Sony Xperia 1 II review

With its pro image and video capture features, the Sony Xperia 1 II is out to seduce the most demanding camera enthusiasts

Sony Xperia 1 II review
(Image: © Future)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Sony Xperia 1 II stands out from the crowd by offering a photo and video capture experience tailored towards enthusiasts and pros. If you fit this niche and prioritize pro camera features and image accuracy above all else, the Xperia 1 II is definitely worth shortlisting. However, a more typical user is likely to find a rival phone like the S20 Ultra or P40 Pro gives slightly more pleasing images, even if they're not quite as true to life.


  • +

    Stunning screen

  • +

    Advanced photo and video features

  • +

    Big improvement in battery capacity


  • -

    Image quality good, not great

  • -

    'Only' 3x optical zoom

  • -

    Some features of limited appeal

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

In the cut-throat smartphone world, you have to innovate or die. With Sony continuing to face fierce competition from the likes of Apple, Samsung, Google and OnePlus in the high-end sector, the company has carved out a niche for its flagship Xperia 1 series: make it appeal to pro photographers and videographers. 2019's original Xperia 1 set the initial bar high in this regard, incorporating pro-level camera and video features not seen in the flagship sector. The Xperia 1 II (pronounced Xperia 1 mark II) carries on where the original Xperia 1 left off, being positioned not as just a camera phone, but rather a device with features that draws tech and can complement Sony's RX line of premium compact cameras, and even the company's high end Alpha interchangeable lens cameras. Sony even claims the Xperia 1 II has been developed with significant input from the company's Alpha camera division.

But is all this enough to justify the hefty £1,099/$1,199.99 RRP?

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Ben Andrews

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.