xperia 1 screen review

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You can immediately see what Sony is going for with the new Xperia 1 just by looking at it. It’s so tall and unique that it’s obvious that Sony wanted to make it stand out from the pack of Android phones. In a world dominated by Samsung and Huawei, Sony needed to give people a specific, differentiating reason to consider its phones. The alternative at this point is, well, giving up on phones entirely — instead of just mostly. There are enough benefits to the Xperia 1’s super tall form factor to actually make you consider it, weird as that may seem. It’s a big phone that doesn’t feel like a big phone. Sony’s pitch for the Xperia 1 is about it being more “cinematic.” Sony claims it has a cinematic screen, color reproduction, and camera. Those are the non-phone things that other divisions of Sony are good at, but the company has never really managed to translate those strengths to mobile. Yes, the Xperia 1 stands out, but making a unique form factor is easy. Making a good, complete package is not. Credit where credit is due: Sony has done a better job of making a good high-end phone than it has in quite some time. But we shouldn’t grade on a curve here. The Xperia 1 doesn’t stand out in as many ways as it should — especially at a price of $950.

xperia 1 review

Xperia 1 Screen Review

GOOD STUFF

  • Unique screen size
  • Great color reproduction
  • Cinema Pro 4K video shooting app

BAD STUFF

  • Too expensive
  • Cameras are only average
  • Screen is too dim

TheThe best thing about the Xperia 1 is you get a bunch of the benefits of having a big-screened phone in a design that’s much easier to fit in your hand. The Xperia 1 has a 6.5-inch screen, which is huge even by 2019’s plus-sized phone standards. But because of the 21:9 aspect ratio, it’s significantly narrower than the competition. It’s almost precisely the same width as an iPhone XS.

I have waffled between wanting to use an XL phone and a smaller, one-handed phone for the past few years. Every time I grab a big phone, I love it — until the basic ergonomics of handling that slab of glass become annoying. Similarly, I love how comfortable small phones are — until everything starts to feel a little cramped.

The Xperia 1 very nearly gives us the best of both. I can see way more content on any app that has a list of things: email, Twitter, webpages. I can also comfortably hold the device in one hand and type with one thumb. If you’re the sort of person who wants split-screen apps on a phone, the Xperia 1 really is better for that experience.

But make no mistake: this is still a big-screened phone, and you will still need two hands to use it. The top of the screen is very far away from your thumb. It’s also not more pocketable than other big phones. In fact, it might be worse. It’s so tall that it didn’t sit in my front jeans pocket properly, and it slid right out when I was sitting down, clattering on the concrete. The metal corners were dinged; the Gorilla Glass, thankfully, survived.

It’s also awkward when it comes to buttons: they’re all on the right side, and there are a lot of them. There’s volume, a fingerprint sensor, a separate power button, and a camera button. (For whatever reason, I was hitting the wrong one all the time.) It’s odd that the fingerprint sensor and power button aren’t combined, and it’s even odder that it seems to so easily pick up just enough grime that it needs a quick wipe before it works. You can double press the power button to launch Google Assistant, which I like.

Sony says this is a 4K HDR OLED screen. The resolution here is 3840 x 1644, which is more of a phone version of 4K than a movie version where you usually get 2160 pixels on the short side. But since this is 21:9 and if you just count the pixels and yadda yadda yadda: fine, it’s 4K.

Similarly, Sony is touting HDR as a big deal, but I still think HDR on a phone is not something most people can really see. I’m more impressed by the color claims, which Sony calls “Creator Mode.” What it actually does is attempt to match the color reproduction from a reference monitor — with the DCI-P3 color gamut and the BT.2020 standard. Of course, it can’t actually match a reference monitor, but turning on Creator Mode made colors appear much more accurate but less vibrant than you might be used to on other phones.

You can also set that mode to only turn on in certain supported apps, like Netflix. Speaking of Netflix, movies from it really do seem like the ideal use case for this phone. Watching a widescreen movie is great: there’s good stereo separation, support for Dolby Atmos, and, best of all, no notch or camera cutout.

The thing is, the majority of video that I watch on my phone is not 21:9. It’s 4:3 on YouTube or, at best, 16:9. Whatever the aspect ratio, I end up having to choose between giant black bars on either side of the video or going full-screen and cutting off people’s heads. That’s a hassle, but this screen’s biggest problem will become obvious the moment you step outside: it doesn’t get nearly bright enough, especially compared to other OLEDs.

Sony has two software tricks to manage this plus-sized size. The first is double tapping the home button to shrink the whole interface down to a place where your thumb can reach. This is really well done; you can resize the shrunken-down version of Android to your liking.

The other software trick is called Side Sense, and it’s a huge pain. Like Samsung’s Edge Sense, Sony has added extra features you can access by interacting with the very edge of the screen. You can bring up a quick app launcher, pull down the notification shade, save split-screen app combos, and more. Side Sense doesn’t lack for options. Unlike Samsung, Sony has completely botched how you launch it.

In theory, the left and right rails around the screen are touch-sensitive, so you can tap or swipe on the edges of the screen to activate Side Sense features. In practice, I can never get Side Sense to actually work. It almost never pops up when I’m trying to use it and — even worse — it somehow manages to pop up when I am not trying to trigger it.

Here’sHere’s an enduring mystery of the smartphone world: nearly every phone with a camera that’s worth a damn uses Sony’s sensors, and yet Sony itself has a terrible reputation when it comes to image quality on its own phones. With the Xperia 1, I think Sony is getting closer to knocking that monkey off its back. The images it produces are respectable, though still not as good as what you’ll get out of a OnePlus 7 Pro or Pixel 3.

There are three 12-megapixel sensors: a regular, a wide, and a 2X telephoto. I wish the telephoto had a little more zoom, but the wide is as fun as I expected. It’s fun, but the phones are only middling image quality. You do have the option to leave the distortion in if you want to capture as much of a scene as possible and then straighten it out in post. The Xperia 1 borrows eye-tracking autofocus from Sony’s actual cameras, and it works well. You can see the little green box that lets you know on which person the camera is focused.THE CAMERA IS RESPECTABLE, BUT NOT WHEN YOU CONSIDER THE PRICE OF THE PHONE

I am not in love with Sony’s camera software. The special modes are a little gimmicky, and its attempts at portrait mode are slightly embarrassing. But the camera launches quickly and takes photos reliably, which is (sadly) more than you can say about the Pixel 3. I truly dislike the 8-megapixel selfie camera, which creates downright terrible photos and has some of the most overbearing beauty filters I’ve ever tried.

Overall, I’d say Sony’s aim with its image processing is to preserve detail, but that also seems to mean its photos are too noisy. That would make sense in a Pro mode with RAW output, but Sony’s manual mode doesn’t offer that. And Sony’s manual mode is the only way to get real HDR results, which is a bummer because the auto-HDR that’s available on other Android phones produces much more pleasing images by default compared to the Xperia 1.

xperia 1 screen replacement

BEST SITES LIKE ALIEXPRESS FOR ONLINE SHOPPING

AliExpress is a massively popular Chinese online retail service owned by Alibaba Group. It was launched in 2010 and hasn’t stopped its journey to becoming the ‘biggest online marketplace of the world‘ ever-since. AliExpress stands toe-to-toe even with Amazon in terms of buyers worldwide. It offers wholesale goods at direct-to-consumer prices from Chinese sellers.

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It also works as a great dropshipping model for a lot of e-commerce entrepreneurs. Along with a lot of good sides, AliExpress has some cons as well. The biggest problem is the shipping time of AliExpress orders, which is pretty long considering the goods come from China. Also, some orders can be very expensive after shipping charges and taxes.

So, it is a good thing to have some AliExpress alternatives whenever you don’t like its services. That’s why we are telling you about 21 best sites like AliExpress. Some of these websites offer cheaper prices and faster shipping on certain products. And, you can also use them to maintain a nice profit margin for your dropshipping business.

1. LIGHTINTHEBOX

LightInTheBox is the perfect AliExpress alternative as it is also a Chinese e-Store. It sells hot and trending products across the globe. Their products range from phone and electronics to fashion, jewelry, shoes, bags, and many other items. You can find almost anything here at a very cheap price.

The delivery time of LightInTheBox is also similar to AliExpress as their warehouses are located only in China. But, you may get a faster shipping time due to having fewer orders to ship. You can pay for your orders with PayPal, Western Union, or your credit card.

2. WISH

Wish is a widely popular online marketplace where you can buy almost anything. From clothing to footwear, electronics, healthcare items, and many more things, you can get them all for an incredibly cheap price. They are also known to offer great deals and coupons to their new customers.

Their shipping time is also faster than AliExpress as their products come from sellers located in small countries. Wish also provides an advanced rating system that is very helpful for both the consumers as well as sellers. It helps promote good ones.

3. OVERSTOCK

Overstock is a US-based online marketplace. It makes profit by selling wholesale products at a highly cheap price tag. A major portion of their stock is comprised of overstock from the major retailers or their seconds. You can find some really amusing deals here. The shipping time will also be lower as compared to the Chinese marketplaces. You can get your items within a week.

The product range of Overstock is incredible. You can find everything such as clothing, decor, kitchen appliances, and many more items. You can even find furniture and other big home items. So, you can use to fill your house with great stuff at a reduced price.

4. DEALEXTREME (DX)

DealeXtreme, more popularly known as DX, is an amazing online marketplace. The website works in a very similar manner as ‘Wish’ and sells cheap products coming directly from sellers. It has partnered with many small businesses and sells its products to a wide base of audience.

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The shipping time is a problem with DX also because their warehouses are located in China. Apart from this, you can get some really worthy deals on DX. You should always keep an eye on their clearance sales for the best prices.

5. GEARBEST

Gearbest is the perfect AliExpress alternative if you are looking to shop for the latest gadgets or electronic devices. It works with over 5000 Chinese brands and top suppliers to deliver the best products. It has products from top Chinese companies such as Xiaomi, Huawei, Lenovo, and many others. But, it isn’t just an electronic store.

You can also find a massive range of other products as well. The prices available on GearBest are reduced, and you can even reduce them with the available coupons. They also have warehouses in multiple countries. So, you can get faster shipping from the local warehouse.

6. BANGGOOD

BangGood is another Chinese e-commerce platform that provides worldwide shipping of cheap goods. You can find almost anything on this website, from clothing to electronics, and even home items. The prices available are marked down from their original prices. You can also get amazing deals during special clearance sales.

BangGood provides a free $20 coupon to every new user. The shipping time for BangGood orders is faster than AliExpress for certain products. However, the regular shipping time is similar.

7. CHINABRANDS

ChinaBrands is a widely popular Chinese e-Store where you can buy products at wholesale prices. You can find almost anything on this website at a highly affordable price. Their shipping prices are also low but you will get a long shipping time. It is the perfect website for buyers who want the lowest prices but can wait for their orders for at least a month.

Most of the ChinaBrands sellers run their factories from China, and their warehouses are located there only. This is the reason for the considerably long shipping time.

8. BONANZA

Bonanza is a unique American online marketplace where you can find a great range of products. They have over 20 million items from more than 50,000 sellers. It is a growing e-commerce store where even you can sell your items. It is a preferred platform by more than 20,000 entrepreneurial sellers. You can find some really amazing handcrafted items and collectibles here.

For people looking to shop regular items, this store may disappoint you a little. The prices of some items may be a little higher than some Chinese stores. But, the quality provided will be worth it.

21 ALIEXPRESS ALTERNATIVE STORES

Here are 21 AliExpress Alternatives that you can use to shop online.

  1. LightInTheBox
  2. Wish
  3. Overstock
  4. DealXtreme (DX)
  5. GearBest
  6. BangGood
  7. ChinaBrands
  8. Bonanza
  9. DHGate
  10. TinyDeal
  11. Target
  12. MiniInTheBox
  13. GeekBuying
  14. Jet
  15. TomTop
  16. Target
  17. MadeInChina
  18. American Greenwood
  19. Walmart
  20. eBay
  21. Amazon

FINAL TAKE

AliExpress is amazing but it is always good to have options when you are shopping. So, these are the 21 best sites like AliExpress. If you ever feel like you should look somewhere else, these are some stores that you should visit. You can also use these for your dropshipping business if you are an aspiring entrepreneur. Make sure you have a solid plan before beginning.

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