GPU Performance

3D performance of the Xperia 1 is dictated by both the SoC’s GPU and power efficiency, as well as the device’s thermal dissipation design. I found Sony’s design quite weird in this regard as there’s some discrepancy in terms of the resulting thermal performance. For one the SoC is seemingly located on the right next to the cameras which is by far the phone’s hottest hot-spot during heavy operation. I found that however this heat isn’t nearly as well dissipated to the whole body of the phone as other designs, and there’s a big delta between the skin temperature near the SoC and the bottom half of the phone.

3DMark Sling Shot 3.1 Extreme Unlimited - Physics

In the 3DMark physics test, the CPU throttling situation was actually quite dire as the phone lost more than half of its peak performance during prolonged thermal loads, which is the worst showing of a Snapdragon 855 phone yet, at least in terms of the CPU behaviour.

3DMark Sling Shot 3.1 Extreme Unlimited - Graphics

However when looking at the GPU behaviour, we’re seeing the Xperia 1 not faring nearly as badly, with the phone only trailing the OnePlus 7 Pro which had exemplary throttling behaviour.

GFXBench Aztec Ruins - High - Vulkan/Metal - Off-screen GFXBench Aztec Ruins - Normal - Vulkan/Metal - Off-screen GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 Off-screen GFXBench T-Rex 2.7 Off-screen

The figures continue in a similar pattern for all our other GPU-bound 3D tests, showcasing that the Xperia 1 is surprisingly able to maintain quite high GPU performance even though its thermal dissipation design isn’t the best. It’s an interesting juxtaposition between how the CPU throttles and how the GPU throttles, and it’s obvious the GPU is being given more leeway in terms of the peak temperatures it’s allowed to reach.

Overall, unless your game is quite CPU intensive, the Xperia 1 should offer still quite excellent gaming experience. It’s to be also noted that even though the device does have a 4K screen, games will be rendered at 1440p which is less demanding. Sony doesn’t offer any gaming tools which could further optimise performance or the experience – for example I think the phone would have greatly benefited from a 1080p gaming mode, however the Xperia 1 has to rely on actual games resolution scaling to further improve performance if necessary.

Another gaming aspect of the Xperia 1 that is unique to Sony’s phones is the fact that the phone out of the box supports PS4 remote play, in which your PlayStation 4 is able to stream the game to your phone. You’re also able to pair up with the DualShock 4 game controller -  the combination definitely is an interesting. (Note: Yes it’s also possible to do this on non-Sony devices with a modified APK)

System Performance Display Measurement - Professional 4K Screen?
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  • yetanotherhuman - Friday, July 26, 2019 - link

    I'd rather they'd bring back the Compact series, and don't compromise it this time with lacking headphone jack and so on. The last one they made was super thick and yet lacked a headphone jack or wireless charging. Ugh.
  • yetanotherhuman - Friday, July 26, 2019 - link

    Oh, and make it actually compact, like the older Compact ones. I use a Z3 Compact still as my work phone, and it's so goddamn nice in the hand compared to other phones I come in contact with
  • Exodite - Friday, July 26, 2019 - link

    +1 for the Z3C! :)

    Still using my green one, though the front glass is starting to come off and I really should get that fixed. It's coming up on 5 years old soon and it's by far the best device I've owned.

    It's unfortunate AT got to review Sony devices now that they're past their prime. Their current units drift ever more toward the generic curved-screen, camera-hump-endowed, subpar aspect-ratio blandness that most other vendors offer.

    While the Z3C was, and is, great and unique there's nothing particularly compelling about The Xperia 1 over competition from, say, One+.
  • boredsysadmin - Friday, July 26, 2019 - link

    No 3.5mm jack = no sale, at least not for me. The lag on BT phones is unacceptable for gaming and they can shove their 'orrible dongles or semi-proprietary usb-c phones up their collective asses.
  • pmcorriveau - Friday, July 26, 2019 - link

    I don't know why more companies don't at least include 2 USB-C ports. I have C headphones, but I'm still frustrated by not being able to charge and listen at the same time. Stopping a movie on a plane just to charge my device sucks.
  • yankeeDDL - Friday, July 26, 2019 - link

    I think a USB port takes up more real estate than a jack.
    I like bluetooth, but I constantly use plugged in headset while working: on huge phones there's no excuse.
  • s.yu - Sunday, July 28, 2019 - link

    But it's thinner, the excuse was thickness, it was always an excuse but a second C port doesn't add to thickness. I can live with a C port substituting a 3.5mm, but not without a second port of any kind.
  • Jay1984 - Sunday, July 28, 2019 - link

    Why do that if there is wireless charging?
  • eldakka - Sunday, July 28, 2019 - link

    There are dongle's that allow charging and headphones simultaneously.

    Unfortunately, it does mean carrying around more stuff with your phone, which reduces the mobility aspect of mobile phones...
  • flyingpants265 - Monday, July 29, 2019 - link

    Pretty soon, they'll start integrating those dongles INTO the phone itself. Futuristic technology...

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