Sony’s new flagship smartphone, the Xperia 1 II (pronounced “mark two”), will ship in the US starting July 24th for $1,199, the company announced. Pre-orders start on June 1st. And if you pre-order by June 28th, you’ll get a free pair of Sony WF-1000XM3 noise canceling earbuds.
A major feature of the Xperia 1 II is its 12-megapixel triple-camera array, which Sony says can shoot up 20 fps in burst mode, make AF/AE calculations up to 60 times per second, and autofocus on the eyes of humans and animals for portrait shots, among other features. The phone also comes with the Photography Pro and Cinematography Pro apps, which give you more manual control over the camera settings for your photos and videos.
The Xperia 1 II packs nearly all the goodies that buyers have come to expect from 2020 flagships, including top-end hardware and build quality, alongside an unexpected return of the 3.5mm audio jack. As noted previously, the device comes with the year’s highest-end silicon from Qualcomm (provided an 865 Plus doesn’t pop up), 8GB RAM, 256GB storage expandable via microSD, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1 and the standout 6.5-inch 21:9 4K HDR OLED (3840×1644) CinemaWide display.
With the Xperia 1 II, Sony is looking to impress a variety of deep-pocketed smartphone users, literally and figuratively. Chief among them are photography enthusiasts for whom Sony has brought in camera expertise from its Alpha mirrorless camera division. The latter had been reluctant towards sharing technologies with Sony’s mobile engineers, which according to a company executive, was one of the main reasons why Xperias have had lackluster cameras in the past.
A corporate reshuffle in March last year saw Sony merging its mobile, TV, audio, and camera divisions into one. While some benefits would have reached the Xperia 1, which was announced a month prior to this change, the mark two could potentially shake things up a bit, especially for cameras, in the premium smartphone segment this year.
Sony also said it has “plans to develop” the Xperia Pro, a new phone that supports mmWave 5G, which typically offers faster speeds than sub-6Hz 5G but has a more limited range. But to help you find service when you’re using the Xperia Pro, Sony says the new phone will show you the direction of an mmWave 5G connection and your transmission and reception speeds. The Xperia 1 II will be 4G only in the US, but its Europe variant supports 5G.
The Xperia Pro will also have a micro HDMI cable so that you can connect it to cameras with an HDMI output. That means you can use the Xperia Pro as a monitor for some DSLR cameras and professional camcorders as well as transmit data captured by a camera over the phone’s 5G connection, according to Sony.