(Pocket-lint) - Sony Mobile revealed the next generation of its flagship Xperia 1 4K smartphone during a virtual press conference at the end of February.

Following the naming structure of the Sony Alpha cameras, the latest device is called the Xperia 1 II and it offers a very similar design to its predecessor but with a few upgrades. 

Here's how the Sony Xperia 1 II and the Sony Xperia 1 compare.

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What's the same?

  • Display
  • Triple rear camera
  • Fingerprint sensor 

The Sony Xperia 1 II offers the same Omnibalance design we have come to expect from Sony Xperia devices, with a metal frame sandwiched between two glass panels like the Xperia 1. There are some differences, which we will go into in a minute, but it's clear the Xperia 1 II and Xperia 1 are part of the same family.

Both devices are IP65/68 water and dust resistant and both have a 6.5-inch CinemaWide display with a 4K resolution and a 21:9 aspect ratio. The Xperia 1 II and Xperia 1 also both have a triple rear camera, single front camera, fingerprint sensor and a number of Sony technologies including Stamina Mode for the battery. 

What's different?

Despite looking similar and sharing many of the same technologies, there are a few differences between the Xperia 1 II and Xperia 1 which are worth considering if you are planning to upgrade or choosing between the two models.

Design

  • Xperia 1 II: 166 × 72 × 7.9mm, 181g
  • Xperia 1: 167 x 72 x 8.2mm, 178g

The Xperia 1 II has squarer edges than the Xperia 1, though the overall tall and slender look is shared between the two handsets, with both measuring 72mm in height.

The Xperia 1 II is ever so slightly narrower and slimmer than the Xperia 1 however, and a little heavier. It also sees the reintroduction of the 3.5mm headphone jack and it repositions the rear camera housing from the centre to the top left of the handset, as it was on previous Xperia handsets before the Xperia 1.

Display

  • Xperia 1 II: 6.5-inch, 4K, HDR, 21:9, CineAlta, Motion Blur Reduction
  • Xperia 1: 6.5-inch, 4K, HDR, 21:9, CineAlta

Although the Xperia 1 II and the Xperia 1 have the same size and resolution display, the Xperia 1 II adds a couple of extras. Both devices have the Creator mode "powered by CineAlta", which is designed to deliver a true representation of colours like a Master Monitor, and they are both HDR compatible.

The Xperia 1 II has also a feature called Motion Blur Reduction though, which aims to deliver visuals like a 90Hz display. 

Camera

  • Xperia 1 II: Triple rear + ToF sensor, single front 
  • Xperia 1: Triple rear, single front

Both the Xperia 1 II and the Xperia 1 feature a triple rear camera made up of three 12-megapixel sensors, though the Xperia 1 II adds a Time of Flight sensor too. It also builds on the camera features offered by the Xperia 1, including a Photo Pro mode with a visual layout that reflects the user interface of the Sony Alpha 9.

There's also a 20fps burst mode that can give you autofocus and auto exposure with subject tracking through the burst.

Both the Xperia 1 II and the Xperia 1 have an 8-megapixel front camera. 

Hardware

  • Xperia 1 II: Qualcomm SD865, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage
  • Xperia 1: Qualcomm SD855, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage

As you would expect, the Xperia 1 II runs on the latest processor - the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 - with the X55 modem, allowing for 5G connectivity. The Xperia 1 meanwhile, runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 and offers 4G LTE connectivity.

There is also a little extra RAM in the Xperia 1 II at 8GB compared to 6GB in the Xperia 1 and the 2020 device offers double the internal storage too at 256GB over 128GB. Both handsets have microSD support for storage expansion, but the Xperia 1 II supports up to 1TB cards, while the Xperia 1 supports up to 512GB cards.

Battery

  • Xperia 1 II: 4000mAh battery, wireless charging
  • Xperia 1: 3330mAh battery, no wireless charging

The Xperia 1 II comes with a larger battery capacity than the Xperia 1, offering a 4000mAh cell over the 3330mAh battery in the 2019 model. That's not the only differences in the battery department though.

The Xperia 1 II finally sees Sony offer wireless charging - a feature the Xperia 1 notably leaves off its spec sheet, despite many competitors offering the technology. USB Type-C charging is on board both devices and both have technology like Sony's Stamina Mode as we mentioned previously.

Price

Sony hasn't revealed how much the Xperia 1 II will cost as yet, though we'd expect it to sit around the same price as the Xperia 1 launched at. 

The Xperia 1 cost £849 when it first arrived. We'd expect the price to drop when the Xperia 1 II becomes available however.

Conclusion

The Sony Xperia 1 II builds upon the Xperia 1, offering a more advanced processor, more RAM, more storage and a larger battery - all of which you would expect from a succeeding flagship. Sony has also refined the design though, reintroduced the 3.5mm headphone jack and enhanced the camera capabilities.

The display is pretty much the same between the two handsets and the software experience will be pretty much identical too, aside from a few extra features on the Xperia 1 II.

On paper, the Xperia 1 II is the device to go for, depending on how much the Xperia 1 drops in price when the 2020 device arrives on shelves, but we will update this feature when we have reviewed it in full. 

Writing by Britta O'Boyle.