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Sony Xperia 1 V Review

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Sony’s smartphones have a specialised focus on photo and video, but this causes them to lack in mainstream appeal. On top of that, these phones are more costly than even the highest-end iPhones. The latest Xperia 1 V still follows this trend, being priced at $1,399, which is $200 less than the previous model, but it is still costly. In the UK and Europe, the price remains the same, sitting at £1,299 and €1,399 respectively.

The Xperia 1 V has plenty of desirable qualities and some extraordinary characteristics that are not always available on top-of-the-line smartphones, however it may not be the best fit for everyone.

Design and Display

The Xperia 1 V has a distinctively tall and slender profile that is easily identifiable as a Sony phone. When I first picked it up, I was impressed by how well it fit in my hand and how lightweight it was. The back is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus but it does not feel or look like glass. Together with the textured pattern on the aluminium frame, the phone has a robust and sophisticated look that is unlikely to slip from the user’s grip. Additionally, the finish is resistant to fingerprints.

At the top of the phone, there is a 3.5-mm headphone jack, which is not common among today’s flagships. All the buttons are found on the right side, with the power button serving double duty as a fingerprint sensor and a camera shutter button. You can open a flap at the bottom to access the SIM tray and a microSD card slot, which is another rarity in modern top-end phones. This allows for expansion of the 256 GB of internal storage. The Xperia 1 V also has an IP65/IP68 rating, meaning it is able to withstand water submersion and rain.

The side-mounted fingerprint sensor on the Xperia 1 V is prone to being accidentally triggered when placing the phone in and out of one’s pocket. Additionally, the phone’s height can make it difficult to pull down the notification shade with a single hand. To counteract these issues, Sony has implemented Side Sense, a customisable feature that allows users to access all their apps and settings with just their thumb.

The 6.5-inch OLED screen is the star of the show, featuring a 4K resolution, HDR10 support, and a 120-Hz refresh rate. Sony has maintained the 21:9 aspect ratio and installed slim bezels around the top and bottom to make space for the front-facing stereo speakers and the selfie camera. Topping it off, Sony’s Creator Mode picture setting provides true-to-life colours “as the directors intended,” resulting in a top-notch movie-watching experience on a smartphone. When not watching a movie, it’s recommended to switch off Creator Mode and opt for the brighter, more vibrant Standard Mode, as the picture can appear a bit washed out otherwise. Although the brightness isn’t the highest, the display is still visible when exposed to direct sunlight.

Processor and Battery

I experienced a worrying moment while setting up the Xperia 1 V, as it suddenly became extremely hot and froze; however, during my two weeks of testing, performance was smooth. It was a relief to discover that the new model did not inherit the overheating issues of its predecessor, the Xperia IV. It is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, supported by 12 GB of RAM. Although the phone became somewhat warm while shooting video, it never became uncomfortably hot. I tested various games such as Mega Mall Story 2, Real Racing 3, and Kingdom Rush Frontiers for a few hours, and the device stayed cool throughout.

The battery on the Xperia 1 V, boasting a capacity of 5,000 mAh, performed better than expected. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that after a typical day of web browsing, messaging, a few calls, and a few hours of playing games, the battery still had around 50% remaining. This device will undoubtedly last through a hectic day, and you might just get two out of it if you’re lucky. You can get 50% charge in just half an hour, but if you’re starting from zero, it’ll take a full 93 minutes to reach 100%. Plus, it’s compatible with wireless charging.

Camera

Sony is renowned for manufacturing superior camera sensors, but its own phones don’t always live up to the standard. The Xperia 1 V boasts a triple-camera setup that is capable of capturing great images, however, it requires a little bit of know-how when it comes to using the app. It features a 52-MP primary camera, a 12-MP telephoto and a 12-MP ultrawide, while a 12-MP selfie camera is located on the front.

The shots taken from the primary lens are sharp and captivatingly detailed. Sony has opted for a realistic appearance with color accuracy that is truly remarkable. I find the physical shutter button to be rather convenient. By simply squeezing it, it will focus and by pressing it all the way, you can take a photo. It can also be used as a quick way to start the camera application. Although the wide-angle and telephoto lenses are not as detailed as the main lens, they can still be utilized to take photographs of expansive scenes or to focus on subjects that are far away.

By default, the camera app is set to Basic mode; however, there is an additional row of icons that are not explicitly described. If you switch to Auto mode, the app will be able to recognize the scene and choose the necessary settings. If you are experienced, you may opt for Program mode to manage the settings, except for shutter speed. Additionally, you can also choose “shutter speed priority” to capture fast-moving objects or “manual exposure” to control shutter speed and ISO sensitivity.

Experienced photographers or those who have used a Sony camera will find this camera relatively straightforward; however, everyone else should anticipate a period of adaptation. I frequently found myself struggling with the settings, which caused me to miss certain shots. Thankfully, the camera has a convenient recall feature that allows one to save three configurations of settings. Nevertheless, this camera is not very user-friendly. People who just want to point and shoot should look for an alternative.

Sony’s Xperia 1 V offers a Night mode, their first, and it does a reasonable job, yet still needs you to remain still to dodge any blurring. When it is totally dark, you can anticipate lights to be overly bright, and it does not appear to match the top abilities of Samsung and Google. The Portrait mode also appears to be unreliable.

The Photo Pro, Video Pro, and Cinema Pro apps provide granular controls for those who need to livestream or shoot high-quality video. For the majority of users, the Xperia 1 V’s regular video recording capability is sufficient; it can capture up to 4K at 120fps, and the videos I took were of good quality. Videographers may appreciate the option of using the phone as an external monitor, eliminating the need to lug around additional equipment.

 

The only thing that comes in the box is the phone itself, not even a charging cable. Sony has yet to make any comment about software support (I’ve asked, but haven’t received a response). Most likely, you can expect two Android OS upgrades and three years of security patches. This is not satisfactory for such an expensive phone.

Both Samsung and Google offer five years of security patches, with four and three OS upgrades respectively. This allows users to keep their phones for an extended period. Sony’s software approach is relatively minimal with little bloatware.

The Xperia 1 V’s price tag is a major downside. Most of the devices suggested in our Best Android Phones guide are more affordable. If you watch a lot of films with your phone, enjoy manual camera adjustments, shoot videos frequently, and really need a headphone jack, this device could be a good option. Nevertheless, it is too expensive for the majority of people.

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Honor 200 Pro Review

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The Honor 200 trio, originally launched in China, is now making waves globally with the release of the Honor 200 and Honor 200 Pro, joining the previously announced Honor 200 Lite. Today, we dive into the Honor 200 Pro, a device that clearly deserves a worldwide audience.

Body and Design

The Honor 200 Pro boasts dimensions of 163.3 x 75.2 x 8.2mm and a weight of 199g, featuring a glass front and back with a plastic frame. It offers IP65 dust and water resistance, adding a layer of durability. The design continues the aesthetic from the Honor 100 Pro with a capsule-shaped camera module, branded as the ‘Realm of Art.’ The white variant we reviewed has a water-flow-like texture under the back cover, providing a sophisticated yet unique tactile feel.

The 200 Pro’s 6.78-inch Quad-edge-curved OLED display has minimal curvature at the top and bottom, enhancing visual appeal without compromising color accuracy at the edges. The phone is lightweight, thanks to its 5200mAh battery, which is larger than many of its competitors, like the Xiaomi Civi 4 Pro.

Despite its elegance, the plastic outer frame feels somewhat inconsistent with the premium design. Available in Black, Silver, Green, and Pink, the Honor 200 Pro offers a variety of finishes to suit different tastes.

Display

The 6.78-inch OLED display of the Honor 200 Pro features a resolution of 1224 x 2700 pixels (437ppi), supporting 10-bit color depth, a 120Hz refresh rate, HDR, and an impressive peak brightness of 4,000 nits. While manual maximum brightness reaches 614 nits, automatic peak brightness can go up to 1,110 nits, which is below some flagships but still impressive for HDR content.

The screen is equipped with adaptive 3840Hz PWM dimming, providing excellent flicker control. Honor’s Eye Comfort Display technology, along with the HONOR Oasis Eye Protection, adjusts the screen’s color temperature based on the ambient light and usage scenarios, ensuring a comfortable viewing experience.

Performance

Powered by the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 chipset, the Honor 200 Pro performs admirably in everyday use and gaming. It features an octa-core CPU (1×3.0 GHz Cortex-X4, 4×2.8 GHz Cortex-A720, and 3×2.0 GHz Cortex-A520) and an Adreno 735 GPU. Although not the highest in its class, the chipset ensures smooth performance across most applications and games.

Memory options range from 12GB RAM with 256GB or 512GB storage to 16GB RAM with 512GB or 1TB storage, providing ample space for apps and media.

Camera

The Honor 200 Pro’s camera system is a standout feature. It includes a 50 MP main sensor, a 50 MP telephoto lens with 2.5x optical zoom, and a 12 MP ultra-wide lens. The front camera also boasts a 50 MP sensor for high-quality selfies.

In terms of performance, the main camera uses the H9000 flagship sensor, delivering sharp and vibrant images. The telephoto camera, debuting the Sony IMX856 sensor, offers excellent zoom capabilities. The ultra-wide camera, though modest, includes autofocus for macro shots.

The camera setup is complemented by features like the AUTHENTIC color mode and collaborations with Studio Harcourt Paris for unique portrait modes, enhancing the overall photography experience.

Battery and Charging

The Honor 200 Pro is equipped with a 5200mAh Silicon-Carbon battery, offering substantial longevity. It supports 100W wired charging and 66W wireless charging. In our tests, the phone charged from 0 to 100% in about 48 minutes with the wired charger included in the box. The phone also supports High-Power PPS protocol, ensuring compatibility with various fast-charging accessories.

Software

Running on Android 14 with MagicOS 8, the Honor 200 Pro offers a seamless and customizable user experience. MagicOS 8 includes features like large folders, widgets, and the iOS-like Magic Capsule notification system. Honor promises four major OS updates and five years of security patches, ensuring long-term support.

Verdict

The Honor 200 Pro is a well-rounded smartphone that balances design, performance, and features. It stands out with its impressive camera system, excellent display, and fast charging capabilities. While the plastic frame might feel less premium, the overall build quality and design are commendable. As it enters the global market, the Honor 200 Pro is poised to be a strong contender in the mid-range segment, offering a blend of features that are hard to match at its price point.

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HTC U24 Pro Specifications

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Design and Dimensions

Dimensions: 167.1 x 74.9 x 8.98 mm

Weight: 198.7 grams

Display

The HTC U24 Pro features a 6.8-inch OLED display with a 20:9 aspect ratio and FHD+ resolution of 1080 x 2436 pixels. The screen supports a 120 Hz variable refresh rate for smooth visuals and is protected by Gorilla® Glass.

Camera System

The device is equipped with a versatile camera setup:

Main Camera: 50 MP with EIS and 4K OIS video recording.

Telephoto Camera: 50 MP with 2x optical zoom.

Wide-angle and Depth Camera: 8 MP.

Front Camera: 50 MP with auto-focus and real-time portrait mode.

Additional camera features include AI scene detection, Auto HDR, Pro mode (RAW), timelapse, beauty mode, portrait mode, night mode, motion photo, panorama mode, AI group photo, and AI gesture controls.

 

Operating System

The HTC U24 Pro runs on Android 14, providing the latest features and security updates.

 

Chipset

Powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon® 7 Gen 3 Mobile Platform, the HTC U24 Pro ensures robust performance for multitasking and gaming.

 

Memory and Storage

The device includes 12 GB of DDR5 RAM and 256 GB of UFS 3.1 ROM, with the option to expand storage via a microSD card.

 

Battery and Charging

The HTC U24 Pro is equipped with a 4,600 mAh battery. It supports 60 W fast charging, 15 W wireless charging, and 5 W reverse wireless charging.

 

Battery Performance

The phone supports Power Delivery 3.0 and Quick Charge 4.0 for up to 60 W charging. Wireless charging capabilities include 15 W standard and 5 W reverse charging. Battery life includes up to 12.5 hours of HD video playback and up to 10.9 hours of internet use over Wi-Fi.

Protection

The smartphone boasts an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance and features Gorilla® Glass for added durability.

 

Inputs and Connectivity

The device includes a 3.5 mm audio jack and a USB-C port. It supports 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, and NFC for seamless connectivity.

 

SIM and Networking

The HTC U24 Pro supports dual nano SIM cards with dual standby. It includes a SIM card manager for easy mobile data connection setup. The device supports a wide range of network bands across 2G, 3G, 4G LTE, and 5G NR.

 

Location and Sensors

Location services are supported by internal GPS with Glonass, A-GPS, Galileo, and Beidou. The phone includes various sensors such as ambient light, proximity, motion G-sensor/accelerometer, compass, gyro, and a fingerprint sensor.

 

Audio and Video Formats

The HTC U24 Pro supports various audio playback formats (.3gp, .aac, .amr, .flac, .mp3, .mid, .ogg, .wav) and recording formats (.amr, .3gpp, .aac, .wav). Video playback formats include (.mp4, .3gp, .flv, .mkv, .webm, .mpg, .3g2) and recording in .mp4.

The HTC U24 Pro is a comprehensive smartphone featuring a high-resolution OLED display, powerful Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 chipset, versatile camera system, and robust battery with fast charging capabilities. Its IP67 rating and Gorilla® Glass protection add durability, while extensive connectivity options and sensor suite ensure a modern and versatile user experience.

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HTC A101 Plus Specifications

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Display

The HTC A101 Plus features an 11.0-inch MIPI INCELL display with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels, providing a Full HD experience with a pixel density of 226 PPI. The large 11-inch screen is ideal for watching videos, browsing photos, and viewing documents, offering an excellent visual experience at a refresh rate of 60 Hz.

 

Dimensions and Weight

Size: 256.6 x 168.2 x 7.5 mm

Weight: 501 grams

 

Operating System

The device runs on Android 14.0, providing the latest features and updates.

 

Processor

Powered by the Unisoc T606 processor, the HTC A101 Plus includes a combination of two Cortex-A75 cores clocked at 1.6 GHz and six Cortex-A55 cores also clocked at 1.6 GHz, ensuring efficient performance.

 

Camera

Main Camera

Resolution: 13 MP

Features: Auto-focus, f/2.2 aperture, single LED flash, timer up to 10 seconds, FHD 1080p video recording, Video Pic (capture photos while recording)

 

Sub-Camera

Resolution: 2 MP

Features: f/2.8 aperture, macro functionality

 

Front Camera

Resolution: 8 MP

Features: Fixed-focus, f/2.2 aperture, face detection, AI face unlock, FHD 1080p video recording, Video Pic (capture photos while recording)

Battery

Capacity: 7000 mAh

Charging: 5V/2A

SIM and Mobile Networking

SIM Card: Nano SIM with dual standby

Mobile Networking: Dual LTE support

2G/2.5G (GSM/GPRS/EDGE): GSM850/900/1800/1900

3G (UMTS): WCDMA850/900/1700/1900/2100

4G LTE:

FDD: Bands 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/20/28AB

TDD: Bands 38/40/41

Data Rates: Cat.4 download up to 150 Mbps, upload up to 75 Mbps

 

Buttons, Keys, and Ports

Controls: Volume +/-, Power on/off, Reset

Ports: USB Type-C with OTG support

 

Memory

RAM: 8 GB

ROM: 128 GB

Expandable Memory: Supports microSD cards up to 256 GB

 

Location

GPS: Internal GPS antenna with GLONASS and Galileo support via software

 

Sensors

  • Gravity sensor
  • Gyroscope sensor
  • Acceleration sensor

 

Connectivity

Bluetooth: 5.0

Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz)

Other: OTG support

 

Audio and Video Formats

Audio Playback: .3gp, .3gpp, .aac, .mp3, .mid, .ogg, .wav (AAC and WMA licenses required)

Audio Recording: .amr, .3gpp, .mp3

Video Playback: .3gp, .mp4, .avi

Video Recording: .mp4

 

The HTC A101 Plus is a robust device featuring a large 11-inch Full HD display, efficient Unisoc T606 processor, and ample memory and storage options. Its dual SIM capability with comprehensive network support makes it versatile for mobile connectivity. With a high-capacity 7000 mAh battery, extensive camera features, and modern connectivity options, the HTC A101 Plus is well-suited for both entertainment and productivity.

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