Day: February 25, 2020

The Xperia 1 II – Say Hello to Sony’s first-ever 5G phone

resenting the Sony Xperia 1 II, Sony's flagship 5G phone.
Presenting the Sony Xperia 1 II, Sony’s flagship 5G phone |Source: Sony

At a time when companies are moving towards folding smartphones and 5G supported phones, Sony finally has come up with a successor that will not only tilt the company ahead of Chinese competitors but also adding a new dimension to the Xperia brand.

It has now been confirmed after early leaks that Sony’s flagship 5G phone is the Xperia 1 II (pronounced Xperia 1 Mark II). As the naming scheme suggests, this phone is the Xperia 1’s successor, and the company recently announced the launch of its flagship 5G smartphone.

From the looks of it, The Sony Xperia 1 II looks like an improvement over its predecessor, the Xperia 1. It packs a lot of meaningful improvements over its predecessor.

According to Mitsuya Kishida, Sony’s President of Mobile Communications, No one understands the experience of entertainment better than Sony. The company is in a unique position in today’s time of 5G cellular technology to give the target users an ‘enriched’ experience thanks to Sony’s extensive content portfolio.

He further stated: “Whether you are a broadcast professional who requires dynamic speed or an everyday user who desires enhanced entertainment, Xperia with 5G takes your mobile experience to the next level.”

What sets the Sony Xperia 1 II apart from the rest?

Sony Xperia 1 II has specifications like the 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED display with a tall 21:9 aspect ratio.

It is powered by a Snapdragon 865 chipset, 8GB RAM, 256GB of storage, and a 4,000mAh battery with a fast-wired charging of 21 Watts (equivalent to 21 Volts and 1 Ampere).

Among the other specifications are :

  • The IP65 and IP68 certifications for resistance to dust and water.
  • Stereo speakers.
  • A 3.5mm headphone jack.
  • Wireless charging.
  • A dedicated shutter key.
  • A fingerprint scanner mounted sideways.

Sounds cool, doesn’t it? 😊 It’s now about to sound even cooler.

Thanks to the presence of the Snapdragon X55 modem, the Sony Xperia 1 II will support sub-6GHz 5G.

However, it will support 5G networks in Europe for now. The device will support 4G networks in other parts of the world.

The flagship 1 II handset will be 4G only in the United States, but US fans should not be heartbroken. Sony recently teased a separate 5G device known as the Xperia Pro.

The company also announced a new mid-range handset known as the Xperia 10 II.

The Sony Xperia 1 II’s camera and the new things coming with it

In terms of the phone’s photography capabilities, Sony has added some neat hardware features such as the 3.5mm headphone jack and wireless charging support.

Surprisingly, both these features were not present on the Xperia 1.

Today’s era is that of the 108-megapixel smartphone cameras, the 12-megapixel triple-camera array found on the back of the Sony Xperia 1 II risks it is getting labeled as a low spec phone on paper. However, the company thinks otherwise.

Sony is of the belief that it has raised the bar up by bringing in features from its Alpha lineup of cameras. 

The phone supports up to 20fps shooting in burst mode (the company believes it to be a first for a smartphone) and has the ability to calculate AF/AE at up to 60 times per second.

What’s more, is that the eye-tracking auto-focus has returned from last year. This system works quite well with animals.

According to Sony, the camera auto-focus covers 70% of the frame.

What else has Sony brought with it?

The Japanese electronics giant has a new Photo Pro app, which joins last year’s Cinema Pro app. The goal here is to give users more manual control over their photography.

According to Sony, this will be done with a similar interface to an interchangeable lens camera. If users wish taking pictures using a normal smartphone camera interface, they can do easily.

Sony Xperia 1 II Real-time Eye AF for both humans and animals in photography.
Real-time Eye AF for humans & animals in photography in the Sony Xperia 1 II | Source: Sony

What is the Camera’s hardware?

The Sony Xperia 1 II has three rear cameras and a 3D iToF sensor to help with focusing. All the three rear cameras feature 12-megapixel sensors, like the iPhone 11 Pro.

On the phone, the main 24mm f/1.7 camera has a large 1/1.7-inch sensor which is almost the same Samsung is using for the Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus’s main cameras but not as large as the one found in the Galaxy S20 ultra.

Another thing the phone has is a 16mm f/2.2 ultrawide camera and a 70mm f/2.4 telephoto camera. On the front, an 8-megapixel selfie camera with a dedicated camera button on the right side of the phone.

The video aspect

The Sony Xperia 1 II can record videos of 4K quality at 60 fps and 2K videos at 120 fps. The company promises superior audio quality whilst recording videos as the phone separates out disturbance caused by wind noise.

The phone also comes in with 360 reality audio decoding which is known to be another first in a smartphone.

The good part of the Sony Xperia 1 II’s screen

Just like its predecessor, the Sony Xperia 1 II has a 6.5-inch 4K HDR OLED display with a tall 21:9 aspect ratio. The company is somehow keen to emphasize the benefits of such as a screen for media consumption, there is plenty of daily usage people will have on the phone. Among them is the ability to see more emails in an instant and explore more content in an instance on social media.

Pricing and release date

Sony has not announced any price for the Xperia 1 II. However, it will launch the device in Europe in late spring. The U.S release date for the device is unknown.

Currently, the company is working on the Xperia Pro, which is a professional variant of the Sony Xperia 1 II. It is designed specifically for the US market and for use by professionals specializing in broadcast video production.

This will feature 5G mmWave connectivity and an HDMI port which allows it to be hooked directly on professional cameras.

What mid-range handset does Sony have?

Sony currently has a new mid-range handset known as the Xperia 10 II. It has a slightly smaller screen 6 inches in size and 21:9 1080p OLED display. The processor is the Snapdragon 665 which is less powerful than what Xperia 1 II has and a smaller 3,600mAh battery.

Although it has an array of 3 cameras with the same combination of coal length as the Xperia 1 II with two cameras having 8-megapixel sensors. It has the 3.5mm headphone jack but no areas for wireless charging. The company aims to ship it in select markets this coming spring.

Conclusion

The market for smartphones today is obsessed with 108-megapixel cameras and ultra-thin bodies. Renown manufacturers such as Samsung and Motorola went ahead with foldable phones such as the Razr and Galaxy Z Flip to add a twist to the smartphone market today.

Sony Xperia 1 II is not just any smartphone. It has introduced 360-degree spatial audio and front-facing speakers. The welcoming return of the 3.5mm headphone jack adds more to the good over the bad. The handset will hardware-decode streams from Tidal for optimal high-resolution sound quality.

The audio aspect coupled with its compatibility with Sony’s Alpha cameras is set to make this phone a hit with consumers. The arrival of the Xperia 1 II adds more flavor to the 5G phone lineup which was dominated by Apple and Samsung.

The Sony Xperia 1 II will start getting shipped in spring and in a choice of either black, purple or white. The company has revealed that it will launch it on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, MetroPCS, and Cricket.