB 4GB 3GB
Camera Triple-lens wide-angle 12MP (OIS), 12MP telephoto zoom, and 12MP ultrawide-angle rear, 8MP front Dual 12MP wide-angle and 8MP telephoto zoom rear, 8MP front Dual 13MP and 5MP rear (both wide-angle), 8MP front
Video 4K at 30 fps, 1080p at 60 fps, 1080p at 960 fps 4K at 30 fps, 1080p at 30 fps 4K at 30 fps, 1080p at 30 fps
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0
Ports USB-C USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
Fingerprint sensor Yes, side-mounted Yes, side-mounted Yes, side-mounted
Water resistance IP65/68 No No
Battery 3,300mAh

QuickCharge 3.0 fast charging

Qi wireless charging

3,000mAh

QuickCharge 3.0 fast charging

2,780mAh

QuickCharge 3.0 fast charging

App marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store Google Play Store
Network support T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint
Colors Black, gray, purple, white Black, navy, silver, gold Black, navy, silver, pink
Price TBC (expected $1,100) $430 $390
Buy from Sony Sony Sony
Review score Xperia 1 news Hands-on review Hands-on review

Performance, battery life, and charging

Sony Xperia 1 review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Xperia 10 and 10 Plus are powered by the Snapdragon 630 and Snapdragon 636 respectively. We’ve seen similar chips in past phones — most notably the Snapdragon 636 in the BlackBerry Key2 — and we expect similar levels of performance in both midrange Xperia phones. They will both likely have enough power for day-to-day tasks, but will fall short of running the latest and most demanding games. That won’t be an issue with the Xperia 1, as it’s packing the powerful Snapdragon 855 chip. This phone will be able to handle anything you throw at it, from demanding mobile games to swapping between multiple apps. It’s a serious mismatch in power.

But they’re closer in battery than you might imagine. The Xperia 1 leads in pure battery capacity, followed by the Xperia 10 Plus and then the Xperia 10, but we imagine you’ll need to charge each of them every day. QuickCharge 3.0 support across the board means you won’t have to wait long when you plug in, but only the Xperia 1 has Qi wireless charging.

The superior processor, extra battery capacity, and wireless charging give the Xperia 1 the win here.

Winner: Sony Xperia 1

Design and durability

sony xperia 1 10 plus mwc 2019 group
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The ultrawide displays are likely Sony’s biggest selling points for these new phones, but it does mean you’re looking at some extremely long and thin phones. Both the Xperia 1 and 10 Plus are the worst hit by this — you’re unlikely to be able to reach the top of either without using two hands. The Xperia 10 is smaller, but it’s still within large phone range, just a few millimeters shorter than the Galaxy S9 Plus. If you love big screens that’s great, but anyone with smaller hands will struggle with all three of these.

All three sport similar looks, with slim bezels, a large forehead, and a boxy silhouette. However, while the Xperia 10 and 10 Plus have polycarbonate bodies, the Xperia 1 has a glass body marking it as the more premium phone. That does mean it’s more likely to shatter if dropped, but that can be somewhat prevented with a good protective case. The Xperia 1 also sports an IP68 rating for water resistance; neither the Xperia 10 or 10 Plus have been reported to have any water resistance, which is unusual for Sony.

The glass body and the water resistance seal this for the Xperia 1.

Winner: Sony Xperia 1

Display

Sony Xperia 10
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

As mentioned, all of these phones feature stunning ultrawide displays that will be perfect for films, Netflix, and even certain games. The Xperia 10 and 10 Plus come with a 6-inch and 6.5-inch screen respectively, and the 2,520 x 1,080-pixel resolution means they are both relatively crisp. However, the Xperia 1’s 6.5-inch display sports the first mobile 4K resolution on an OLED display — it’s super-sharp, and it’ll show incredibly deep blacks and vibrant colors. This is a clear win for the Xperia 1.

Winner: Sony Xperia 1

Camera

Sony Xperia 10 and 10 Plus
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Xperia 1 comes with three 12-megapixel lenses on the rear of the phone — a standard lens with optical image stabilization, a telephoto lens, and a super wide-angle lens. The Xperia 10 Plus has a 12-megapixel lens and an 8-megapixel lens on the back, and the Xperia 10 has a 13-megapixel primary lens paired with a 5-megapixel secondary lens. All three have an 8-megapixel selfie lens around the front.

This category is tricky, as we haven’t had much time with any of these phones yet. However, it seems the most likely that the triple-lens 12-megapixel lenses on the Xperia 1 will prove to be the most effective of the three. The three lenses are — on paper — similar to those on the very impressive Galaxy S10 Plus, and while it may not prove equal to Samsung’s flagship, it will outstrip the other two Xperia phones. Midrange phones often fall on the camera front, and our initial assessments of the Xperia 10 and 10 Plus suggest that may be the case.

Winner: Sony Xperia 1

Software and updates

sony xperia 1 vs 10 plus 3
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

You will find Android 9.0 Pie with Sony’s manufacturer user interface on all of these phones. It’s a good enough UI, and while it isn’t as slick as stock or Pixel Android, it’s not as large a change from the norm as some other Android skins. Sony’s record with updates isn’t the best, but it’s far from the worst. Two years of updates are usually standard, so you can expect all of these phones to be updated to Android Q eventually, and possibly Android R.

All three run the same software, and while the Xperia 1 may get updates before the other two phones, there’s probably not going to be a huge gap between them.

Winner: Tie

Special features

Sony Xperia 1 review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Since all three phones are from Sony, you’ll find similar offerings on each. There are the old Android mainstays, including Google Assistant, Google Lens, and all the rest — but there are some interesting Sony-only features, too, like Side Sense. This sidebar can be opened to reveal a customizable list of apps to launch quickly. You’ll also find support for high-resolution audio on all three.

As the flagship, the Xperia 1 comes with a bit extra. It boasts Dolby Atmos support, the Dynamic Vibration System, and the Game Enhancer app. While the Xperia 1 doesn’t come with anything groundbreaking, it does have a few additions that push it above its peers.

Winner: Sony Xperia 1

Price

The Xperia 10 and 10 Plus are due to arrive on March 18, with prices starting at $350 for the Xperia 10 and $430 for the Xperia 10 Plus. The Xperia 1 is significantly more expensive and though U.S. pricing hasn’t been released yet, it’s expected to cost 849 British pounds (roughly $1,100) in the U.K. The Xperia 1 is expected sometime in the spring.

Overall winner: Sony Xperia 1

With a price tag that’s likely to be more than both other phones combined, it would have been odd if the Xperia 1 hadn’t topped this list. With powerful specs, a gorgeous display, and an impressive-looking triple-lens camera suite, it’s clear the Sony Xperia 1 is the most capable of Sony’s three newly revealed phones.

However, that’s only if the price is no issue, and with decently powerful specs and the same 21:9 aspect ratio, the Xperia 10 and 10 Plus should definitely be on your list if you’re looking to save a little money. If you’re looking for the best possible media experience, the ultrawide 6.5-inch and 6-inch displays will be hard to pass up. Both have stiff competition from the Moto G7 range though, so make sure to do your homework before you commit.

Mobile

Scientists wreck a smartphone in a blender, but not just for fun

It’s oddly mesmerizing to watch a smartphone get torn apart inside a blender. Researchers recently did just that in a bid to find out which materials make up a handset, and also to encourage people to think more about recycling.
Mobile

The best Sony Xperia 10 Plus cases to keep your smartphone safe

It's always a smart play to safeguard your smartphone with a decent case or cover. We've identified the best Sony Xperia 10 Plus cases here, so take your pick from rugged protection to slim style.
Gaming

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.
Mobile

Apple iPad Air vs. iPad (2018): Which Apple tablet is right for you?

The new iPad Air replaces the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, but it doesn't pack quite the same punch. It is a fair bit cheaper, starting at $500, but it's a lot more expensive than Apple's 9.7-inch iPad which starts at $330. If you're shopping for…
Mobile

Apple iPad Mini 5 vs. iPad Mini 4: What’s new in Apple’s long-awaited refresh?

The long-awaited refresh of the iPad Mini is finally here, but just how big an upgrade does the iPad Mini 5 represent? We compare it to the outgoing iPad Mini 4 in various categories to delve into the differences and pick a winner.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is minutes away: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.
Wearables

This $76,000 Grand Seiko watch has something in common with a plug-in hybrid car

How can a watch that costs $76,000 possibly have anything in a common with any car, let alone a plug-in hybrid? It's all about the complex, technically incredible Spring Drive movement inside this Grand Seiko watch.
Deals

The excellent Apple iPad gets even deeper price cuts on Amazon

The humble iPad from 2018 is still one of the best tablets around -- and a solid choice for most people. Amazon has seen some great price drops for these tablets recently, and now you can own an iPad for even less than before.
Mobile

More than a screenshot: How to record the screen on an Android device

If you've ever want to record video of your Android screen, there are plenty of apps that can help. Here's an easy guide on how to record the screen on an Android device with the right settings and apps.
Apple

Apple March 2019 Event Coverage

Apple’s next event will take place March 25 at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California at 10 a.m. PT. We’ve got a handy guide on how to watch, but don’t expect to see any new iPads, iMacs, or AirPods at the show, all of…
Product Review

Want to see how powerful the Snapdragon 855 chip is? Just rev up the Xiaomi Mi 9

How fast do you want to go? If the answer to this is “as fast as possible,” then take a long look at the Xiaomi Mi 9. It’s one of the highest performance smartphones you can buy. It’s a real monster, and we’ve been using it.
Mobile

Apple Card is a credit card you can sign up for and start using with your iPhone

Apple is getting into the credit card business. Apple Card is a credit card you can sign up for directly on your iPhone, and it doesn't have fees. There's a lower interest rate and you can even get Daily Cash from all purchases.
Gaming

Apple Arcade might be the new game subscription service worth signing up for

Apple Arcade will launch this fall bringing a new game-subscription service with cross-platform support for iOS, Mac, and Apple TV. At launch, the service will feature more than 100 exclusive games, with more added to the service regularly.
Mobile

Check out 22 of the best iPhone 7 cases and covers for your shiny new phone

The iPhone 7 might be attractive, but it’s not rugged. To keep your device in pristine condition, you really need to think about proper protection. That's why we've rounded up some of the best iPhone 7 cases and covers available.