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Sony is pitching the Xperia 10 Plus as the optimal way to watch movies on your smartphone, but it only lives up to that claim if you exclusively watch movies made for theatrical release, and ignore TV shows or streaming originals. Since few people will buy a phone just for watching specific movies, Sony’s efforts feel misguided.
That’s not to say the 21:9 aspect ratio is a problem – far from it, and we appreciated its benefits in various ways over the course of our time with the Xperia 10 Plus. It was great for reading books, typing notes, and playing certain games.
We did find it a little inconvenient to carry about with us due to the elongated design, and the side effects of the thin screen, like a tiny keyboard and hard-to-reach upper screen, create further issues.
The battery doesn’t last too long either, and we were constantly having to top the device up to get it through a day of medium or heavy use. Saying that, its Stamina power-saving mode did come to the rescue when the battery was nearly out.
The Sony Xperia 10 Plus is definitely a phone for cinema purists, and when watching the right film it truly lends itself to a great experience, especially when you’re using the speakers. It’s easy to recommend the handset if you watch a lot of feature films on the fly, because it makes for an unrivalled cinematic experience.
While we did find the longer screen useful for loads of other tasks, it’s probably not worth spending £349 / $429.99 on a phone just for the extra few millimetres of screen space it provides, and if you just want a device for calls, social media or photography, there are plenty of other handsets that are better for the task and cheaper.
Sony Xperia 10
If you want the whole 21:9 aspect ratio experience but don’t think a 6.5 inch screen is particularly necessary, you may want to consider the Sony Xperia 10 Plus’ little sibling, the Sony Xperia 10.
It has a 6-inch screen, with only 3GB RAM instead of 4GB and a Snapdragon 630 chipset, but it’s also cheaper at $349.99 / £299 (roughly AU$550).
Read our full Xperia 10 review
Moto G7 Plus
The Moto G7 Plus, one of Motorola’s best phones out right now, may be cheaper than the Xperia 10 Plus at only £269, but it’s only available in the UK right now.
If you’re lucky enough to live in the UK and are considering picking it up, it doesn’t have the 21:9 aspect ratio, and its 6.2-inch screen is a touch smaller, but you’ll get the same 3,000mAh battery, and a much better camera setup.
Read our full Moto G7 Plus review
If you’re willing to splash out a little more for your new handset, consider the Honor 10 – it has a 3,400mAh battery, 24MP and 16MP rear-camera setup, and a smaller frame, so feels a lot less like a plus-sized device, yet has all the features and bonuses you’d expect of a powerful handset.
It does cost £399.99, and again isn’t available for purchase in the US, so it isn’t for everyone.
Read our full Honor 10 review
Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.
He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.