Sony has unveiled a new range of smartphones during its annual keynote at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow in Barcelona. And in amongst the onslaught of foldable phones, 5G-enabled handsets and smartphones with five cameras, the Tokyo-based company has brought something truly unique.
Sony has fitted all of its latest smartphones with unusually tall displays. The new Xperia 10, Xperia 10 Plus and flagship Xperia 1 all bear the same 21:9 aspect ratio. If those numbers sound at all familiar, it's because it's the standard in cinemas.
As such, the Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus will not have a black bar at the top and bottom of the movie or television show – the content fills the entire display. While that's possible on rival handsets, they have to cut-off part of the image to do it.
If you're always catching up with the latest Hollywood releases on the tube every morning, or bingeing on the boxset that everyone is talking about on a longhaul flight – the new Sony Xperia range could be a good choice. Netflix has already confirmed support for the 21:9 aspect ratio.
The Xperia 10 has a 6-inch Full HD display, while the Xperia 10 Plus boasts a 6.5-inch Full HD display. While that might seem like a marginal difference on paper, in the hand, the Xperia 10 Plus feels considerably larger. It's worth keeping in mind that while the 21:9 aspect ratio makes this ideal for watching movies in landscape mode, it does mean the device is way taller than its rivals in a portrait orientation.
According to Sony, the tall display is ideal as it means the device isn't too wide to make one-handed typing a gruelling gymnastics routine for your thumb – unlike the vast majority of other 6.5-inch handsets on the market – while the tall screen works perfectly to run two apps at the same time stacked on-top of one another.
In fact, Sony is so sure that you'll want to compose an email in the lower-half of the screen without interrupting Killing Eve in the video app at the top of the screen that it has added a standalone Split Screen app to quickly launch multi-tasking. Tapping on the app, you'll then have to pick two apps from the homescreen to run simultaneously. While the new Xperia handsets still support the standard Android short to start multi-tasking, this new app should make it easier for those who are new to the Google mobile OS.
Elsewhere, the new Xperia 10 models use Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back to protect those 21:9 displays from scuffs and scratches. But the display is only half the story. Sony has done a considerable amount of work to ensure the audio performance compliments the expansive cinema-like screen. Both Xperia 10 and 10 Plus use the Sony’s High-Resolution Audio and LDAC out of the box, to improve music playback in your headphones, even if you're listening wirelessly.
Sony has fitted its new Xperia smartphones with a dual rear-mounted camera system. As you'd expect, the camera can capture video footage in native 21:9 which is sure to appeal to those who fancy themselves as the next Quentin Tarantino.
The dual-cameras can be used to add bokeh-style blur behind the subject of your photograph. The Xperia 10 uses a combination of a 13-megapixel and 5-megapixel camera to achieve this feat, while the Xperia 10 Plus has a 12-megapixel and 8-megapixel set-up. The Xperia 10 Plus also boasts 2x optical zoom.
Powering the Sony Xperia 10 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 chipset coupled with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of in-built storage. It also packs a 2,870mAh battery and will ship in Navy, Black, Silver and Pink colours.
Meanwhile, the larger Xperia 10 Plus uses a beefier Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in storage. Sony has used a 3,000mAh battery. Xperia 10 Plus will be available in Navy, Black, Silver and Gold.
Both Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus ship with Android 9.0 Pie, keep the 3.5mm headphone port in its rightful place, and support up to 512GB of expandable storage via the MicroSD card slot. A dual-SIM variant will also be available.
“Our super mid-range line introduces our premium Sony innovations in our most accessible way possible.” said Mitsuya Kishida, President at Sony Mobile Communications. “Our new 21:9 Wide display offers edge-to-edge entertainment in a sleek and slender hand-fit design.”
Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus are available to buy today, February 25, 2019 from all major UK operators and retailers, including EE, Vodafone, O2, Carphone Warehouse, Virgin, Sky Mobile, and Tesco.
The Xperia 10 is priced at £299 SIM-free, while the Xperia 10 Plus will set you back £349 SIM-free. Customers buying SIM-free will also receive a free pair of Sony Bluetooth wireless headphones (WI-C300) in black worth £50.