05 May 2020
UPDATE (May 25th, 2020):
Sony has finally revealed Xperia 1 II pre-order details for users in the United States. The latest flagship from Sony will cost $1,199.99 with pre-orders starting June 1st. It is also running a limited-time offer where buyers will get a free pair of Sony WF-1000XM3 noise-canceling earbuds if they preorder the unit by June 28th.
Original (February 24th, 2020)
In its briefly held Xperia Announcement launch event, Sony introduced its two new phones, one 5G phone, and one mid-range 4G phone. These new products were meant to be launched at the MWC but since the biggest conference is no more, Sony chose to unveil them at its special event which didn’t even last for 30 minutes.
Sony introduced the Xperia 1 II, Xperia 10 II, and Xperia Pro as well. The Xperia 1 II is nothing but a successor to the tall Xperia 1 that arrived last year. The new device looks a lot like its predecessor but it has its own set of a new camera system for better photography. Sony specifically stressed the photography skills of the device at the event and of course, the 5G support as well. The Sony Xperia 1 II connects to sub-6GHz networks for some consistent and reliable speeds with better coverage.
The smartphone world which is constantly evolving and adorning new looks, Sony Xperia phones still feature a dated design, an appearance that is just unacceptable to some. But the company consistently works on improving the other part of the smartphone world to make them functionally better than before. That’s what it did with its new lineup of Xperia phones as well.
The Xperia 1 II may look under-specced with 12MP triple cameras in the space which is now getting dominated by high MPs but on close inspection and if you’re interested only, you’d know that Sony has made use of a few things brilliantly. Sony announced that its new phone comes with quite Alpha-inspired features; a camera developed with Sony’s Alpha camera engineers to deliver exceptionally fast autofocus on a smartphone.
The Sony 1 II supports up to 20fps shooting in burst mode, something first in a smartphone, according to Sony. The second is the ability to calculate AF/AE at up to 60 times per second. Sony also boasts that this year the camera’s autofocus covers 70 percent of the frame.
Sony claims its new Xperia 1 II is meant for photographers, cinephiles, and cinematographers. It has three 12MP rear cameras, similar to iPhone 11 Pro with a 3D iToF sensor. The ultrawide 12MP camera has a 16mm focal length, f/2.2 aperture, with dual-phase detection autofocus. The main camera is also 12MP, with f/1.7 aperture and a 24mm focal length. For zoomed-in shots, the phone will switch to the 70mm f/2.4, 12MP telephoto camera (presumably at 2x optical zoom).
And, with 5G, Sony boasts the Xperia 1 II can stream, download, and upload high-quality large files like 4K videos and full-resolution images in just a few seconds without hassle.
Sony claims the Xperia 1 II is the world’s first smartphone to come with built-in 360 Reality Audio decoding, a new audio format that Sony launched before. The Xperia 1 II comes with a 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED display with a tall 21:9 aspect ratio. It’s has been updated with Sony’s own motion blurring reduction technology that may offer an effect similar to 90Hz.
It is powered by Snapdragon 865 processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB onboard storage, and a 4,000mAH battery. In Europe, the 5G connectivity will be handled by a Qualcomm X55 modem. There are dual front-facing speakers, a fingerprint scanner is side-mounted and the phone is water-resistant, thanks to IP65 and IP68 certifications.
Also, a feature that was removed from the 2019 Xperia 1, is now making a comeback and it is the 3.5mm headphone jack.
Sony has also announced the plans to develop the Xperia Pro, a variant of the Xperia 1 II. This would be designed for broadcast video production professionals. The Xperia 1 II connects to sub-6Hz networks but the Pro will feature 5G mmWave connectivity for ultra-fast connections. There will also be an HDMI (Type D) port so to attach it up with the pro cameras and equipment. Compared to the consumer-oriented Xperia 1 II, the Xperia Pro has a rugged construction. There is no information on its availability and pricing yet.
- 6.5-inch HDR OLED display with 4K resolution, Motion Blur reduction, 21:9 aspect ratio
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor with Adreno 650
- 8GB RAM
- 256GB storage
- Android 10
- 12MP ultra-wide sensor with f/2.2 aperture and Dual PDAF, 12MP wide sensor with f/1.7 aperture and Dual PDAF with OIS, 12MP telephoto lens with f/2.4 aperture and PDAF with OIS, 3D iToF depth sensor
- 8MP front camera
- Dual stereo front speakers, headphone jack, 360 Reality Audio, side-mounted fingerprint scanner
- 4,000mAH battery
- 5G, sub-6GHz
The Xperia 1 II will be available in Europe sometime in late spring.