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WATCH: Sony Xperia 10 phone review

Sony has launched its latest smartphone bid to offer an alternative to the iPhone, Samsung and Huawei. At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, it unveiled four Xperia handsets, ditching its previous ‘XZ’ branding for the devices. The flagship model, the Xperia 1, now has three rear cameras and a 6.5-inch 4K Oled display. Sony has yet to release a price, although it is expected to be close to €1,000. Meanwhile, the Xperia 10 and 10 Plus handsets, with 6-inch and 6.5-inch displays, feature dual cameras on the back of the phone, although only the 10 Plus model uses an optical zoom. The second camera on the Xperia 10 is present to add depth of field, or ‘bokeh’, to photos. Sony is trying to position all three phones as ‘creator’ handsets. The company is making a point of the phones’ 21:9 ratio, making them considerably narrower than other phones on the market. The idea is that almost three quarters of new movies are now being made in the letterbox-like 21:9 format, with Sony keen to emphasise its film industry connections in this field. However, most television programmes are made in the boxier 16:9 format, meaning that most video watched on the phones will appear slightly smaller as each end of the phone will be redundant. One advantage to the narrow form factor is that apps toward the upper part of the screen can more easily be reached with a user’s thumb than on rival smartphones. However, all of the new models featured retain bezels (the ‘forehead’ and ‘chin’ parts of a phone between the screen and the edge), making them a little bigger than the latest high-end devices from rivals. Battery life on the new phones will be a factor to watch, with relatively modest battery sizes in each device. Sony says that it mitigates this with software safety controls that eke longer life out of the batteries. The Xperia 10, which is being launched in Ireland this week, is set to cost €329 while the Xperia 10 Plus is €399 and can be ordered online today. A fourth phone, the Xperia L3, will cost €199.

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