The Sony Xperia 1 is apparently going to hit the UK market in a couple of months. The launch date has not yet been directly confirmed by the Japanese OEM, but UK-based retailer Clove is now listing the device online, revealing that it will arrive stock at the end of May.
The device can now be pre-ordered from Clove for the price of £849 ($1,111) including VAT. This is £50 ($65) more than the Samsung Galaxy S10 or £50 ($65) less than the Galaxy S10+ model offered by the same retailer, specifically for the variants with 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. The Sony Xperia 1 can be pre-ordered from Clove in Black, White, Gray, and Purple, with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of built-in storage.
It might be a difficult sell given this price comparison, but Sony's Xperia series has enjoyed a bit of success in the UK over the years and last year it continued to surpass brands such as LG and Motorola in terms of market share – according to Statista. Sony's smartphones seemingly have a small but dedicated fan base in the UK but the market is still largely dominated by Apple and Samsung.
Clove's shipping date might be subject to change but assuming it has been set in stone, the Samsung Galaxy S10 series will also benefit from a two-month head start since it's already shipping to customers.
What could help Sony is the fact that the Xperia 1 represents a notable refresh compared to last year's flagship model, and this is denoted by the new moniker which abandons the "XZ" branding. The new flagship is the world's first mobile device to employ a 4K OLED HDR display and has an unusually-tall 21:9 aspect ratio.
Likewise, the Sony Xperia 1 is the world's first smartphone to adopt Eye Autofocus and prides itself with a new main camera configuration based on three sensors. The camera array has been developed in conjunction with Sony's Alpha team, and this is something that has never happened before due to prior internal competition between the OEM's different branches – as detailed in a recent interview with the Senior Manager of Global Marketing, Adam Marsh.
Sony appears to be quite confident in its latest flagship or at least the design decisions it took to create it, but still, the OEM doesn't expect the Xperia 1 to be for everyone. As admitted by Sony, the new flagship is primarily aimed at prospective buyers who are interested in mobile photography and video.
The latest model makes use of Gorilla Glass 6 on the front and back for a relatively tamed glass sandwich design. It hasn't jumped on the display notch bandwagon and instead it features a relatively thick top bezel compared to other flagships, but arguably this could be a better choice.
As for other hardware specs, the Sony Xperia 1 is powered by the Snapdragon 855 chipset solution from Qualcomm, it has a microSD card slot able to read cards with up to 512GB capacity, a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, and relies on a 3,330mAh battery with 18W fast charging. The selfie camera has an 8MP resolution and supports HDR.