Monday 25 February 2019 8:28 am

Sony taps into cinematic screens for the Xperia 1 smartphone

In a long-overdue revival of its smartphone line, Sony has attempted to utilise its history of producing high-quality cinema experiences to its advantage.

Launching its new premium flagship phone at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the Xperia 1 features a 21:9 aspect ratio screen at 6.5 inches tall, making it one of the longest phones on the market.

For comparison, that's an inch taller than the iPhone XS.

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Choosing to play to its strengths rather than compete for 5G and foldable phone titles with the likes of Samsung and Huawei, Sony said its new models will chase a cinematic feel for users.

Joined by its mid-range siblings the Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus, the Xperia 1's 21:9 screen is a 4K HD-ready OLED that uses Sony's Master Monitor colour reproduction technology developed for films.

The size will allow users to watch films in the same format as a cinema, removing the need for black spaces at the top and bottom as the screen stretches to fit. It's unlikely, however, that non-cinematic videos will be able to do the same.

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Keeping apace with the pack, the Xperia 1 has a triple-lens camera and the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip inside. It also has a fingerprint sensor on the side of the phone, which while ditching the in-screen approach taken by rivals, will be the first time Sony has featured biometric technology.

Sony said that alongside its own films, brands such as Netflix, Amazon's Prime Video and Youtube will all be offering content to match its 21:9 aspect ratio. Gamers are also coming on board, with the likes of Fortnite-creator Epic Games working on meeting the new format.

The Xperia 1 will start at £799, to be available in late spring.