Sony Xperia 1 VI review: 85-170mm zoom meets class-leading macro

Sony combines showstopping continuous zoom tech with macro capture and 120fps video across all its cameras on the Xperia 1 VI

A photo of a black Sony Xperia 1 VI smartphone
(Image: © Basil Kronfli)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Xperia 1 VI is a technology showcase with its continuous zoom camera and macro performance. Sony has missed a trick by not readying pro video features for launch, but with an external monitor and recording functionality, an improved aspect ratio for photographs and 16:9 video, and excellent performance, the 1 VI is a great phone, even if its high price will turn many off.


  • +

    Traditional photography processing

  • +

    External monitor/recorder for Sony cameras

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    Excellent performance and battery life

  • +

    120fps 4K video from all rear cameras

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    Impressive macro performance


  • -

    Ultra-wide/zoom cameras struggle with noise

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    Ultra-wide isn't particularly ultra-wide

  • -

    Very expensive

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    No pro-grade video mode at launch

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Sony's flagship Xperia 1 line has offered pro photo and video features and a 21:9 4K screen for years, but for its 2024 installment, the Xperia 1 VI, Sony has made an altogether more mainstream phone. While competitor devices like the Xiaomi 14 Ultra are leaning into advanced manual photo and video capture with variable apertures, 1-inch sensors and LOG mode, Sony seems to be playing it a bit safe with the Xperia 1 VI, at least on paper.

Costing £1,299, which is roughly $1,650 or AU$2470, the Sony Xperia 1 VI is significantly more expensive than an iPhone 15 Pro Max with the same 256GB storage.

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Basil Kronfli

Basil Kronfli is a freelance technology journalist, consultant, and content creator. He trained in graphic design and started his career at Canon Europe before moving into journalism. Basil is also experienced in video production, independently running the YouTube channel TechEdit, and during his time at Future, he worked alongside the Digital Camera World team as a senior video producer.