Sony Xperia 1 VI debuts with AI camera upgrades and strong telephoto zoom

The Sony Xperia 1 VI.
(Image credit: Sony)

What you need to know

  • Sony has launched the new flagship Xperia 1 VI, which features its camera, display, audio, and gaming improvements.
  • The device features a 6.5-inch display powered by BRAVA and boasts improvements for outdoor use alongside a low-power mode.
  • The Xperia 1 VI features a 50MP (48MP effective) main lens, a 12MP telephoto lens with up to 4cm zoom, and a 12MP ultrawide lens.
  • The device is available for pre-order for £1,299 ahead of its market debut in June.

Today (May 15), Sony is debuting its 2024 flagship phone, the Xperia 1 VI, which strongly focuses on gaming, audio, and display functionality.

Sony detailed the latest Xperia 1 VI in a press release, and we're kicking things off with its "smarter" display. According to the company, the Xperia 1 VI boasts a 6.5-inch BRAVIA-powered screen that is reportedly 1.5 times brighter than its predecessor. Sony has also worked on "Sunlight Vision," designed to give users more screen visibility when outside.

Powering the device's capabilities is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, however, Sony's in-house Exmor T sensor with AI processing helps its cameras. The company states that the flagship phone features a 52MP (48MP effective) primary lens, a 12MP telephoto lens, and a 12MP ultrawide lens.

The telephoto lens uses an x7.1 zoom with an 85mm to 170mm focal length alongside macro technology. Thanks to these advancements, users can go from a 2x zoom to a close 4cm zoom.

Additionally, the Xperia 1 VI offers AF tracking with "human pose estimation." Sony states this is done via an AI feature created by Alpha series cameras. The feature reportedly "recognizes" a human frame (skeleton) to provide the Xperia 1 VI with "precise" tracking even through objects that could cover a person's body.

The Sony Xperia 1 VI and the camera app's updated UI.

(Image credit: Sony)

A new camera app joins the improved camera functionality. Sony states it has pushed an update for the Xperia 1 VI's camera app that includes a "friendly" UI for seamless navigation. The update is designed to prioritize convenience for the user without tucking away any of its options for more creativity behind walls. Photographers will find color presets like "Creative Look" and shooting modes like PSM.

Touch tracking lets users customize their brightness and adjust colors, and the new Pro mode provides an array of detailed settings for video capture.

For gaming, Sony highlights the Xperia 1 VI's "FPS Optimizer." When used, the optimizer bolsters the device's CPU usage and frame rate based on the game. Inputs matter in gaming, so Sony has refined it by offering three tracking speeds and two levels of "tap accuracy."

Sony's latest flagship features improved sound, courtesy of the Premium Audio Circuit, crafted with 3.5mm headphones in mind. The company adds that the speaker unit's upgrades help reduce sound distortion at high volumes, and low-frequency output has received a tune-up.

Select wireless headphones are said to benefit from AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) for enhanced sound quality when outside in the city.

What will get your Xperia 1 VI through the day is a 5,000mAh battery. A new heat-dissipating component and low-power display consumption will aid the device in reaching nearly 36 hours of "continuous" video playback. Sony estimates the Xperia 1 VI can reach a 50% charge (30W) in just thirty minutes. Features like Battery Care and Xperia Adaptive Charging aid the device's battery to ensure its health.

Android 14 will await users out of the box, alongside three years of OS upgrades, and four years of security updates.

The Xperia 1 VI is on the way with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. The device is available today (May 15) for pre-order on Sony's U.K. website for £1,299 (roughly $1,646). The phone will hit the market in June and consumers can grab it in black, Khaki Green, and Platinum Silver colorways.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.