The most important detail about the Sony Xperia 1 V is the new camera sensor

Sony has announced its latest flagship phone, the Xperia 1 V, the fifth iteration of a similar design. The 21:9 4K display and the glass monolith aesthetic will be familiar to anyone who has seen an Xperia 1 model before, and in terms of design, not much has changed.

That's something we've come to expect from Sony's range of Xperia devices, which, as regular as clockwork, are launched with a couple of updates to move these phones forward. The Xperia 1 set out its stall with that 4K display and it hasn't wavered: if you're looking for a device to natively play 4K content, the Xperia 1 V is it.

Sony's tagline for the phone is "Pro camera by Sony, in a smartphone". Admittedly, every brand pushes camera performance above everything else when it comes to smartphone launches and Sony is no different. The difference, however, is that Sony isn't just selling phones, it's selling camera sensors to pretty the entire industry.

Just as manufacturers boast about having a Samsung AMOLED panel for the display, they also announce the model of Sony sensor they are using. In the Xperia 1 V, it certainly feels like the new camera sensor is the most important part of the package.

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Sony Mobile

The Sony Xperia 1 V debuts the new Exmor T sensor for mobile. This new sensor provides the main 24mm camera for the phone and it differs because it is a stacked CMOS sensor with 2-Layer Transistor Pixel, according to Sony.

The photodiode and the transistor are on separate layers, whereas most are on the same layer and this is designed to reduce noise levels. Sony says that it's 2x better at low light shooting compared to Sony's previous sensor design. It's actually a 52-megapixel sensor, but it has a 48-megapixel effective area: it's multi-aspect, using different areas of the sensor of still and video capture respectively.

Sony, sadly, doesn't declare the model numbers of the sensors that it uses, so it might be some time before we discover exactly which sensor it is and whether anyone else is going to get to use it.

That's important, because the camera experience isn't just about the hardware - it's about what you do with it. Sony favours a natural camera setup, offering plenty of pro functions to reflect the Sony Alpha camera experience, although that might be changing, with the Sony Xperia 1 V claiming that AI is playing a bigger role in its camera than before.

In addition to the new main camera, there is a 12-megapixel ultrawide and 12-megapixel zoom and that's the clever lens offering variable zoom lengths - as found the Xperia 1 IV.

There's now a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 sitting at the core of this phone, with a 60 per cent larger heat diffuser sheet, powered by a 5000mAh battery, with 30W wired charging and 15W wireless charging.

The 6.5-inch 4K OLED display offers 120Hz refresh rates and 240Hz touch sampling, with Sony having gaming ambitions for this phone, while continuing to offer a 3.5mm headphone socket for your audio - on top of tech like LDAC and 360 Reality Audio to make everything sound great.

So much of this phone is a reflection of Sony's previous Xperia 1 models and we have no doubt that it will remain a great device for consuming media. The camera remains focused on the manual experience and the previous setup wasn't great for low light photos. Hopefully, this new sensor design will help boost this phones inherent abilities, regardless of how much computational wizardry Sony chooses, or chooses not, to use.

The Sony Xperia 1 V will cost £1299 and will be available from late June 2023. There will also be a pre-order offer for excellent Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones for free!