The best Sony phones offer a great balance of high-end flagship features with an affordable price tag. There are four main handsets to choose from if you're looking for a Sony Xperia phone, depending on whether you'd prefer excellent video features or a larger display.
While there are technically other handsets that could be considered some of the best Sony phones, most of these are getting pretty long in the tooth and you would struggle to find them being sold. However, the four Sony Xperia models currently available offer users a choice between pricier, flagship models and older handsets that have reduced in price.
If you don't quite find what you're looking for in our best Sony phone guide, why not take a gander at the best Samsung phones or the best iPhones for photography, as there are plenty of camera phone options to choose from!
Best Sony phones
The Sony Xperia 1 II is the best Sony phone for video pros and cinema buffs who want to get manual with their smartphone videography. It’s able to shoot footage at up to 21:9 for cinema style capture, offers full manual control and features a beautifully flat color profile, perfect for post-processing in Premiere Pro or Da Vinci Resolve. Thankfully, almost everything else about this phone is excellent too, with a striking 21:9, 4K HDR screen, a clean UI and a snappy chipset ensuring plenty of power under the hood. There are a number of welcome improvements over the original there’s no wireless charging. If you want the ultimate cinema experience, both from a content creation and consumption point of view, the Xperia 1 II is it.
In full: Sony Xperia 1 II review
The Sony Xperia 5 II is the latest Xperia smartphone from Sony, offering the great camera features found in the Xperia 1 II in a smaller body and a more affordable price. Featuring an upgraded chipset and camera from the previous generation, the Sony Xperia 5 II has a Full HD Plus screen (compared with the Xperia 1 II's 4K display) with a 120Hz refresh rate. This makes the Xperia 5 II perfect for watching movies, playing games and scrolling through apps, as users should have a smoother experience. Meanwhile, photography enthusiasts can take advantage of the excellent ZEISS imaging technology found in the Xperia 5 II's triple rear camera. If you're looking for a great handset that balances flagship-style features with affordability, you could do worse than the Sony Xperia 5 II, as this is definitely one of the best Sony phones around.
In full: Sony Xperia 5 II review
It might be a little long in the tooth compared to its newer Xperia 1 II sibling, but the original Sony Xperia 1 still packs a punch as one of the best Sony phones – and at a much more affordable price too. We've often found that one of the best ways to get a great deal on technology is to purchase an older generation. While you might not get the latest up-to-date features, you'll usually find that there's not that much difference between the two models. The original Sony Xperia 1 still features a 4K notch-free HDR 21:9 screen that's perfect for viewing movies or playing games. It even has a triple-12MP rear camera array (although it's missing the ZEISS optical coating that the Xperia 1 II features). If you're looking for an older flagship for a great price, this is definitely a good investment.
In full: Sony Xperia 1 review
Looking for a camera phone that's compact and capable for a reasonable price? The original Sony Xperia 5 is still one of the best Sony phones – especially if you're interesting in shooting video. Featuring a 21L9 OLED display, the Samsung Xperia 5 has the same triple camera unit as the Xperia 1, but it features 4K HDR and the Cinema Pro app, which adds manual cine camera-like controls. There's even an automated pull-focus feature! When the Sony Xperia 5 was first launched, its $799/ £699 price tag meant that it wasn't fantastic value for money. However, now that there's a newer generation hogging the spotlight, you can pick up the Xperia 5 at a pretty good price.
In full: Sony Xperia 5 review